Ascertainability Requirement for Class Certification

Blank Rome LLP

Blank Rome Partner Michael A. Iannucci will speak at the upcoming Strafford CLE webinar titled, “Ascertainability Requirement for Class Certification,” on Thursday, March 16, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The webinar will provide class counsel with a review of federal circuit court decisions addressing the ascertainability requirement for class certification. The panel will examine the scope and impact of differing circuit rulings on certification proceedings and provide insights into how defense counsel are faring with challenging certification on the grounds that the proposed class is insufficiently ascertainable. Continue reading “Ascertainability Requirement for Class Certification”

2017 Legal Malpractice Update

Blank Rome Partner Stephen M. Orlofsky will speak at the upcoming New Jersey State Bar Association (“NJSBA”) CLE, “2017 Legal Malpractice Update,” on March 25, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center. This program is presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Senior Lawyers Special Committee

The panels will discuss the statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims, ethical issues when an attorney changes firms, lost opportunity cases, tips for taking the deposition of an attorney as a witness, and the program will culminate with a legal malpractice court room demonstration. Continue reading “2017 Legal Malpractice Update”

Blank Rome’s Adrienne Rogove Appointed Chair of the NJ Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Blank Rome LLP

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Blank Rome LLP Partner Adrienne C. Rogove has been appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court as chair of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law for the 2017 calendar term. Ms. Rogove previously served as vice-chair of the Committee for the 2015 and 2016 terms.

The Committee has jurisdiction over and investigates complaints involving the unauthorized practice of law, attempts to resolve such matters by way of consent agreement, and refers appropriate matters for prosecution. The Committee also renders advisory opinions on issues arising under its jurisdiction. For more information, please visit www.judiciary.state.nj.us. Continue reading “Blank Rome’s Adrienne Rogove Appointed Chair of the NJ Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law”

New Jersey Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Blank Rome Client In Mutual Fund Fee Trial

Jonathan M. Korn

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On August 25, 2016, after a 25-day non-jury trial, Judge Peter Sheridan of the United States District Court of New Jersey issued a 159-page opinion in favor of Blank Rome’s client AXA Equitable Funds Management Group and AXA Equitable Insurance Company (“AXA”) dismissing with prejudice all of Plaintiffs’ claims under the §36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Blank Rome served as co-counsel with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of mutual fund investors who are contract holders to variable annuity products with AXA. Plaintiffs alleged that the Board of Trustees, who was charged with overseeing the mutual funds, breached its fiduciary duty by approving service contracts that charged excessive management and administrative fees. Plaintiffs’ damage claim was in excess of $550 million and a finding in favor of Plaintiffs would have resulted in a complete alteration of AXA’s fee structure. The case was closely watched within the mutual fund industry, due in part to Plaintiffs’ challenge to AXA’s use of “manager of managers” structure, which is common throughout the industry and the subject of a number of other pending lawsuits. The Court held that Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden to demonstrate that AXA breached their fiduciary duty or show any actual damages.

The Blank Rome team was led by Jonathan Korn with assistance from Jaime Nucifora. A copy of the decision can be reviewed here.