In the News: New York

A roundup of relevant news from listed lawyers in the New York area.

New York Legal News Roundup
Best Lawyers

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January 4, 2019 03:10 PM

In the Headlines

Ballard Spahr: David A. Schulz (First Amendment Law; Litigation – First Amendment; Media Law, 2009) served as co-counsel with the nonprofit Protect Democracy in a lawsuit against Donald Trump by the literary and human rights organization PEN America. PEN, which offers membership to writers and journalists, wrote in the suit that Trump’s actions have “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution.” Evidence to support the literary organization’s claims include Trump’s involvement in a CNN and AT&T merger, as well as his threats against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos—who also owns the Washington Post.

Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria: Herbert L. Greenman (Bet-the-Company Litigation; Criminal Defense: General Practice; Criminal Defense: White – Collar; DUI/DWI Defense, 1989) defended an 18-year-old charged with criminal possession of a weapon. The teenager was visiting New York from Idaho to attend a religious event when New York State troopers arrested him for carrying an unlicensed handgun. In Idaho, where the boy purchased the gun, no such permits are required. "This case is as close to a mistake as it can get," Greenman told the judge, according to the Buffalo News.

Loeb & Loeb: Jonathan Zavin (Copyright Law; Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2012) represented FOX in a lawsuit against Aaron S. Wexler of White Plains Development LLC, whose company leased FOX the former AT&T office building used to shoot Steven Spielberg’s “The Post.” The lawsuit alleges that Wexler’s company did not own the building and used it "as a vehicle to commit fraud." Trouble began when the $100,000 security deposit was withheld from FOX, after Wexler allegedly ignored Fox’s requests to assess damages that they felt had been “fabricated.”

Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo: Vito A. Cannavo (Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2006) successfully represented the family of a Richard Shouldis, 48, who died by suicide after his doctor failed to properly diagnose him with anxiety and depression. Shouldis visited Dr. Theodore Strange and complained of an increase in panic attacks, fatigue, and depression. Though Strange prescribed medication to address Shouldis’ anxiety and depression, he did not “properly recognize and evaluate the decedent’s progressively depressive and self-destructive state,” the court papers say. Shouldis’ family was awarded $9.97 million

Honorable Mention

Cahill Gordon & Reindel: Floyd Abrams (Appellate Practice; Communications Law; First Amendment Law; Litigation – First Amendment, 1983) spoke the “National Conference on the First Amendment: Bedrock of American Freedom,” hosted by Duquesne University and The Pittsburgh Foundation in cooperation with the National Constitution Center. "At this moment in our nation's history, it's particularly important for Americans to rediscover the central role that the First Amendment plays in our democracy," Ken Gormley, Duquesne University president, said in a press statement. Alongside Abrams as moderators and speakers were Martin Baron, Dean Baquet, and Noel Francisco.

Crowell & Moring: Paul W. Mourning (Health Care Law, 2018) is leading the firm’s recently launched New York health care practice, as one of nine new lawyers and litigators to join the firm. Mourning has 35 years of experience in the field and previously served as the co-chair to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s health care team. "These are the go-to lawyers for complex health care matters in New York," Philip T. Inglima, Crowell & Moring chair, said in a press statement. "We are thrilled to welcome them to the firm."

In the News Feature

Covington & Burling: Nancy Kestenbaum (Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2013) and Debevoise & Plimpton attorney Mary Jo White (Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Corporate Governance Law; Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2006) were the two women to lead the probe of CBS Corp.’s CEO, Les Moonves.

Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct against six women in a New Yorker report by Ronan Farrow. The article’s allegations against Moonves include physical intimidation against women and threats that could undermine their careers. The actress Illeana Douglas told Farrow, “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating.”

Kestenbaum and White have experience handling sexual abuse investigations within prominent institutions. In a probe of Choate Rosemary Hall, the Connecticut boarding school, Kestenbaum found that 12 former faculty members—and possibly more—had sexually abused students since the 1960s. White led the investigation of Ohio State University’s head football coach, Urban Meyer, leading to a three-game suspension. White also served as the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission under former President Obama.

Moonves stepped down from his position at CBS shortly after the New Yorker article was published. The results of the investigation over his actions is not to determine his employment, but his severance pay. Moonves could receive a $120 million severance package if he is not found in violation of his employment’s terms.

Kestenbaum and White are expected to complete their report by January 2019.

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