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Summaries and analysis of recent Delaware court decisions concerning business-related litigation.
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Jeffrey R. Waxman, Counsel to the Alleged Victims of Harvey Weinstein, was Quoted in Law360, Bloomberg and Variety Magazine
During the hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, the Weinstein Co. lost its fight to keep Harvey Weinstein’s employment contract secret. That document shows that Harvey Weinstein's actions were facilitated by the company, Jeffrey Waxman, a Morris James partner and bankruptcy lawyer for the alleged victims, said in court. Click on the links below for the full articles.
Delaware Super Lawyers® magazine has recognized five Morris James partners as top legal counsel in Delaware and five "Rising Stars®" attorneys. "Rising Stars®” is a recognition for lawyers who are 40 or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.
Super Lawyers® selects outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas throughout the United States who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Only the top five percent of attorneys in each state are honored as Super Lawyers in this annual list, and the Rising Star selection is limited to only 2.5 percent of eligible attorneys, according to Super Lawyers’ website.
Morris James attorneys recognized on the 2018 Delaware Super Lawyers® list are:
P. Clarkson Collins
Jason C. Jowers
Lewis H. Lazarus
Edward M. McNally
Employment and Labor:
David H. Williams
Business Litigation Rising Stars:
Meghan A. Adams
Albert J. Carroll
Patricia A. Winston
Medical Malpractice Rising Stars:
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business Recognizes 15 Morris James Lawyers and Issues 5 Firm Practice Rankings in the 2018 Edition
Thirteen Morris James partners have been named leaders in their respective fields by Chambers USA, and two additional partners were named “recognized practitioners” in Delaware for Corporate/M&A: Alternative Entities. Morris James also received five practice recognitions.
Clarkson Collins Jr.
Lewis H. Lazarus
Edward M. McNally
Brett D. Fallon
Carl N. Kunz III
Stephen M. Miller
Corporate/M&A: Alternative Entities
John M. Bloxom IV
Real Estate & Zoning/Land Use
Labor & Employment**
James H. McMackin III
David H. Williams
Richard K. Herrmann
Mary B. Matterer
* Recognized Practitioner
** Recognized Practice Areas
Third Circuit Dismisses Employees’ Class Action Suit and Finds Chemours’ Severance Plan is not Subject to ERISA
In developing severance plans, employers should take note of the factors courts will consider in determining whether a plan would be considered an “employee welfare benefit plan” under the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA). Severance benefits do not implicate ERISA unless they require the establishment and maintenance of a separate and ongoing administrative scheme, and it appears that the employer’s intention is to provide benefits on a regular and long-term basis.
On April 30, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit initiated by a class of former employees against Chemours Company under ERISA related to an employee severance plan(Giraradot, et al. v. The Chemours Company). More ›
Ryan T. Keating was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, "Delaware Ramps Up Data Breach Compliance Mandates," regarding the impact of the new statute.
"The most significant change in the new statute, which updates the state’s 2005 data breach notification law, is that companies are required to “implement and maintain reasonable procedures and practices” to prevent data breaches, Ryan Keating, a member of Wilmington, Del.-based Morris James LLP’s data privacy and information governance group, told Bloomberg Law.
The amended statute does not offer guidance on what constitutes “reasonable” security, so companies developing security programs “would be wise to consider security standards published by NIST and other organizations,” Keating said, referring to the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology."
Morris James LLP, a leading multidisciplinary law firm in Delaware, announced that Dawn V. Sheiker will join the firm in April as its Director of Client Relations. “This new position was developed to focus directly on enhancing client services,” stated Managing Partner Keith Donovan.
As the Director of Client Relations, Dawn will be responsible for developing and overseeing the firm’s client relations for this multi-office law firm. She will work proactively with department and practice area chairs and in coordination with all members of the marketing and executive committees. Her focus will be primarily on providing executive level support for the firm’s client feedback, client teaming, and general business development initiatives.
“We are dedicated to providing innovative and effective ways to serve the needs of our clients and community. Dawn’s talent and expertise will allow us to build upon this core concept and increase the sophistication and quality of service we are providing nationally and locally,” commented Keith Donovan.
Dawn brings with her more than 10 years of experience in law firm marketing and business development, including working for the past five years for an Amlaw 200 firm. Dawn Chaired the Legal Marketing Association Northeast, Philadelphia Steering Committee in 2017 after serving as President-Elect in 2016. She also served as the association’s Treasurer in 2015 after Co-Chairing its Finance Committee in 2014. Dawn obtained an MSc in Applied Social Research from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in 2008. She graduated with an MS in Administration of Justice from Wilmington University in 2006 after receiving her BS, cum laude, from Wilmington University in 2004.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Morris James team. The firm is well known for its national and local practices, and this provides a huge opportunity to work with a dynamic firm in its continued growth and in support of exceptional client service,” said Dawn V. Sheiker.
Morris James is pleased to announce Edward M. McNally and Albert J. Carroll have been recognized in JD Supra’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards for their thought leadership and visibility in the category of Mergers and Acquisitions.
The annual Readers’ Choice Awards reflects a deep dive into the JD Supra 2017 readership data. Emerging from a pool of over 1750 writers on M&A and related topics, Mr. McNally and Mr. Carroll have been distinguished as two of the top-ten authors in this category. More ›
Morris James LLP has chosen Patricia A. Winston to be a member of the 2018 class of Fellows, participating in a landmark program created by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.
“This is a singular honor for Patricia Winston,” said Keith Donovan, Managing Partner. “She joins a select group of experienced attorneys from diverse backgrounds who have been recognized for their potential as leaders in their organizations.” More ›
Morris James LLP is pleased to announce it received 29 recognitions in Delaware Today magazine’s 2017 Delaware Top Lawyers issue. The recognized lawyers were chosen by their peers in a survey to members of the Delaware State Bar Association.
Gretchen S. Knight, Lewis C. Ledyard III, Rich Galperin, Ian D. McCauley and James H. McMackin III, distinguished in bold, received the most votes of any lawyer in their respective categories. Morris James attorneys were rated as “Top Lawyers” in 12 separate practice areas, and Keith Donovan was recognized in multiple categories. More ›
Partner Patricia A. Winston Appointed to Jurisdiction Improvement Committee Tasked with Improving the Efficient Resolution of Citizens’ Disputes
As a member of the Jurisdictional Improvement Committee, Morris James Partner Patricia A. Winston will serve on a team tasked with taking a comprehensive look at reforming and updating the jurisdictional authority of each of Delaware's courts. Recently formed by the Delaware Judiciary, the Jurisdictional Improvement Committee was created in response to the Joint Study of the Delaware Courts by the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA). The Committee’s mission is to help the Delaware Courts operate more productively and efficiently by eliminating unnecessary overlap in the trial courts’ jurisdiction and by assigning certain types of cases to the trial court best positioned to address those cases cost-effectively and expertly. More ›
Morris James attorney Ian D. McCauley will serve on a panel discussing the latest eDiscovery issues at a CLE program titled “Recent Developments in Data Security and E-Discovery.” The program is sponsored by the E-Discovery and Technology Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association and is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. at the New Castle County Delaware State Bar Association with webcasts being offered in Dover and Georgetown. With cyber-attacks constantly in the news and counsel continuing to struggle with discovery issues, this CLE promises to be both important and timely for lawyers. Click here for registration. More ›
Morris James is pleased to announce that fourteen of its partners and five practice areas have been recognized by Chambers USA 2016. More ›
Morris James partner, Albert H. Manwaring, IV, presented at the Transaction Advisors San Francisco M&A Spring Conference on May 12, 2016. His presentation focused on the developments in strike suits; the rise of appraisal litigation; a review of current case law that is impacting M&A structuring; the nature of multiple jurisdiction lawsuits; global antitrust and competition reviews; and understanding tender offers’ impact on M&A deal litigation. More ›
Joseph R. Slights, III and Ian D. McCauley spoke on panels at the Delaware State Bar Association Women and the Law Section's Retreat, which was held on March 4th and 5th, 2016.
Ian D. McCauley spoke on the first panel of the retreat that dealt with various technology issues impacting lawyers. This panel discussed various issues including the ethical considerations of social media, the discovery of electronic material, and the use of technology in the courtroom.
Joseph R. Slights, III spoke on a panel which tackled common issues that a practitioner confronts, such as building a network to benefit or advance one’s career, and understanding how to manage clients effectively. This panel also provided insight into practical office management.
Morris James attorneys and staff continued the firm’s longstanding support for the Delaware High School Mock Trial Competition with twelve attorneys serving as judges or coaches at the annual competition held at the New Castle County Courthouse on February 26-27, 2016. Jason C. Jowers, a partner in the firm’s Corporate and Commercial Litigation Group, completed his seventh year as Chair of the competition and received the Pete Jones Award, named after Morris James partner Pete Jones, given to an individual who has demonstrated sustained commitment to the goals and values of the mock trial program. Eric Hacker, an associate in the firm’s Georgetown office, coached Sussex Central, the first team from Sussex County to advance to the finals of the competition. In addition to Jowers and Hacker, the Morris James attorneys who participated as coaches or judges included partners Kevin Healy, Pete Jones, Lewis Lazarus, Dennis Schrader, Joe Slights, and David Soldo, and associates Megan Adams, Nick Kravitz, Beth Powers, and Laura Readinger. Also, Morris James administrative assistant Margie Touchton served as the Judge Volunteer Coordinator.
Delaware Supreme Court Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr., the presiding judge of the championship round, commented that the future of the practice of law in Delaware is bright based on the skill demonstrated by the finalists. David Williams, the firm’s managing partner, expressed his gratitude to the attorneys and staff who gave so generously of their time to aid the next generation of Delaware lawyers, noting that “this type of dedication exemplifies the type of community service for which the firm is proud.”