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Judicial Commentary

Throughout the history of the Firm, the Courts before whom Wolf Popper has appeared have commented favorably and repeatedly on the ability, expertise, and performance of the Firm and its members. A sampling of some of the praise the Firm has consistently received over the course of its practice include the following cases:

At a settlement hearing before the Delaware Chancery Court on January 26, 2017, in In re: Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Case 8922, (Del. Ch.), in which the Firm served as Co-Lead Counsel, Vice Chancellor Glasscock approved a settlement that established a gross settlement fund of $17.9 million for the benefit of Cornerstone’s minority stockholders.  The Court stated that class attorneys achieved “almost nothing short of the best result.”  The Court pointed out that “[t]here was a great deal of litigation done.  Interesting and undetermined areas of law had to be explored by counsel for both sides.”  Vice Chancellor Glasscock later said at the hearing that it was “vanishingly unlikely” that shareholders left any claims behind in the deal.

Most recently, Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the First Circuit noted the quality of the Firm’s oral argument on the appeal and cross-appeal in In re PHC, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, MAZ Partners LP v. Bruce A. Shear, Nos. 17-1821, 17-1904 (1st Cir., May 9, 2018), stating “I’d just like to say, this was an unusually good argument from both sides.  It’s more of a pleasure to be a judge when we get good arguments from counsel.  Thank you.”  Judge Raul R. Torruella, who also sat on the First Circuit panel, expressly agreed: “I join Judge Lynch’s statement.”  In subsequently affirming the District Court's monetary award to the plaintiff class, the First Circuit also noted that the issues on appeal were “intricate, entangled, and in some instances novel.”  MAZ Partners LP v. Shear (In re PHC, Inc. S'holder Litig.), Nos. 17-1821, 17-1904, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18035, *1 (1st Cir. July 2, 2018).

Prior thereto, in the District Court trial proceedings in In re PHC, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 11-11049-PBS, Chief Judge Patti Saris, who oversaw the two week jury trial in federal court in Boston in February-March 2017, complimented counsel for their skill and professionalism, stating:

I think you all [ ] did a great job trying this case.  I was telling my law clerks you don't often see commercial litigation actually go to trial so [this is] a great example not only it being litigated but also, you know, the skills .... and I thank the folks in [your office] for so much support that they've given along the way because I know it's a big case with a lot of paper.... And someone should study the case in terms of how attorneys should treat one another, and I appreciate that….

In August 2016, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the $62 million settlement in City of Brockton Retirement System v. Avon Products, Inc.  In his order awarding attorneys’ fees, Judge Gardephe stated that “the three firms [including Wolf Popper] representing plaintiffs are experienced, successful class action securities litigators” and “[t]hat they were able to obtain a settlement providing real value to the Class is further proof of the quality of their representation.”

In Tsereteli, et ano., v. Residential Asset Securitization Trust 2006-A8 et al., 08 Civ. 10637 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y. June 29, 2012), the Court granted plaintiff’s motion for class certification over the vigorous objections of defendants, noting that “. . . lead counsel Wolf Popper is qualified and capable of prosecuting this action. It has conducted discovery, engaged in motion practice, and protected the interests of Vazurele and the prospective class throughout the more than three years this case has been before the Court. It has done so diligently and professionally. . . .”

In In re Tycom Ltd. Securities Litigation, Case No. 03-3540 (GEB) (D.N.J.), Wolf Popper, representing the Lead Plaintiff, served as co-lead counsel for the class, securing a $79 million cash settlement for the class following extensive motion practice and full discovery.  At the August 25, 2010 hearing at which the Court approved the settlement, the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, praised the Firm for its “very extensive and professional representation of the class.”

In Middlesex Retirement System v. Quest Software, Inc., CV 06-6863 DOC (RNBx) (C.D. Cal. Dec. 7, 2009), the Court stated in preliminarily approving the $29.4 million (plus costs of providing notice) proposed settlement of the action, “once again on the record . . .I want to compliment counsel for working extraordinarily hard; . . .this appears to be an extraordinarily fair settlement for all parties concerned. * * * [Y]ou really have the court’s profound congratulations and compliments.”

In In re Motorola Securities Litigation, 03 C 287 (N.D.Ill.), a federal securities class action in which Wolf Popper represented the Lead Plaintiff, the State of New Jersey, Department of Treasury, Division of Investment, defendants paid $190 million in settlement to the Class. At the September 7, 2007 hearing approving the settlement, the Court complimented the attorneys saying, "You did a great very professional job here. This was a hard fought, but extremely professionally fought battle and I appreciate it. Thank you."

Wolf Popper served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in Conolly v. Universal American Financial Corp., Civ. A. No. 13422/07 (Sup. Ct. NY, Dec. 9, 2008 Tr. at 74-75). At the final hearing in the action, Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman complimented plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel, stating: “The Court has had the opportunity to see these lawyers on numerous occasions and read their submissions, not just those relating to fees but those relating to the merits of the case and the Court has become familiar with counsel and is impressed with their skill and knowledge and their professionalism.”

On October 7, 2008, the Court approved the settlement reached by Wolf Popper LLP and its co-counsel, on behalf of former and current employees of AIG, in the amount of $24.2 million in In re AIG ERISA Litigation, No. 04 Civ. 9387 (JES), stating that "without the work of these [plaintiffs'] attorneys there would be nothing."

In Dusek v. Mattel, Master File No. CV-99-10864-MRP (CWx) (C.D. Cal.), in approving the settlement of the action along with a companion action, for $122 million, the Judge, in her Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law entered on November 6, 2003, complimented counsel saying that “Wolf Popper LLP vigorously prosecuted the Dusek action and zealously represented the interests of the Dusek Class members,” and that Wolf Popper zealously performed in a “very capable and professional manner.” The Judge further complimented counsel saying that the settlement was an “awfully good result.”

The Firm served as Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in Stanley v. Safeskin, Lead Case No. 99cv454-BTM(LSP) (S.D. Cal.), in which the Judge noted in approving the settlement that “Plaintiffs’ counsel are highly skilled in these cases” and that he was “kind of looking forward to trying this case, because it would have the best lawyers in the country trying this case. . . .” The Honorable Barry T. Moskowitz subsequently further complimented Co-Lead Counsel at a hearing on November 20, 2003, stating:

I really thought that the Plaintiffs’ law firms in this case not only had extraordinary ability to deal with the complicated factual issues -- and it certainly was a difficult case, and you should be applauded in that regard.

* * *

From the plaintiffs’ perspective -- and I say this for all the firms -- you handled it on a much higher plane, probably on a textbook or ideal plane. If they would teach people how it should be done in law school, this would be the example of, how the lawyers handle this case.

In approving the settlement of the In re Exide Corp. Sec. Litig., Case No. 98-CV-60061-AA (E.D. Mich., Transcript of Proceedings, September 2, 1999, at 34, 35-6), the Honorable George Caram Steeh complimented the Firm for its diligence and skill, saying:

So the court is satisfied that the attorneys on both sides of this litigation should be commended for their effort and professionalism in developing and presenting the issues and for their common sense in arriving at the settlement as it has been presented to the court for confirmation.

In the In re Marketspan Corporation /LILCO Shareholder Litigation, Index No. 15731/98 (Sup. Ct., NY, Transcript of Proceedings, April 28, 1999, at 9), Justice Ute Wolff Lally commended the Firm when he preliminarily approved a proposed settlement, stating:

Let me first state that having had the stipulation of settlement prior to today, I have, of course, perused it at length, and I want to thank and I want to commend the executive committee and the head law firm, Wolf Popper, in adhering to the timetable which this Court has set in the various orders that have been issued and in completing the discovery and the complex negotiations in accordance with the Court’s order. The court appreciates that because it was an enormously complex litigation, and I certainly commend you for reaching this agreement.

In approving the proposed settlement of the litigation over the merger of the American Stock Exchange and the NASD, Judge Denny Chin stated in Philipson v. American Stock Exchange, 98 Civ. 4219 (DC) (S.D.N.Y., Transcript of Proceedings, February 18, 1999, at 8-11):

So the benefits of the proposed settlement are substantial. * * * I think that the benefits of the proposed settlement compare very well to any conceivable reasonable potential recovery. * * * There are very experienced and very good counsel on both sides. The negotiations were difficult and went on for quite a long time. * * * So, having considered all those factors, I conclude that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and is approved.

* * *

Terrific job on both sides.

Judge Donna F. Martinez complimented the Firm when she approved the settlement of a securities fraud action in Germano v. Cognitronics Securities Corp., Docket No. 3:93-CV-00539 (DFM) (D. Conn., Transcript of Proceedings, September 11, 1998, at 2, 3-4), stating:

Your presentations. . .were extraordinary – extraordinarily thorough and highly expert. . . .

* * *

You’ve ended a long piece of litigation. I know that there was hard work involved not only in the litigation, but a lot of hard work and considerable number of hours that went into the efforts to resolve the case, and you’re all to be commended for your very, very excellent representation of your respective clients.

In a securities fraud action against Caremark International, Inc. arising out the company’s failure to disclose violations of state fraud statutes, the Firm served as  plaintiff's counsel. The Court complimented plaintiffs’ counsel on their handling of the case, stating:

Congratulations * * *I know [this case] was a complex piece of litigation. * * * thank you very much for your efforts. I think the class and the defense were very well represented.

In re Caremark International, Inc. Securities Litigation, Docket No. 94 C 4751 (Transcript of proceedings, December 15, 1997, at 7-8).

Wolf Popper was lead counsel in Carpi v. McDonnell Douglas Capital Income Fund-I, 90 Civ. 3448 (JMC) where 95% of the class damages was recovered for the class. Judge Cannella praised lead counsel in a decision dated January 21, 1994, as follows:

Plaintiffs’ lead counsel has at all times demonstrated to this Court the highest caliber of representation, measurable both in quantitative terms (i.e., the benefits of the settlement to the class members), and in the professionalism, the timeliness, and the thoroughness of lead counsel’s written submissions.

An action prosecuted by Wolf Popper against several large title insurance companies, In re Coordinated Title Insurance Cases, Index No. 9600/03 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.), resulted in the largest settlement of a consumer class action in Nassau County. The presiding Justice commented in approving the settlement on July 29, 2005, that the prosecution by the Firm "was lawyering of the highest quality."