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The 50-year-old attorney from Las Vegas is at the center of a lengthy federal investigation into possible corruption involving local construction defect litigations and homeowner associations.  Nancy Quon began her career in Las Vegas as law office runner. She became a secretary, then a paralegal.  After earning an undergraduate degree at UNLV, she took out a government loan and attended California Western School of Law in San Diego, in part because it had a fast-track trimester system that would enable her to finish her studies more quickly.

Quon’s 15 year attorney life quickly went from 60-70 hour work weeks winning litigation battles against formidable opponents to being held on a Legal 2000 (we in California call this a 5050) meaning that she was held for a psychiatric hold for a possible suicide pact with her then boyfriend former Metro cop William Ronald Webb.  He has since been arrested on charges of conspiring to kill Quon.  Turns out that Webb had set her home on fire with the intent of killing her.

From what I read about Quon, she is a single mother, now a grandmother and is the caretaker of her 49 year old brother who has battled B-cell leukemia since age 15 and who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  She sounds like one tough woman who has gone through quite a bit and it looks like she continues to do so.  It looks imminent that she will be indicted by the feds for her alleged involvement in homeowner association and construction defect litigations in Las Vegas.  Hopefully getting through the tough times in the past can help her get through whatever comes her way in the future.

For more of this story, you can read it here.

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The Ohio attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit against Andrea L. West and George W. West, accusing them of misrepresenting themselves as paralegals, or as I like to call them, Paralegal Posers.  About a half-dozen people have filed complaints about the Wests or their business, but the number of victims and money collected by the couple is not known, said Kim Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

Operating as Estate Planning Paralegal Services, the couple collected as much as $5,000 from some people without performing any services, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the court to order restitution, impose civil penalties and enjoin the Wests from continuing to operate the program.  The Wests now live in Truth or Consequences, N.M.  Does anyone else get the irony of where they reside now or is it just me?

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Bengals Cheerleaders.
Image via Wikipedia

Yes, you heard right, $11 million is the amount that an NFL cheerleader thought she had won in a defamation judgment against a gossip website.  The result may be nullified because her lawyers sued the wrong company, politico.com reported Thursday.

Sarah Jones, a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and Kentucky teacher, meant to sue TheDirty.com after comments on the site in December suggested she had an affair with a player and also contracted two venereal diseases. The site is run by Scottsdale-based Dirty World LLC.  But due to a clerical error, the lawsuit was filed against TheDirt.com.

On Wednesday U.S. District Court judge William O. Bertelsman ordered Los Angeles-based Dirty World Entertainment Recordings to pay $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for failing to respond to the lawsuit filed in February.

This would be a paralegal’s nightmare, entering the wrong name and it not being caught until after the judgment is entered by default.  Ughhh, I will be sure to triple check every document that I prepare now.

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On June 24, 2010, a New York federal court resolved a fee dispute in a  pending securities fraud class action against Comverse Technology.  The company agreed last year to pay $225 million to settle the litigation.

Pomerantz Haudek, the lead plaintiffs’ firm in the case, sought 25 percent of the settlement, or a fee of about $56 million. A one-third contingency fee, of course, has long been the industry benchmark, but plaintiffs’ lawyers in big-dollar securities fraud settlements sometimes request fees of 15 percent or less. (Lawyers can have a hard time convincing judges to award counsel one-third of settlements that reach into the many billions of dollars.)

In the Comverse case, the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, which owned shares in the company, claimed in court papers that the 25% fee request was “unreasonable,” the New York Law Journal reports.  But a Pomerantz Haudek lawyer told the New York Law Journal that the the firm’s client had agreed to a 25% fee and that such an amount is “well within the normative range of these types of cases.”

In his ruling, Brooklyn federal judge Nichoals Garaufis agreed that a 25 percent fee was within the norm for “megafund” securities fraud cases.  “While it may be that a lower percentage would also be sufficient, this court will not pretend that it has the expertise necessary to divine the ideal percentage,” the judge added. “This court is particularly unwilling to undertake an endeavor in a case where the fee award was set on the open market, and where an improperly calibrated fee would provide a disincentive to future counsel to take risks and pursue large class settlements that the SEC cannot.”

So, what are attorneys worth?  In this case, they are worth $56 million total and for the 25 attorneys at Pomerantz, this means they are each worth $2.24 million.  Not a bad day for this firm at all!

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California Supreme Court on  Prop 8 Day of Dec...
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

In an article appearing in JDSupra, written by Larry Bodine,  the California Supreme Court ruled in Simpson Strong-Tie Co. v. Gore on May 17, 2010 that a plaintiff lawyer who was seeking clients for a possible class action lawsuit had a right to publish an advertisement regarding defective decks on homes. The maker of screws for decks sued Gore for libel, false advertising and unfair business practices. Gore won at trial and on appeal. The state Supreme Court ruled that the lawyer was entitled to invoke the state anti-SLAPP statute to protect his free speech rights in publishing the ad.

This case originated in Santa Clara County and is good news for attorneys with regards to advertising.  If you would like to read the entire Supreme Court ruling, click here.

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I found this fascinating quote today at Civil Rights and Wrongs written by my friend and colleague, Eric G. Young:

Care to know who has joined the “illustrious” group of lawyers filing lawsuits against the new health care bill signed into law by President Obama?  You guessed it, Claimed Lawyer – Apparent Dentist – Birther Queen – and  All-Around Weirdo Orly Taitz.  In a barely-reasoned, badly-drafted Complaint – in which she mis-spells the title of her own court document – Taitz alleges that the new health care law is a:civilrightsandwrongs.wordpress.com, “It is fair to judge a peoples by the rights they will sacrifice most (for)”, Mar 2010

You should read the whole article here.

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In an article written by Andrew Longstreth in AM Law Litigation Daily, Kirkland & Ellis received $10 million in attorneys fees and costs in their recent lawsuit against Emigrant Savings Bank. This is $8 million more than the damages that were awarded. Check out the following link for the complete article.
Court Awards Kirkland Client More in Attorneys’ Fees Than Damages

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