Monthly Archives

July 2018

Significant Cyber Incidents In 2017 And 2018

By | Cyber Security

The Center for Strategic & International Studies provided the following summary of significant cyber incidents in 2017 and 2018, through April 2018:

April 2018. Israeli cyber researchers revealed that Hamas had planted spyware in mobile phones owned by members of Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction

April 2018. Reports from cyber security researchers indicate that Chinese state-sponsored hacking groups have targeted Japanese defense companies in an attempt to gain information on Tokyo’s policies towards North Korea

April 2018. Cyber security researchers warn that North Korean hacking groups are expanding their range of targets, attacking industries in Japan, Vietnam, and the Middle East

April 2018. US and UK officials issued a joint warning that Russia was deliberately targeting western critical infrastructure by compromising home and business routers

April 2018. The director of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) announced that the organization had been conducting offensive cyber operations against ISIS to suppress their propaganda, disrupt their coordination, and protect deployed military personnel

April 2018. The chief of Germany’s domestic intelligence services accused Russia of being behind the December 2017 attack on the government’s computer networks

April 2018. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre released an advisory note warning that Russian state actors were targeting UK critical infrastructure by infiltrating supply chains

April 2018. All government services of Sint. Maarten, a Caribbean island and constitute country of the Netherlands, were taken offline for a week after a cyber attack. According to local authorities, this is the third cyber attack the country has faced in just over a year.

April 2018. The North Korean hacking group responsible for the SWIFT attacks was found to have targeted a Central American online casino in an attempt to siphon funds

March 2018. Online services for the city of Atlanta were disrupted after a ransomware attack struck the city’s networks, demanding $55,000 worth of bitcoin in payment. The city would eventually spend approximately $2.6 million recovering from the attack.

March 2018. Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system was taken down for 17 hours after a ransomware attack, forcing the city to revert to manual dispatching of emergency services

March 2018. The US Departments of Justice and Treasury accused Iran in an indictment of stealing intellectual property from more than 300 universities, as well as government agencies and financial services companies.

March 2018. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint technical alert to warn of Russian cyber attacks against US critical infrastructure. Targets included energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and manufacturing facilities.

March 2018. A data breach of the company Under Armor compromised the information of 150 million users of its fitness and nutrition tracking app MyFitnessPal

March 2018. Cybersecurity researchers reveal that a Chinese hacking group used malware to attack the service provider for the UK government in an attempt to gain access to contractors at various UK government departments and military organizations

March 2018. Cybersecurity researchers announce evidence that the same North Korean hacking group linked to the SWIFT financial network attacks has been targeting several major Turkish banks and government finance agencies.

March 2018. A UN report details attempts by North Korean hackers to compromise email accounts of the members of a UN panel enforcing trade sanctions against North Korea.

February 2018. German news reported that a Russian hacking group had breached the online networks of Germany’s foreign and interior ministries, exfiltrating at least 17 gigabytes of data in an intrusion that went undetected for a year.

February 2018. The Justice Department indicted 13 Russians and three companies for their online efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential elections.

February 2018. The US and UK formally blame Russia for the June 2017 NotPetya ransomware attack that caused billions of dollars in damages across the world.

February 2018. A cyberattack on the Pyeongchang Olympic Games attributed to Russia took the official Olympic website offline for 12 hours and disrupted wifi and televisions at the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium.

February 2018. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Russian hackers successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several US states prior to the 2016 election.

January 2018. China denied that the computer network it supplied to the African Union allowed it access the AU’s confidential information and transfer it to China, or that it had bugged offices in the AU headquarters that it had built.

January 2018. A Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange reveals that it lost $530 million worth of the cryptocurrency NEM in a hack, in what amounts to possibly the largest cryptocurrency heist of all time.

January 2018. Norwegian officials discover a “very professional” attempt to steal patient data from a Norwegian hospital system, in an attack they speculate was connected to the upcoming NATO Trident Juncture 18 military exercise.

January 2018. A hacking group with ties to the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security was revealed to have been involved in a six-year campaign to steal text messages, call logs, and files from journalists, military officers, corporations, and other targets in 21 countries worldwide.

January 2018. The Unique Identification Authority of India and its Aadhaar system are hacked by unknown actors, resulting in the personal data of more than 1 billion people being available for purchase.

December 2017. French company Schneider Electric was forced to shut down operations of a power plant in the Middle East after malware compromised its industrial control systems. Analysis by security researchers indicated that the attack was sponsored by a nation-state.

November 2017. Three Chinese nationals employed at a China-based Internet security firm are indicted by a US grand jury for computer hacking, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and identity theft against employees of Siemens, Moody’s Analytics, and Trimble.

November 2017. Uber discloses that it paid hackers $100,000 to delete the stolen data of 57 million of its customers and drivers, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and license plate numbers.

November 2017. Cybersecurity researchers report a cyberespionage campaign targeting government organizations in South America and Southeast Asia. The group, deemed to have nation-state capabilities, aimed to acquire foreign policy information from diplomatic and government entities.

November 2017. Cybersecurity researchers report a sophisticated Vietnamese hacking group responsible for cyber espionage campaigns targeting the ASEAN organization, foreign corporations with an interest in Vietnamese industries, and media, human rights, and civil society organizations.

October 2017. A major wave of ransomware infections hits media organizations, train stations, airports, and government agencies in Russia and Eastern Europe. Security researchers found strong evidence linking the attack to the creators of NotPetya, and noted that the malware used leaked NSA-linked exploits to move through networks. Ukrainian police later reported that the ransomware was a cover for a quiet phishing campaign undertaken by the same actor to gain remote access to financial and other confidential data.

October 2017. Yahoo updates the previous projections of 1 billion account affected in its massive 2013 breach, acknowledging that all 3 billion accounts were compromised.

October 2017. Russian hackers reported to be targeting potential attendees of CyCon, a cybersecurity conference organized by the US Army and the NATO CCD COE

October 2017. DHS and FBI reports warn of Russia-linked hackers targeting industrial control systems at US energy companies and other critical infrastructure organizations

October 2017. Poland’s Defense Minister reports that the country repelled a third Russian hacking attempt against companies in Poland, reportedly part of a larger campaign against Eastern European corporations.

October 2017. North Korean hackers were found to have targeted US electric companies in a spear-phishing campaign meant to probe utilities’ defenses.

October 2017. North Korean hackers allegedly broke into South Korea’s defense data center in 2016 and stole a large trove of sensitive documents over the course of a year, including joint U.S.-South Korean blueprints for war on the peninsula.

October 2017. China allegedly carried out a cyberattack against a U.S. think tank and law firm, both involved with fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui.

October 2017. The Australian Government revealed that hackers compromised an Australian national security contractor in 2016 and stole large amounts of data, including information related to the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

October 2017. Reports surface that Russian government-backed hackers stole NSA hacking secrets from a contractor in 2015 by exploiting the Kaspersky antivirus software on the contractor’s home computer

September 2017. Russia compromised the personal smartphones of NATO soldiers deployed to Poland and the Baltic states.

September 2017. Press reports say that the US Cyber Command targeted North Korea’s the Reconnaissance General Bureau for denial of service attacks.

September 2017. China allegedly inserted malware into widely used PC management tool. The malware targeted at least 20 major international technology firms.

September 2017. The SEC reported that cybercriminals accessed the agency’s files in 2016 and used the information gathered for illicit trading

September 2017. Credit monitoring firm Equifax disclosed a July data breach that revealed 143 million people’s full names, social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and driver’s license numbers, as well as 209,000 credit card numbers.

September 2017. Researchers report malware infections in Cambodia designed to surveil dissidents and disrupt domestic political activity.

August 2017 . Researchers inform the Estonian Information System Authority of a vulnerability potentially affecting the use of 750,000 Estonian e-ID cards. The government replaced the compromised cards in late 2017, but claims that no cards were ever hacked.

August 2017. South Korea’s Cyber Warfare Research Center reports that North Korea has been targeting South Korean Bitcoin exchanges.

August 2017. A state-sponsored spyware campaign targeted Indian and Pakistani government security and military organizations.

August 2017. The Scottish Parliament suffered from a brute force cyberattack similar to the one that compromised the British Parliament in June.

July 2017 . The Swedish Transport Agency’s outsourced data is hacked, potentially compromising confidential information and classified information on military plans.

July 2017. Security researchers revealed details of a wide-ranging malware campaign linked to China which used over 600 strains of malware to conduct espionage operations on Southeast Asian military and government organizations

July 2017. GCHQ issued a warning saying that state-sponsored hackers had likely broken into the Industrial Control Systems of UK energy companies

July 2017. Security researchers revealed an Iran-linked cyber espionage group active since 2013 that had used spear phishing and watering hole attacks to target government institutions, defense companies, IT firms and more in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US, Germany, Jordan, and Turkey.

July 2017. The FBI and DHS announced that hackers had been targeting US energy facilities including the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation in a campaign bearing resemblance to the operations of a known Russian hacking group

July 2017. Cyber research firms reported a new malware campaign launched the day after North Korea’s July missile tests. The identified family of malware featured a command and control infrastructure with links to South Korea, and had previously been used in three other campaigns linked to North Korea.

July 2017. Hackers attacked a partner of UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, gaining access to loan and biographical data from 400,000 client accounts

July 2017 . Russian hackers used leaked NSA tools to compromise Wi-Fi servers in European and Middle Eastern hotels in a campaign targeting top diplomats and industrial leaders.

July 2017. The Qatari government accused hackers in the United Arab Emirates of posting fake news and attacking Qatari state-run media websites in a campaign designed to widen a rift between Gulf states.

June 2017. The New York Times revealed that spyware sold to the Mexican government was being used to target human rights lawyers, journalists, and anti-corruption activists

June 2017. US-CERT identified the North Korean government as being behind a DDoS botnet infrastructure used to target media, financial, aerospace, and critical infrastructure organizations worldwide

June 2017. A Russia-linked hacking group was found to have launched a spear-phishing campaign against Montenegro after the country announced its decision to join NATO

June 2017. A NotPetya ransomware attack shut down the port terminals of Danish shipping giant Maersk for two days, causing an estimated $300 million in associated costs

June 2017. Russian hackers used an updated ransomware program to target Ukrainian infrastructure, including power companies, airports, and public transit.

June 2017. A brute-force attack alleged to have been carried out by Iranian state actors compromised nearly 90 British members of parliament, whose email accounts were hacked.

May 2017. A ransomware campaign spread to 99 countries using a vulnerability revealed in the Shadow Brokers’ April 2017 dump of NSA tools.

May 2017. Lebanon accused Israel of hacking the Lebanese telecoms network and sending audio and WhatsApp messages to 10,000 people claiming that Hezbollah’s leader was behind the death of the group’s top commander.

May 2017. Thousands of emails and other documents from the campaign of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron, totaling 9 gigabytes, were released shortly before the election, in an effort linked to Russia.

April 2017. Irish state-owned utility EirGrid suffered a security breach at the hands of state-sponsored hackers involving a virtual wiretap allowing access to the company’s unencrypted communications.

April 2017. The Lazarus Group, thought to be associated with North Korea, was found to be involved in a spear phishing campaign against US defense contractors

April 2017. Cybersecurity researchers revealed a growing cyber-espionage campaign originating in China and targeting construction, engineering, aerospace and telecom companies, as well as government agencies, in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

April 2017. The Danish Defense Intelligence Service reported that a “foreign player,” alleged by the Danish press to be Russia espionage group, had accessed Defense Ministry email accounts in 2015 and in 2016, but was unable to retrieve classified information.

April 2017. The Shadow Brokers, the group that claimed to have hacked the NSA in August 2016, released yet another trove of purported NSA hacking tools, including one that allowed the NSA to break into the SWIFT interbank messaging and money transfer system.

April 2017. Chinese attempts to penetrate South Korean military, government and defense industry networks continued at an increasing rate since a February announcement that the THAAD missile defense system would be deployed in South Korea.

March 2017. An intelligence report revealed a Russian operation to send malicious spear-phishing messages to more than 10,000 Twitter users in the Department of Defense. The malicious payloads delivered through these messages gave Russian hackers access to the victim’s device and Twitter account.

March 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice indicted two Russian intelligence agents and two criminal hackers over the September 2014 Yahoo hack, which compromised 500 million user accounts.

March 2017. Chinese police arrested 96 suspects charged with hacking into the servers of social media, gaming and video streaming sites, stealing personal information, and posting the information for sale on online forums.

March 2017. Wikileaks released a trove of sophisticated CIA hacking tools dated from 2013 to 2016, claiming that the release reflected several hundred million lines of CIA-developed code.

February 2017 . A suspected Russian hacker breaches at least 60 universities and US government organizations using SQL injections, including HUD, NOAA, Cornell University, and NYU, among many others. This follows up a hack by the same actor against the U.S. Electoral Assistance Commission in December 2016.

February 2017. Indian Central Bureau of Investigation and Army officers were targeted by a phishing campaign purportedly mounted by Pakistan.

February 2017. Hackers compromised the Singaporean military’s web access system and stole the personal information of 850 people. The Ministry of Defense said it was likely the attack was state sponsored.

February 2017. A sophisticated malware operation extracted over 600 gigabytes of data from 70 mostly Ukrainian targets in the fields of critical infrastructure, news media, and scientific research.

January 2017. A Swedish foreign policy institute accused Russia of conducting an information warfare campaign, using fake news, false documents, and disinformation intended to weaken public support for Swedish policies.

Source

If your business suffered financial or other significant harm due to a cybersecurity breach, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your cyber security breach matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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Business Arbitration Statistics For 2017

By | Business Arbitration

In 2017, the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“AAA-ICDR”) provided conflict management and dispute resolution services for 8,560 commercial cases, involving $15.47 billion in total claims and counterclaims. Arbitration caseload data for the previous year showed year-over-year increases in commercial cases in a wide range of industries, including sports (+41.3%); aviation, aerospace, and national security (+19.4%); commercial real estate (+16.8%); and technology (+14.2%).

The average claim for large business-to-business (“B2B”) cases facilitated by the AAA-ICDR in 2017 was $7.2 million, while the average large-case counterclaim came to $5.08 million. The largest commercial claims last year involved cases from the technology ($600 million), insurance ($569 million), and energy ($500 million) industries.

Federal courts take much longer to resolve cases through trials and appeals than arbitration—and these delays carry a heavy cost for companies:

  • Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. district court cases took more than 12 months longer to get to trial than AAA-ICDR administered arbitration. The additional time to get to trial during this period resulted in direct losses of $10.9 to $13.6 billion, or more than $180 million per month.
  • Appeals over the same period added further delays, with U.S. district and circuit court cases requiring at least 21 more months than arbitration to resolve when they went through appeals. The extra time to resolve these cases led to about $20 billion to $22.9 billion in losses, or more than $330 million per month.

https://www.adr.org/sites/default/files/document_repository/180223_AAA_ICDR_Arbitration_Caseload_Data_Press_Release.pdf

If your business is presently involved in an arbitration proceeding, or may soon be involved in  arbitration, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your business arbitration matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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Employee Litigation Statistics

By | Employment Litigation

“The 2015 Hiscox Guide to Employee Lawsuits: Employee Charge Trends Across The United States” reported the for 2014, U.S. companies had at least an 11.7% chance of having an employment charge filed against them. However, some states have far higher instances of charge activity than the national average. Many of the higher-risk states in the Hilcox survey have state laws that go beyond U.S. federal guidelines, creating additional obligations and risks for employers.

A representative study of 446 closed claims reported by small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 500 employees showed that 19% of employment charges resulted in defense and settlement costs averaging a total of $125,000. On average, those matters took 275 days to resolve. The average self-insured retention (deductible) for these charges was $35,000. Without employment practices liability insurance, these companies would have been out of pocket by an extra $90,000.

Most employment matters don’t end up in court, but for those that do, the damages can be substantial. The median judgment is approximately $200,000, which is in addition to the cost of defense. About 25% of cases result in a judgment of $500,000 or more.

Hiscox claims data showed that the average duration of an employment matter was 275 days; the percentage of matters that resulted in a defense and settlement payment was 19%; the average total cost of claims that resulted in a defense and settlement payment was $125,000; and, the percentage of charges that resulted in no payment by the insurance company was 81%.

Recent court rulings on major societal issues including immigration, same-sex marriage, discrimination against transgender employees and minimum wage increases are important for employers to pay attention to in relation to potential employee charges. Many of the states with the highest rates of employee charges have existing state statutes prohibiting discrimination against employees related to these classes and others may add these in 2016.

https://www.hiscox.com/documents/The-2015-Hiscox-Guide-to-Employee-Lawsuits-Employee-charge-trends-across-the-United-States.pdf

If your business is presently involved in employment litigation, or may soon be involved in litigation, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your employment litigation matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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Investor Fraud And The SEC

By | Investor Fraud

Every year, thousands of U.S. investors lose money to fraudulent investment schemes.  In some cases, investors harmed by securities fraud or other securities law violations may be eligible to receive money recovered by the SEC.  A number of different processes exist to help harmed investors, including: fair funds and disgorgement funds; receiverships; brokerage account customer protections; corporate bankruptcy proceedings; and private class action lawsuits.

When the SEC brings a successful enforcement action, in court or in an administrative proceeding, the court or the SEC may order the individual or entity to disgorge the funds (give up the ill-gotten gains) resulting from the illegal conduct.  The disgorged funds may be distributed to investors who were harmed or injured by the securities violation.

In addition, whether or not disgorgement is ordered, a court or the SEC may impose a monetary penalty both to punish the party and to deter others from committing similar misconduct.  A monetary penalty may only be distributed to investors if the court or the SEC orders that any penalty collected be placed in what is called a “fair fund” for distribution to investors who were harmed by the violation.

In an administrative proceeding, notice of a proposed plan of disgorgement or a proposed fair fund plan is published in the SEC Docket and on the SEC website. The notice states how to obtain copies of the proposed plan and explains that persons desiring to comment on the proposed plan may submit their views, in writing, to the SEC.  In court proceedings, documents filed in the case are generally publicly available.  The court or the SEC must approve an administration and distribution plan before any money can be distributed to harmed investors.  Typically, a fund administrator or distribution agent will implement a claims process or other notification process to identify injured investors who may be eligible for distribution from a fair fund or disgorgement fund.

One step in the process of distributing money to harmed investors is the collection of civil monetary penalties and disgorgement ordered by a court or the SEC.  In fiscal year 2013, the SEC collected more than $1.6 billion in monetary penalties and disgorgement that were ordered that year.  When a monetary penalty or disgorgement is not paid as ordered, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement has an Office of Collections that uses every available method to identify, liquidate, and collect assets that can be used to satisfy the delinquent debt.  These efforts may include sending a demand letter, negotiating a payment plan, filing a property lien, garnishing wages, or filing a contempt action in federal court.

When the SEC brings a lawsuit in federal court, the SEC may ask the court to appoint a receiver. A receiver is a disinterested officer of the court who works to recover and to protect money and other assets that the defendant obtained in connection with the alleged securities law violation.  If the defendant is found liable, the court may order that those assets be distributed to harmed investors.

SEC rules provide extensive protections to customers of U.S. registered broker-dealers. For example, the Customer Protection Rule requires a broker-dealer to segregate a customer’s securities and cash from the broker-dealer’s securities and cash, with the objective of making customer assets readily available to be returned to customers if the broker-dealer goes out of business.

If your broker-dealer goes out of business, is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and owes you cash or securities, then your cash and securities held by the brokerage firm in your account are protected up to $500,000, including up to $250,000 protection for cash in the account.  SIPC works to restore to customers the securities and cash that are in their accounts when the broker-dealer goes out of business, but SIPC does not protect against a decline in the value of your securities.  You can visit SIPC’s website to find out whether your broker-dealer is a member and, if your broker-dealer is in liquidation under the Securities Investor Protection Act, how you can file a claim form.

Federal bankruptcy laws govern how companies go out of business or recover from crippling debt.  The company’s reorganization plan will spell out your rights as an investor, and what you can expect to receive, if anything, from the company.

During bankruptcy, bondholders stop receiving interest and principal payments, and stockholders stop receiving dividends.  Bondholders may receive new stock in exchange for their bonds, new bonds, or a combination of stock and bonds.  Stockholders may be able to exchange their old shares for new shares in the reorganized company.  The new shares may be fewer in number and may be worth less than their old shares.  In bankruptcy, stockholders are last in line to be repaid.

Stockholders of a company in bankruptcy may be able to report their securities as a loss on their personal income tax returns.

In addition to, and separate from, enforcement actions filed by the SEC, a private party may file a lawsuit under the federal securities laws seeking class action status and relief on behalf of harmed investors (in certain circumstances).  You may be eligible to participate in any recovery obtained through such a lawsuit.

https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-bulletins/ib_recovermoney.html

If you and a loved one may be a victim of investor fraud, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your investor fraud matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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EEOC Enforcement Litigation 10-Year Statistics

By | Employment Litigation

The following is from the “EEOC Litigation Statistics, FY 1997 through FY 2017” and reflects EEOC enforcement suits filed and resolved in the federal district courts over the past ten years:.

 

FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017
Suits
All Suits Filed 332 414 465 329 428 370 400 421 416 403 362 325 314 271 300 155 148 167 174 114 201
Merits Suits 300 374 438 292 388 342 366 378 381 371 336 290 281 250 261 122 131 133 142 86 184
Suits with Title VII Claims 182 254 341 236 289 268 298 297 295 294 268 224 188 192 162 66 78 76 83 46 107
Suits with ADA Claims 83 87 55 29 66 44 49 46 49 42 46 37 76 41 80 45 51 49 53 36 76
Suits with ADEA Claims 42 44 47 33 42 39 27 46 44 50 32 38 24 29 26 12 7 12 14 2 12
Suits with EPA Claims 4 10 9 9 14 12 12 5 13 10 7 0 2 2 2 2 5 2 7 5 11
Suits with GINA Claims 3 2 1 2 3
Suits filed under multiple statutes 11 19 13 14 19 19 19 14 17 22 16 9 9 14 9 3 11 7 14 5 24
Subpoena and Preliminary Relief Actions 32 40 27 37 40 28 34 43 35 32 26 35 33 21 39 33 17 34 32 28 17
Resolutions
All Resolutions 243 331 350 440 362 381 381 380 378 418 387 366 349 315 312 283 222 144 171 171 125
Merits Suits 214 295 320 407 321 351 351 346 338 383 364 339 321 287 276 254 209 136 155 139 109
Suits with Title VII Claims 132 189 211 315 232 266 275 277 259 295 297 265 251 199 215 162 135 87 87 84 57
Suits with ADA Claims 49 73 74 53 48 65 50 43 41 50 40 47 40 60 42 72 59 47 61 48 48
Suits with ADEA Claims 38 38 51 41 39 26 35 34 45 50 35 41 38 38 26 30 16 13 12 12 3
Suits with EPA Claims 7 4 7 6 15 9 13 9 12 8 14 3 5 0 2 2 4 5 1 7 4
Suits with GINA Claims 1 1 1 4 1
Suits filed under multiple statutes 12 9 22 8 12 15 21 14 18 17 18 16 13 10 8 12 6 13 6 16 4
Subpoena and Preliminary Relief Actions 29 36 30 33 41 30 30 34 40 35 23 27 28 28 36 29 13 8 16 32 16
Monetary Benefits ($ in millions) $114.7 $95.6 $98.7 $52.2 $49.8 $56.2 $146.6 $168.6 $104.8 $44.3 $54.8 $102.2 $82.1 $85.1 $91.0 $44.2 $38.6 $22.5 $65.3 $52.2 $42.4
Title VII $95 $62 $49.2 $35 $33.6 $29.2 $85.1 $158.5 $98 $34.3 $38.9 $65.6 $64.9 $74.0 $54.3 $34.3 $22.0 $15.3 $56.9 $36.8 $21.7
ADA $1.1 $2.8 $2.9 $2.9 $2.3 $15.1 $2.3 $2.5 $3.4 $2.8 $2.4 $3.6 $9.5 $2.9 $27.1 $5.4 $14.0 $3.7 $6.2 $12.1 $7.1
ADEA $18 $29.8 $42.8 $13.8 $3.1 $1.4 $57.8 $5.4 $2.4 $5.1 $3.1 $30.3 $6.7 $5.3 $8.4 $3.6 $2.1 $1.9 $0.8 $0.9 $12.1
EPA $0 $0 $0 $0.2 $0.2 $0.2 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0.2 $0.1 $0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.2 $0.1 $0.0 $0.4 $0.2
GINA $0.0 $0.0 n.a* n/a* n/a* $0.0 $0.1
Suits filed under multiple statutes $0.5 $1 $3.8 $0.4 $10.7 $10.3 $1.5 $2.3 $1 $2.1 $10.2 $1.7 $0.9 $2.9 $1.1 $0.9 $0.2 $1.5 $1.3 $2.3 $1.

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/litigation.cfm

If your business is presently involved in employment litigation, or may soon be involved in employment litigation, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your employment litigation matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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U.S. Bankruptcy Filings 2016 – 2017

By | Bankruptcy

The Administrative Office of the United States provided the following statistical information regarding the federal bankruptcy caseloads for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2017:

Filings of bankruptcy petitions declined 5 percent to 794,492 (down 39,023 petitions). Of the 90 bankruptcy courts, 66 reported lower filings.

  • The largest percentage decrease was a 21 percent reduction in the Southern District of Florida.
  • The highest percentage increase was a 20 percent rise in the District of North Dakota, which occurred following a decline in oil exploration and production in that region in response to lower oil prices.

Fewer petitions were filed under chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the bankruptcy code. More petitions were filed under chapter 12.

  • Chapter 7 filings decreased 7 percent to 488,417.
  • Chapter 11 filings decreased 4 percent to 7,105.
  • Chapter 13 filings decreased 1 percent to 298,348.
  • Chapter 12 filings grew 4 percent to 457.

Petitions filed by debtors with predominantly business debts declined 5 percent to 23,591. Debtors with consumer (i.e., largely nonbusiness) debts filed 770,901 petitions, 5 percent fewer than the previous year. Consumer cases accounted for 97 percent of all petitions.

http://www.uscourts.gov/statistics-reports/federal-judicial-caseload-statistics-2017

If your business is presently involved in bankruptcy litigation, or may soon be involved in bankruptcy litigation, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your business litigation matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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U.S. Patent Litigation Statistics For 2017

By | Patent Litigation

The “2017 Lex Machina Patent Litigation Year In Review” reported that overall, the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.) remained the top court for new patent case filings in 2017 (866 cases) followed closely by the District of Delaware (777 cases).

Compared to last year, the TC Heartland v. Kraft decision caused new case filings in E.D. Tex. to fall 48% (from 1,662 cases in 2016) and surge 71% in D. Del. (from 454 cases).

Since the decision, the District of Delaware has had a greater percentage of the new cases than the Eastern District of Texas. In the 180 days before and after the landmark May 22 decision, new case filings in E.D. Tex. fell from 33% to 14%. Conversely, D. Del. case filings increased from 13% to 24%, while the combined cases filed in all other districts rose from 54% to 62% during that same period. D. Del. has now overtaken E.D. Tex. as the top jurisdiction for new patent cases filed. However, E.D. Tex. remains an important district to watch, as a significant number of cases are still pending there.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • New Cases:  New patent case filings declined 10% over last year to 4,060 cases – the lowest level of new case filings since 2011 and continuing a third straight year of decline.
  • Judges: For a fifth straight year, Judge Gilstrap (E.D. Tex.) was assigned more patent cases than any other judge. However, his 550 cases in 2017 were less than half of the 1,119 cases assigned to him in 2016.
  • Top Plaintiffs: This year, 11 of the top 15 plaintiffs were high-volume plaintiffs, with Pfizer, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Biogen and Biogen International completing the list.
  • Top Defendants: Teva Pharmaceuticals unseated Samsung, the top defendant in 2015 and 2016.
    • Of the top 10 defendants, four were pharmaceutical companies (Teva, Mylan, Aurobindo and Sandoz) and six were technology companies (Samsung, Apple, LG, Amazon and two Chinese multinationals – ZTE Corporation and Huawei Device USA).
  • Damages: 2017 saw the award of a total of $763 million in reasonable royalty damages and a total of $284 million in lost profits damages. Compensatory damages remain low, with damages awarded in around 2% of the terminated cases filed since 2000.
  • ANDA: Case filings increased 29% in 2017, reversing the significant decline experienced in 2016.
  • PTAB: IPR petitions have continued to decline from a peak of 548 petitions in Q1 2017 to only 356 in Q4, possibly correlated with uncertainty stemming from the upcoming Supreme Court case Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lex-machinas-fifth-annual-patent-litigation-year-in-review-report-quantifies-the-impact-of-the-landmark-tc-heartland-v-kraft-supreme-court-case-300594780.html

If your business is presently involved in patent litigation, or may soon be involved in patent litigation, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your patent litigation matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

BusinessLitigationContingencyLawyers.com – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Misappropriation Of Trade Secrets

By | Trade Secrets

A federal court described a trade secret as “really just a piece of information (such as a customer list, or a method of production, or a secret formula for a soft drink) that the holder tries to keep secret by executing confidentiality agreements with employees and others and by hiding the information from outsiders by means of fences, safes, encryption, and other means of concealment, so that the only way the secret can be unmasked is by a breach of contract or a tort.”

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) requires that the information (1) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to—and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by—other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and (2) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

A recent study of federal and state civil court cases involving damages awards for trade secrets misappropriation that involved a federal sample population of 42 cases and a state sample population of 42 cases found that trade secrets litigation has increased substantially in the past few decades in both the federal and state forums: federal cases increased 14 percent per year between 2001 and 2012 but the growth has moderated since 2012. In the federal cases, the identity of the misappropriator was split between employee (44 percent) and business partner (56 percent). In the state cases, the misappropriator was an employee 85 percent of the time.

The study found that misappropriation of trade secrets is claimed alongside patent infringement in about a third of federal cases. Approximately 37 percent of trade secrets misappropriation claims in federal courts were filed with patent infringement claims during the 1950 to 2000 period. The percentage of technically based trade secrets involved in litigation has diminished significantly since 2001.

The study’s findings suggest that business information has gained more importance as a protected trade secret in both the federal and state courts, and business information has now reached parity with technical know-how and software. In federal courts, business information increased from 20 percent of trade secrets prior to 2001 to 50 percent in the period afterwards.

The study found that in trade secrets cases where a remedy was ordered, compensatory damages were awarded in about 90 percent of the cases and nominal damages were awarded in the remaining cases. Punitive damages were awarded in about a third of the cases. The award of injunctive relief in conjunction with monetary relief has declined significantly in the state courts over time. The sample cases in the study were selected under the presumption of a monetary damages award.

The study found that approximately 22 percent of federal cases and 13 percent of state cases involved monetary awards for both lost profits and unjust enrichment. Lost profits represented the predominant damages theory for the reviewed period.

In the federal cases sample, the compensatory damages awards range was wide for the 1950–2015 period, from a low of $1 (nominal damages) to a high of approximately $40 million. The average award was approximately $3 million. Three-fourths of the awards were less than $2.5 million. The median award between 2001 and 2015 was approximately $450,000, falling from nearly $1 million in the prior period.

For the state cases sample, the range of trade secrets damages amounts was from a low of $1 (nominal damages) to a high of $525 million. Three-fourths of the state court awards for trade secret misappropriation were less than $575,000. The median state court award was approximately $200,000.

The study found that lost profits represented the most common damages theory in both federal and state cases. It also yielded the lowest median (approximately $460,000 for federal cases and $128,000 for state cases), with the exception of the reasonable royalty in state cases. Unjust enrichment and reasonably royalty damages generally were two to four times higher.

http://www.willamette.com/insights_journal/16/spring_2016_11.pdf

If your business is presently involved in trade secrets litigation, or may soon be involved in trade secrets litigation, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss if your trade secrets litigation matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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Investor Fraud And The Elderly

By | Investor Fraud

Mutual funds are the investment product of choice for senior investors. Approximately 43.9% of all US households – or about 54.9 million – owned mutual funds in mid-2016. Approximately 48% of households headed by a Baby Boomer (head of household born between 1946 and 1964) owned mutual funds in mid-2016, accounting for 38% of mutual fund-owning households and 50% of households’ mutual fund assets.

Approximately 33% of Silent and GI Generation households (born between 1904 and 1945) owned mutual funds in mid-2016, accounting for 11% of mutual fund-owning households and 15% of households’ mutual fund assets. These statistics are not surprising when one considers that 92% of mutual fund investors invest to save for retirement.

Financial exploitation is the fastest growing category of elder abuse in many states. According to the 2010 Investor Protection Trust Elder Fraud Survey, one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 has been victimized by a financial fraud. These frauds can be perpetrated by strangers, con artists, or even by family members and caregivers in whom the elderly have placed their trust.

The Financial Industry Regulation Association (FINRA) recently noted that studies indicate that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse. Financial exploitation can be difficult for any investor, but it can be particularly devastating for seniors and other vulnerable adults, many of whom are living on fixed incomes without the ability to offset significant losses over time or through other means. Financial exploitation can occur suddenly, and once funds leave an account they can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover, especially when they ultimately are transferred outside of the U.S.

https://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/noaction/2018/investment-company-institute-060118-22e-incoming.pdf

If you and a loved one may be a victim of investor fraud, email us at info@businesslitigationcontingencylawyers.com or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to discuss whether your investor fraud matter may be appropriate to be handled on a contingency basis.

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