CAR_Public/130401.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, April 1, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 63

                             Headlines



ACME PACKET: Faces Merger-Related Class Suits in Del. and Mass.
ADT: Robocall Class Action Notices Sent
AFFYMAX INC: Faces Securities Class Action Suit in California
ALERE INC: AHM Faces Suit Over Disclosure of Patient Information
ALIGN TECHNOLOGY: Hearing in "Dearborn Heights" Suit on May 30

ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Awaits Bid to Certify Order in "PHI" Suit
ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Faces "Pain Clinic" Suit in Florida
ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Investors Amend Merger-Related Suit
AMERICAN HOME: Supreme Court Disbars Fen-Phen Class Action Lawyer
AMERICAN MANAGEMENT: Can't Force Arbitration of Wage Claims

APPLE INC: Adds New "Offers In-App Purchases" Warning in iTunes
ASSURED GUARANTY: "MDL 1950" Still Pending in New York Court
ASSURED GUARANTY: Suit Over Jefferson County's Sewer Debt Stayed
BABY PRODUCTS: Gibbons Discusses Third Circuit Ruling
BIG 4 AUDITING FIRMS: Class Actions Firms Expand Globally

CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Loses Bid to Dismiss FDCPA Class Action Suit
CASSELS BROCK: Appeals Court Certifies Tax Advice Class Action
CIBC: Canada Supreme Court Allows Overtime Class Action to Proceed
CITIGROUP INC: Attorney Fees in Investor Class Action Challenged
CITIGROUP INC: SheppardMullin Discusses Second Circuit Ruling

CME GROUP: Defends Consolidated MF Global-Related Suit in N.Y.
COPANO ENERGY: Faces Suits Over Proposed Kinder Morgan Merger
DAIRY FARMERS: Settles CME Trading Class Action for $46 Million
ERNST & YOUNG: Seyfarth Shaw Discusses Class Action Waiver Issue
ELMWOOD PLACE: Faces Class Action Over Speed Camera Tickets

ENVIRO-TANK CLEAN: Noxious Odor Prompts Class Lawsuit
FLAMEL TECHNOLOGIES: Judge Dismisses 2007 New York Class Action
FSL PROPERTIES: Faces Class Action Over Montgomery House
GLAXOSMITHKLINE: May 21 Settlement Opt-Out Deadline Set
GOLDMAN SACHS: Court Allows Arbitration of Gender Bias Claim

HEARTLAND PAYMENT: Defends Suits Over Processing System Intrusion
ISTAR FINANCIAL: Final Hearing on Citiline Action Deal on April 5
METROPCS COMMUNICATIONS: Defends T-Mobile Merger-Related Suits
MORGAN STANLEY: Singapore Investors Mull Suit Over Pinnacle Notes
NEW YORK: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Indigent Defense

NEW YORK: Police Office Testifies in Stop-and-Frisk Trial
PENNINGTON COUNTY, SD: Faces Class Action Over ICWA Violation
PITNEY BOWES: Court Dismisses NECA-IBEW Fraud Class Suit
PNM RESOURCES: Awaits Ruling in Navajo Nation Allottees Suit
POLY IMPLANT: Class Action Over Faulty Breast Implants Dropped

RITE AID: Faces Class Action Over Inaccurate Worker Information
SANOFI: Investors Obtain Class Certification in Zimulti Suit
SHINHAN BANK: May Face Class Action Over Network Hacking
SINO-FOREST CORP: Court Approves $117MM Class Action Settlement
STANDARD FIRE: Plaintiffs Can't Evade Federal Court Jurisdiction

STANDARD FIRE: Alabama AG Lauds Supreme Court Class Action Ruling
STANDARD FIRE: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commends Court Ruling
STANDARD FIRE: Armstrong Teasdale Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY: Class Action Over Jail Conditions Can Proceed
SYDNEY STEEL: Too Many Variables in Tar Ponds Class Action

UNITED CONTINENTAL: Faces Class Action Over Frequent Flyer Miles
TED LAY: Ill. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in TCPA Class Action

* Copyright Troll Lawyer Enters Into Class Action Arena
* Customers Won't Foot Legal Bill in Class Action v. NZ Banks
* Recent Study on Securities Class Actions Good News for Big Firms
* Securities Lawsuits Target Life Sciences Companies


                             *********


ACME PACKET: Faces Merger-Related Class Suits in Del. and Mass.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Acme Packet, Inc., is facing merger-related class action lawsuits
in Delaware and Massachusetts, according to the Company's
March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On February 4, 2013, Acme Packet, OC Acquisition LLC, a Delaware
limited liability company ("Parent"), Andes Acquisition
Corporation, a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary
of Parent ("Merger Subsidiary"), and Oracle Corporation, a
Delaware corporation and the ultimate parent entity of Parent and
Merger Subsidiary ("Oracle"), entered into an Agreement and Plan
of Merger (the "Merger Agreement") pursuant to which, subject to
the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions therein, Merger
Subsidiary will merge with and into Acme Packet (the "Merger")
with Acme Packet surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parent.
The Merger is expected to close in the first half of 2013, subject
to Acme Packet stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals
and other customary closing conditions.

Subsequent to the February 4, 2013 announcement of the Merger,
Acme Packet has been named party to eight purported class action
lawsuits filed by alleged stockholders.  Purported class action
lawsuits, captioned Willard Love v. Acme Packet, Inc., et al.,
filed on February 12, 2013, in the Delaware Court of Chancery,
Case No. 8303, Edward Mical v. Acme Packet, Inc., et al., filed on
February 12, 2013, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, Case No.
8307, Jennifer Howard v. Acme Packet, Inc., et al., filed on
February 13, 2013, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, Case No.
8316, IBEW Local 363 Pension Trust Fund and IBEW Local 363 Money
Purchase Pension Plan v. Acme Packet, Inc., et al., filed on
February 13, 2013, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, Case No.
8310, Tim Smith v. Gary J. Bowen, et al., filed on February 15,
2013, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, Case No. 8324, Jakob
Strebel v. Gary J. Bowen, et al., filed on February 20, 2013, in
the Delaware Court of Chancery, Case No. 8341, Ken Phipps v. Acme
Packet, Inc., et al., filed on February 22, 2013, in the Delaware
Court of Chancery, Case No. 8351, and Mark Segall v. Acme Packet,
Inc., et al., filed on February 15, 2013, in Middlesex County
Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Civil Action
No. 13-3582, name as defendants Acme Packet, the members of the
Company's board of directors, Oracle, Parent and Merger
Subsidiary.

The lawsuits allege generally that the defendants either breached
or aided and abetted the breach of fiduciary duties to Acme
Packet's stockholders by seeking to sell the company for an
allegedly inadequate price and on unfair terms.  The Phipps
complaint also claims that the preliminary proxy statement filed
by Acme Packet on February 19, 2013, omits certain allegedly
material information.  The complaints seek equitable relief,
including, among other things, to enjoin consummation of the
proposed merger, rescission of the merger agreement, award of all
costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys' fees and
costs, and rescissory and other damages.  On February 28, 2013,
the plaintiff in the Phipps matter moved to consolidate the
actions that are pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  Also
on February 28, 2013, the plaintiff in the Phipps matter moved to
expedite preliminary injunction proceedings.

Acme Packet, Inc. -- http://www.acmepacket.com/-- provides
session delivery network solutions, which enable the trusted,
first class delivery of collaboration services, applications, and
next-generation voice, video, data and unified communication and
collaboration services and applications across Internet Protocol
networks.  The Company was incorporated in Delaware in August 2000
and is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts.


ADT: Robocall Class Action Notices Sent
---------------------------------------
Don Dare, writing for 6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator,
reports that a letter sent to Betty Walton of Maynardville and
others across the country regarding the ADT class action is
legitimate and questions for potential plaintiffs are outlined
in it.

Every year thousands of people lose lots of money after receiving
a fraudulent letter claiming a big cash prize awaits them.  When a
letter arrived the other day at the home of a Maynardville woman,
she thought it was a hoax.  Many robocalls are made during the
campaign season.  It's legitimate -- politicians and companies use
audodialers that can send thousands of phone calls in one minute.
They're so annoying that complaints to the FTC about robocalls
quadrupled from 2010 to 2012.

In December of last year, new rules took effect as the FTC cracked
down to restrict robocalls, and recently, class action lawsuits
have been filed, alleging some companies violated previous
telemarketing rules.

"I was just a little iffy about it," Ms. Walton said.

Ms. Walton was suspicious when she received a letter the other day
claiming she was eligible for up to $100 in a class-action lawsuit
against ADT, the security company, for allegedly making robocalls.
Ms. Walton said she received several of the calls, but doesn't
remember when.

According to the correspondence, one robo call to her home was
made Feb. 17, 2011.  She remembers others.

"Basically saying, 'Do you have ADT? There are a lot of break-ins
in your area.  We suggest that you take this service'," she said.

The class-action suit is legitimate and questions for potential
plaintiffs are outlined in the letter sent to Ms. Walton and
others across the country.

"It gives you information about just about everything.  What are
my options.  What rights am I given in this settlement?"
Mr. Walton said.

The letter asks for no personal information, just for her to
answer some questions.

"I'm going to go ahead and give them the information and see what
happens with it," she said.

ADT's corporate office tells 6 On Your Side, yes, it is part of
the class-action lawsuit, but ADT says it does not use prerecorded
telemarketing messages and was not responsible for making or
authorizing any calls.  However, because litigation is time-
consuming an expensive, ADT has decided to resolve this matter.


AFFYMAX INC: Faces Securities Class Action Suit in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
Affymax, Inc., is facing a securities class action lawsuit in
California, according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On February 27, 2013, a securities class action lawsuit was
commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California, naming as defendants Affymax, Inc.,
certain of its officers, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited,
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Takeda Global Research &
Development Center, Inc.  The lawsuit, brought on behalf of a
purported stockholder of the Company, alleges violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with allegedly false
and misleading statements made by the defendants regarding the
Company's business practices, financial projections and other
disclosures between December 8, 2011, and February 22, 2013 (the
"Class Period").  The plaintiff seeks to represent a class
comprised of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
Class Period and seeks damages, costs and expenses and such other
relief as determined by the Court.

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses and intends to
defend the lawsuit vigorously.

It is possible that similar lawsuits may yet be filed in the same
or other courts that name the same or additional defendants.

Affymax, Inc. -- http://www.affymax.com/-- is a biopharmaceutical
company based in Palo Alto, California.  Affymax's mission is to
discover, develop and deliver innovative therapies that improve
the lives of patients with kidney disease and other serious and
often life-threatening illnesses.


ALERE INC: AHM Faces Suit Over Disclosure of Patient Information
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alere Inc.'s subsidiary, Alere Home Monitoring, or AHM, is facing
a class action lawsuit in California arising from an inadvertent
disclosure of personally identifiable information of roughly
116,000 patients, according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

On January 24, 2013, a class action complaint was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
against Alere Home Monitoring, asserting claims for damages and
other relief under California state law, including under
California's Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, relating
to an inadvertent disclosure of personally identifiable
information of approximately 116,000 patients resulting from the
theft of a laptop computer from an employee of AHM.  The Office of
Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
was notified of the inadvertent disclosure in accordance with the
Breach Notification Rule under the HITECH Act, as were certain
state agencies.  The Company believes that AHM has strong defenses
to the claims made in the complaint and AHM intends to defend this
matter vigorously.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Alere Inc. -- http://www.alere.com/-
- formerly known as Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc., was
formed to acquire the women's health and professional diagnostics
businesses of its predecessor, Inverness Medical Technology, Inc.,
through a split-off and merger transaction, which occurred in
November 2001.  Alere enables individuals to take greater control
of their health at home, under the supervision of their healthcare
providers, by combining near-patient diagnostics, health
monitoring capabilities, and information technology solutions.


ALIGN TECHNOLOGY: Hearing in "Dearborn Heights" Suit on May 30
--------------------------------------------------------------
The hearing on a motion for appointment of lead plaintiff in the
securities class action lawsuit initiated by the City of Dearborn
Heights Act 345 Police & Fire Retirement System is currently
scheduled for May 30, 2013, according to Align Technology, Inc.'s
March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On November 28, 2012, plaintiff City of Dearborn Heights Act 345
Police & Fire Retirement System filed a lawsuit against Align,
Thomas M. Prescott ("Mr. Prescott"), Align's President and Chief
Executive Officer, and Kenneth B. Arola ("Mr. Arola"), Align's
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of a purported class of purchasers of the Company's common
stock between April 23, 2012, and October 17, 2012 (the
"Securities Action").  The complaint alleges that Align, Mr.
Prescott and Mr. Arola violated Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and
that Mr. Prescott and Mr. Arola violated Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Specifically, the complaint
alleges that during the purported class period the Company's
reported income and earnings were materially overstated because of
a failure to timely write down goodwill related to the April 29,
2011 acquisition of Cadent Holdings, Inc., and that defendants
made allegedly false statements concerning the Company's
forecasts.  The complaint seeks monetary damages in an unspecified
amount, costs and attorney's fees.  The hearing on the motion for
appointment of lead plaintiff is currently scheduled for May 30th,
2013.

Align says it intends to vigorously defend itself against these
allegations.  Align is currently unable to predict the outcome of
this complaint and therefore cannot determine the likelihood of
loss nor estimate a range of possible loss.

Align Technology, Inc., -- http://www.aligntech.com/-- designs,
manufactures and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intra-
oral scanners and CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-
aided manufacturing) digital services used in dentistry,
orthodontics, and dental records storage.  Align Technology was
incorporated in Delaware in April 1997.  The Company's
headquarters are located in San Jose, California, and its
international headquarters are located in Amsterdam, the
Netherlands.


ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Awaits Bid to Certify Order in "PHI" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. is awaiting a court decision
on Physicians Healthsource, Inc.'s motion for class certification,
according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

On May 1, 2012, Physicians Healthsource, Inc. ("PHI") filed a
class action Complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois against the Company.  The Complaint alleges
that on multiple occasions between July 2008 and December 2011,
Allscripts or its agent sent advertisements by fax to the
Plaintiff and a class of similarly situated persons, without first
receiving the recipients' express permission or invitation in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C.
Section 227 ("TCPA").  The Complaint seeks $500 for each alleged
violation of the TCPA, treble damages if the Court finds the
violations to be willful, knowing or intentional, and injunctive
and other relief.  Allscripts was served with the Complaint and
PHI's Motion for Class Certification on May 7, 2012, and the
Company responded by filing a Motion to Dismiss, which was denied
but the Court requested that Allscripts file a second Motion to
Dismiss, which was also denied.  Discovery in this matter has been
stayed pending a decision of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in
the case of Holtzman v. Turza.  The Company has also filed a
Motion requesting denial of PHI's Motion for Class certification.
The Company says it intends to vigorously defend against these
claims.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
-- http://www.allscripts.com/-- is a provider of clinical,
financial, connectivity and information solutions and related
professional services that empower hospitals, physicians and post-
acute organizations to deliver world-class outcomes.  Its
businesses deliver innovative solutions that provide physicians
and other healthcare professionals with just-right, just-in-time
information, connect them to each other and to the entire
community of care, and transform healthcare by improving the
quality and efficiency of patient care.


ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Faces "Pain Clinic" Suit in Florida
----------------------------------------------------------
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. is facing a class action
lawsuit commenced by Pain Clinic of Northwest Florida, Inc.,
according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On December 27, 2012, Pain Clinic of Northwest Florida, Inc.
("Pain Clinic") filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court of the 11th
Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida, against
the Company.  The Complaint seeks to certify a class of all
similarly situated physician-customers that purchased the MyWay
product and seeks damages for claims of breach of warranty and
unjust enrichment.  On February 5, 2013, the Company filed a
motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss or stay the lawsuit
during arbitration, and a motion to stay discovery during
arbitration.  The Company says it intends to vigorously defend
this matter.

In the opinion of management, there was not at least a reasonable
possibility the Company may have incurred a material loss, or a
material loss in excess of a recorded accrual, with respect to the
matter.  However, the outcome of the litigation is inherently
uncertain, and the Company may incur substantial defense costs and
expenses.  Therefore, if these legal matters were resolved against
the Company for an amount in excess of management's expectations,
the Company's consolidated financial statements of a particular
reporting period could be materially adversely affected.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
-- http://www.allscripts.com/-- is a provider of clinical,
financial, connectivity and information solutions and related
professional services that empower hospitals, physicians and post-
acute organizations to deliver world-class outcomes.  Its
businesses deliver innovative solutions that provide physicians
and other healthcare professionals with just-right, just-in-time
information, connect them to each other and to the entire
community of care, and transform healthcare by improving the
quality and efficiency of patient care.


ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE: Investors Amend Merger-Related Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
The lead plaintiff in the merger-related class action lawsuit
pending in Illinois filed an amended complaint in January 2013,
according to Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.'s March 1,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On May 2, 2012, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Company,
Glen Tullman and William Davis, the former Chief Financial Officer
of the Company, by the Bristol County Retirement System for itself
and on behalf of a purported class consisting of stockholders who
purchased Allscripts common stock between November 18, 2010, and
April 26, 2012.  The Complaint alleges that the Company, Mr.
Tullman and Mr. Davis made materially false and misleading
statements and/or omissions during the putative class period
regarding the Company's progress in integrating Allscripts' and
Eclipsys Corporation' business following the August 24, 2010
merger and that the Company lacked a reasonable basis for certain
statements regarding the Company's post-merger integration
efforts, operations, results and projections of future financial
performance.  A lead plaintiff has been appointed and on January
10, 2013, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend against these
claims.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
-- http://www.allscripts.com/-- is a provider of clinical,
financial, connectivity and information solutions and related
professional services that empower hospitals, physicians and post-
acute organizations to deliver world-class outcomes.  Its
businesses deliver innovative solutions that provide physicians
and other healthcare professionals with just-right, just-in-time
information, connect them to each other and to the entire
community of care, and transform healthcare by improving the
quality and efficiency of patient care.


AMERICAN HOME: Supreme Court Disbars Fen-Phen Class Action Lawyer
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Beth Musgrave, writing for The Lexington Herald-Leader, reports
that the Kentucky Supreme Court has permanently disbarred famed
Cincinnati trial attorney Stanley Chesley, often called the
"master of disaster" for his handling of national headline-
generating class-action lawsuits.

The state Supreme Court unanimously ruled on March 21 that
Mr. Chesley's law license should be revoked because of his conduct
in a notorious $200 million settlement involving the diet drug
fen-phen.

The high court upheld a 2011 recommendation by the Kentucky Bar
Association's board, which agreed with a hearing officer that
Mr. Chesley violated eight ethics rules and should return $7.5
million to his former clients.

In the March 21 decision, the court declined to order Mr. Chesley
to repay the $7.5 million, saying there was no mechanism to order
restitution through a disbarment proceeding.

Mr. Chesley, 76, is likely to now face disbarment in Ohio.  The
Ohio Supreme Court recognizes disbarment orders from Kentucky, but
the process is not automatic, Ohio court officials said on
March 21.

Mr. Chesley, a member of the University of Cincinnati Board of
Trustees, is married to U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Dlott,
chief judge of the federal court in southern Ohio.

Sheryl Snyder, a lawyer for Mr. Chesley, declined to say whether
Mr. Chesley might ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider or
whether Mr. Chesley would take the case to federal court.

"He has a previously unblemished record of legal service, and we
are therefore disappointed with the court's decision to impose
such a severe sanction, especially in light of its finding that
'it is not shown that he had specific knowledge of the deception
practiced on each client' by the other lawyers," Ms. Snyder said.

Mr. Chesley is the highest-profile attorney to be disbarred in
recent Kentucky history.  He rocketed to fame after winning nearly
$50 million in settlements over the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club
fire in Northern Kentucky.  The fire killed 165 people.

Other high-profile cases Mr. Chesley has headed include a case
against Pan Am after terrorists bombed one of its planes flying
over Lockerbie, Scotland, and a case against the Archdiocese of
Covington on behalf of sexual abuse victims.

Mr. Chesley is the latest of several attorneys to lose a law
license after participating in a 2001 Boone Circuit Court
settlement for $200 million over damages caused by the diet drug
fen-phen, which damaged heart valves.  The attorneys in that case
received the bulk of the settlement even though contracts with
their clients said they were entitled to about one-third of the
settlement.

Lexington-area lawyers Melbourne Mills Jr., William Gallion and
Shirley Cunningham all lost their law licenses over their
involvement in the case.  David Helmers, an associate with
Mr. Gallion, was disbarred in 2011.  The state Supreme Court also
yanked the law license of state court Judge Jay Bamberger, who
approved the 2001 settlement and later served on a board of a
nonprofit that was started with proceeds from the $200 million
settlement.

Mr. Gallion and Ms. Cunningham were convicted on federal charges
related to taking more than $94 million that should have gone to
their former clients.  Both are in federal prison.  Mills was
acquitted of all charges after his attorney successfully argued
that Mills was too drunk during settlement negotiations and when
the funds were disbursed to know what was going on.

Mr. Chesley was key in covering up misdeeds by Mr. Gallion,
Ms. Cunningham and Mr. Mills, according to William Graham, the
hearing officer in the disciplinary case against Mr. Chesley.

Graham said in a Feb. 22, 2011, order that Mr. Chesley's greed and
callous disregard for his clients' interests was "both shocking
and reprehensible."

Mr. Chesley ultimately was found guilty of violating eight rules
of professional conduct, including receiving excessive attorney
fees, making false statements to investigators and concealing
dishonest conduct of others.

Mr. Chesley was never criminally charged in the case and has
maintained that he did nothing wrong.  Mr. Chesley has claimed
that he acted as an attorney for the lawyers in the case, who had
little experience with class-action lawsuits.  His contract said
he was entitled to $13 million, but he received $20 million.

Attorneys for Mr. Chesley have argued that before Mr. Chesley's
involvement in the case, American Home Products, the maker of fen-
phen, had offered the Lexington attorneys only $20 million for
their 440 clients.  Mr. Chesley was able to increase that
settlement to $200 million.

But bar investigators have said Mr. Chesley actively tried to
thwart any investigation into what happened to the $200 million
settlement, even helping settle a civil lawsuit brought by one of
Mills' former law partners so he wouldn't have to testify.

Mr. Chesley also signed off on documents sent to the Kentucky Bar
Association that showed inflated settlement amounts for the fen-
phen clients in the original settlement.  Mr. Chesley has said he
didn't know that the numbers were wrong or inflated.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chesley and his attorneys have raised questions in
court proceedings about the settlement of a civil lawsuit brought
against attorneys in the fen-phen case by their 440 former
clients. In particular, Mr. Chesley has questioned whether lawyers
involved in his disbarment proceedings received part of the $42
million civil judgment awarded to the 440 former clients.

Mr. Chesley's lawyers also have questioned why Linda Gosnell, who
was chief bar counsel during Mr. Chesley's disciplinary
proceedings, was later terminated.  The Kentucky Bar Association
has never explained Ms. Gosnell's departure.


AMERICAN MANAGEMENT: Can't Force Arbitration of Wage Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Kenneth Ofgang, writing for Metropolitan News-Enterprise, reports
that the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 holding in favor of enforcing
arbitration agreements that ban class-wide arbitration does not
extend to cases in which the arbitration clause is so one-sided as
to be unconscionable, a state Court of Appeal in California ruled
on March 19.

In a 2-1 decision, Div. Eight reinstated a putative class action
brought by a former employee of American Management Services, LLC
and tossed out Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson's
ruling that the employee must individually arbitrate her claim
that the company violated wage laws.

Leasa Compton, a property manager with AMS from 2006 to 2009,
filed suit in 2010, claiming the company failed to pay minimum and
overtime wages, provide rest and meal breaks, and properly
reimburse expenses.  In April 2011, while the case was in
discovery, the nation's highest court decided AT&T Mobility, LLC
v. Concepcion (2011) 131 S.Ct. 1740.  The case held that the
Federal Arbitration Act preempts California public policy against
enforcement of contract clauses that require the parties to
arbitrate disputes on an individual, rather than on a joint or
classwide basis.

Following the ruling, AMS moved to compel arbitration of
Ms. Compton's claims against it, on an individual basis.  The
company cited an arbitration clause in Ms. Compton's 2006
employment agreement.

The clause required that all disputes between the parties,
excluding those involving unfair competition or trade secrets, be
submitted to binding arbitration, except that the employer was
allowed to sue for "injunctive and/or equitable relief for unfair
competition and/or the use and/or unauthorized disclosure of trade
secrets or confidential information."  It also barred joint or
classwide arbitration proceedings absent the consent of all
parties, and required that arbitration be initiated within one
year of the accrual of a claim.

Johnson ruled that the motion was timely because it was filed
promptly after Concepcion was decided, and that the arbitration
clause was enforceable under the Supreme Court's decision.

                         Court's Opinion

But Justice Laurence Rubin, writing for the Court of Appeal, said
Concepcion did not abrogate the rule of Armendariz v. Foundation
Health Psychcare Servs. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83 and later cases that
an arbitration agreement that one-sidedly favors an employer --
such as by forcing employees to arbitrate while allowing the
employer to litigate disputes with employees -- may be declared
unconscionable and unenforceable by a court.

"AMS contends that the rule of one-sidedness as applied by
Armendariz . . . and . . . other decisions . . . violates
Concepcion because a lack of perfect mutuality of obligation is
not generally grounds to invalidate a contract under California
law," Justice Rubin wrote.  But decisions both before and after
Concepcion have followed Armendariz, which remains binding on the
Court of Appeal, the justice said.

The agreement that Ms. Compton signed with AMS is unconscionably
one-sided, Rubin explained, because it requires the employee to
arbitrate every conceivable claim that an employee might raise,
while allowing the employer to sue under some circumstances.

                   One-Sided and Unconscionable

Also one-sided and unconscionable, the justice said, are the
provisions that require that arbitration be demanded within a year
of a claim's accrual, whereas the various types of claims likely
to be raised by an employee are generally subject to two-, three-,
or four-year statutes of limitations, and the types of claims that
the employer has reserved the right to litigate are subject to
three- or four-year statutes.

Justice Madeleine Flier concurred, but Presiding Justice Tricia
Bigelow dissented.

"Even without consideration of whether Concepcion changes the
Armendariz unconscionability analysis in California, I do not see
any traditional unconscionability issues in the agreement apart
from the potential implications of the waiver of class claims in
arbitration," the presiding justice wrote.  "As to the waiver of
class claims, I would find this is a case to follow Concepcion and
find the waiver enforceable."

The agreement between the parties, Bigelow wrote, is not "so
tainted with illegality" as to be unconscionable.  It binds both
parties to arbitrate the types of claims asserted by Ms. Compton,
and to the extent that there is an unfair "carve-out" of certain
types of claims, that provision may be severed and invalidated
without declaring the entire agreement unconscionable.

Similarly, she argued, the one-year limitations clause can be
invalidated, allowing employer and employee to bring their claims
within the applicable statutory limitations period.

The plaintiff was represented on appeal by the R. Rex Parris Law
Firm and Lawyers for Justice, the defendant by Thomas G. Mackey
and Brian D. Fahy of Jackson Lewis.

The case is Compton v. American Management Services, LLC, B236669.


APPLE INC: Adds New "Offers In-App Purchases" Warning in iTunes
---------------------------------------------------------------
9to5 Mac reports that after settling a class action lawsuit
brought on by parents arguing the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app
purchases, allowed children to easily rack up thousands of
dollars, Apple has made a subtle change to the App Store to make
consumers more aware of apps that offer in-app purchases.  The
Guardian confirmed with Apple that it recently added a new "Offers
In-App Purchases" warning directly underneath the download button
in iTunes following the settlement.

Apple has always listed "Top in-app purchases" on app listings in
iTunes and the App Store app, but the new warning is clearly a
response to the lawsuit and an attempt to make apps that offer
in-app purchases more visible to customers downloading free apps.
The new warning isn't on listings in the App Store iOS app yet,
but could presumably make its way there as well.

Apple previously agreed to pay $5 in iTunes credit or a full
refund for purchases above $30 to those claiming in-app content
was purchased by a minor without their permission.  Apple is
contacting 23 million iTunes account holders that qualify to
receive a cut of the settlement.


ASSURED GUARANTY: "MDL 1950" Still Pending in New York Court
------------------------------------------------------------
During 2008, nine putative class action lawsuits were filed in
federal court alleging federal antitrust violations in the
municipal derivatives industry, seeking damages and alleging,
among other things, a conspiracy to fix the pricing of, and
manipulate bids for, municipal derivatives, including guaranteed
investment contracts ("GICs").  These cases have been coordinated
and consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York as MDL 1950, In re
Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:08-cv-2516
("MDL 1950").

Five of these cases named both Assured Guaranty Ltd.'s
subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty Municipal Holdings Inc. ("AGMH")
and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. ("AGM"): (a) Hinds County,
Mississippi v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (b) Fairfax County, Virginia
v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (c) Central Bucks School District,
Pennsylvania v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (d) Mayor and City Council of
Baltimore, Maryland v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; and (e) Washington
County, Tennessee v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.  In April 2009, the MDL
1950 court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on the
federal claims, but granted leave for the plaintiffs to file a
second amended complaint.  In June 2009, interim lead plaintiffs'
counsel filed a Second Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint; although the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint currently describes some of AGMH's and AGM's activities,
it does not name those entities as defendants.  In March 2010, the
MDL 1950 court denied the named defendants' motions to dismiss the
Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint.  The
complaints in these lawsuits generally seek unspecified monetary
damages, interest, attorneys' fees and other costs.  The Company
cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of
loss that may arise from these lawsuits.

Four of the cases named AGMH (but not AGM) and also alleged that
the defendants violated California state antitrust law and common
law by engaging in illegal bid-rigging and market allocation,
thereby depriving the cities or municipalities of competition in
the awarding of GICs and ultimately resulting in the cities paying
higher fees for these products: (f) City of Oakland, California v.
AIG Financial Products Corp.; (g) County of Alameda, California v.
AIG Financial Products Corp.; (h) City of Fresno, California v.
AIG Financial Products Corp.; and (i) Fresno County Financing
Authority v. AIG Financial Products Corp.  When the four
plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint in September 2009, the
plaintiffs did not name AGMH as a defendant.  However, the
complaint does describe some of AGMH's and AGM's activities.  The
consolidated complaint generally seeks unspecified monetary
damages, interest, attorneys' fees and other costs.  In April
2010, the MDL 1950 court granted in part and denied in part the
named defendants' motions to dismiss this consolidated complaint.

In 2008, AGMH and AGM also were named in five non-class action
lawsuits originally filed in the California Superior Courts
alleging violations of California law related to the municipal
derivatives industry: (a) City of Los Angeles, California v. Bank
of America, N.A.; (b) City of Stockton, California v. Bank of
America, N.A.; (c) County of San Diego, California v. Bank of
America, N.A.; (d) County of San Mateo, California v. Bank of
America, N.A.; and (e) County of Contra Costa, California v. Bank
of America, N.A.  Amended complaints in these actions were filed
in September 2009, adding a federal antitrust claim and naming AGM
(but not AGMH) and Assured Guaranty US Holdings Inc. ("AGUS"),
among other defendants.  These cases have been transferred to the
Southern District of New York and consolidated with MDL 1950 for
pretrial proceedings.

In late 2009, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in
six additional non-class action cases filed in federal court,
which also have been coordinated and consolidated for pretrial
proceedings with MDL 1950: (f) City of Riverside, California v.
Bank of America, N.A.; (g) Sacramento Municipal Utility District
v. Bank of America, N.A.; (h) Los Angeles World Airports v. Bank
of America, N.A.; (i) Redevelopment Agency of the City of Stockton
v. Bank of America, N.A.; (j) Sacramento Suburban Water District
v. Bank of America, N.A.; and (k) County of Tulare, California v.
Bank of America, N.A.

The MDL 1950 court denied AGM and AGUS's motions to dismiss these
eleven complaints in April 2010.  Amended complaints were filed in
May 2010.  On October 29, 2010, AGM and AGUS were voluntarily
dismissed with prejudice from the Sacramento Municipal Utility
District case only.  The complaints in these lawsuits generally
seek or sought unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys'
fees, costs and other expenses.  The Company cannot reasonably
estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may
arise from the remaining lawsuits.

In May 2010, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in
five additional non-class action cases filed in federal court in
California: (a) City of Richmond, California v. Bank of America,
N.A. (filed on May 18, 2010, N.D. California); (b) City of Redwood
City, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 18, 2010,
N.D. California); (c) Redevelopment Agency of the City and County
of San Francisco, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on
May 21, 2010, N.D. California); (d) East Bay Municipal Utility
District, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 18,
2010, N.D. California); and (e) City of San Jose and the San Jose
Redevelopment Agency, California v. Bank of America, N.A (filed on
May 18, 2010, N.D. California).  These cases have also been
transferred to the Southern District of New York and consolidated
with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings.  In September 2010, AGM
and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in a sixth additional
non-class action filed in federal court in New York, but which
alleges violation of New York's Donnelly Act in addition to
federal antitrust law: Active Retirement Community, Inc. d/b/a
Jefferson's Ferry v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on September 21,
2010, E.D. New York), which has also been transferred to the
Southern District of New York and consolidated with MDL 1950 for
pretrial proceedings.  In December 2010, AGM and AGUS, among other
defendants, were named in a seventh additional non-class action
filed in federal court in the Central District of California, Los
Angeles Unified School District v. Bank of America, N.A., and in
an eighth additional non-class action filed in federal court in
the Southern District of New York, Kendal on Hudson, Inc. v. Bank
of America, N.A.  These cases also have been consolidated with MDL
1950 for pretrial proceedings.  The complaints in these lawsuits
generally seek unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys'
fees, costs and other expenses.  The Company cannot reasonably
estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may
arise from these lawsuits.

In January 2011, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named
in an additional non-class action case filed in federal court in
New York, which alleges violation of New York's Donnelly Act in
addition to federal antitrust law: Peconic Landing at Southold,
Inc. v. Bank of America, N.A. This case has been consolidated with
MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings.  The complaint in this lawsuit
generally seeks unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys'
fees, costs and other expenses.  The Company cannot reasonably
estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may
arise from this lawsuit.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 1, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Assured Guaranty Ltd. -- http://www.assuredguaranty.com/-- is a
Bermuda-based holding company incorporated in 2003 that provides,
through its subsidiaries, credit protection products to the United
States and international public finance, infrastructure and
structured finance markets.  The Company applies its credit
underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets
experience to offer insurance that protects holders of debt
instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in
scheduled payments, including scheduled interest and principal
payments.


ASSURED GUARANTY: Suit Over Jefferson County's Sewer Debt Stayed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit relating to Jefferson County's problems
meeting its sewer debt obligations remains stayed, according to
Assured Guaranty Ltd.'s March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In August 2008, a number of financial institutions and other
parties, including Assured Guaranty Ltd.'s subsidiary, Assured
Guaranty Municipal Corp. ("AGM"), and other bond insurers, were
named as defendants in a civil action brought in the circuit court
of Jefferson County, Alabama, relating to the County's problems
meeting its sewer debt obligations: Charles E. Wilson vs. JPMorgan
Chase & Co et al (filed the Circuit Court of Jefferson County,
Alabama), Case No. 01-CV-2008-901907.00, a putative class action.
The action was brought on behalf of rate payers, tax payers and
citizens residing in Jefferson County, and alleges conspiracy and
fraud in connection with the issuance of the County's debt.  The
complaint in this lawsuit seeks equitable relief, unspecified
monetary damages, interest, attorneys' fees and other costs.  On
January, 13, 2011, the circuit court issued an order denying a
motion by the bond insurers and other defendants to dismiss the
action.  The Defendants, including the bond insurers, have
petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to the
circuit court vacating such order and directing the dismissal with
prejudice of plaintiffs' claims for lack of standing.  On January
23, 2012, the Alabama Supreme Court entered a stay pending the
resolution of the Jefferson County bankruptcy.  The Company says
it cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss,
if any, that may arise from this lawsuit.

Assured Guaranty Ltd. -- http://www.assuredguaranty.com/-- is a
Bermuda-based holding company incorporated in 2003 that provides,
through its subsidiaries, credit protection products to the United
States and international public finance, infrastructure and
structured finance markets.  The Company applies its credit
underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets
experience to offer insurance that protects holders of debt
instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in
scheduled payments, including scheduled interest and principal
payments.


BABY PRODUCTS: Gibbons Discusses Third Circuit Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------
J. Brugh Lower, Esq. -- JLower@gibbonslaw.com -- at Gibbons
reports that in In re Baby Products Antitrust Litigation, the
Third Circuit vacated a district court's approval of a $35.5
million class action settlement, finding it unreasonable that only
$3 million of the settlement fund was to be distributed to class
members.  This marked the first time the Third Circuit has
addressed the issue of cy pres distributions in class action
settlements, and will likely lead district courts to subject class
action settlements involving cy pres distributions to greater
scrutiny.

The Third Circuit instructed that in determining whether to
approve a settlement involving a cy pres distribution, district
courts should employ the same framework for assessing other
aspects of class action settlements, but added that "one of the
additional inquiries" where cy pres distributions are involved, is
the "the degree of direct benefit provided to the class."  That
inquiry involves consideration of, among other things, "the number
of individual awards compared to both the number of claims and the
estimated number of class members, the size of the individual
awards compared to claimants' estimated damages, and the claims
process used to determine individual awards."  The court held that
"[b]arring sufficient justification, cy pres awards should
generally represent a small percentage of total settlement funds."

The Third Circuit noted that "this inquiry needs to be, as much as
possible, practical and not abstract."  The appeals court
instructed that if the parties do not on their own initiative
supply the information needed to make the necessary findings, the
district court should "affirmatively seek out such information."
In order to make those findings, the Third Circuit suggested that
a district court may need to "withhold final approval of a
settlement until the actual distribution of funds can be estimated
with reasonable accuracy."  Alternatively, the Third Circuit
suggested that a court "could condition approval of a settlement
on the inclusion of a mechanism for additional payouts to
individual class members if the number of claimants turns out to
be insufficient to deplete a significant portion of the total
settlement fund."

While the Third Circuit did not provide an exhaustive or mandatory
list of methods for assessing the degree of benefit to the class
where cy pres distributions are involved, the decision provides
guidance to district courts in how to accomplish that task.
District courts will likely apply a heightened standard to the
approval of class action settlements containing cy pres
distributions and engage in a more detailed examination of the
amount of the settlement fund that will actually be distributed to
class members.  Thus, parties seeking approval of such settlements
should be prepared to supply the district court with sufficient
information for the district court to analyze the degree of direct
benefit to the class.


BIG 4 AUDITING FIRMS: Class Actions Firms Expand Globally
---------------------------------------------------------
Dena Aubin, writing for Reuters, reports that class actions
against the world's largest corporate auditing firms are spreading
globally as governments bolster investor protection laws in
countries where the Big Four firms have previously not faced
substantial legal risks.

Even as class action lawsuits dwindle in the United States due to
court rulings and legislation, the number of countries allowing
these kinds of suits has grown to more than 20, including recent
additions Italy, Poland and Mexico.

The biggest class action settlement in Australia came last year in
a $203-million case that named audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers
as one of the defendants.  It paid about a third of the sum.

Ernst & Young last year paid about $118 million in Canada's
largest class action settlement against an auditor.

For the Big Four -- PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG
and Deloitte -- the offshore expansion of class actions presents a
big risk.  These firms check the books of most of the world's
largest corporations.  When accounting scandals erupt -- and they
regularly do -- shareholders with losses on their investments
typically seek legal recourse.  Those able to sue as a class
frequently target deep-pocketed audit firms.

"The average investor or common man truly does not have access to
a means by which they can sue a Big Four auditor," said Andrea
Kim, a partner at Houston law firm Diamond McCarthy who represents
plaintiffs in lawsuits against auditors.

"Class actions give you a bigger chance of affordable
representation against a behemoth like a Big Four," she said.

The firms -- which had collective auditing revenues of nearly $50
billion in 2012, according to the International Accounting
Bulletin -- have worked hard over the years in the courts and
through lobbying to shield themselves from legal liability, with
considerable success in the United States.

But they have also followed their multinational clients into new,
developing markets where legal, accounting and regulatory systems
are often weak, if not corrupt.  Auditing problems and perils have
followed.

The spread of class actions worldwide reflects efforts by some
governments to shore up consumer and investor rights.  Such laws
help hold auditors accountable, said a lawyer at the Council of
Institutional Investors, a nonprofit U.S. group that supports good
corporate governance.

"External auditors should be subject to robust oversight and
genuine accountability," said Jeff Mahoney, the group's general
counsel, calling securities class actions "an important supplement
to regulatory activity."

Spokesmen for Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and
PricewaterhouseCoopers declined comment.

In the past, the firms have said that class action damages can be
catastrophic if the firms are held liable for investor losses that
dwarf the fees earned by auditors.  The potential size of damages
often forces auditors to settle lawsuits out of court, even if
they have strong defenses, the firms have said.

                     Structure Shields Firms

The Big Four are structured as networks of legally separate
affiliates, typically one in each country, so that when one
national practice is sued, the others in the network and the
parent in the United States are protected.

This business model allows the firms to market themselves as
global organizations, but insulates individual components of their
networks from collateral legal and financial damage.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers' U.S. affiliate in 2004 won
dismissal of a lawsuit against it in U.S. District Court in
Manhattan alleging negligence in audits performed by PwC
affiliates in Peru for the troubled bank Nuevo Mundo.  The bank
ended up being liquidated.

Still, a massive settlement could be a fatal blow to a national
unit, according to academics and market specialists.

In Britain, for example, consulting firm London Economics
concluded in 2006 that the biggest legal hit that could be
absorbed by a Big Four UK firm was $324 million (255 million
euros) to $685 million (540 million euros), depending on the firm.

The Big Four over the years have asked for liability relief,
saying they lack the capital or insurance coverage to withstand
the largest claims, forcing them to settle out of court.

More than 20 countries now have legal rules allowing class
actions.  That is up from just three -- the United States, Canada
and Australia -- in the late 1990s, according to a 2011 report by
Stanford Law School Professor Deborah Hensler.

Countries that now permit class actions include Brazil, South
Africa, Taiwan, Portugal and Chile.  Mexico began allowing class
actions last year.  India is considering doing the same as it
undertakes reforms following a 2009 accounting scandal at Satyam
Computer Services, a leading technology outsourcer, which
devastated the company's investors.

                      E&Y Settles in Canada

The two big class action cases that put the auditors on notice
last year were in Canada and Australia.

In Canada, Ernst & Young last year agreed to pay about $118
million (C$117 million) to settle claims of substandard audits at
Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest, which collapsed amid fraud
allegations.  It was by far the largest settlement ever by an
auditor in Canada.

Ernst and Young said in a statement that it is "hopeful the
settlement in Sino-Forest will be approved" but declined further
comment because a final court ruling is pending.

The Sino-Forest case was part of a wave of class-action lawsuits
alleging misleading accounting at China-based companies that were
listed on U.S. exchanges.

Investors, mostly in the United States, have suffered big losses
since 2010 from accounting scandals at China-based companies, many
of which were audited by the Big Four.

While U.S. courts let plaintiffs sue Chinese companies, pursuing
such cases can be tricky due to language barriers and difficulty
in getting evidence out of China.

In the Australian case, PricewaterhouseCoopers and its client
Centro Retail, an Australian shopping center giant now known as
Federation Centers, last year agreed to pay about $203 million
(A$200 million) to shareholders who had sued over misleading
accounting.  PwC paid about a third of the total.

A spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers declined comment.

The rise in class actions in Australia can be partly attributed to
the growth of business ventures that provide funding for such
lawsuits.  Like many countries outside the United States,
Australia requires the losing side in a lawsuit to pay the
opponent's legal expense, raising litigation costs.

IMF (Australia), a litigation funding company, has helped to
finance a number of lawsuits against auditors, including the
Centro case and a 2009 class action against KPMG over the failed
MFS Premium Income Fund.

"There is no doubt that litigation funding has led to an increase
in audit litigation in Australia and elsewhere," said Hugh
McLernon, managing director for IMF.

                        U.S. Cases Subside

The United States is the largest market for the major accounting
and audit firms and it was long home to the largest legal claims
against them, as well.  That has changed, despite shareholder
advocates' warnings that the threat of potential legal action
makes audit firms do a better job.

Court rulings -- especially a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in
Stoneridge Investment Partners v Scientific-Atlanta -- have made
it harder to sue a company's outside auditors for misleading
accounting.

Top audit firms were named as defendants in just two of the U.S.
federal securities class actions filed last year, or about 1
percent of the cases, according to NERA Economic Consulting.  By
contrast, auditors were defendants in nearly 7 percent of cases
between 2005 and 2009.

Big Four auditors were hit with a spate of U.S. lawsuits over
their failure to flag risks at troubled banks ahead of the 2008-
2009 financial crisis, but most of these cases were dismissed or
settled for small amounts.

"When cases are lost (or don't even go to court), another
enforcement tool is lost that just might have influenced the
behavior of these firms," said Anthony Catanach, accounting
professor at Villanova University.

The Big Four audit all but two of the companies in the benchmark
U.S. S&P 500 index, according to research firm Audit Analytics. In
Britain, the four audit more than 90 percent of the FTSE 350
index, covering the biggest companies on the London Stock
Exchange, said the UK Competition Commission.

Once known as the Big Eight, the top-tier auditing industry shrank
to five firms by 1998 through mergers; then to four with Arthur
Andersen's implosion in the 2002 Enron Corp scandal.

Class actions are not the only growing international legal threat
to the firms.  Regulators and liquidators for bankrupt companies
have also been bringing lawsuits on behalf of investors, resulting
in big settlements.

Potential losses are so large that commercial insurers no longer
provide affordable liability insurance to the Big Four.  They are
now self-insured through "captives," or insurance firms owned by
the global audit networks and funded with premiums paid by member
firms. Yet the captives have limited capital and cannot cover the
full risks faced by audit firms, according to a 2006 study by
London Economics.

"Class action litigation can drive up costs to the breaking point
fairly quickly," said Ed Nusbaum, head of 6th-largest audit firm,
Grant Thornton International.

"The U.S. firms have adjusted for this, but as class actions move
around the world, there's a huge risk," he told Reuters.


CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Loses Bid to Dismiss FDCPA Class Action Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Juanita Delgado brought a suit against Capital Management Services
LP, CMS General Partner LLC, and CMS Group Inc., under the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1692 et seq.,
alleging that the Defendants violated the FDCPA when they sent her
a debt collection letter which implied that she was liable for a
debt for which judicial collection was barred by the Illinois
statute of limitations.

The Defendants moved to dismiss Ms. Delgado's Complaint under Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), arguing that the FDCPA does not prevent a
debt collector from attempting to recover a time-barred debt.

Because the Court finds that Ms. Delgado has stated plausible
claims for relief under the FDCPA, District Judge Sara Darrow
denied the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss.  With respect to
Section 1692e, Judge Darrow said it is plausible that an
unsophisticated consumer with only "rudimentary knowledge about
the financial world" could view CMS's dunning letter as false,
deceptive, or misleading, because the letter's failure to disclose
that CMS cannot collect on the debt, compounded by its offer of
settlement, implies a legal obligation to pay.  It is likewise
plausible that an unsophisticated consumer could find that the
letter makes a false representation of the character or legal
status of the debt (i.e. that it is legally enforceable) under
Section 1692e(2) or is a threat to take any action that cannot
legally be taken (i.e. suing Delgado) under Section 1692e(5), or
could consider it a false representation or deceptive means to
attempt to collect a debt under Section 1692e(10).

The case is JUANITA DELGADO, Plaintiff, v. CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
SERVICES LP, CMS GENERAL PARTNER LLC, and CMS GROUP INC.,
Defendants, Case No. 4:12-cv-4057-SLD-JAG, (C.D. Ill.).

A copy of the District Court's March 22, 2013 Memorandum Opinion
and Order is available at http://is.gd/yJfpqXfrom Leagle.com.


CASSELS BROCK: Appeals Court Certifies Tax Advice Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Charlotte Santry, writing Canadian Lawyer Legal Feeds, reports
that up to 900 people are poised to sue Cassels Brock & Brockwell
LLP following an appeal court ruling certifying a class action
against the firm.

By overturning a previous order in Lipson v. Cassels Brock &
Blackwell LLP, the Ontario Court of Appeal on March 19 certified a
class action accusing the firm of negligence and negligent
misrepresentation.

The case hinges on tax advice by Cassels Brock published in
promotional material for a program through which Canadians donated
cash and resort timeshare weeks to athletic associations.

This advice indicated it was unlikely the Canada Customs and
Revenue Agency could hold back tax credits that donors were
expecting under the terms of the program.

But the CCRA did reject the donors' tax credit claims. It later
settled a lawsuit brought by three donors, offering them tax
credits for their cash donations but not for their timeshare
weeks.

Almost five years later, Jeffrey Lipson launched a class action,
claiming damages in the form of interest arrears, lost
opportunities to make other donations, and special damages for
fees incurred in the CCRA challenge.

In November 2011, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell said
the criteria for a class action were met, but the action was
statute-barred by the two-year limitation period set out in the
Limitations Act 2002.

However, the appeal court on March 19 ruled the class action is
not statute-barred.

"In our respectful view, the motion judge erred in interpreting
and applying Central Trust Co. v. Rafuse.  Moreover, when that
decision is interpreted properly, it is apparent that the record
before the motion judge did not disclose whether Mr. Lipson's
claim was statute-barred.  Nor did it support the conclusion that
the limitation period applicable to Mr. Lipson's claim also
applied to the entire class," said the ruling.

The ruling also dismissed Cassels Brock's cross-appeal against the
class action certification.

Mr. Lipson's counsel David O'Connor calls the decision "logical"
and says the level of damages to be pursued "will come out in the
fullness of time," as the claims are yet to be proven in court.

Min Kim, a tax and litigation lawyer at Heydary Hamilton PC, says:
"This decision has many interesting implications for practising
lawyers, especially in tax law.  Generally speaking, it is a
prudent practice for lawyers to ascertain exactly who is the
intended recipient of their opinion.  This would be more so in a
case [like this] that deals with an opinion letter that is meant
to be distributed widely to other individuals or entities.

"It would be very interesting to see to what extent the court
would determine that the duty that Cassels Brock allegedly owed to
people who did not necessarily have a retainer with Cassels Brock,
but who Cassels Brock knew or ought to have known were intended
readers of the opinion, if any duty is found to be owed at all.

"As indicated in the judgment, Cassels Brock was retained by a
promoter of the tax shelter program, not the potential donors
themselves."


CIBC: Canada Supreme Court Allows Overtime Class Action to Proceed
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that the Supreme Court of Canada has
cleared the way for a pair of class-action lawsuits against CIBC
and Scotiabank seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for unpaid
overtime to go ahead.  The banks had sought leave to appeal a
lower court decision allowing the cases, but the Supreme Court
dismissed the application.

The lawsuits allege thousands of workers were denied overtime pay
even though they were assigned more work than could be completed
within their standard hours.  A lower court had denied class
action status to the CIBC case, while a different court had
allowed class action status be granted to the Scotiabank lawsuit.

However, the Ontario Court of Appeal felt both cases, which have
not been proven in court, should be handled the same way and ruled
they could go ahead.

In the CIBC case, teller Dara Fresco filed a lawsuit in June 2007.

Ms. Fresco launched the case on behalf of more than 31,000 tellers
and other front-line customer service employees working at more
than 1,000 CIBC branches across Canada, including assistant branch
managers, financial service representatives, financial service
associates and branch ambassadors.

Cindy Fulawka, a personal banking representative at Scotiabank,
filed her class-action lawsuit against the bank in December 2007
seeking to represent some 5,000 Scotiabank personal or senior
bankers, financial advisers and small business account managers.


CITIGROUP INC: Attorney Fees in Investor Class Action Challenged
----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Fisher, writing for Forbes, reports that The Association of
Corporate Counsel has jumped into the fight over the $100 million
fee plaintiff lawyers want to charge for negotiating a $590
million settlement with Citigroup.  In a letter to the court, the
30,000-member association said corporate clients simply don't pay
the kind of markups for contract attorneys that plaintiff firm
Kirby McInerney is seeking for representing Citigroup investors.

"The world has changed," the ACC's vice president and chief legal
strategist, Amar D. Sarwal, told me.  "The whole markups idea,
it's an artifact.  It's definitely not going to happen going
forward."

A survey of ACC members found that while corporations frequently
use temporary attorneys, Mr. Sarwal said, more than 60% of the
time they hire those lawyers themselves, eliminating any markup.
Two-thirds of the survey respondents reported paying $80 an hour
or less, compared with the hundreds of dollars an hour
Mr. McInerney says its outside lawyers were worth.  The American
Bar Association's ethics rules prohibit unreasonable attorney fee
markups and don't allow lawyers to mark up overhead, which critics
say should include lawyers who work at outside temp agencies on an
hourly basis.

Activist and fee opponent Ted Frank, meanwhile, filed an analysis
with the court that shows Mr. McInerney racked up much of the work
it wants its clients to pay for after both sides had accepted a
mediator's settlement proposal.  The frenzy of activity after the
settlement had been reached, Mr. Frank said in his filing, is
consistent with "a strategy of maximizing billable hours rather
than effective litigation management."

The ACC got involved in this case because its members have been
pushing for lower legal fees and closer scrutiny of bills across
the entire legal industry, Mr. Sarwal said.  The group obviously
has a vested interest in cutting down on class actions, which
target the employers of its members.  Reducing the fees available
to plaintiff lawyers would help with that mission.  But Mr. Sarwal
said judges, who must approve the fees to protect class members
from getting gouged, should also recognize that billing practices
that were common 10 or 20 years ago simply aren't acceptable any
more.

"There are very sophisticated methods for determining fees outside
of the traditional billable hour, and none of them are being done
in class actions now," he said.

In the Citigroup case, Kirby McInerney is seeking a judge's
approval to bill class members for 87,000 hours of attorney time
it says are worth some $50 million plus a "multiplier" to reflect
the risk it took of earning nothing.  Its costs include charges of
$550 an hour for contract attorneys who are recent law-school
graduates and likely were paid as little as $32 an hour by temp
agencies.  In response to an objection by Frank's Center for Class
Action Fairness, U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein ordered the firm
to provide detailed billing records.

Mr. Frank analyzed those records and found that more than $17
million of the time entries were labeled simply "document review,"
and timekeepers at the temp firm, Hudson Legal, only noted hours
on a daily basis.

Mr. McInerney is also seeking $7 million for contract attorney
hours billed after the settlement was agreed to, including some
eyebrow-raising entries such as the 239 hours India A. --
presumably the part-time model Frank identified in an earlier
filing -- spent analyzing a 400-page deposition at two pages per
hour.  "Class counsel claims a $90,000 lodestar for this work
normally provided by paralegals, and normally done in less than a
tenth of that time for a one-day transcript of that size,"
Mr. Frank said.

The firm is also seeking to bill its clients as much as $550 an
hour for contract attorneys who performed "paralegal level" work
such as coding, digesting depositions, and organizing exhibits, he
said.  And there are anomalies, such as the $425-an-hour recent
law school grad who was overseeing a team of contract attorneys,
many of them with little or no experience outside of working as
temps, who were supposedly worth $550 an hour.

"The 16.5% fee request here reflects the failure of the class
representative to discipline their attorneys," Mr. Frank
concludes.  The plaintiffs in this case include the Tennessee
Consolidated Retirement Systems and the Public Employees'
Retirement System of Colorado.

Mr. McInerney didn't respond to a request for comment on
Mr. Frank's allegations.  In court filings, the firm has described
the contract attorneys as highly qualified, some of them with
special experience in the areas of mortgage backed securities.

Mr. Sarwal of the ACC said his group may push the federal courts
to adopt tougher rules on attorney fees in class actions.  Many
courts now use a "lodestar" approach, in which lawyers seek a
percentage of the recovery for themselves but supply an accounting
of their costs to justify the fee.  Mr. Sarwal said he has nothing
against contingency fees, and indeed many corporations use them in
high-stakes litigation.  But sophisticated corporate clients
usually negotiate a sliding fee based on the risks of the
litigation as it progresses, and often include features such as
mechanisms for the client and the firm to share any savings from
projected costs.  Since virtually every securities class action
settles after surviving a motion to dismiss, the risk of non-
payment is presumably much lower for plaintiff attorneys and
courts might consider lowering or eliminating the multiplier on
billable hours the firms rack up after that.

One way courts could determine appropriate fees would be to
auction the work of prosecuting class actions off to the highest
bidder.  Judges have experimented with the idea but this sort of
price discovery is understandably unpopular with plaintiff
lawyers.  Mr. Sarwal said his group will be advocating this and
other ideas before the advisory committee on federal civil
procedure rules, which helps set the rules used in federal courts.

The ACC's "Value Challenge" program is intended to spread tactics
for lowering legal costs.  "The specific reason we got involved in
this is because it was a chance to talk about to the value
challenge in another forum, and try and shove it forward," he
said.


CITIGROUP INC: SheppardMullin Discusses Second Circuit Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rena Andoh, Esq., at SheppardMullin reports that in Mayor and City
Council of Baltimore v. Citigroup, Inc., No. 10-0722-cv(L) and
10-0867-cv(CON), 2013 WL 791397 (2d Cir. Mar. 5, 2013), the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the
dismissal of two related class action complaints brought on behalf
of purchasers of auction rate securities ("ARS") and ARS issuers,
respectively, against a number of large financial institutions.
The complaints alleged that the financial institutions violated
Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1, by conspiring to
stop purchasing ARS, thereby rendering ARS almost valueless and
triggering the collapse of the ARS market.  The Second Circuit
based its holding upon a principle first announced by the United
States Supreme CourtinBell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007) -- that antitrust complaints must allege sufficient factual
matter to allow a fact-finder to plausibly infer that the
plaintiffs' alleged injuries were the result of an unlawful
conspiracy, rather than independent parallel business conduct.

ARS are long-term bonds with interest rates that fluctuate
depending on the outcome of periodic auctions.  Since its
conception, the ARS market has been concentrated among a group of
elite financial institutions that underwrote the issuance of ARS.
Auctions would occur at times dictated by a given ARS issuance's
offering documents (typically every 7, 28 or 35 days).  If ARS up
for auction sold out (demonstrating high demand), the interest
rates on the ARS would reset at a lower rate -- specifically, the
auction would "clear," such that all of the ARS subject to that
auction would reset to the rate at which the last order in the
auction was filled.

Because no secondary market for ARS developed, ARS were difficult
to liquidate and could not be sold for par value outside of the
required auctions.  Further, if an auction did not sell out
(indicating that there were more people looking to sell than to
buy), the auction would "fail" and no ARS could be exchanged --
putative sellers would be stuck with their ARS -- and the interest
rates would default to the maximum rate set out in the offering
documents.  Because of the dire consequences of a failed auction,
the defendant financial institutions would sometimes intervene in
the auctions by using proprietary trading accounts to place
"support bids" which would result in clearing the auctions despite
insufficient external demand.

As the financial market deteriorated throughout 2007 and early
2008, these support bids became increasingly critical to clearing
auctions.  There were a few isolated failures in 2007, but the ARS
market began its implosion on February 12, 2008, when many of the
auctions scheduled for that date failed.  On February 13, 2008,
eighty-seven percent of the auctions failed, and by the next day,
the ARS market had essentially shut down.  Plaintiffs filed their
class action complaints in September of 2008, claiming that
defendants had conspired to restrain trade by refusing to issue
support bids to protect the auctions they managed.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York dismissed the complaint, relying upon the Supreme Court's
decision in Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Billing, 551
U.S. 264 (2007).   The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal, but
did so based on a Twombly analysis, and therefore did not reach
the question of whether the Southern District's Billing analysis
was correct.

The Second Circuit explained that the facts pleaded in a complaint
must raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence of illegal conduct and that mere legal conclusions
couched as factual allegations will get no consideration at all.
To state a claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, the complaint
must allege sufficient facts -- as opposed to mere labels or legal
conclusions -- making the inference that the plaintiff's injuries
were the result of an unlawful conspiracy more plausible than
competing inferences, such as that the injuries result from
independent, legitimate business decisions by similarly situated
actors.  The required factual allegations -- referred to by
Twombly and its progeny as "plus factors" -- can include
allegations that parallel acts were against defendants' individual
economic self-interests, or that competitors frequently
communicated with each other.

In this case, the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead the
requisite Twombly plus factors.  For example, although plaintiffs
pled two interfirm communications, the vast majority of alleged
communications were intrafirm.  The Court found these
predominantly internal communications were insufficient to
demonstrate more than a high level of interfirm awareness, which
is not in itself unlawful.

Plaintiffs also failed to connect any plus factors to the alleged
conspiracy.  The Court observed that "the [ARS] market as a whole
was essentially holding its breath and waiting for the inevitable
death spiral of ARS auctions," which made "abandoning bad
investments [] not justarational decision, but the only rational
business decision."  In other words, the most plausible
explanation for defendants' simultaneous withdrawal of support for
ARS auctions was not an antitrust conspiracy, but independent (and
widespread) assessments that the ARS market was dying and ARS were
a bad investment.

The Second Circuit underscored its unease with permitting large
antitrust class actions to proceed absent a well-documented
inference of conspiracy, noting: "[i]f we permit antitrust
plaintiffs to overcome a motion to dismiss simply by alleging
parallel conduct, we risk propelling defendants into expensive
antitrust discovery on the basis of acts that could just as easily
turn out to have been rational business behavior as they could a
proscribed antitrust conspiracy."


CME GROUP: Defends Consolidated MF Global-Related Suit in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
CME Group Inc. is defending itself against a consolidated class
action lawsuit arising from the collapse of MF Global Holdings
Ltd., according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012.

A number of lawsuits were filed in federal court in New York on
behalf of all commodity account holders or customers of MF Global
who had not received a return of 100% of their funds.  These
matters have been consolidated into a single action in federal
court in New York, and a consolidated amended class action
complaint was filed on November 5, 2012.  The class action
complaint alleges that CME violated the Commodity Exchange Act
(CEA), aided and abetted violations of the CEA by other
defendants, and aided and abetted a breach of fiduciary duty by
certain officers and directors of MF Global.  The class complaint
also alleges that CME Group aided and abetted CME's violation of
the CEA.  The complaint does not allege the amount of damages
sought, but rather seeks compensatory and exemplary damages to be
determined at trial.  Based on the initial analysis of the class
complaint, the company believes that it has strong legal and
factual defenses to the claims.  In addition to the class
complaint, the company is aware of two plaintiffs who intend to
pursue their claims individually.  Given that these matters are in
the very early stage, at this time the company is unable to
estimate the reasonably possible loss or range of reasonably
possible loss in the unlikely event it was found to be liable in
these matters.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, CME Group Inc. --
http://www.cmegroup.com/-- formerly Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Holdings Inc., offers access to asset classes from a single
electronic trading platform and trading floors in Chicago and New
York City.  The Company offers futures and options on futures
based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy,
agricultural commodities, metals, and alternative investment
products, such as weather and real estate.


COPANO ENERGY: Faces Suits Over Proposed Kinder Morgan Merger
-------------------------------------------------------------
Copano Energy, L.L.C., is facing class action lawsuits in
connection with its proposed merger with Kinder Morgan Energy
Partners, L.P., according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

On January 29, 2013, the Company announced a definitive merger
agreement with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. ("Kinder
Morgan"), under which Kinder Morgan will acquire all of Copano's
outstanding equity in a unit-for-unit transaction with an exchange
ratio of 0.4563 Kinder Morgan units per Copano unit.  The
transaction is valued at approximately $5 billion (including the
assumption of debt) based on the closing price for Kinder Morgan's
units on January 29, 2013.  The Company's board of directors and
Kinder Morgan's board of directors have approved the merger
agreement, and the Company has agreed to submit the merger
agreement to a vote of the Company's unitholders and to recommend
that unitholders approve the merger agreement.  TPG Copenhagen,
L.P. ("TPG"), an affiliate of TPG Capital, L.P. and the Company's
argest unitholder (owning over 14% of the Company's outstanding
equity), has agreed to vote all of its Series A convertible
preferred units (and common units, if any) in favor of adoption of
the merger agreement.

Purported class action complaints have been filed against Copano,
Kinder Morgan, Copano's board of directors, Kinder Morgan GP and
Merger Sub, challenging the merger, and an unfavorable judgment or
ruling in these lawsuits could prevent or delay the consummation
of the proposed merger and result in substantial costs.

Five purported class action lawsuits have been filed challenging
the merger.  Each lawsuit names as defendants Copano, Kinder
Morgan, the individual members of Copano's board of directors,
Kinder Morgan GP and Merger Sub.  Among other remedies, the
plaintiffs seek to enjoin the proposed merger.  If these lawsuits
are not dismissed or otherwise resolved, they could prevent and/or
delay completion of the merger and result in substantial costs to
the Company, including any costs associated with the
indemnification of directors.  The Company says additional
lawsuits may be filed in connection with the proposed merger.
There can be no assurance that any of the defendants will prevail
in the pending litigation or in any future litigation.  The
defense or settlement of any lawsuit or claim may adversely affect
the Company's or the combined organization's business, financial
condition or results of operations.

The five lawsuits challenging the merger are:

   * Charles Bruen, et al. v. Copano Energy, L.L.C., et al.,
     United States District Court, Southern District of Texas,
     Case No. 13-cv-00540 (filed on February 28, 2013).

   * William Schultes, et al. v. R. Bruce Northcutt, et al.,
     151st Dist. Court of Harris County, Texas, Case No.
     2013-06966 (filed on February 5, 2013).

   * Irwin Berlin, et al. v. Copano Energy, L.L.C. et al., Court
     of Chancery of the State of Delaware, Case No. 8284 (filed
     February 6, 2013).

   * Donald E. Welzenbach, et al. v. William L. Thacker, et al.,
     Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; Case No.
     8317-VCN (filed on February 13, 2013).

   * Charles E. Hudson, et al. v. Copano Energy, L.L.C., et al.,
     Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, Case No. 8337
     (filed February 19, 2013).

Houston, Texas-based Copano Energy, L.L.C. --
http://www.copano.com/-- was formed in August 2001 as a Delaware
limited liability company to acquire entities operating under the
Copano name since 1992, and to serve as a holding company for the
Company's operating subsidiaries.  The Company's subsidiaries
provide midstream services to natural gas producers, including
gathering, transportation and processing of natural gas,
fractionation and transportation of natural gas liquids and other
related services.


DAIRY FARMERS: Settles CME Trading Class Action for $46 Million
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Dickrell, writing for Dairy Today, reports that Dairy Farmers
of America released the following statement on March 22: "Dairy
Farmers of America (DFA) has reached a settlement agreement in a
portion of the class action lawsuit regarding DFA's trading
activity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in 2004.

"Under the terms of the settlement with the class of direct
purchasers of dairy products . . . DFA makes no admission of
wrongdoing and will pay $46 million to the plaintiff class.

"Our farmer leadership and management team have worked diligently
to put certain old issues behind us and resolve pending
litigation.  Recently we were able to settle a class action
lawsuit in the Southeast United States.  Resolution of both of
these lawsuits allows us to remove a source of distraction for our
leadership and to avoid additional legal fees.

"The payment of the settlement will not affect the Cooperative's
day-to-day operations or its ability to market members' milk and
pay them a competitive price for that milk.  Member milk checks
and the member equity program will not be impacted."

As part of the settlement, DFA has also agreed to implement and
continue oversight, training and education compliance program
regarding CME activities.  And it has agreed to not participate in
Class III milk futures contracts or cheese spot call contracts
with the intent to manipulate markets.

The co-op settled its lawsuit with the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission in 2008 over these same issues.

The financial settlements from this latest class action suit have
already been included in DFA financial statements, in which it
reported a total of $216 million in legal settlement costs in
2012.  The larger chunk of that was to settle a class action
lawsuit with dairy producers in the Southeast last fall.

DFA was able to make the settlement payments out of cash reserves.
Nevertheless, the co-op's 2012 net income of $83.2 million becomes
a reported $132.8 million net loss.

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. -- http://www.dfamilk.com-- is a
national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by
more than 13,000 members on more than 8,000 farms in 48 states.


ERNST & YOUNG: Seyfarth Shaw Discusses Class Action Waiver Issue
----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert S. Whitman, Esq., at Seyfarth Shaw, reports that the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral argument on
March 20 in two important cases affecting the validity of class-
action waivers in arbitration agreements, and based on the tenor
of the questioning, the judges will take a skeptical look at the
district judges' decisions, both of which refused to enforce
waivers in FLSA cases.

The two cases -- unrelated but raising similar issues -- present
the appellate court with the opportunity to consider decisions
that put significant roadblocks in the path of employers seeking
to use arbitration agreements to bar class or collective actions
in wage-hour and other employment cases.  While the Supreme Court
has said that class/collective waivers are permissible under the
FAA notwithstanding any state law rules to the contrary, the two
district court decisions discussed on March 21 have made it
difficult for employers within the Second Circuit to know whether
these waivers will be enforced.

In the first case, Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP (reported
earlier in this space), the district court held that a class
action waiver was unenforceable because, given the small amount at
issue for her individually (a few thousand dollars), it was
economically infeasible for her to pursue the small claim through
individual arbitration.  The district court relied in part on the
Second Circuit's decision in American Express Co. v. Italian
Colors Restaurant, where the court rejected arbitration on a non-
class basis because the costs of proceeding individually were
prohibitive.

AmEx is currently pending (for the third time) before the Supreme
Court and was argued last month.  Both sides in Sutherland took
pains to persuade the Second Circuit that they win regardless of
the outcome in AmEx.  E&Y, for its part, sought to distinguish
AmEx on grounds that the anticipated costs in that antitrust case
(primarily for expert analysis) were both far greater than in the
instant FLSA dispute and were not fully recoverable even if the
plaintiff prevailed.  Sutherland's lawyer, in contrast, contended
that the disparity between the potential damages in her case and
the cost required to obtain a judgment was so great that only a
"lunatic" would bring the case on an individual rather than class
or collective basis.

The Sutherland argument also offered the judges a taste of the
ongoing controversy over D.R. Horton, in which the NLRB declared
that class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the
National Labor Relations Act.  Asked whether the court should
defer to the Board's decision, Sutherland's counsel said yes,
arguing that deference is required under Supreme Court doctrine
and that courts may not enforce illegal contracts.  E&Y's counsel,
noting that D.R. Horton concerns the NLRA but not the FAA, sharply
disagreed.

The second case, Raniere v. CitiGroup, Inc., raises the issue of
whether section 216(b) of the FLSA confers a "substantive right"
to pursue a collective action that is non-waivable via arbitration
agreements.  Citi argued that the district court's decision taking
that position, and refusing to uphold the class/collective action
waiver in its arbitration agreement, is contrary to the decisions
of every court that has addressed the issue, as well as
inconsistent with the articulated position of the U.S. Department
of Labor.

These arguments seemed to resonate with the Second Circuit judges,
who questioned Raniere's counsel closely regarding the so-called
"policy" arguments that he, and District Judge Robert Sweet, had
advanced in arguing for a rule of non-waivability.  Putting a
rather fine point on it, one judge observed (albeit in the form of
a question) that Raniere's contentions were better addressed to
Congress than to the courts.

There is no timetable for the Second Circuit's decisions in either
case.  But because Sutherland may be directly affected by the
Supreme Court's forthcoming decision in AmEx, which is expected by
late June, the court may simply defer a decision in that case
until summer.  The decision in Raniere, which is less directly
connected to AmEx, could come sooner.

One thing is for certain: Second Circuit employers with class
action waivers in their arbitration agreements, or those waiting
on the sidelines until the issue is resolved, will be anticipating
both decisions eagerly.


ELMWOOD PLACE: Faces Class Action Over Speed Camera Tickets
-----------------------------------------------------------
WLWT Home reports that an attorney has filed a class-action
lawsuit against the village of Elmwood Place over its speed
cameras and the tickets issued from them.  Mike Allen filed the
suit on March 21, seeking recovery of fines already paid to the
village.

Earlier in March, a judge called the speed camera system a game of
"high-tech three-card monte" when he ruled that the process failed
to provide due process guarantees to those cited.

The village has left the cameras on while appealing the decision,
but said it would issue no tickets.

Fr. Chau Pham built his Vietnamese Catholic Church to almost 500
parishioners.  Now he said he's seen a 20% drop in attendance.
Fr. Pham said more than 150 of his parishioners received tickets
from the village's speed cameras going to and from church.  The
cameras reminded them of a history they wanted to forget.

"In Vietnam, we lived in a country controlled by Communism.  You
were so afraid of secret police in that way," Fr. Pham said.

Fr. Pham gathered his congregation's tickets, contested them and
won.  Now members are slowly coming back to church.

Mr. Allen said he estimates 15,000 people who received citations
paid the $150 fine.


ENVIRO-TANK CLEAN: Noxious Odor Prompts Class Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------
The Reynolds Law Office, PLL and Macuga, Liddle & Dubin, PC on
March 20 disclosed that they filed a Class Action Complaint in the
Wayne County Court of Common Pleas (Case No. 13-CV-0168, Judge
Mark K. Wiest) against Enviro-Tank Clean, Inc. and Belpre
Enterprises, Inc. on behalf of Wooster area residents complaining
that the company releases noxious odors and interferes with
residents' ability to use and enjoy their property.

Enviro-Tank specializes in treating wastewater and sludges, non-
hazardous materials and recycling used oil.  The Complaint alleges
that a strong rotten egg odor emanating from the Enviro-Tank has
blanketed much of the city's southeast quadrant on and off for
years.

Enviro-Tank was recently identified as the source of the odors
after the City of Wooster's environmental study determined that
the highest concentration of the odor in the area around and to
the north of the facility.

Residents are tired of the stench and hope the lawsuit will force
Enviro-Tank to be a better neighbor.  "I have lived in my home for
almost 35 years, have invested lots of time, money and pride into
the house and yard, now I cannot enjoy my yard and no one else
would want to purchase the home, due the horrible odors," said
Sherry Kyder, one of the people identified as a plaintiff in the
lawsuit.

These thoughts are shared by neighbor and fellow litigant, Mindy
Cavin, "my children have been outside playing and have been forced
inside because the odor from Enviro-Tank was intolerable. You want
to open your windows and let some fresh air into your house but
you can't because it stinks outside."

Affected residents who are interested in learning more about the
lawsuit are being urged to attend a free informational meeting on
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting will occur at
the American Red Cross, located at 244 West South St, in Wooster,
Ohio.  Representatives from the law firms -- as well as Our
Neighborhood Matters (the local environmental group) -- will be on
hand to discuss what residents can do to stop the odors.

Affected residents may also contact the law firms at (330) 264-
1150.

The Reynolds Law Office has more than 50 years of experience and
is dedicated to helping residents in and around the Wayne County
area with a wide range of legal issues.  The local firm has
partnered with the Michigan-based firm Macuga, Liddle & Dubin, a
firm that has successfully handled many air pollution cases,
including those involving the emission of noxious odors from
corporate polluters.


FLAMEL TECHNOLOGIES: Judge Dismisses 2007 New York Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Flamel Technologies (NASDAQ: FLML) on March 22 said Judge Robert
Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York issued a summary judgment on March 8,
dismissing a class action suit against the Company, and its former
CEO.  The initial class action was filed in 2007 and, during the
six year period, had two different plaintiffs. The case, Billhofer
v. Flamel Technologies, et al., alleged claims arising under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 based on certain public statements
by the Company concerning, among other things, Coreg CR.  The
Company previously stated that it intended to vigorously defend
itself in the action.

In dismissing the case, Judge Sweet's opinion states that "as
there is no genuine issue of fact and no reasonable jury could
find in the lead plaintiff's favor on his claim, the motion for
summary judgment is granted."

Flamel Technologies SA's (NASDAQ: FLML) -- http://www.flamel.com/
-- business model is to blend high-value internally developed
products with its leading drug delivery capabilities.  The Company
has a proprietary pipeline of niche specialty pharmaceutical
products, while its drug delivery platforms are focused on the
goal of developing safer, more efficacious formulations of drugs
to address unmet medical needs. Its partnered pipeline includes
biological and chemical drugs formulated with its Medusa(R) and
Micropump(R) (and its applications to the development of liquid
formulations, i.e. LiquiTime(TM) and of abuse-deterrent
formulations Trigger Lock(TM)) proprietary drug delivery
platforms. Several Medusa-based products have been successfully
tested in clinical trials. The Company has developed products and
manufactures Micropump-based microparticles under FDA-audited GMP
guidelines. Flamel Technologies has collaborations with a number
of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including
GlaxoSmithKline (Coreg CR(R), carvedilol phosphate). The Company
is headquartered in Lyon, France and has operations in St. Louis,
Missouri, USA, and manufacturing facilities in Pessac, France.


FSL PROPERTIES: Faces Class Action Over Montgomery House
--------------------------------------------------------
James Graham, writing for TheBusinessDesk.com, reports that a
subsidiary of Salford buy-to-let specialist FreshStart Living is
facing a class action after a judge allowed 70 of its investors to
join a winding-up petition.  They will now be named on a petition
against FSL Properties Montgomery, a FreshStart arm set up to buy
Montgomery House in south Manchester and turn it into student
flats.  Individual rooms were sold to investors who were
incentivized by the promise of guaranteed rent payments.  The
investors say they are owed GBP200,000 but FreshStart argues it is
more like GBP135,000.


GLAXOSMITHKLINE: May 21 Settlement Opt-Out Deadline Set
-------------------------------------------------------
Simon Law Firm PC on March 21 disclosed that a settlement has been
reached in a class action lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline.  The
lawsuit alleges that Defendant GlaxoSmithKline falsely and
deceptively marketed its Breathe Right Snore Relief throat spray.
Defendant denies the allegations in this lawsuit and asserts it
has not violated any laws.  To avoid further litigation, the
Parties have reached a class action settlement, which was
preliminarily approved by the Circuit Court of St. Clair County,
Illinois.

Under the terms of the settlement, you may be entitled to
compensation if you purchased Defendant's Breathe Right Snore
Relief throat spray in the State of Illinois from January 1, 2008
through the present.  Excluded from the class are Defendant and
its officers, directors, shareholders, partners, and owners; the
Court presiding over any motion to approve this Settlement
Agreement; and those persons who timely and validly request
exclusion from the Settlement Class.

What Does The Settlement Provide? Settlement Class Members may
submit a properly completed Claim Form and be eligible to receive
Voucher or card in the amount of up to $8.00 that can be used the
same as cash at retail stores in Illinois that sell Defendant's
products for the purchase of "Breathe Right Nasal Strips".

How Do You Submit A Claim? To qualify for payment, you must submit
a claim form by May 21, 2013.  Claim forms can either be submitted
online, at http://www.ThroatSpraySettlement.comor can be obtained
by calling 1-888-879-8974.

What Are Your Other Options? If you don't want to be legally bound
by the settlement, you must exclude yourself ("opt-out") by
May 21, 2013.  The detailed notice (available at
http://www.ThroatSpraySettlement.comor by calling 1-888-879-8974
explains how to exclude yourself from the settlement.  If you
exclude yourself, you will not get any settlement payment and you
cannot object to the settlement.  You also will not be bound by
the settlement and may be able to sue (or continue to sue)
GlaxoSmithKline regarding the claims in this lawsuit.

If you're a class member, you may object to any part of the
settlement you don't like, and the Court will consider your views.
You must submit any objection in writing and must provide evidence
of your membership in the Class.  The procedures for submitting
written objections are set out in the detailed notice (available
at http://www.ThroatSpraySettlement.comor by calling 1-888-879-
8974).

The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on
June 24, 2013 in Belleville, Illinois.  At this hearing, the Court
will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and
adequate, and whether to approve the class representatives'
incentive award in the total amount of $2,000, and attorneys' fees
and expenses in the amount of $50,000.  You may attend the
hearing, and you may hire your own lawyer, but you are not
required to do so.  If there are objections that have been
submitted in writing in advance of the hearing, the Court will
consider them.  The Court will listen to people who have made a
prior written request to speak at the hearing. After the hearing,
the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement.

What To Do If You Have Questions.  This Notice is just a summary.
Detailed notice, as well as the Settlement Agreement and some
other documents filed in this lawsuit, can be found online at
http://www.ThroatSpraySettlement.com

You also may call or write to the Throat Spray Settlement
Administrator at 1-888-879-8974 or PO Box 3614, Minneapolis, MN
55403-0614 for more information.


GOLDMAN SACHS: Court Allows Arbitration of Gender Bias Claim
------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on March 21 won a
U.S. court order allowing it to send a former employee's gender
discrimination dispute to arbitration, rather than being forced to
defend against her claims in a class action.

In ruling for Goldman, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
New York reversed a lower court's 2011 ruling denying the Wall
Street bank's motion to compel arbitration in the case of Lisa
Parisi, a former managing director.

The case has been closely watched by employers seeking to avoid
costly class action lawsuits and instead require individuals to
pursue cases alone in private arbitrations.

"We see no reason to deviate from the liberal federal policy in
favor of arbitration and conclude that the district court erred in
denying the motion to compel arbitration," Circuit Judge
Barrington Parker wrote for the three-judge panel.

Mr. Parisi and two other former Goldman employees sued the bank in
2010, accusing it of a pattern of discrimination against female
managing directors, vice presidents and associates.

Paul Bland, a lawyer for Mr. Parisi, did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.

A Goldman spokesman had no immediate comment.

The case is Parisi v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 2nd U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals, No. 11-5229.


HEARTLAND PAYMENT: Defends Suits Over Processing System Intrusion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. continues to defend lawsuits
arising from the Processing System Intrusion announced in 2009,
according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On January 20, 2009, the Company publicly announced the discovery
of a criminal breach of its payment systems environment (the
"Processing System Intrusion").  The Processing System Intrusion
involved malicious software that appears to have been used to
collect in-transit, unencrypted payment card data while it was
being processed during the transaction authorization process.  The
Company believes the breach did not extend beyond 2008.

To date, the Company has had several lawsuits filed against it and
additional lawsuits may be filed.  These include lawsuits, which
assert claims against the Company by banks that issued payment
cards to cardholders whose transaction information is alleged to
have been placed at risk in the course of the Processing System
Intrusion (including various putative class actions seeking to
represent all financial institutions that issued payment cards to
cardholders whose transaction information is alleged to have been
placed at risk in the course of the Processing System Intrusion),
seeking damages allegedly arising out of the Processing System
Intrusion and other related relief.  The actions generally assert
various common-law claims such as claims for negligence and breach
of contract, as well as, in some cases, statutory claims such as
violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, state data breach
notification statutes, and state unfair and deceptive practices
statutes.  The putative financial institution class actions seek
compensatory damages, including recovery of the cost of issuance
of replacement cards and losses by reason of unauthorized
transactions, as well as injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and
costs.

The putative financial institution class actions filed against the
Company through February 27, 2013, are:

                           Date
Name of the Court         Filed       Principal Parties
-----------------         -----       -----------------
U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    Feb. 6,     Lone Summit Bank v.
District of New Jersey    2009        Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       3:09-cv-00581

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    Feb. 13,    TriCentury Bank et al.
District of New Jersey    2009        v. Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       3:09-cv-00697

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    Feb. 16,    Lone Star National Bank
Southern Dist. of Texas   2009        v. Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       7:09-cv-00064

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    Feb. 20,    Amalgamated Bank et al.
District of New Jersey    2009        v. Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       3:09-cv-00776

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    March 19,   First Bankers Trust Co.,
Southern Dist. of Flo.    2009        N.A. v. Heartland
                                       Payment Systems, Inc. et
                                       al., 4:09-cv-00825

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    March 31,   PBC Credit Union et al.
Southern Dist. of Flo.    2009        v. Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       9:09-cv-80481

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    April 22,   Community West Credit
Southern Dist. of Texas   2009        Union, et al. v.
                                       Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       4:09-cv-01201

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    April 22,   Eden Financial Corp. v.
Southern Dist. of Texas   2009        Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       4:09-cv-01203

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    April 28,   Heritage Trust Federal
Southern Dist. of Texas   2009        Credit Union v.
                                       Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       4:09-cv-01284

U.S. Dist. Ct. for the    May 1,      Pennsylvania State
Southern Dist. of Texas   2009        Employees Credit Union
                                       v. Heartland Payment
                                       Systems, Inc. et al.,
                                       4:09-cv-01330

On June 10, 2009, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
(the "JPML") entered an order centralizing the class action cases
for pre-trial proceedings before the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Texas, under the caption In re
Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach
Litigation, MDL No. 2046, 4:09-md-2046.  On August 24, 2009, the
court appointed interim co-lead and liaison counsel for the
financial institution.

On September 23, 2009, the financial institution plaintiffs filed
a Master Complaint in the MDL proceedings, which the Company moved
to dismiss on October 23, 2009.  On December 1, 2011, the Court
entered an order granting in part the Company's motion to dismiss
the financial institution plaintiffs' master complaint against the
Company, but allowing the plaintiffs leave to amend to re-plead
certain claims.  The Plaintiffs elected not to file an amended
complaint.  The parties then jointly moved for the entry of final
judgment on those claims in the master complaint that the Court
had dismissed.  On August 16, 2012, the Court entered final
judgment on the dismissed claims and, on Sept. 17, 2012,
Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal from that final judgment to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  On
September 12, 2012, Plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal with
prejudice of the remaining claims pending before the District
Court.  Briefing on Plaintiffs' appeal was complete on February 8,
2013.

Other actions have been filed against the Company seeking damages
allegedly arising out of the Processing System Intrusion and other
related relief on an individual basis.  On December 28, 2009,
Putnam Bank of Putnam, Connecticut, filed a complaint in
Connecticut Superior Court, Putnam Bank v. Heartland Payment
Systems, Inc., case no. WWM-CV-10-6001208-S.  On January 20, 2010,
the Company removed the action to the United States District Court
for the District of Connecticut, case no. 3:10-cv-0061 (JBA), and,
on January 27, 2010, filed a Notice of Potential Tag-Along Action,
requesting centralization of the action with the MDL proceedings.
On March 17, 2010, the action was centralized with the MDL
proceedings.  On February 9, 2010, OmniAmerican Bank filed a
complaint in the District Court for Collin County, Texas, Civ. No.
380-00563-2012.  The complaint identifies as a party in interest
the Federal Insurance Company, which is alleged to have insured
plaintiff and reimbursed it for $1,005,077.50, less a $100,000
deductible.  On March 15, 2010, the Company filed an answer to the
complaint and removed the action to the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Texas, case no. 4:10-cv-114,
and, on March 16, 2010, filed a Notice of Potential Tag-Along
Action, requesting centralization of the action with the MDL
proceedings.

On April 29, 2010, the action was centralized with the MDL
proceedings.  On February 18, 2010, Quad City Bank and Trust filed
a complaint in the District Court for Collin County, Texas, Civ.
No. 380-00721-2010.  The complaint identifies as a party in
interest the Federal Insurance Company, which is alleged to have
insured plaintiff and reimbursed it for $432,420.32, less a
$100,000 deductible.  On March 15, 2010, the Company filed an
answer to the complaint and removed the action to the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, case no.
4:10-cv-115 and, on March 16, 2010, filed a Notice of Potential
Tag-Along Action, requesting centralization of the action with the
MDL proceedings.  On April 29, 2010, the action was centralized
with the MDL proceedings.  On May 5, 2010, Napus Federal Credit
Union filed a complaint in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Texas, case no. 4:10-cv-1616, and the
action was consolidated with the MDL proceedings on June 9, 2010.

On January 19, 2010, financial institution plaintiffs, including
certain of the named plaintiffs in the MDL proceedings, commenced
an action against the Company's sponsor banks in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, captioned
Lonestar National Bank, N.A. et al. v. KeyBank NA, et al., Civ.
No. 4:10-cv-00171.  This action against the Company's sponsor
banks asserts common-law claims similar to those asserted against
the Company, and likewise seeks to represent all financial
institutions that issued payment cards to cardholders whose
transaction information is alleged to have been placed at risk in
the course of the Processing System Intrusion.

On March 4, 2010, this action was transferred to the judge
overseeing the MDL proceedings.  On April 9, 2010, the Company's
sponsor banks moved to dismiss the complaint.  On March 31, 2011,
the Court entered an order granting the sponsor banks' motions to
dismiss the complaint and invited additional briefing on the
effect of the Court's order on the Company's pending motion to
dismiss.  On April 18, 2011, in accordance with its order
dismissing the claims against Heartland Bank for lack of personal
jurisdiction, the court transferred the action against Heartland
Bank to the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Missouri.  Heartland Bank filed a notice with the Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on July 27, 2011, designating
the transferred action as a potential tag-along action to the MDL
proceedings.  On August 11, 2011, the action was centralized with
the MDL proceedings.  On August 14, 2012, Plaintiffs stipulated to
dismissal of the claims against Heartland Bank.  The sponsor banks
could seek indemnification from the Company in regard to the
claims asserted in this action.

The Company says that although it intends to defend the lawsuits
and inquiries arising from the Processing System Intrusion
vigorously, the Company cannot predict the outcome of such
lawsuits and inquiries.

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. --
http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com/-- was incorporated in
Delaware in June 2000 and is based in Princeton, New Jersey.  The
Company's primary business is to provide bankcard payment
processing services to merchants in the United States.  This
involves facilitating the exchange of information and funds
between merchants and cardholders' financial institutions,
providing end-to-end electronic payment processing services to
merchants, including merchant set-up and training, transaction
authorization and electronic draft capture, clearing and
settlement, merchant accounting, merchant assistance and support
and risk management.


ISTAR FINANCIAL: Final Hearing on Citiline Action Deal on April 5
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing will be held on April 5, 2013, for the final approval of
iStar Financial Inc.'s settlement of the Citiline Action,
according to the Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In April 2008, two putative class action complaints were filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York alleging violations of federal securities laws by the Company
and certain of its current and former executive officers in
connection with the Company's December 13, 2007 public offering
(the "Citiline Action").  On June 4, 2012, the Company reached an
agreement in principle with the plaintiffs' Court-appointed
representatives in the Citiline Action to settle the litigation.
The parties to the Citiline Action have executed a final
settlement stipulation, including releases of liability in favor
of the defendants conditioned on final Court approval.  On
December 5, 2012, the Court issued an order preliminarily
approving the settlement, certifying a class of persons (other
than persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the
class) entitled to participate in the settlement, approving the
notice and proof of claim to be sent to all class members and
scheduling a hearing to be held on April 5, 2013, for final
approval of the settlement.  The required settlement payments
($2.0 million contributed by the Company and the balance funded by
the Company's insurance carriers) have been deposited with an
independent claims administrator.  Notices of the proposed
settlement and proof of claim forms have been mailed to all class
members.

Upon final Court approval of the settlement, the Citiline Action
will be dismissed in its entirety with prejudice and the
settlement will be final.

New York-based iStar Financial Inc. --
http://www.istarfinancial.com/-- is a fully-integrated finance
and investment company focused on the commercial real estate
industry.  The Company, which is taxed as a real estate investment
trust, provides custom-tailored investment capital to high-end
private and corporate owners of real estate and invests directly
across a range of real estate sectors.


METROPCS COMMUNICATIONS: Defends T-Mobile Merger-Related Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
MetroPCS Communications, Inc., is defending itself from class
action lawsuits arising from its proposed business combination
with T-Mobile Global Zwischenholding GmbH, according to the
Company's March 1, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On October 3, 2012, MetroPCS, Deutsche Telekom AG, an
Aktiengesellschaft organized and existing under the laws of the
Federal Republic of Germany, or Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile Global
Zwischenholding GmbH, a Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung
organized and existing under the laws of the Federal Republic of
Germany and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom,
or T-Mobile Global, T-Mobile Global Holding GmbH, a Gesellschaft
mit beschrankter Haftung organized and existing under the laws of
the Federal Republic of Germany and a direct wholly-owned
subsidiary of Global, or T-Mobile Holding, and T-Mobile USA, Inc.,
a Delaware corporation and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of T-
Mobile Holding, or T-Mobile, entered into the Business Combination
Agreement.  The combination of MetroPCS with T-Mobile the Company
believes will create a leading value wireless carrier in the
United States, which the Company believes will deliver an enhanced
customer experience through a broader selection of affordable
products and services, more network capacity and broader network
coverage and a clear-cut technology path to one common long-term
evolution network, referred to as an LTE network.  The Company
believes that the combined company will have the expanded scale,
spectrum and financial resources to compete aggressively with the
other larger United States wireless carriers.  The Business
Combination Agreement has been approved by the Company's board of
directors.

Since the announcement on October 3, 2012, of the execution of the
business combination agreement, MetroPCS, Deutsche Telekom,
Global, Holding, T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom, Global, Holding and
T-Mobile, collectively, referred to herein as the T-Mobile
defendants) and the members of the MetroPCS board, referred to as
the MetroPCS board members, including an officer of MetroPCS, have
been named as defendants in multiple putative stockholder
derivative and class action complaints challenging the
transaction.

The lawsuits include:

   * a putative class action lawsuit filed by Paul Benn, an
     alleged MetroPCS stockholder, on October 11, 2012, in the
     Delaware Court of Chancery, Paul Benn v. MetroPCS
     Communications, Inc. et al., Case No. C.A. 7938-CS, referred
     to as the Benn action;

   * a putative class action lawsuit filed by Joseph Marino, an
     alleged MetroPCS stockholder, on October 11, 2012, in the
     Delaware Court of Chancery, Joseph Marino v. MetroPCS
     Communications, Inc. et al., Case No. C.A. 7940-CS, referred
     to as the Marino action;

   * a putative class action lawsuit filed by Robert Picheny, an
     alleged MetroPCS stockholder, on October 22, 2012, in the
     Delaware Court of Chancery, Robert Picheny v. MetroPCS
     Communications, Inc. et al., Case No. C.A. 7971-CS, referred
     to as the Picheny action;

   * a putative class action filed by James S. McLearie, an
     alleged MetroPCS stockholder, on November 5, 2012, in the
     Delaware Court of Chancery, James McLearie v. MetroPCS
     Communications, Inc. et al., Case No. C.A. 8009-CS, referred
     to as the McLearie action, and together with the Benn
     action, the Marino action and the Picheny action, the
     Delaware actions;

   * a putative class action and shareholder derivative action
     filed by Adam Golovoy, an alleged MetroPCS stockholder, on
     October 10, 2012, in the Dallas, Texas County Court at Law,
     Adam Golovoy et al. v. Deutsche Telekom et al., Cause No.
     CC-12-06144-A, referred to as the Golovoy action; and

   * a putative class action and shareholder derivative action
     filed by Nagendra Polu and Fred Lorquet, who are alleged
     MetroPCS stockholders, on October 10, 2012, in the Dallas,
     Texas County Court at Law, Nagendra Polu et al. v. Deutsche
     Telekom et al., Cause No. CC-12-06170-E, referred to as the
     Polu action, and together with the Golovoy action, the Texas
     actions.

The various plaintiffs in the lawsuits allege that the individual
defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things,
failing to (i) obtain sufficient value for the MetroPCS
stockholders in the transaction, (ii) establish a process that
adequately protected the interests of the MetroPCS stockholders,
and (iii) adequately ensure that no conflicts of interest
occurred.  The plaintiffs also allege that the individual
defendants breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to certain
terms in the business combination agreement that allegedly
restricted the defendants' ability to obtain a more favorable
offer from a competing bidder and that such provisions, together
with the voting support agreement and the rights agreement
amendment constitute breaches of the individual defendants'
fiduciary duties.  The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief,
unspecified damages, an order rescinding the business combination
agreement, unspecified punitive damages, attorney's fees, other
expenses, and costs.  All of the plaintiffs seek a determination
that their alleged claims may be asserted on a class-wide basis.
In addition, the plaintiffs in the Texas actions assert putative
derivative claims, as stockholders on behalf of MetroPCS, against
the individually named defendants for breach of fiduciary duty,
abuse of control, gross mismanagement, unjust enrichment and
corporate waste in connection with the transaction.

On November 5, 2012, the plaintiff in the Golovoy action filed a
motion seeking to restrain and enjoin the MetroPCS and the
MetroPCS board members, referred to collectively as the MetroPCS
defendants, from complying with the "force-the-vote" provision in
the business combination agreement and from declaring a
distribution date under, or issuing rights certificates in
conjunction with, MetroPCS' rights agreement, referred to as the
Texas TRO motion.  On November 12, 2012, the MetroPCS defendants
filed a motion to dismiss or stay the Texas actions based on a
mandatory forum selection provision in the MetroPCS bylaws, which
requires that all derivative claims and all claims for breach of
fiduciary duty against the MetroPCS board members must be filed
and litigated only in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and sought
dismissal for failure to plead standing to pursue derivative
claims on behalf of MetroPCS.

On November 16, 2012, the trial court in the Golovoy action,
referred to as the Texas trial court, issued a temporary
restraining order, the TRO order, restraining the MetroPCS
defendants from complying with the "force the vote" provision in
the business combination agreement and from declaring a
distribution date under, or issuing rights certificates in
conjunction with, MetroPCS' rights agreement, and set a temporary
injunction hearing for November 29, 2012.

On November 19, 2012, the MetroPCS defendants and the T-Mobile
defendants filed a petition for writ of mandamus and a motion to
stay, referred to as the Texas mandamus petition, with the Court
of Appeals for the Fifth District at Dallas, referred to as the
Texas appellate court, to stay and overturn the TRO order based on
the mandatory forum selection provision in the MetroPCS bylaws,
which requires that the claims in the Texas actions must be
dismissed and pursued only in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and
on a lack of evidence supporting the findings in the TRO order or
establishing a basis for such TRO order, and to stay the temporary
injunction hearing.  On November 20, 2012, the Texas appellate
court stayed the Texas trial court's ruling, cancelled the
scheduled temporary injunction hearing, and ordered briefing on
the issues raised in the petition for writ of mandamus.

On November 28, 2012, the plaintiff in the Marino action filed an
amended class action complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty
by the MetroPCS board members in connection with the terms of the
business combination agreement, as well as alleging that MetroPCS
has failed to make full and fair disclosure in the Company's
preliminary proxy, for the special meeting of the Company's
stockholders to approve the Transaction, of all information and
analyses presented to and considered by the MetroPCS board
members, and alleging that the T-Mobile defendants aided and
abetted such claimed breaches of fiduciary duty, and motions
seeking expedited proceeding and discovery and to enjoin the
defendants from taking any action to consummate the business
combination between MetroPCS and the T-Mobile defendants.  No
hearing has been set on these motions.  On November 30, 2012, all
of Delaware actions were consolidated into a single action, now
captioned MetroPCS Communications, Inc. Shareholder Litigation,
Consolidated C.A. No. 7938-CS.  The Company and the plaintiffs in
the Marino action entered into a discovery stipulation under which
the Company produced certain documents by January 25, 2013, and
the plaintiff conducted depositions of a corporate representative
of Evercore, the Chairman of the Special Committee and the
Company's Chief Executive Officer, which depositions were
completed by February 14, 2013.  The Delaware Court of Chancery
had set the preliminary injunction hearing on February 28, 2013,
with plaintiffs' brief due on February 15, 2013.  On February 15,
2013, rather than file their brief, plaintiffs sent a letter to
the Delaware Court of Chancery notifying the Court that plaintiffs
did not intend to file a brief, that their disclosure claims had
become moot based on revised proxy materials MetroPCS had filed
with the SEC which contained additional disclosure, and that the
preliminary injunction hearing should be removed from the Court's
docket.

On January 8, 2013, the Texas appellate court conditionally
granted the Texas mandamus petition and ordered the Texas trial
court to vacate the TRO order, render an order denying the Texas
TRO motion, and render an order granting the MetroPCS defendants'
and T-Mobile defendants' motion to stay the action until MetroPCS
defendants' and T-Mobile defendants' motion to dismiss or stay the
action is decided by the Texas trial court.  A hearing is
currently set on such motion for April 5, 2013.

The MetroPCS defendants plan to defend vigorously against the
claims made in the Delaware actions and the Texas actions.

MetroPCS Communications Inc. -- http://www.metropcs.com/-- is a
wireless telecommunications carrier that currently offers wireless
broadband mobile services primarily in selected major metropolitan
areas in the United States.  MetroPCS is a Delaware corporation
headquartered in Richardson, Texas.


MORGAN STANLEY: Singapore Investors Mull Suit Over Pinnacle Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Christie Smythe, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that a group
of Singapore investors asked to sue Morgan Stanley on behalf of
all entities that lost money in synthetic collateralized debt
obligations allegedly rigged to fare poorly.

Singapore Government Staff Credit Cooperative Society Ltd. and
several individuals filed papers on March 22 in Manhattan federal
court seeking establish a class of all investors in the CDOs
issued from Aug. 1, 2006, to the end of 2007.

Investors in Morgan Stanley's Pinnacle Notes lost $154.7 million
reinvested by the bank into CDOs tied to companies such as Fannie
Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Washington
Mutual Inc., plaintiffs alleged in their lawsuit.  Morgan Stanley
meanwhile set up a swap that allowed it to profit when the CDOs
failed, according to the suit.

"The crux of the action is that defendants engaged in a uniform
scheme to defraud the Pinnacle Notes investors," the Singapore
plaintiffs said in a court filing on March 22.  "When the
underlying assets suffered losses, as intended, the investors'
funds were 'swapped' to defendants."

The Singapore investors filed their suit in October 2010 accusing
the bank of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and other claims.
Morgan Stanley is the largest U.S. wealth management firm by
market capitalization.

The case is Dandong v. Pinnacle Performance Ltd., 10-cv-08086,
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


NEW YORK: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Indigent Defense
-------------------------------------------------------------
Heather Yakin, writing for Times Herald-Record, reports that
50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v.
Wainwright that every defendant charged with a crime has a right
to legal counsel, lawyers who deal with defense for the poor say
we're far from the ideal.

"We still have a long way to go," said Chester lawyer Benjamin
Ostrer, president of the New York State Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers.

New York is being sued in a class action over the state of
indigent defense.  The case, Hurrell-Haring et al. v. New York, is
due to go to trial in the fall, said Jonathan Gradess, executive
director of the New York State Defenders Association.  The
organization provides backup, research and support for public
defenders.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of people who say they languished
in jails because their access to and contact with legal counsel
was so limited.  The suit asks in part that the state institute a
statewide defender office to remedy the situation, rather than the
county-by-county approach outlined in New York's County Law.

"If I was the governor of a state, I wouldn't wait for a court to
tell me how to fix the system," Mr. Gradess said.  "When New
Yorkers have been asked in polls, do they think there ought to be
a unified, statewide defense system? Seventy percent said yes."

A new state Office of Indigent Legal Services was set up in 2011
to monitor and find ways to improve defense for the poor.  But
Mr. Gradess noted that its budget was cut in half almost
immediately and cut again this budget season.

"Caseloads are huge, and they always have been," said Timothy
Havas of Sullivan County Legal Aid.  It's not just a matter of
numbers, he said; cases are more complex than ever.

He said his office is fortunate; although the budget has remained
the same for years, Sullivan County hasn't cut the funding even
though the county is facing some hard fiscal times.

"If every county had more money, you wouldn't need a state
defender," Mr. Havas said.  "You talk about change, you talk about
reform.  When all is said and done, it's money that talks."

Gary Abramson, chief attorney with the Orange County Legal Aid
Society, said a recent influx of state money for defenders has
helped conditions.  His agency got funding this year for two more
lawyers.  His office can always use more lawyers, Mr. Abramson
said, but Orange County has always taken its responsibilities
seriously.

"Here, New York City, Dutchess County, Ulster County -- the people
in charge are conscious of the law, and they do their best to make
sure it's followed," Mr. Abramson said.

Effective, competent counsel is crucial to a properly functioning
justice system, Mr. Ostrer said.

"People shouldn't lose sight of the fact that when someone is
wrongfully convicted, the real perpetrator is out there,"
Mr. Ostrer said.  "If it's the will of the community that we have
a fair system, it starts with representation, but it goes much
further than that."

To reach the standard set by Gideon, the lawyers, say, people must
be guaranteed not just a right to a lawyer, but the right to
competent, qualified counsel.

"The ultimate solution is that state governments and the federal
government take the Supreme Court's ruling in Gideon seriously,
and try to come up with a system that makes sure everyone's
adequately represented who's accused of a crime," Mr. Abramson
said. "Being committed to having good lawyers for people charged
with murder is not always a vote-getter, but it's the law."


NEW YORK: Police Office Testifies in Stop-and-Frisk Trial
---------------------------------------------------------
Fox News Latino reports that a New York City police officer said
his bosses can care less whether patrol officers do their duty to
serve and protect the city's residents -- what they're truly
concerned about, he alleged, are quotas.

In a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan brought by people claiming
to be victims of alleged racial profiling by the New York Police's
"stop and frisk" policy, officer Adhyl Polanco said his superiors
told him that he needed 20 summonses, five street stops and one
arrest per month.

It didn't matter whether the stops were done properly, he said.

"They will never question the quality.  They will question the
quantity," Mr. Polanco said on March 19 in court.

Mr. Polanco, whose testimony continued on March 20, was one of two
department whistle blowers expected to discuss a culture that
revolved more around numbers and less around actual policing --
and what lawyers said is leading to tens of thousands of wrongful
stops of black and Hispanic men.  Audio recordings from a third
whistle blower would also be played.

The class-action lawsuit in federal court challenges the
constitutionality of some police stops.  There have been about 5
million stops made by police in the past decade.  City attorneys
said officers operate within the law and do not target people
solely because of their race.  Police go where the crime is -- and
crime is overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods, they said.

Polanco said on March 20 that if he didn't get the numbers while
working patrol in the 41st Precinct in the Bronx, he'd face poor
evaluations, shift changes and no overtime.

He started recording some of the instructions because he thought
no one would believe him.  Lawyers played some of the secret audio
recordings on March 20.

"They can make your life very miserable," he said of the
department.

Police officials have said that they do not issue quotas, but set
some performance goals for officers.

Mr. Polanco, who joined the force in 2005, was suspended with pay
for years after internal affairs officers brought charges of
filing false arrest paperwork; he said the charges came because he
detailed a list of complaints to internal affairs.  He now works
in a department video unit.

The officers' testimony comes in the first week of the case, after
four black men spoke about their experiences being stopped by
police -- they say because of their race.

City lawyers sought to show Mr. Polanco mischaracterized the
incidents, and when asked to give specifics on which stops he felt
were wrong, he could not.

The trial is seeking to reform the practice of "stop, question and
frisk," a law enforcement tactic that has gained traction in the
past decade.

The mayor and police commissioner said stop and frisk is a life-
saving, crime-stopping tool that has helped drive crime down to
record lows.  Officers have more than 23 million contacts with the
public, make four million radio runs and issue more than 500,000
summonses every year.  Comparatively, 600,000 stops annually are
not unreasonable, city lawyers said.

U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, who has already said
in earlier rulings that she is deeply concerned about the tactic,
has the power to order reforms to how it is used, which could
bring major changes to the nation's largest police force and other
departments.

On the second day of the trial, city lawmakers said they had
reached an agreement to install an inspector general for the NYPD
following outrage over the department's monitoring of Muslims, and
the stop and frisk tactic.  The mayor has said he would veto the
proposal, which has been condemned by police unions.

It's not clear whether the proposal for an inspector general would
affect what changes the judge may make.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said talks were progressing
on three companion proposals to set new rules surrounding stop and
frisk, including expanding protections against racial profiling.

Proposed last year, the inspector general and stop-and-frisk
measures have become enmeshed in the politics of the city's
mayoral campaign.  Ms. Quinn, a leading Democratic candidate, has
faced pressure from civil rights and minority advocates and from
some of her rivals to get the measures passed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, city lawyers and police officials said
the department already has enough oversight, including an
independent watchdog group, a 700-person Internal Affairs Bureau,
a police corruption commission, prosecutors and judges.


PENNINGTON COUNTY, SD: Faces Class Action Over ICWA Violation
-------------------------------------------------------------
The American Civil Liberties Union on March 21 disclosed that
three Indian parents, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and the Rosebud
Sioux Tribe filed a class-action lawsuit to challenge the
continued removal of Indian children in Pennington County, South
Dakota from their homes based on insufficient evidence and without
proper hearings, in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act of
1978 and the constitutional right to due process.

Congress enacted ICWA to put in place federal safeguards for the
removal of Indian children from their homes to both protect the
interests of Indian children and give Indian tribes a voice in the
process, because of an alarming number of Indian children who were
removed from their homes and their tribes.  Family separation can
be particularly difficult for Indian children because not only are
children separated from their parents, but because they are often
placed with non-Indian families, they also experience separation
from their culture.

When children are removed from their parents based on an
allegation of neglect or abuse, a substantive hearing should
normally be held in order to determine whether their children
should continue to be separated from them.  Instead, the lawsuit
contends, Pennington County officials hold a cursory hearing in
48 hours that sometimes lasts no more than a minute, where all of
the documents are kept a secret from the parents and they are not
permitted to introduce any evidence, and their children are then
removed for a minimum of 60 days and usually 90 days, according to
the complaint.  Most parents are also unfairly coerced by the
court to "work with" the state Department of Social Services
(DSS), which essentially authorizes the department to hold the
children for at least two months under whatever terms DSS wants.
DSS rarely seeks to assist the family.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit along with the ACLU of South Dakota and
Dana Hanna of the Hanna Law Office in Rapid City.  The lawsuit was
filed on behalf of three parents in Pennington County, as well as
the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, which are
federally recognized Indian tribes with reservations in South
Dakota.


PITNEY BOWES: Court Dismisses NECA-IBEW Fraud Class Suit
--------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant issued a memorandum of decision
granting a motion to dismiss a second amended complaint in the
lawsuit captioned NECA-IBEW HEALTH & WELFARE FUND, Individually
and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v.
PITNEY BOWES INC., MURRAY D. MARTIN, and BRUCE NOLOP, Defendants,
Civil Action No. 3:09-CV-01740 (VLB), (D. Conn.).

Lead Plaintiff Labourers' Pension Fund of Central and Eastern
Canada brought the action individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated against Pitney Bowes Inc., Murray D. Martin,
and Bruce Nolop alleging violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R.
Section 240.10b-5, promulgated thereunder, and occurring between
July 30, 2007 and October 29, 2007.  The Plaintiff styled the suit
as a fraud on the market action brought on behalf of all those who
purchased Pitney's common stock during the Class Period.

The Defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted and for failure to plead fraud with specificity as
required under Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) and the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act.

"In so far as Plaintiff has been given two opportunities to amend
its Complaint since this case was filed more than three years ago,
Plaintiff was aware of deficiencies in its first Amended Complaint
upon Defendants' filing of their first motion to dismiss in 2010
and filed its Second Amended Complaint in lieu of opposing that
motion, Plaintiff has been aware of the deficiencies in this
Second Amended Complaint since the instant motion to dismiss was
filed more than a year ago, Plaintiff has not sought leave to
amend the current Complaint, and other bases for dismissing the
Second Amended Complaint exist, the Court infers that further
leave to amend the Second Amended Complaint would be futile,"
ruled Judge Bryant.

Accordingly, the case is dismissed and the Clerk of court is
ordered to close the case and enter judgment in favor of the
Defendants.

A copy of the District Court's March 23, 2013 Memorandum of
Decision is available at http://is.gd/p0mybafrom Leagle.com.


PNM RESOURCES: Awaits Ruling in Navajo Nation Allottees Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
PNM Resources, Inc. is awaiting a decision in connection with an
appeal from the dismissal of a class action lawsuit brought by
Navajo Nation allottees, according to the Company's March 1, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

A putative class action was filed against PNM and other utilities
in February 2009 in the United States District Court in
Albuquerque.  Plaintiffs claim to be allottees, members of the
Navajo Nation, who pursuant to the Dawes Act of 1887, were
allotted ownership in land carved out of the Navajo Nation and
allege that defendants, including PNM, are rights-of-way grantees
with rights-of-way across the allotted lands and are either in
trespass or have paid insufficient fees for the grant of rights-
of-way or both.  In March 2010, the court ordered that the
entirety of the plaintiffs' case be dismissed.  The court did not
grant plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint, finding that they
instead must pursue and exhaust their administrative remedies
before seeking redress in federal court.  In May 2010, plaintiffs
filed a Notice of Appeal with the Bureau of Indian Affairs
("BIA"), which was on December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010 denied by
the BIA Regional Director.

In May 2011, plaintiffs appealed the Regional Director's decision
to the DOI Board of Appeals.  Briefings on the merits of the
appeal are complete and a decision is pending.  PNM is
participating in order to preserve its interests regarding any
PNM-acquired rights-of-way implicated in the appeal.  PNM says it
cannot predict the outcome of the proceeding or the range of
potential outcomes at this time.

PNM Resources, Inc. -- http://www.pnmresources.com/-- together
with its subsidiaries, operates in energy and energy-related
businesses in the United States.  It primarily engages in the
generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.  The
Company generates electricity using coal, nuclear, natural gas,
solar, and wind energy.  It also provides regulated transmission
and distribution services.  The Company is headquartered in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.


POLY IMPLANT: Class Action Over Faulty Breast Implants Dropped
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article submitted by Annabel Tautou at French
Tribune, women, hundreds in number, in Western Australia have got
distressed as a class action filed by them against the local
distributor of faulty breast implants has been dropped.

It has been found that these women had received faulty implants,
and therefore, were seeking to sue the distributor.  But, the
company has been found unable to compensate to the women.

Some 13,000 Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants made in France
had been supplied in Australia between 1998 and 2010.  It was
before their ban by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for their
risk of getting ruptured.

It was March 22 when Lawyers Tindall Gask Bentley wrote to a total
of 1,300 claimants of which some 450 were from WA.  The lawyers
said that its claim would no longer be pursued by it against
Medical Vision Australia.

Currently, Medical Vision Australia is in liquidation, the report
revealed.  TGB partner Timothy White added that the company
seemingly did not have sufficient assets that could satisfy any
grant of considerable consideration.

"I still haven't had mine removed.  My plan was to wait until the
court case and then use whatever compensation we were going to get
for surgery", said Helen Dougill, mother-of-two from Caversham.


RITE AID: Faces Class Action Over Inaccurate Worker Information
---------------------------------------------------------------
Linda Chiem, writing for Law360, reports that Rite Aid Corp. and
LexisNexis Search Solutions Inc. were hit with a putative class
action in Pennsylvania federal court on March 21 alleging the
drugstore giant used damaging or inaccurate information to make
adverse hiring decisions in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act.  Plaintiff Kyra Moore claims Rite Aid relied on an inaccurate
background check report from LexisNexis labeling her a "thief" to
deny her employment in 2011 without first giving her a chance to
see or even challenge the report.


SANOFI: Investors Obtain Class Certification in Zimulti Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Nate Raymond, writing for Reuters, reports that a U.S. judge
certified on March 20 a class of investors who have filed a
lawsuit accusing Sanofi of misleading them about the status of
regulatory approval for a failed anti-obesity pill.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said investors in
Sanofi's American depositary receipts could proceed together as a
group in the litigation.

Representatives for the company, formerly known as Sanofi-Aventis,
did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit centers on the drug rimonabant, which was marketed as
Acomplia in Europe and branded as Zimulti in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had questioned the drug's
safety in 2006.  Concerns about the possible link between the drug
and suicidal thoughts resulted in an FDA advisory committee's
decision to not recommend that the agency approve the drug for
marketing.

Sanofi's share prices dropped following the news, according to the
lawsuit.  Investors sued in 2007, saying the company and two
executives misled shareholders about the drug's development.

The decision on March 20 appeared to be one of the first to
benefit from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 27 in a case
against Amgen Inc. that held investors don't need to establish the
materiality of alleged misinformation in order to sue as a group.

Sanofi had sought to show the alleged misstatements in its case
weren't material, but withdrew that portion of its argument
following the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision.

The class certified on March 20 covers only investors in Sanofi's
American depository receipts -- not its common stock.

Judge Daniels refused to allow one of the two lead plaintiffs, New
England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund, from serving as a
class representative as it owned only Sanofi common stock, which
is traded on Euronext.

Judge Daniels made that decision in light of the 2010 U.S. Supreme
Court ruling that restricted the ability of investors to bring
lawsuits in U.S. courts involving companies traded on foreign
exchanges.

Sanofi had 1.3 billion common shares outstanding from February
2006 to June 2007, the time of the alleged fraud, according to the
plaintiffs.  It had 241.4 million ADRs, the plaintiffs said in
court papers, which identified the defendant as Sanofi-Aventis, as
the company was known then.  In 2011, the company changed its name
to Sanofi.

The other lead plaintiff, Hawaii Annuity Trust for Operating
Engineers, was appointed class representative.

Judge Daniels also named Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as class
counsel.

Trig Smith -- trigs@rgrdlaw.com -- a lawyer for the plaintiffs at
Robbins Geller, declined comment.

The case is In re Sanofi-Aventis Securities Litigation, U.S.
District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 07-10279.


SHINHAN BANK: May Face Class Action Over Network Hacking
--------------------------------------------------------
Yonhap News Agency reports that two consumer advocacy groups may
lodge class action suits against local financial institutions
whose networks were paralyzed due to massive cyber attacks,
industry sources said on March 22.

The Financial Consumer Agency and the Korea Finance Consumer
Federation are seeking to file class action suits against Shinhan
Bank, NongHyup Bank, Jeju Bank and two insurers as their customers
underwent inconveniences due to the hacking attacks, according to
the sources.

On March 20, computer networks at Korea's major broadcasters,
banks and insurers were shut down due to malicious codes, halting
financial services and crippling operations for hours.

The agencies have received cases of financial damage from bank
customers since March 21 and may seek to lodge class action suits
if they fail to arbitrate with those financial institutions, they
said.

This is the second time that NongHyup was hit by hackers' attacks,
the first instance occurring in April 2011 when customers'
personal data were stolen and online banking transactions were
crippled.  The consumer groups agreed to settle the compensation
issue with NongHyup Bank in 2011.

The cyber attacks appear to be all the more serious as South
Korea's No. 3 bank Shinhan Bank was helplessly vulnerable to
hackers, analysts say.

As operations of the financial institutions were also recovered
about two hours after the attacks, it is not clear whether a class
action suit could be filed, industry watchers said.


SINO-FOREST CORP: Court Approves $117MM Class Action Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that the Ontario Superior Court has
approved a $117-million class-action settlement involving Sino-
Forest Corp. and its former auditor, Ernst & Young.

The agreed deal will see the accounting firm pay towards into a
fund to compensate shareholders of the troubled Chinese-Canadian
company, which has been accused of fraudulently overstating its
assets.

It's believed to be one of the largest settlements involving an
auditor in Canadian history.

The class-action had alleged that directors, officers, auditors
and underwriters at timber trader misled investors with its
accounting.

Several shareholders had originally objected to the settlement.

The company was first accused in 2011 of being a Ponzi scheme by
Muddy Waters Research, prompting investigations by the Ontario
regulator and the RCMP.

The company and several former executives have since also been
accused of lying to investors and attempting to mislead
investigators.

A number of lawsuits involving Sino-Forest are still ongoing in
the courts.


STANDARD FIRE: Plaintiffs Can't Evade Federal Court Jurisdiction
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for Thomson Reuters, reports that the U.S.
Supreme Court's unanimous seven-page ruling on March 19 in
Standard Fire v. Knowles proves that sometimes the best way to get
through a thorny briar patch is with a machete.  The court cut
through incredibly complex jurisdictional arguments and what-if
scenarios to reach the essential intent of the Class Action
Fairness Act, a law passed in 2005 to assure that big-money class
actions are litigated in federal court.  And according to the
Supreme Court's decision, name plaintiffs and their lawyers cannot
evade federal court jurisdiction by simply stipulating that their
damages fall beneath CAFA's $5 million threshold.

The ruling, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, should put an end
to a tactic by which class action lawyers have managed to keep
their cases in plaintiff-friendly state courts, according to
Theodore Boutrous of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who argued for the
insurer Standard Fire.  After CAFA was enacted, enterprising class
action lawyers in places like Miller County, Arkansas, figured out
that if name plaintiffs stipulated to classwide damages of less
than $5 million (and also avoided CAFA's other jurisdictional
criteria), they could have cases remanded to state court after
defendants removed them to federal court under CAFA.  Class action
defendants groused that once the cases were back in state court
they were often forced to settle for more than $5 million simply
to avoid the risk of class litigation before state court judges,
but the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals was unsympathetic to their
purported plight.

The Supreme Court's 2011 ruling in Smith v. Bayer gave Standard
Fire a wedge, however.  Last summer, after the 8th Circuit refused
to hear its interlocutory appeal of the remand of Greg Knowles's
class action to state court, the insurer went to the justices with
a petition for certiorari, arguing that Smith v. Bayer precluded
name plaintiffs from stipulating damages on behalf of absent class
members.  The justices were apparently so intrigued by the
question (or disturbed by Standard Fire's description of events in
Miller County) that the court made an extraordinary grant of
certiorari before conferencing on the case.

Smith v. Bayer put Mr. Knowles in a bind, as his Supreme Court
counsel, David Frederick -- dfrederick@khhte.com -- of Kellogg,
Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel implicitly acknowledged in the
name plaintiff's merits brief to the court last November.  Mr.
Knowles couldn't sign away the rights of the rest of the class,
but without stipulating that damages were less than $5 million, he
couldn't get back to state court.  So Mr. Frederick conceded that
Mr. Knowles's stipulation was binding only on him, not on everyone
else in the purported class suing Standard Fire.  The name
plaintiff's assessment of damages, the brief argued, was relevant
for the purposes of determining jurisdiction under CAFA, but if
the class was subsequently certified, the stipulation "has no
effect on the merits of absent class members' claims."
Nevertheless, the brief contended, name plaintiffs are the masters
of their own complaints, so federal judges weighing remand motions
must accede to their preliminary assessment of damages.

That theory could have gutted CAFA.  But as the justices signaled
at oral arguments in January, they weren't buying Mr. Knowles's
attempt to have his jurisdictional cake and then to feast on
damages.  Justice Breyer's opinion makes that abundantly clear.
To treat a non-binding stipulation as if it were binding simply
for the purpose of determining jurisdiction under CAFA would
"exalt form over substance and run directly counter to CAFA's
primary objective," the court wrote.  Justice Breyer also signaled
that he was onto the class action bar's game.  Permitting name
plaintiffs to stipulate to damages merely for jurisdictional
purposes "would also have the effect of allowing the subdivision
of a $100 million action into 21 just-below-$5-million state-court
actions simply by including nonbinding stipulations," he wrote.
"Such an outcome would squarely conflict with the statute's
objective."

The court said that while it might be simpler for federal judges
deciding jurisdiction to assess potential classwide damages on the
basis of a name plaintiff's stipulation, their responsibility is
to follow CAFA's dictates and determine the aggregate value of
class members' claims.  And since stipulations of damages bind
only the name plaintiffs who sign them, the Supreme Court said,
judges should ignore them for the purposes of CAFA-evading
remands.

Class action lawyers can at least be relieved that the justices
didn't take the opportunity of this case to expand federal-court
jurisdiction over their cases, as some of Standard Fire's amici
urged the court to do.  The court's ruling takes CAFA at its word,
no more and no less.

Marcia Coyle, writing The National Law Journal, reports that
the issue of the effect of the stipulation arose in a proposed
class action brought in Arkansas state court by Mr. Knowles
against Standard Fire.  Mr. Knowles claimed that when the company
had made certain homeowner's insurance loss payments, it had
unlawfully failed to include a general contractor fee.  He sought
to certify a class of "hundreds, and possibly thousands" of
Arkansas policyholders and he included an affidavit stipulating
that he would not seek damages for the class in excess of $5
million.

Standard Fire removed the case to federal district court by
relying on the $5 million- amount in controversy threshold for
federal jurisdiction in the CAFA.  The trial judge found that the
matter in controversy was slightly over $5 million, but because of
the stipulation, the judge sent the case back to state court.  The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declined to hear the
company's appeal.

Justice Breyer explained that because Knowles' precertification
stipulation bound no one but himself, he had not reduced the value
of the absent class members' claims

Mr. Boutrous, who argued the case for Standard Fire, said in a
statement, "The Court's unanimous decision in Standard Fire
enforces the clear terms of the Class Action Fairness Act to
ensure that class-action plaintiffs cannot manipulate the system
by slicing and dicing claims in order to defeat federal
jurisdiction, and it will prevent the state-court class-action
abuses that Congress intended to prohibit.  We are very pleased
with the decision."

Not surprisingly, class action defense lawyers agreed with
Mr. Boutrous' assessment.  John Beisner --
john.beisner@skadden.com -- co-head of the mass torts and
insurance litigation group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom, said, "The ruling soundly rejects the trick of attorneys
unilaterally stipulating to limited damages in an effort to avoid
federal jurisdiction over class actions.  In its unanimous
decision, the Court recognizes that in enacting the Class Action
Fairness Act, Congress intended that in most instances, federal
courts, not state court, will handle class actions with interstate
implications."

And Archis Parasharami, co-chairman of Mayer Brown's consumer
litigation and class action practice, said, "The Court correctly
recognized that a named plaintiff in a class action cannot, prior
to class certification, place artificial limits on the claims of
absent class members. Indeed, the Court noted that to do so might
make the class representative an 'inadequate' one.  Given the
Court's unanimous recognition of CAFA's purposes, hopefully
federal district courts and the courts of appeal will take a
closer look at other efforts by plaintiffs to perform similar end-
runs around CAFA."

Mr. Knowles' high court counsel had argued that many of the
arguments made by Standard Fire and its supporters were "offensive
ad hominem attacks, plain and simple."  A stipulation made in good
faith and enforceable under state law, he contended, was
controlling on the amount-in-controversy issue.


STANDARD FIRE: Alabama AG Lauds Supreme Court Class Action Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Office of the Alabama Attorney General on March 19 disclosed
that Attorney General Luther Strange called a ruling by the U.S.
Supreme Court "a tremendously important victory for class action
fairness and free enterprise."

In a unanimous decision in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles,
No. 11-1450, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a class action
filed by plaintiffs in Arkansas state court belonged, instead, in
federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed the class action in an Arkansas
county with a history of abusing the class action system,
approving high awards for class attorneys, and providing little
meaningful relief for consumers.  The plaintiffs' lawyers sought
to keep the case in state court by filing a "stipulation" that
promised not to seek damages of over $5 million, even though the
plaintiffs' claims might be worth more than that.

The State of Alabama authored and filed an amicus brief to the
U.S. Supreme Court in the case, which argued that the case should
be in federal court, not state court.  The brief argued that the
"stipulation procedure," if approved, would "subvert the interests
of absent class members to the interests of the class's lawyers."
The brief noted that the only "logical explanation for the
procedure is that counsel wish to avoid important reforms that
have been incorporated into federal law, including the requirement
that state officers be given an opportunity to challenge the
fairness of any proposed settlement," which "raises serious
concerns about efficiency, fairness, notice, and adequacy of
representation."

Attorney General Strange praised the Court's ruling: "Alabama is
an excellent place to live and do business; our Legislature has
passed laws to protect defendants and consumers from collusive
class action settlements and unfair procedures.  Although Alabama
is no longer 'tort hell,' abusive lawsuits and unfair procedures
in other state courts can still harm Alabama businesses and
consumers.  Thankfully, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed with
our position that there should be universally accepted minimum
safeguards for the most significant interstate class actions."

The State of Alabama's brief in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v.
Knowles was joined by Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.


STANDARD FIRE: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commends Court Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on March 19 praised a decision by the
U.S. Supreme Court that preserves a key provision of the landmark
Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

In its ruling in the case of Standard Fire Insurance Company vs.
Knowles, the Court unanimously rejected a scheme by plaintiffs'
lawyers to circumvent CAFA's $5 million amount-in-controversy
requirement and prevent major class actions from being tried in
federal court.  The purpose of CAFA was to ensure that major class
actions are tried in neutral federal courts rather than certain
plaintiff-friendly state courts.

"Since its passage eight years ago, the Class Action Fairness Act
has done much to curb class action abuses, such as forum
shopping," said Lisa Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber
Institute for Legal Reform.  "The Court's unanimous ruling
preserves one of the most crucial provisions of the law and
ensures that CAFA's reforms live on."

"The unanimous ruling is a victory for everyone supporting
fairness and justice in our court system," said Lily Claffee,
General Counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  "We are pleased
that the Court listened to the views of America's business
community and preserved this important protection against class
action abuse."

Enacted in 2005, the Class Action Fairness Act aimed to improve
the treatment and scrutiny given to large, interstate class
actions.  It gave litigants new tools to move such cases to
federal courts and required greater scrutiny of class
certification and settlement terms. Since the law's passage, the
number of class actions filed in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions
like Madison County, Illinois has dropped precipitously.

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform campaigned strongly
for CAFA's passage.  In addition, the Chamber's National Chamber
Litigation Center filed amicus curiae briefs, both in support of
certiorari and on the merits, in the Knowles case.  ILR seeks to
promote civil justice reform through legislative, political,
judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and
local levels.

NCLC is the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before
regulatory agencies.


STANDARD FIRE: Armstrong Teasdale Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew J. Kreutzer, Esq. -- mkreutzer@armstrongteasdale.com -- at
Armstrong Teasdale LLP, reports that in a landmark decision in the
area of class action litigation, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court
held that plaintiffs cannot use damage-limiting stipulations to
prevent their cases from being removed from state to federal
court.  In its March 19, 2013, ruling in Standard Fire Insurance
v. Greg Knowles, the nation's highest court found that pre-
certification stipulations purporting to limit damages in class
actions do not eliminate a federal court's jurisdiction under the
Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

The Standard Fire decision is a significant ruling for class
action defendants as it largely eliminates a procedural tactic
frequently used by plaintiffs to thwart federal jurisdiction and
keep class actions in plaintiff-friendly state courts.

Under CAFA, a state court class action can be removed to federal
court if there is "minimal diversity" between the parties and
where the jurisdictional amount exceeds $5 million.  To prevent
removal under CAFA, the plaintiff in Knowles filed a stipulation
that he "will not at any time during this case seek damages for
the class action in excess of $5,000,000 in the aggregate."  Based
solely on the stipulation, the trial court found that the amount
in controversy fell below the jurisdictional threshold required
under CAFA and remanded the case to state court.  The Supreme
Court granted defendant's writ of certiorari to address "divergent
views" among lower courts as to the jurisdictional impact of
damages-limiting stipulations in the class action context.

The Court based its Standard Fire decision on the grounds that
pre-certification stipulations cannot "legally bind members of the
proposed class before the class is certified."  According to the
Court, "[b]ecause [plaintiff's] precertification stipulation does
not bind anyone but himself, [he] has not reduced the value of the
putative class members' claims."


SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY: Class Action Over Jail Conditions Can Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Dye, writing for Reuters, reports that a group of current
and former inmates can proceed with a lawsuit claiming Suffolk
County subjected them to "squalid" jail conditions, including
waste-spewing toilets, mold-covered showers and a rodent
infestation, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip granted class
certification in a lawsuit brought by past and present inmates at
the Suffolk County Correctional Facility, who said they suffered
physical side effects as a result of the conditions and that
officials ignored their complaints.  The class action consolidated
111 different lawsuits, the first of which was filed in 2011.

Judge Seybert denied the county's motion to dismiss the claims
against it, and held that the plaintiffs could proceed as two
classes: one seeking an order compelling the county to fix the
allegedly "cruel and inhuman" conditions, and another seeking
monetary damages.

The plaintiffs are individuals who are or were held at one of two
jails that comprise the Suffolk facility: the Riverhead
Correctional Facility, a medium/maximum-security jail, and the
Yaphank Correctional Facility, a minimum-security jail.

According to the ruling, while the combined capacity of the two
jails is 1,327, they house a daily combined average of 1,732
inmates.

The plaintiffs claimed they were exposed to "ping-pong toilets,"
in which flushed waste rises up in a nearby toilet; "decrepit"
showers coated with mold and rust; contaminated drinking water;
inadequate heating; a rodent infestation and ceilings believed to
be lined with asbestos.

They say the conditions led to headaches, rashes, infections, and
intestinal and respiratory problems, and alleged violations of
cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and 14th Amendments,
due process under the state constitution and negligence.

In denying Suffolk County's motion to dismiss the lawsuit against
it, the judge held that the alleged injuries were "sufficiently
particularized and actual to satisfy the standing requirement at
this stage of the litigation."

The defendants had argued that the plaintiffs had not proven they
were injured by the alleged conditions, and had failed to exhaust
their administrative remedies.

However, she dismissed claims against individual defendants,
including Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, finding that
plaintiffs had not sufficiently tied their actions to the jail
conditions.

Amol Sinha, director of the Suffolk County chapter of the New York
Civil Liberties Union, which represented the plaintiffs, said that
the decision "recognizes our allegations that the inhumane
conditions at the jails are the uniform product of decades of
neglect and indifference by county officials."

The Suffolk County Attorney's office, which represented the
defendants, did not return a call for comment.

The case is Butler v. Suffolk County, U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, No. 11-2602.

For the plaintiffs: Daniel LaGuardia --
daniel.laguardia@shearman.com -- Alexis Berkowitz, Edward Timlin
-- edward.timlin@shearman.com -- Melissa Godwin and Sheila Jain --
sheila.jain@shearman.com -- of Sherman & Sterling; Corey
Stoughton, Taylor Pendergrass of the New York Civil Liberties
Union.

For the defendants: Brian Mitchell and Arlene Zwilling of the
Suffolk County attorney's office.


SYDNEY STEEL: Too Many Variables in Tar Ponds Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Van Horne, writing for Cape Breton Post, reports that a
lawyer for the federal government said there are too many
variables for the Sydney tar ponds lawsuit to proceed as a class-
action lawsuit.

"There are not enough common issues for it to be a class-action
lawsuit," Angela Green told a panel of three judges at the Nova
Scotia Court of Appeal.

Justice David Farrar said Justice John Murphy, who gave the green
light to the class-action lawsuit, "described these issues as
relatively minor."

"That's the error," Ms. Green replied, "because they are not."

Justice Linda Oland asked Ms. Green about access to justice, which
is one of the key principles of the Class Proceedings Act -- the
law that enabled this class-action lawsuit.

"No one seriously contends that, absent certification, these class
members will ever have their day in court," Justice Oland said.
"There is no viable alternative."

This is the first environmental class action to be certified in
Nova Scotia and could include about 6,000 properties and 15,000-
20,000 people.

Ms. Green said that even if it proceeds as a class-action lawsuit,
there are many individual cases that will have to be worked out
once the common ones are dealt with.  She said that "lengthy and
complex" process makes the claim the class-action lawsuit provides
access to justice "very hollow."

Ms. Green said there were contaminants in the environment when the
federal government took over the coke ovens in 1968.  Over the
years, residents were exposed to different contaminants, varying
quantities and for different durations.

Ray Wagner, who represents the group of Sydney residents suing the
federal and provincial governments, said after court that the
federal government knew the risks, and knew of solutions, but
didn't use them.

"If they had employed pollution control methods that were
available at the time, that pollution would have been reduced up
to 97 per cent," he said.

Ms. Green wrapped up the federal case on March 20 and passed the
baton to the provincial government.  The two governments, which
for a time owned and operated the Sydney steel plant and coke
ovens, are working to get the certification of the class-action
lawsuit dismissed.

Agnes MacNeil and Alison Campbell spoke on behalf of the province,
which ran the steel plant through the Crown corporation known as
Sysco.

Ms. Campbell urged the judges to dismiss the class-action lawsuit
because it has "no chance of success under our system of law."

Ms. MacNeil argued that the presence of contaminants in the Sydney
area does not mean they can be linked to illness.  She said people
all over North America suffer the same health problems as people
in Sydney.

Mr. Wagner said there's evidence before the court that shows a
"pattern of contamination around the steel plant that was above
acceptable guidelines."

The province was expected to wrap up its arguments on March 20.


UNITED CONTINENTAL: Faces Class Action Over Frequent Flyer Miles
----------------------------------------------------------------
Janet H. Cho and Jo Ellen Corrigan, writing for The Plain Dealer,
report that a United Airlines frequent flyer has filed a class
action complaint against United Continental Holdings Inc.,
accusing the world's largest airline of not giving passengers full
credit for the number of miles they actually fly.

"United has breached its MileagePlus contract with millions of its
members .  .  . by not actually awarding the miles actually flown
by them, as United had promised," Hongbo Han of Rockville, Md.,
charges in his 13-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

Instead, "United awarded miles much closer to the direct distance
(i.e., a straight line point-to-point irrespective of flight
route) between the origin and the destination instead of actually
flown miles for each flight."

A United Airlines spokeswoman in Chicago said, "We believe this
lawsuit is without merit."  She declined to discuss how United
computes the mileage for its flights or other aspects of the
complaint, citing pending litigation.

Mr. Han, who says he has been a MileagePlus member since 2009 and
has obtained Premier status based on how often he flies, said that
on a $1,166 round-trip between Beijing Capital International
Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, the actual
flown distance was 7,276 miles and 7,043 miles, based on sites
like flightaware.com.  But he said United awarded him "only" 6,920
miles each way, shortchanging him by at least 479 miles, plus
another 119 miles for his Premier status.

He filed the suit on behalf of himself and all current and former
MileagePlus members, as well as former members of Continental
Airlines' OnePass Program.  Continental and United merged on
Oct. 1, 2010.  Neither Mr. Han nor his Chicago attorneys could not
be reached for comment.

Perry Flint, who heads corporate communications in the Americas
for the International Air Transport Association, the trade
association for the world's airlines, in Geneva, said there are
industry standard distances between cities, but that wouldn't
necessarily apply to an airline's mileage awards or loyalty
program.

Plus, "in reality, mileage between airport pairs can vary on a
daily basis and even during the same day -- depending on routing -
which itself may be subject to weather conditions, traffic, etc.,"
he said via e-mail.

Airline industry observers also sided with United.

Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks Co., a Wisconsin consultancy
that tracks how much airlines get from checked bags and other
fees, called the lawsuit silly.

"I don't think airlines promise to pay for the miles flown by an
individual traveler," he said via e-mail.  "Even the phrase
'miles' does not reflect the definition of a measure of distance.
I interpret 'miles' as a loyalty unit, similar to a point.

"If taken literally, why then do 25,000 miles equal a roundtrip
reward? The reward does not provide 25,000 miles of reward travel,
but rather it's an arbitrary price assigned to a particular
reward.  Likewise, why does a dollar of credit card charge
activity accrue a mile? So, I think it's a silly rationale."

Christopher Elliott, an Orlando author and passenger advocate,
said: "He's fighting for something that has little or no value -
and in some cases, negative value. The only winners are the
attorneys."

Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Flier LLC in Long Beach, Calif.,
and author of the CrankyFlier.com blog, put it even more bluntly.

"This is completely absurd," he said via e-mail.

"It is downright silly to think that the airlines are going to
compute the exact distance flown on every single operated flight
and award it that way.  United and other airlines offer mileage
calculators where you can compute what you'll earn before you even
buy your ticket."

He said airlines calculate their miles based on "great circle
distance," the actual number of miles between two points, instead
of miles via a straight line.

"Because of the curvature of the Earth, the great circle route is
the shortest distance between two points," he said.

According to Gcmap.com, for example, the distance between Dulles
and Beijing is 6,921 miles, one mile more than United's 6,920
miles.

"This is pretty much everything that's wrong with the court
system.  Even if it goes nowhere, it's already wasting taxpayer
dollars and time that could be used for legitimate cases," he
said.

"This is a guy just trying to game the system while wasting
everyone's time.  I hope this gets thrown out."


TED LAY: Ill. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in TCPA Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bethany Krajelis, writing for The Madison-St. Clair Record,
reports the Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments in March in a
case stemming from a class action lawsuit that originated in
Madison County.

The case -- Standard Mutual Insurance Co. v. Norma Lay, et al. --
came to the state high court from the Fourth District Appellate
Court, which determined the $500 penalty under the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to be punitive damages and as such,
not insurable.

In 2006, Ted Lay Real Estate Agency faxed an advertisement to
Locklear Electric, Inc.  The recipient did not give Lay permission
to send the fax, which is a violation of the TCPA that imposes a
$500 penalty for each unsolicited fax.

Lay was sued in 2009 in a class action suit that was filed in
Madison County Circuit Court and later removed to the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Locklear
served as class representative.

Defense of the claim was tendered to Standard, which undertook the
defense under a reservation of rights and filed a declaratory
judgment action in Macoupin County Circuit Court to find out its
coverage under its policies.

The class action suit, which alleged that Lay had sent 3,478
unsolicited faxes in June 2006, was settled in 2010 for about
$1.7 million, plus costs.

In regards to whether Standard had a duty to defend the real
estate agency, the circuit court ruled in favor of Standard and a
panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court affirmed.

"We find that the $500 in liquidated damages provided in the TCPA
is a penalty and is in the nature of punitive damages," the
appeals panel held in its opinion.  "They are not insurable as a
matter of Illinois law and public policy and are not recoverable
from Standard."

On March 19, the justices heard arguments from Ottawa attorney
Michael Reagan, who argued on behalf of the appellants, and
Chicago attorney Robert Chemers, who represents Standard.

Mr. Reagan told the justices that "the issue was framed
incorrectly" at the appellate court level and "therefore, the
court's analysis never reached the true heart of the issue."

While the appeals panel found that the penalties under the TCPA
were punitive damages that were not insurable, Mr. Reagan told the
justices the panel never examined the policies and "did not engage
in a close reading" of Beaver v. Country Mutual Insurance Co.
(1981) or any other cases on the topic.

The court in Beaver, he said, focused on the conduct of the
insured.  The Beaver court noted in its ruling that punitive
damages act as a punishment and a deterrent, but that they would
serve no useful purpose if an insured was allowed to shift the
burden of paying these damages to its insurer.

As such, Mr. Reagan told the justices the issue before them isn't
whether punitive damages are insurable, but rather "whether the
conduct of the insured, which gave rise to the damages, can be
insured."

He said the appellate court also didn't take into account public
policy in favor of honoring private contracts, such as the
parties' insurance policies.

Justice Rita Garman asked Mr. Reagan if he wants the court to use
a "case-by-case, conduct-by-conduct analysis" when looking at
these types of situations.

"Absolutely, your honor," Mr. Reagan said.

On behalf of Standard, Mr. Chemers asked the court to affirm the
appellate court, which he said "got it right" when it determined
that the $500 penalty under the TCPA constitutes punitive damages.

He said "Lay can't hide behind what the sender" of the faxes did
and is still liable even if it did hire an outside company to send
the faxes.

Mr. Reagan, however, said Lay "innocently hired" a company to fax
its advertisement and under Beaver, did not represent conduct that
was wanton or willful in nature.

Both attorneys told the justices that the lower court didn't
address some of the other issues in the case, such as the conduct
of class counsel.

Mr. Chemers said Lay fired the attorney the insurance company
hired to represent the real estate agency in the class action suit
and then agreed to settle the matter.

"To call it a settlement is kind of questionable," he said, adding
that Standard did not raise the issue over class counsel conduct
because "we didn't know what their conduct was" and were simply
"presented with their settlement."

He said it's not much a settlement "for an insured to fire its
lawyer and then roll over and say 'OK, enter a judgment against
me'" with the idea that the insurance company would then cover the
judgment.


* Copyright Troll Lawyer Enters Into Class Action Arena
-------------------------------------------------------
Dan Browning, writing for Star Tribune, reports that a young
Minneapolis attorney embroiled in controversial copyright cases on
behalf of some porn producers has another legal specialty: class-
action lawsuits in which his wife, a friend and a law clerk serve
as his clients.

In one case, Paul Hansmeier filed a lawsuit over Groupon deals,
using his wife as the plaintiff.  In another, he sued several
online travel companies on behalf of a friend who is a personal
trainer.

Mr. Hansmeier, 31, left the Minneapolis law firm of Stoel Rives in
2010 and branched out on his own.  He partnered with John L.
Steele, a former classmate from the University of Minnesota Law
School, to pursue people who allegedly violate copyright laws by
sharing pornography on the Internet.  That enterprise, known as
"copyright trolling," has come under the scrutiny of federal
judges in Florida and California who questioned whether certain
plaintiffs were actually shills for the attorneys themselves.  The
judges, citing concerns of a "possible fraud on the court," are
considering sanctions.

The plaintiffs have since been dismissing most of their pending
lawsuits nationwide.

Mr. Hansmeier worked mostly behind the scenes on the copyright
cases.  Court records show that he has been listed as an "attorney
of record" in six of the cases in Minnesota, Illinois and
California.  But he's been involved in the hiring of local counsel
and other administrative functions in an unknown number of other
cases.

Mr. Hansmeier's foray into the class-action arena came last summer
in a California case in which he represented his wife, Minneapolis
intellectual property attorney Padraigin Browne.  According to the
lawsuit, Browne, 30, "spent valuable money on Groupon vouchers at
a time when she was a recent graduate, heavily in debt and with
little discretionary income."  She paid $5 for a $10 voucher at
the Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis, and $25 for $50 in
purchases at GAP clothing stores.  The coupons expired before she
could use them.

Brett Gibbs, an attorney Hansmeier knew from law school who's
deeply involved in the copyright cases, filed an objection to a
pending federal class-action settlement on Ms. Browne's behalf,
then Mr. Hansmeier himself represented Ms. Browne at a September
hearing in the case.  The court approved the settlement over
Ms. Browne's objections in December, but she has appealed to the
9th Circuit.

Mr. Hansmeier's second appearance in a class-action case was
Oct. 9, the same day he formed a new company called the Class
Action Justice Institute in Minneapolis.  In that case,
Mr. Hansmeier sued several online travel companies and major hotel
chains on behalf of his friend Allan Mooney, a 34-year-old
personal trainer.

Mooney said in a recent interview that he had helped launch
Mr. Hansmeier into his copyright trolling enterprise by
introducing him to some pornography producers. He said that last
fall Mr. Hansmeier asked him if he'd used any online booking
agencies and hotels.

"He mentioned they were involved in some type of federal lawsuits;
they were doing some type of price fixing," Mr. Mooney said.  He
said he turned over his travel records to Mr. Hansmeier, who filed
an antitrust suit against the firms on behalf of Mooney and
unknown others.

The case didn't last long.  Defense attorneys described it in a
court filing as a cut-and-paste job from other class-action
lawsuits.  Mr. Hansmeier dismissed the lawsuit a week later.  He
declined to comment on the case.

Mr. Hansmeier said there's nothing wrong with representing his
wife and business associates in lawsuits, and that he had no
obligation to disclose his relationships with clients.  Asked if
he has represented any strangers, Mr. Hansmeier said he hasn't
been doing class-actions for very long.

"You generally start with people that are in your, shall we say,
inner circle or whatever," Mr. Hansmeier said.  "Now, I would hope
. . . that as time goes on that I expand the circle, that I gain
some credibility and some experience and a reputation for
successfully prosecuting these style of cases."

Meanwhile, he filed a lawsuit against the online merchandising
firm LivingSocial on behalf of his law clerk, Nathan Wersal, who
opted out of a class-action settlement in a case pending in
Washington, D.C.  According to the lawsuit, Mr. Wersal paid $15
for $30 worth of food and drink at Kafe 421 in Minneapolis.  The
voucher expired last February before it could be used.

Lawyers for LivingSocial are arguing for dismissal.  They said in
a recent filing that although the promotional value of $15 expired
after a year, the original purchase price of $15 never expired.
And Wersal's complaint doesn't allege that he tried to redeem the
coupon, which is required, they said.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank has scheduled a hearing on the
motion for May 23.

In February Mr. Hansmeier returned to Hennepin County court on
behalf of Mooney.  This time, Mr. Mooney alleges that he bought
food marketed as "all natural" by Frito-Lay North America and
PepsiCo., only to learn that the products actually contain
ingredients from genetically modified organisms.  The defendants
removed the case to federal court on March 21, describing it as a
"copycat" of 11 other cases filed in the past 18 months.


* Customers Won't Foot Legal Bill in Class Action v. NZ Banks
-------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Meadows, writing for Stuff.co.nz, reports that lawyers
leading a massive class action against the major banks have
rubbished suggestions that disgruntled customers who sign up could
end up footing even part of the multi-million dollar legal bill.

Auckland lawyer Andrew Hooker and Australian heavyweights Slater &
Gordon launched the Fair Play on Fees campaign to try and claw
back six years' worth of allegedly excessive bank fees.  The
action will be bankrolled by the local arm of Australian funder
Litigation Lending Services (LLS).

More than 20,000 people have already signed up by clicking on an
e-mailed link, which binds them to the densely-worded legal
documents attached to the message.

When Auckland businessman Alan Charman considered registering his
recruitment business he became concerned about the agreement's
wording.  It says the lawyers will receive their fees no matter
what, and have the right to abandon the fight if a win looks
unlikely.

"The problem is if LLS folds, there's no plan in place," said
Mr. Charman.

"There's nothing saying that's the end of it, the lawyer wears the
loss."

LLS was funding the action on a "no win, no fee" basis.

Banks are expected to defend the potential action, which could
blow out the legal costs beyond the estimated $3.5 million price
tag.  But Slater & Gordon class action lawyer Ben Hardwick
rubbished Mr. Charman's concerns.

"Our costs clearly have to be paid by the litigation funder, and
our recourse is against the litigation funder if they don't pay
their costs."

He said there was "absolutely no risk" to group members in the
class action, with a range of mechanisms in place to protect them.

The litigation funder was well-resourced to support the action,
would give each participant an indemnity, and take out insurance
against any adverse costs that might rack up.

LLS managing director Michelle Silvers refused to give details on
the insurance it holds but said the courts required hard proof
that the litigation funder could cover the costs.

"The mechanism that the court imposes means that . . . we have to
put cash up to cover the downside as well," she said.

Mr. Charman argued that if LLS went into receivership or
liquidation, the courts might decide that any unpaid legal bills
could be extracted from the claimants.

"The Titanic was unsinkable as well," he said.

"Sometimes the unlikely does happen."

Ms. Silvers and Mr. Hardwick said the courts had never ruled in
such a way before.

The Fair Play on Fees agreement contains a 14 day "cooling off"
period for any customers who change their minds after signing up.

Papers are expected to be filed with the High Court in the next
few weeks.


* Recent Study on Securities Class Actions Good News for Big Firms
------------------------------------------------------------------
According to Thomson Reuters' Alison Frankel, "if you are a
director or officer of a small or medium-sized public company that
has engaged in anything short of egregious misconduct, you can go
to sleep at night fairly secure in the knowledge that you and your
insurers will not be held responsible to investors who bought or
sold shares based on your representations."  Such is the
underlying message of the study on securities class actions
released on March 19 by Cornerstone Research.  A mere 53
settlements were approved by federal judges in 2012, marking a
14-year low.  The average and median settlement amounts were up
from 2011, to $54.7 million and $10.2 million, but those numbers
just put 2012 in line with Cornerstone's statistics on historic
settlement values between 1996 and 2011.  And mega-settlements of
more than $100 million, according to Cornerstone, accounted for
nearly 75 percent of the total value of all settlements,
continuing a trend of big cases hogging settlement dollars.

That's great news if you happen to be one of the 15 or so partners
at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, which has cleared more
than $5 billion in recent class action settlements stemming from
the financial crisis, including a $2.43 billion deal with Bank of
America last September and a $730 million agreement with Citigroup
in March 2013.  Bernstein Litowitz; Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd;
Grant & Eisenhofer; Labaton Sucharow; Cohen Milstein Sellers &
Toll; Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check; and a few other plaintiffs'
firms have the relationships with institutional investors that
permit them to be named lead counsel in megacases against
companies with oversize market capitalization.  They also have the
requisite resources to invest millions of dollars in such cases
before obtaining settlements and collecting contingency fees.

Those firms, however, are an increasingly rarified breed.
Consider the competition to lead two of the biggest securities
class actions filed in 2012, the "London Whale" case against
JPMorgan Chase and the Facebook IPO case.  Both came down to
contests between Robbins Geller and Bernstein Litowitz (and its
co-counsel).  Bernstein, which tends to represent public pension
funds, prevailed against Robbins Geller and its union fund clients
to grab control of both class actions.  The rich, in other words,
get richer.  The plaintiffs' firms that have won settlements in
the best cases of the past will continue to snare leadership of
the best cases of the present, expending their limited manpower on
litigation with the biggest potential recovery.

On the flip side, the stratification of the plaintiffs' bar means
less attention to cases in which corporate behavior may be just as
questionable but investor losses aren't as dramatic, or in which
investors lost a lot of money but it will take considerable
digging to uncover misconduct.  Ms. Frankel said "We all know
about the obstacles Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have put
in the way of the securities class action bar: no discovery until
after defense motions to dismiss, no suits based on foreign-listed
securities, no claims against advisors who supposedly facilitate
fraud (to name a few).  It's no wonder that so many shareholder
firms have turned away from securities fraud litigation in favor
of quick-hit M&A injunction suits.  Simple economics dictates that
such firms are better off investing time and money in an M&A suit
that might generate $500,000 in legal fees in a matter of months
rather than a fraud class action that will require years of effort
even to reach a ruling on dismissal."

Ms. Frankel said "The big question, of course, is whether
investors are better or worse off for the class action bar's
diminishing appetite for fraud cases.  Lots of you will disagree,
but I'd argue that the market benefits from scrutiny by rational
economic actors incentivized to find misconduct.  The old thinking
demeaned plaintiffs' lawyers as parasites feeding off of
regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.  But that's an
outdated paradigm.  In the last few years, regulators have been
more likely to benefit from the work of the private bar than the
reverse.  Especially in cases involving complex financial
instruments and supposedly systemic wrongdoing, plaintiffs'
lawyers have taken the lead, which is why commentators like John
Coffee of Columbia Law School have proposed that the Securities
and Exchange Commission should follow the example of the Federal
Housing Finance Agency and bring in lawyers from the private bar
to prosecute fraud cases. (Coffee suggests that the SEC retain
lawyers on contingency; the FHFA has said it is paying Quinn
Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman
by the hour to litigate its securities claims against issuers of
mortgage-backed securities.)"

"Maybe the SEC's Dodd-Frank whistle-blower program will frighten
public companies away from wrongdoing, but it's a new program that
relies entirely on the agency to bring enforcement actions.  The
same whistle-blowers have no reason to go to private lawyers, even
if they're also shareholders.  Indeed, as we've seen from the
fracas over confidential witnesses who speak to plaintiffs'
investigators, former employees often have powerful reasons not to
speak with shareholders' counsel.

"No one wants to go back to the days of a race to the courthouse
to file strike suits on behalf of professional name plaintiffs
receiving kickbacks.  I'm worried that the pendulum has swung too
far in the other direction."


* Securities Lawsuits Target Life Sciences Companies
----------------------------------------------------
David A. Kotler, Esq., at Dechert LLP reports that the past year
was particularly noteworthy with respect to the absolute and
relative number of securities fraud class action lawsuits brought
against publicly traded pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical
companies.  In 2012, 27 different life sciences companies (along
with their directors, officers and key personnel) were sued for
alleged securities fraud in 28 different complaints --
representing a sharp increase from the 17 such lawsuits filed in
2011.  In terms of substance, the 2012 securities fraud lawsuits
continued the trend that we observed last year of focusing on
industry-specific issues (e.g., alleged misrepresentations
regarding product efficacy) as compared to generalized claims of
financial improprieties.  Notwithstanding the significant number
of new lawsuits, however, in 2012 life sciences companies
continued to enjoy relative success in obtaining dismissals of the
securities fraud lawsuits brought in prior years.

In this survey, Dechert first highlight trends from the securities
fraud lawsuits filed against life sciences companies in 2012,
including a discussion of some of the notable allegations made in
those suits.  Dechert then summarize and analyze the status of
securities fraud lawsuits filed in the preceding five years.
Dechert next discuss the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent
decision in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust
Funds, as well as the potential ramifications from a securities
fraud standpoint of the key off-label marketing decision issued by
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. v.
Caronia.  Finally, Dechert provide guidance that may help minimize
or eliminate the risk of securities fraud class action lawsuits.

Findings

The Numbers

There were 28 securities fraud class action lawsuits brought
against life sciences companies in 2012, as compared to a total of
152 securities fraud class action lawsuits brought against all
companies in the same time period. Hence, approximately 18% of the
2012 cases were brought against life sciences companies.  Last
year, therefore, witnessed a sharp rise in securities fraud class
action lawsuits against life sciences companies both from a gross
perspective (17 lawsuits in 2011) and from a relative perspective
(9% in 2011).  While filings against life sciences companies
increased in 2012, the total number of securities fraud class
actions decreased markedly from the 188 that were filed in 2011.
This past year's 18% proportion of securities fraud class actions
brought against life sciences companies is well above the
percentage of securities fraud complaints filed against life
sciences companies in recent years (9% in 2011, 16% in 2010, 10%
in 2009, 10% in 2008, 14% in 2007, 13% in 2006).

The securities fraud complaints filed in 2012 also followed last
year's trend of focusing more on life sciences companies with
relatively smaller market capitalizations.  In 2012, 50% of the
life sciences companies sued for class action securities fraud had
market capitalizations of less than $250 million, as compared to
58% in 2011 and 31% in 2010.  However, the plaintiffs' bar is not
completely neglecting the larger life sciences companies, as life
sciences companies that have at least $1 billion in market
capitalization were named as defendants in approximately 35% of
the lawsuits filed in 2012 (10 out of 28).  Also, two complaints
were filed against St. Jude Medical, Inc., which has a market
capitalization of over $10 billion.

The Nature of the Claims

The trend that began in 2011 of a shift back to more industry-
specific allegations -- such as alleged misrepresentations or
omissions regarding marketing practices, prospects/timing of FDA
approval, product efficacy, product safety, manufacturing and
other healthcare-related allegations -- continued in full force in
2012 (see Figure 2).  Indeed, approximately 43% (12 of the 28
complaints) alleged misrepresentations or non-disclosures
regarding product efficacy.  Interestingly, claims of inaccurate
financial reports/accounting improprieties increased to 43% --
this figure fell somewhere between the 2011 (35%) and 2010 (51%)
numbers.  It should be noted that in the 2012 lawsuits it was not
uncommon to see both industry-specific and generalized allegations
brought in the same lawsuit.

Plaintiffs did not lack for creativity with some of their
allegations in 2012.  For example, in the Southern District of New
York (S.D.N.Y.), plaintiffs brought a lawsuit in April 2012
against NeurogesX, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that focuses
on developing and commercializing pain management therapies.
Plaintiffs alleged that NeurogesX fraudulently stated that its
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) would continue to be employed by the
company even after the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) retired.  In
reality, according to plaintiffs, the CMO was actively seeking
other employment and NeurogesX was allegedly aware of his efforts
to do so because the CMO's knowledge can be imputed to the
company.  Plaintiffs allegedly invested in the company based, in
part, on the assurance that the CMO would remain at the company.
In September 2011, the CMO accepted a position at another company,
and shortly thereafter the stock price fell.

Another case brought in the S.D.N.Y. in June 2012 against AEterna
Zentaris, Inc., a company that was developing a novel anti-cancer
agent known as perifosine, included the claim that defendants
misled investors regarding the timing and success of AEterna's
clinical trial of perifosine.  Plaintiffs alleged that the
defendants made false or materially misleading public statements
because the company knew that the trial would be completed later
than the second half of 2011.

Complaints asserting multiple industry-specific claims were also
filed in 2012.  For example, in February 2012, BioSante
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a pharmaceutical company that was developing
LibiGel, a product designed to improve the sex drive of women
suffering from female sexual dysfunction, was sued in the Northern
District of Illinois.  The complaint alleged that the company,
along with its CEO, issued a series of materially false and
misleading statements to investors about LibiGel's commercial
viability, effectiveness and market potential that caused shares
of the company to trade at artificially high prices.
Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that the company stated that the
product had a "statistically significant" effect on female
patients treated with LibiGel, and that it was "the most
clinically advanced pharmaceutical product in the U.S."
Additionally, the complaint alleged that the company and its CEO
misled investors by routinely analogizing LibiGel's market
potential to the $2 billion dollar market for male erectile drugs,
often comparing it to products like "Viagra, Levitra and Cialis."
The company also issued numerous statements regarding its view as
to the likelihood of FDA approval, such as the statement in its
August 2011 10-K that "we continue to believe that LibiGel has the
potential to be the first product approved by the FDA for this
common and unmet medical need."  On December 14, 2011, the company
issued a press release disclosing for the first time that the
product failed to yield positive results in large-scale efficacy
tests.  Following the release of this news, the company's shares
declined by over 75% of their value.

Complaints claiming financial improprieties and insider trading
were still prevalent in 2012.  For example in November 2012,
plaintiffs sued Align Technology, Inc. in the Northern District of
California for allegedly issuing materially false and misleading
statements regarding Align's current financial condition,
quarterly and year-end revenue, and earnings forecast for 2012.

As a result of these alleged misrepresentations and omissions,
Align's stock allegedly traded at artificially inflated prices,
and allowed Company insiders to sell more than 1.5 million shares
of Align stock at such prices for illegal insider trading proceeds
of more than $52 million.

The Status of Cases Filed Since 2008

The relative success (or failure) of securities fraud class
actions filed against life sciences companies is an important data
point for consideration.  Accordingly, Dechert has reviewed the
status of all securities fraud class action lawsuits filed against
life sciences companies since 2008.

In 2012, life sciences companies targeted by securities fraud
lawsuits have quickly sought to have the complaints dismissed
based on inadequate pleadings, with motions to dismiss having
already been filed in 46% of the cases.  As Dechert has noted in
previous surveys, courts will not accept a plaintiff's vague or
conclusory allegations against a life science company in lieu of
the detailed pleading requirements of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA).  For example, in January 2013, a
district court in the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed a
securities fraud lawsuit against BioMimetic Therapeutics based on
alleged misrepresentations regarding the safety and efficacy of
its synthetic bone growth product, Augment, as well as its
prospects for FDA approval.  The Court held that the allegations
in the complaint "do not suggest a knowing and deliberate intent
to deceive or defraud, let alone highly unreasonable conduct
. . . ."  The Court further held that the company "could have
characterized things differently, but what it disclosed was
sufficient" because it did not withhold any information that would
have been material to a reasonable investor.  Similarly, a
district court in the Northern District of California dismissed
securities fraud claims against Cooper Companies, Inc. based on
alleged misrepresentations regarding the safety of one line of the
company's contact lenses.  The Court held the plaintiffs'
allegations to be "insufficient . . . to give rise to a strong
inference of scienter."

However, it is equally worth noting that securities fraud lawsuits
still carry a substantial risk of exposure, and even when settled
can result in very large payments.  In 2012, the class action
lawsuit against Medtronic Inc. (first discussed in our 2008
survey) settled for $85 million.  The 2011 class action against
MannKind Corp. resulted in a settlement payment of more than $16
million.

Expectations for the Future

The Supreme Court Lowers the Hurdle for Plaintiffs Seeking Class
Certification in All Rule 10b-5 Cases, Including Against Life
Sciences Companies

On February 27, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its
decision in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust
Funds,11 resolving a split among the circuits as to whether in a
misrepresentation case under SEC Rule 10b-5: (i) a district court
must require proof of materiality of the alleged misstatements
before certifying a class based on the fraud-on-the-market theory;
and (ii) the district court must allow rebuttal evidence to the
applicability of the fraud-on-the-market theory.  One element of a
Rule 10b-5 claim is that the plaintiff relied on the material
misrepresentation or omission.  Ordinarily it would be extremely
difficult to certify a securities fraud class because establishing
individual reliance on behalf of each class member would result in
the predominance of individual issues over common ones; however,
in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, the Supreme Court held that it was
appropriate "to apply a [rebuttable] presumption of reliance
supported by the fraud-on-the-market theory"12 to overcome this
class certification hurdle.  The fraud-on-the-market theory is
based on the notion that "in an open and developed securities
market, the dissemination of material misrepresentations or
withholding of material information typically affects the price of
the stock, and purchasers generally rely on the price of the stock
as a reflection of its value."

In Conn. Retirement Plans & Trust Funds v. Amgen Inc., the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that at the class
certification stage in a securities fraud class action, plaintiffs
need only plausibly allege, not prove, materiality, and defendants
may not rebut the fraud-onthe-market presumption.  In a 6-3
decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's
decision.15 Prior to this decision, the Second and Fifth Circuits
followed (and the First Circuit noted in dictum) an opposite
approach -- a plaintiff must prove materiality for class
certification, and defendants may rebut the applicability of the
fraud-on-the-market theory.  The Third Circuit had adopted an
intermediate position that did not require proof of materiality,
but did allow defendants to rebut the presumption of reliance.17

The Supreme Court's decision in Amgen is expected to have a
profound impact on the critical class certification stage in
securities fraud class action lawsuits filed against life sciences
companies, especially in the Second, Fifth and First Circuits,
where the previously required higher threshold for plaintiffs to
overcome the class certification barrier now will be lessened.
Following Amgen, many more cases may survive class certification,
and life science companies therefore may be forced into larger
settlements.

Truthful Off-Label Marketing May Cease Giving Rise to Securities
Fraud Class Action Lawsuits

The promotion of off-label uses for drugs has proved problematic
throughout the life sciences industry, and in addition to numerous
products liability lawsuits, also has resulted in securities fraud
lawsuits where the alleged promotion of an off-label use caused
the company's stock to trade at an artificially inflated rate.
For instance, in 2012, Medtronic Inc., paid over $85 million to
settle a securities fraud class action lawsuit asserting such
claims. Securities fraud claims based on alleged off-label
marketing also were brought in a new lawsuit against Abiomed Inc.
in the District Court of Massachusetts.

However, in U.S. v. Caronia,18 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit issued an important decision when it ruled that
off-label promotion, when truthful, may be protected speech under
the First Amendment -- and therefore presumably could not serve as
the predicate for a later-filed securities fraud class action.  To
date, Caronia has altered only the FDA's criminal prosecutions,
and it does not appear to have had any effect on civil claims
involving off-label use.  Life science companies certainly should
not treat Caronia as providing carte blanche for truthful off-
label marketing, but the door has now been opened for the
possibility that such speech may be constitutionally protected.

Minimizing the Risk of Securities Fraud Class Actions

There are several steps that life sciences companies can take to
reduce the risk of, or impact from, securities fraud class
actions.  Aside from the obvious strategy of ensuring that the
companies' statements and public filings are truthful and
accurate, the following should be considered:

   * Be alert to events that may negatively impact the drug
product lifecycle.  Some potentially troubling issues are obvious,
e.g., clinical trial failures and FDA rejection.  Others, however,
are not so obvious, such as manufacturing problems, the loss of a
key commercial partner or an increased percentage of revenues
being derived from off-label uses.

   * Review internal processes relating to communications and
disclosure about products, including those that are not yet on the
market.

   * Develop and publish employee guidelines tailored to specific
areas of business operations.  Communications by the R&D and
marketing departments become subject to particular scrutiny in
securities fraud lawsuits filed against life sciences companies.

   * Ensure that the public statements and filings contain
appropriate "cautionary language" or "risk factors" that are
specific and meaningful, and cover the gamut of risks throughout
the entire drug product life cycle -- from development to
production to commercialization.

   * Ensure that the sometimes fine line between puffery and
statements of fact is not crossed in public statements or filings,
or even in extemporaneous statements during analyst calls and
media commentary.  While soft puffery contains a positive message
and image about a company that is not misleading under securities
laws, it is upon hard statements of fact that class action lawyers
-- with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight -- will concoct a lawsuit.

   * Develop and publish an insider trading policy to minimize the
risk of inside trades during periods that might help class action
lawyers later develop a theory.  Class action lawyers aggressively
monitor trades by insiders to develop allegations that a company's
executives knew "the truth" and unloaded their shares before it
was disclosed to the public and the stock plummeted.


                             *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A. Chapman,
Editors.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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