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Firm News

May 31, 2016  ǀ Texas Surcharge Litigation - Firm files Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Texas merchants. The Petition requests the Court to resolve the split in the circuit courts of  appeal regarding state statutes prohibiting merchants from assessing consumers a surcharge for paying by credit card, while giving consumers discounts for paying by cash, check, or debit card. Texas has such a statute. Under Texas law (and the law of nine other states), a merchant that charges two different prices for a widget depending on how the customer pays (for example, $100 for cash and $102 for credit) may state that the widget costs $102 less a $2 discount for paying in cash. But if the merchant instead states that the widget costs $100 plus $2 surcharge for paying by credit card (to account for the swipe fee), the merchant violates the law. The split is between the Second (New York) and Fifth (Texas) Circuits, allowing such a statute, and the Eleventh Circuit, which declared the Florida statute "an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech." The Petition seeks to have the Texas statute also declared unconstitutional, thereby liberating Texas merchants.

May 23, 2016 ǀ Firm files Consolidated Amended Complaint on behalf of direct purchaser grocery wholesalers and retailers against Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee Foods, Starkist Company, and Del Monte Foods Company for artificially raising and fixing the prices of packaged seafood products (tuna, clams, crab, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, shrimp and kipper snacks) sold in cans, pouches, and cups throughout the United States since at least 2003.

April 17, 2016 ǀ Richard Coffman Named Chairman-Elect of the ASOR Board of Trustees - The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) elected Richard Coffman Chairman-Elect of the Board of Trustees; he will assume the Chairman position on July 1, 2016. ASOR is a non-profit organization whose mission is to initiate, encourage, and support research into, and public understanding of, the history and cultures of the Near East and wider Mediterranean world, from the earliest times. ASOR was founded in 1900 by twenty-one institutions—including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Over a century later, ASOR has more than 90 consortium institutions, including universities, seminaries, museums, foundations, and libraries, and over 1,550 individual members. For more information about ASOR, visit www.asor.org.

March 23, 2016 ǀ Kansas City Federal Court Appoints Settlement Special Master - Following up on its February 25 Coordinated Order, the Kansas City Federal Court took the lead and appointed Ellen K. Reisman, a name partner at Reisman Karron Greene, LLP, a Washington, D.C. law firm she co-founded, to serve as “a special master to assist the Court in efficiently coordinating settlement discussions.” Ms. Reisman is charged with “ordering the parties to meet face-to-face and engage in serious and meaningful negotiations,” construct an efficient procedure to do so, and make recommendations to the Court. The Court further suggested that the order be entered by each of the other state and federal courts where cases against Syngenta are filed. Most important, the Court ordered Ms. Reisman to proceed with all reasonable diligence in fulfilling her assigned duties. We expect she will. The settlement train is picking up steam. Now is the time to file your case.

March 2, 2016 | Firm files class action on behalf of municipalities, water districts, and other government agencies and private companies against California Water Technologies, LLC, PVS Chemicals, Inc., PVS Technologies, Inc., Kemira Chemicals, Inc., and Hawkins, Inc. for artificially raising, fixing, stabilizing, and maintaining the prices of, and allocating customers in the market for, ferric chloride sold in the United States since at least 2006.