In the Headlines
► Latham & Watkins: George J. Mihlsten (Land Use and Zoning Law; Real Estate Law, 1995) represented the owner of the Los Angeles Times as three of the paper’s buildings underwent the application process for becoming protected cultural monuments. The William Pereira–designed Times Mirror Building, constructed in 1973, is one such building that preservationists are fighting to save from the development plans of its new owners. The globe situated in the Times’ lobby was the subject of debate between Onni Group—the new property owners—and the paper.
► O’Melveny & Myers: Seth Aronson (Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC Telecom, Energy); Litigation – Securities, 2006) represented Skechers USA, Inc., against a shareholder class action filed by Laborers Local 234 Benefit Fund. Skechers, a footwear company based out of California, denied false-statements allegations as “frivolous and without merit,” KFMB CBS News 8 reported. “Between October 2017 and July 2018, the company announced four consecutive quarters of record net sales, including our highest quarterly net sales in the first quarter of 2018, and record annual sales for the full-year 2017,” Weinberg said in a statement. “During that time, the company was—and still is—focused on efficiently and strategically growing our business on a global scale.”
► Panish Shea & Boyle: Brian Panish (Aviation Law; Insurance Law; Litigation – Insurance; Litigation – Labor and Employment; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2001) represented Stephon Clark’s two young sons against the city of Sacramento. Police shot and killed Clark, who was unarmed, in March. “These are young children who will be without a father for the rest of their lives. He was a good father, and we hope to vindicate his name for a shooting that never should have occurred,” Panish told the Daily News about the reason for the lawsuit. Clark’s parents and grandparents have filed similar suits.
► Richards, Watson & Gershon: Laurence S. Wiener (Land Use and Zoning Law, 2016) represented the city of Beverley Hills against a lawsuit claiming its rent stabilization ordinance required the disclosure of confidential data. “The city council values the rights and privacy of our residents and only seeks this information to ensure all housing providers are abiding by the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” Wiener said in a statement, adding that the city will continue to host meetings between tenants and landlords to determine a way forward on the ordinance.
► Greenberg Traurig: G. Michelle Ferreira (Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax law, 2011) and Linda B. Hirschson (Trusts and Estates, 1989) were among the winners of Euromoney Legal Media Group’s annual Americas Women in Business Law awards in June. Ferreira is the managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s San Francisco office and a former tax litigator for the IRS. Hirschson chairs the firm’s estate planning group in New York. Previously, she was a member of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel’s board of regents.
► King & Spalding: Peter Hsiao (Litigation – Environmental, 2011) joined King & Spalding as a partner in its Los Angeles office. Hsiao is a member of the firm’s environmental, health, and safety team. “Peter is a highly respected environmental attorney with a stellar reputation,” Wick Sollers, leader of the practice group Hsiao has joined, says in a press release. “He adds significant firepower to the environmental, health, and safety team and will broaden our capabilities in California.” Prior to joining the firm, Hsiao worked on the cleanup of the San Francisco International Airport, served as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, and received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Golden Eagle Award.
► After 30 Years, Lawsuits Mount Against USC Coverup
Taylor & Ring: David M. Ring (Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2005) sued the University of Southern California over its handling of a campus gynecologist’s sexual abuse against his female patients, a group of whom Ring is representing. According to reporting by the Los Angeles Times, reports of former gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall’s abuse went unquestioned for close to 30 years; complaints over his behavior date back to 1990. Along with inappropriate touching, Tyndall allegedly took photographs of his patients genitals and gave false diagnoses.
It was the university’s failure to heed warnings and alleged suppression of evidence involving Tyndall that placed them squarely at the center of mounting litigation. Following an internal investigation by the school in 2016, Tyndall was placed on administrative leave. He retired in 2017. USC did not report him to the medical board and did not inform his former patients of its findings.
When he spoke to the Los Angeles Times, Ring was optimistic about the sizes of the settlements he feels victims in this case are entitled to. He emphasized the influence of the #MeToo movement in allowing accusations like these to surface: “The movement has certainly elevated the standing of these sexual assault cases,” Ring says.
Gloria Allred (Employment Law – Individuals, 2011) of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg also represented 12 women in a lawsuit against Tyndall. “It’s about justice for those who were victimized,” Allred said of the case at a press conference. “So that is our constant theme, because we have to remember them, and we have to know if there’s going to be justice for them...There is no justice for them yet. There are many, many lawsuits that have been filed...There’s still litigation going on, by us and by others, as well.’’
In the wake of the allegations and lawsuits, C. L. Max Nikias announced his plans to step down from his position as USC president.