SZS Welcomes Cassandra Porsch to the Firm

The Firm is pleased to announce that Cassandra Porsch has joined the Firm, bringing to our practice her broad experience in commercial litigation and dispute resolution:

Photo of Cassandra PorschCassandra Porsch is a graduate of Yale University (2001, B.A. with distinction), Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2005), and the New York University Stern School of Business (M.B.A., 2012). Cassandra is a commercial litigator who has successfully handled matters at all stages, from pre-litigation to trial and appeals, including matters in alternative dispute resolution forums. After law school, she spent ten years in the New York City office of Andrews Kurth LLP before moving to boutique law firm practice. She has practiced in state and federal court in a wide array of commercial, class and derivative actions and multi-district litigation. Cassandra has particular expertise in handling business disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, accountants’ liability, restrictive covenants/non-competes, professional negligence, breach of contract and disputes concerning partnerships. Her clients have included individuals, small businesses, investment funds and large corporations. She has also represented investors in securities class actions and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. Outside of the office, Cassandra serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit and professional organizations. Cassandra is admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey.

Ms. Porsch can be reached by e-mail at cp@szslaw.com.

Firm Seeks Judgment for Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy Claimants Seeking $270 Million+ in Unpaid Pensions

The Firm represents 344 former senior executives of Lehman Brothers Inc. (“LBI”) in hotly contested defense of an effort by the Trustee of the LBI bankruptcy Estate to extinguish their deferred compensation pension retirement entitlements that the clients self-funded in the 1980s.   Those claims total more than $270 million and the issues being litigated are the only litigation remaining in the almost of 12+-year-old LBI bankruptcy.

A copy of the Firm’s most recent filing in the Bankruptcy Court as to substantive issues can be found here.   A copy of the firm’s most recent filing before the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals where the Trustee is seeking to truncate the appellate process and avoid a hearing in the District Court, in which the client group believes its issues need to be considered in light of prior litigation, can be found here.

Dan Brooks’ Files Amicus Curiae Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.

On February 19, 2020, Dan Brooks filed an amicus curiae brief, available here, on behalf of 25 law professors in the fields of journalism and media with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The brief follows the grant of certiorari to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc. addressed to “fair use issues” in which Dan’s earlier amicus brief was cited by the Federal Circuit in its recent decision on the brief’s central point. Oracle appealed, successfully, from a judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California holding, after a jury trial, that Google’s unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java computer source code in the Android mobile operating system did not constitute copyright infringement because it was protected by the affirmative defense of fair use.  The Federal Circuit reversed the District Court’s rulings and remanded for a trial on damages.

The brief in the Federal Circuit can be found here.  The Federal Circuit’s decision can be found here, with the citation to the brief appearing at p. 39, n.8.

Dan Brooks’ Amicus Curiae Brief Cited by the Federal Circuit in “Fair Use” Case

Dan Brooks’ amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc. addressed to “fair use issues” in the case was cited by the Federal Circuit in its recent decision on the brief’s central point (the brief was filed on behalf of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association).

The brief can be found here.  The Federal Circuit’s decision can be found here, with the citation to the brief appearing at p. 39, n.8.

The issue and the decision were described by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association as follows:

On March 27, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed down its much-anticipated opinion in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., Appeal Nos. 2017-1118, 2017-1202.  Oracle was appealing from a judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California holding, after a jury trial, that Google’s unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java computer source code in the Android mobile operating system did not constitute copyright infringement because it was protected by the affirmative defense of fair use.  The Federal Circuit reversed the District Court’s rulings and remanded for a trial on damages.

The New York Intellectual Property Law Association (“NYIPLA”) filed a brief amicus curiae in support of neither party, but urging the appellate court to reject the district court’s rationale for holding that a reasonable jury could have found transformative use under the first fair use factor simply because of a change in “context,” namely, the use of Oracle’s computer programming code in smartphones and tablets, rather than in desktop and laptop computers.  The Federal Circuit endorsed NYIPLA’s argument, holding that moving copyrighted material to a new context without either altering its expression, meaning, or message, or using it for a different purpose, was not transformative and did not militate in favor of a finding of fair use.  Specifically, citing to the NYIPLA amicus brief, the Federal Circuit held that, if a change in context alone qualified as a transformative use, such a rule would “encroach upon the copyright holder’s right to ‘prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.’”  Slip Op. at 39, n.8 (citing to the Brief of Amicus Curiae N.Y. Intell. Prop. L. Ass’n at 17-20).

Jon Landers Authors Two New Articles Concerning Fraudulent Transfers

Scarola Zubatov Schaffzin PLLC Partner Jonathan M. Landers Authors Two New Articles Addressed to Fraudulent Transfers

A New Look at Fraudulent Transfer Liability in High Risk Transactions:  Historically, it has been difficult for creditors to recover transfers as constructive fraudulent transfers in connection with LBOs and leveraged recap.  However, recent cases (most importantly, a 2016 circuit-splitting decision by the Seventh Circuit) may signal that the pendulum may be swinging in the other direction and, also, raise ethical and discovery issues with regard to “actual intent” fraudulent transfers.  This article explores these cases and the historical and policy considerations that led to them.

You can view the article here.

 

Actual-Intent Fraudulent Transfers and the Crime/Fraud Exception:  This article discusses actual intent fraudulent transfers and the application of the crime-fraud exception to disclosure of privileged communications to discovery in such transactions.

You can view the article here.