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A report in Canadian media says that privately held Purdue Pharma LP, a pharmaceutical company registered in Connecticut, USA, is "exploring" the possibility of using what the USA calls "bankrupty" (a term it uses for both corporate and personal insolvency) to manage the risk of litigation arising from the drug OxyContin. But the company is not even a little bit insolvent. Using insolvency processes to manage risks in litigation is a strategy that isn't new.

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The city of New York has issued civil proceedings against five of the largest oil companies alleging that they are responsible for climate change and passing the resulting costs onto local governments. Others are joining in with California being the latest to sign up.

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Case Summary: 

Nikolai Tehin was an immigrant to the USA from Russia. He found ways to pay his own way through the long and expensive process of qualifying as a lawyer. For more than 30 years, he represented a wide range of clients and enjoyed the rewards, including a house worth some USD8 million in 2004, a 73-foot yacht and a number of expensive cars. But he funded his lifestyle from illegally dipping into clients' funds.

Type of conduct: 
Fiduciary fraud

We're going to have to wait for regulatory filings, leaks or careless whispers to find out exactly what's happened. But there's what seems to be good news from the warzone where Apple and HTC have been butting heads.

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It's all becoming a little too Orwellian. When the previous, Labour government created the "Ministry of Justice" it sounded more 1984 than we were comfortable with. After all, the whole point of the various ministries in the book is to deliver the opposite of what their name promised. Recent changes to costs are removing access to justice except for those that can pay.

And it's all building up to look like a raid on solicitors' firms.

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Mexican company Grupo Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. is more than a little peeved. Its US subsidiary Americas Mining Corporation applied to the Delaware Supreme Court for "re-argument" as to legal fees in the case of Americas Mining Corporation, et al., v. Michael Theraiult, as Trustee for the Theriault Trust, No. 29, 2012. The court said "no" and in doing so has demonstrated the conflict of interest inherent in contingency fee ("no win, no fee") arrangements.

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A US judge has removed one of the USA's largest law firms, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, from representing First American Title Insurance Company in a class action suit. The firm, its partners and all other lawyers at the firm are injuncted against acting for the company in the litigation which raises questions about the migration of teams of lawyers and - perhaps even more importantly - what constitutes conflict.

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