Securities Class Action Litigation
Block & Leviton represents shareholders who were defrauded into making certain investment decisions. Block & Leviton's attorneys have considerable experience in representing these investors in individual and shareholder class actions. Our attorneys have litigated many major class actions against foreign and domestic corporations, including against Xerox Corporation ($750 million recovery); Bristol Myers Squib ($300 million recovery); Lernaut & Hauspie Speech Products ($180 million); Symbol Technologies ($103 million recovery); Philip Services Corp. ($79.5 million); and VeriSign ($78 million recovery).
Block & Leviton's antitrust attorneys work to protect consumers and businesses from conduct that harms competition. Illegal anticompetitive behavior may include a wide range of misconduct, including monopolization, price fixing, market allocation, and coordinated supply restrictions. Although anticompetitive conduct may occur in any industry, it is more likely to be effective (and thus to harm competition) in industries that exhibit certain characteristics, e.g., product fungibility, market concentration and high barriers to entry. The attorneys at Block & Leviton have extensive experience investigating anticompetitive conduct in a wide range of industries and litigating cases under the federal and state antitrust laws.
Most recently, the Firm filed a class action on behalf of consumers and businesses to recover losses suffered as a result of the LIBOR rate rigging scandal. LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, is a key benchmark rate used to establish the effective rate for most adjustable rate mortgages in the United States. Although most allegations to date focus on the downward manipulation of short term rates, such as the 1 month U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate, Block & Leviton has uncovered evidence that certain longer term rates, namely the 6 month and 12 month U.S. Dollar LIBOR rates, were being manipulated upward beginning at least as of January 2008. As a result, homeowners and other borrowers with adjustable rate loans indexed to either the 6 month or 12 month LIBOR rate, whose loans adjusted in or after January 2008, paid artificially higher interest rates that they otherwise would have in the absence of Defendants' collusion to fix the rates.
Corporate Governance and Shareholder Rights Litigation
As a shareholder, your company's Board of Directors and officers owe you certain fiduciary duties. Those duties can be breached in numerous ways, from failing to properly manage and oversee the affairs of the company, to putting the directors' and officers' personal interests ahead of the company's. Often this conduct includes an attempt to sell the company at an unfair price and/or through an unfair process. Block & Leviton has extensive experience in representing investors in enforcing their rights as shareholders in this context, including claims involving the Canadian Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Intel Corporation, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Exco Resources, Inc., and Airgas, Inc.
The attorneys at Block & Leviton have handled numerous complex litigation matters in both state and federal courts throughout the country, in areas ranging from contract disputes, trademark and trade secret litigation, regulatory actions, and commercial arbitrations. Our attorneys have represented clients from numerous industries including: financial services, national defense, telecommunications, commercial real estate, energy, employment, and computer software.
Block & Leviton's attorneys have considerable experience in representing and advising institutional investors in shareholder litigation. The Firm's attorneys have represented, among others: the State of Ohio Pension Funds, the PRIM Board in Massachusetts, the New York State Common Retirement System, the Oklahoma Police, Oklahoma Fire and Oklahoma Teachers' Pension Systems, the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, the Illinois Municipal Retirement System, the Chicago Laborers Pension System, the Louisiana State Teachers and Municipal Employment Systems, the State of Michigan Retirement Systems, the Wyoming Retirement System, and the Wyoming State Treasurer's Office. We have considerable experience advising institutional investors on whether and when to seek appointment as lead plaintiff, whether to opt out of an existing class action, and litigating cases on their behalf and engaging in settlement negotiations.
Block & Leviton LLP represents consumers in state and federal courts nationwide, challenging abusive corporate practices that defraud or take advantage of consumers. Our advocacy on behalf of consumers and small business owners includes fighting fraudulent mortgage practices, seeking restitution for deceptive pricing schemes and combatting unconscionable servicing fee arrangements. Massachusetts's consumer protection statute, General Laws Chapter 93A, provides a particularly effective means for protecting Massachusetts consumers and small businesses from unfair and deceptive trade practices. These cases typically are brought as class actions, but an individual action may be appropriate under certain circumstances. If you believe you have been the victim of an unfair or deceptive business practice, please contact us at (617) 398-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The attorneys at Block & Leviton, drawing on their expertise in handling complex class actions in both state and federal courts throughout the country, are representing employees in disputes concerning the failure to pay overtime wages and the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Many companies misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits, overtime wages, workers compensation and certain taxes. This practice of mischaracterizing employees as so-called "independent contractors," and suppressing their compensation in turn, has become so prevalent that the United States Supreme Court recently agreed to decide a case based on similar issues later this year.
Whistleblowers are individuals who report misconduct occurring within a company. In many instances, the particular misconduct involves fraud on the government, such as tax evasion or Medicare fraud. When this occurs, the whistleblower may bring a "qui tam" action, a Latin phrase meaning "he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself." Federal and state law allows private plaintiffs, called "relators," to sue in the government's name in the qui tam action and to receive a share of any recovery as a reward for coming forward with knowledge of the fraud. Frequently, relators are employees or former employees of the companies that have defrauded the government; however, anyone who has knowledge of the fraudulent activity can serve as a relator. The attorneys of Block & Leviton have the experience, knowledge and resources to help whistleblowers navigate the qui tam process, bringing fraud to light and obtaining significant recoveries for the government and the whistleblower.