Emergent LLP Partner Chi-Ru Jou Interviewed on ICO Investor TV

Emergent LLP partner Chi-Ru Jou was recently interviewed on ICO Investor TV in New York City on the topic of the current regulatory environment for ICOs, security tokens, and cryptocurrency.  A video of the interview can be found here.  As part of Emergent’s Blockchain and Digital Currency practice group, Chi-Ru draws on her expertise as a securities litigator to advise clients on the latest developments in the industry and to keep them apprised of changes in the law and enforcement schemes.

Email Chi-Ru or contact us to learn more about how Emergent LLP is helping clients navigate the brave new world of blockchain technology.

Emergent LLP Partner Peter Roldan Publishes Article on Use of Bitcoin by Law Firms

Emergent LLP partner Peter Roldan heads Emergent’s Blockchain and Digital Currency practice group, which draws on the firm’s expertise in corporate and securities law, regulatory compliance, FinTech, intellectual property, privacy law, and cybersecurity.  Peter recently published an article in the Spring 2018 issue of San Francisco Attorney magazine entitled “Bitcoin: A Primer for Attorneys.”  The article, which can be found here, provides guidance to attorneys regarding the use of bitcoin in their practices.

Email Peter (peter@emergent.law) or contact us to learn more about how Emergent LLP can help clients involved in the burgeoning blockchain industry.

Supreme Court of California Grants Review of Emergent Class Action Case

On February 28, 2018, the Supreme Court of California granted the petition of Emergent LLP client James Noel to review the appellate decision denying certification of his class action lawsuit against Rite Aid, which sold Noel and 20,000 other California consumers an inflatable “Ready Set Pool” using packaging that deceptively exaggerated the size of the pool.  A copy of the petition, which includes photographs of the pool and packaging, is here.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Noel’s petition could affect numerous class actions brought under California’s consumer protection laws.  Rite Aid argued, and the appellate court agreed, that a class of pool purchasers could not be certified, because Noel had not shown that Rite Aid’s records contained enough contact information for the court to personally notify each class member of the lawsuit. 

This rationale would apply to every consumer class action and, Noel argued, would spell the end of consumer class actions in California.  Large retailers and manufacturers often do not retain individualized data about the sales of their products, and if consumer class actions could be defeated by an absence of contact information, companies likely to be sued for deceptive advertising, defective products, or any other mass consumer harm could insulate themselves by purging their purchase records or anonymizing those records so they retained the demographic information companies use to target their advertising, but eliminated the identifying information that would permit a class action.

The parties will submit their briefs to the Court between March and May, and the Court will then set a date for argument, likely in 2019.  Emergent partners Peter Roldan and Christopher Wimmer represent the late Noel, who passed away in 2016, and his widow.

Emergent LLP has an active appellate practice, representing parties in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, California Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of California, as well as amici curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States.  To find out whether Emergent can handle your appeal, contact us.

Emergent Partner Peter Roldan Argues High Profile D&O Insurance Appeal in the Ninth Circuit

Emergent LLP partner Peter Roldan represents corporate and individual policyholders in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.  On February 13, Peter appeared before the Ninth Circuit for oral argument in HotChalk, Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., a much-discussed case that commentators believe “is likely to shape the scope of professional services exclusions.”  Law360 named it one of the three key D&O insurance cases to watch in 2018. 

Appearing on behalf of Emergent’s client, HotChalk, Inc., a leading online education platform that serves universities and students across the United States, Peter advocated for a reversal of the district court’s holding that HotChalk could only be liable for the claims alleged against it because of the professional services that it provided, even if, as was the case here, there was only a minimal causal connection or incidental relationship between the claim and HotChalk’s professional services.  This standard, if upheld, would essentially eviscerate D&O coverage for HotChalk and other professional service companies.

Peter argued that the professional services exclusion should only apply to claims arising out of a company’s provision of services to its clients and customers, and that it was not meant to exclude claims arising out of an insured’s internal business practices and management decisions.  Otherwise, professional service companies would find that their coverage was effectively swallowed up by the exclusion because almost everything they do is in some way tied to the services they provide.

Video of Peter's argument is available through the Ninth Circuit's YouTube channel.

Emergent also received support from policyholder advocacy group United Policyholders, which filed an amicus brief in connection with the appeal, seeking to reverse the trend of insurers stretching the professional services exclusion beyond its intended scope.

Peter's Ninth Circuit oral argument is the second Emergent partners have presented in the past three months; over that same period, the firm also argued two cases before the California Court of Appeal.  To find out whether Emergent can handle your appeal, contact us.

Legal Press Cover Emergent's Growth

In late January, Emergent LLP announced the addition of Patricia Ronan and Mikhail Ratner to the firm, along with the expansion of Emergent's New York office, the opening of its Phoenix office, and the launch of its employment practices group.  Since then, a number of legal publications have taken notice, including the New York Law Journal, Attorney at Law, Reuters, and Global Banking and Finance.

Emergent offers clients advice and counseling of the highest quality by attorneys with elite legal education and big firm training, on flexible fees well below big firm rates.  To find out if Emergent can help you, contact us.

Emergent Expands in New York and Arizona with Seasoned Litigators Mikhail Ratner and Patricia Ronan

Continuing its steady growth, Emergent LLP announces new partners, new offices, and new client services to start 2018.

Mikhail Ratner has joined Emergent as a partner, leading the firm’s New York commercial litigation and business advice practices in its new offices at 48 Wall Street.  Mikhail specializes in federal and state business litigation matters ranging from shareholder rights and corporate dissolutions to real estate and e-commerce disputes. His 17 years of experience bridge large and small business interests.

Patricia E. Ronan, an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer with 16 years of experience in the state and federal courts of multiple states, will head the opening of Emergent's newest office in Phoenix, Arizona.  Barred in New York, California, and Arizona, Patricia will also lead the firm’s new employment law and civil rights practice areas in all three states.

Mikhail and Patricia are both Columbia Law School alumni.  Prior to joining Emergent, Mikhail worked with several prominent New York firms, including Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Herrick Feinstein LLP before founding his own practice. While at Paul Weiss, Mikhail spearheaded the firm’s representation of 9/11 survivors and families before the federal Victim Compensation Fund, securing awards totaling $120 million.

Patricia also worked for almost a decade at prominent New York firms before joining Emergent, including Paul Weiss and Kramer Levin Naftals & Frankel LLP.  After relocating to Arizona in 2011, Patricia worked with a number of small firms before founding her own practice.

Mikhail and Patricia widen Emergent's array of litigation and transactional client services, strengthen the firm’s presence in New York, and open new frontiers in the Southwest.

Get in touch with Mikhail or Patricia, or contact us, to find out how Emergent LLP can help you.