Taproots develop from the radicle of the seed, which forms the primary root. It produces branches called the secondary roots, and they in turn produce branches to form tertiary roots…very difficult to uproot – the plant itself gives way, but the root stays in the ground and may sprout again.
Who better than Judge Sarah Vance to do the digging and get to the fact of the Branch Consultants qui tam claim? None that I can think of considering the depth of research evident in the Order that Sop reported in Judge Sarah Vance Educates Insurers about Federal Court Jurisdiction in False Claims Act Cases – A Branch Qui Tam Update.
However, shortly after Judge Vance’s well-reasoned 69-page Order was issued, the Defendants filed for certification of an Interlocutory Appeal to the Fifth Circuit:
Relying on pre-Rockwell out-of-circuit decisions, this Court has reached a different conclusion, finding that Branch’s investigation of a publicly disclosed fraud provides direct and independent knowledge such that Branch is an “original source” whose allegations provide this Court subject matter jurisdiction. It is this question Defendants seek to have certified for interlocutory appeal: whether a “sleuth” like Branch, without first-hand involvement in an alleged fraud, can qualify as an “original source” by providing additional examples of a publicly disclosed, alleged fraudulent scheme.
Naturally, the Branch Consultants responded in Opposition:
…whether a particular case was decided pre-Rockwell or post-Rockwell misses the point. Instead, the relevant question is whether Rockwell overruled any of the legal points on which the Court based its decision. It did not, and Defendants do not argue otherwise. Continue reading “taproot – digging out the fact of Branch qui tam UPDATED”
Pursuant to Rule 50, Fed. R. Civ. P., Plaintiff moves for judgment as a matter of law on all issues concerning contract damages on the grounds that the jury did not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find in favor of Defendant….
The law is clear that when considering a Rule 50 motion, “the Court must review all of the evidence from the record, draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, and may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence.” Poliner v. Texas Health Systems, 537 F.3d 368, 376 (5th Cir. 2008). While this standard is a heavy one, in the case sub judice the evidence presented at trial compelled a finding in favor of the Plaintiff. The jury’s contrary verdict should not be allowed to stand.
This Honorable Court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law after Defendant’s presentation of the evidence, but noted during the jury instruction conference that the motion probably should have been granted.
On blog and off, readers have consistently offered positive comments about Bossier’s counsel Judy Guice calling her an ethical, smart lawyer that fights for her clients. At least one has mentioned that putting clients first, not money, is what all lawyers are supposed to do.
Nothing is more telling of Guice’s client-first commitment to the practice of law than the Motion for Judgment As A Matter of Law or in the Alternative for a New Trial and the Memorandum of Support – both were filed Friday in Bossier v State Farm and followed by a relatedOrder from Judge Senter.
Guice’s Memorandum in Support of the Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law put a compelling argument on the table:
Defendant bore the burden of proving that all of Plaintiff’s dwelling loss beyond that which had previously been paid resulted from storm surge flooding. It failed to carry this burden. Indeed, Defendant failed to offer a qualified expert witness on the issue of causation. Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS – Bossier moves for Judgment as a Matter of Law or New Trial”
So, what’s up besides the Saints? Well, for starters there’s the trial of Bossier v State Farm that got underway yesterday after the jury was seated mid-afternoon. The grapevine reported there was time for opening statements (with no personal commentary re: Bossier’s motion in limine) and one witness before Court ended for the day. The second day began at 10am and hopefully I’ll get another grapevine report or there will be something in the Sun Herald.
State Farm filed an an 11th hour trial brief, but an interesting one nonetheless, that sets forth the Company’s position on the meaning of the Corban decision:
State Farm anticipates that Plaintiff at trial may attempt to satisfy his burden of proof merely by pointing to the totality of damage to his house at the conclusion of Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading “What’s the score? No, not the Saints game, I know they won – I’m talkin’ Katrina litigation and then some”
Oh, the Lord works in mysterious ways. For example, tomorrow the trial in Bossier v State Farm begins on – trumpets, please – on All Souls Day. Today, however, we celebrate All Saints!
One could say the slabbed have some saints-in-the- making – it really is a miracle a case ever gets to trial! For now, we’ll just call them angels:
The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’.
Three who come to mind are Coast attorneys Judy Guice, Deborah Trotter, and Rose Hurder. Guice will take her message to court tomorrow; so, let’s take a look at the others – and, since the Saints will still be marching if I type fast enough to get ahead of the Souls, a look at New Light Baptist v State Farm seems the appropriate place to start. If you need background, check Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery and the update in September’s SLABBED Monthly.
I’ve been regularly checking PACER for weeks expecting to see that New Light’s counsel,Deborah Trotter, and State Farm had settled the case. When new items appeared on the docket Friday, it was clear the case had not settled (understatement).
…pursuant to Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Plaintiff, New Light Baptist Church, will take the video deposition upon oral examination of one or more officers, directors or managing agents, or other designated person(s) who consents to testify on behalf of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company on December 14, 2009 and December 15, 2009, at the offices of Hickman, Goza & Spragins, 115 Homestead Drive, Madison, MS 39110, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
When you pull the Notice, you’ll find a detailed list of the information State Farm’s 30(b)(6) representative needs to be capable of discussing. Trotter never fails to surprise me; yet, even knowing that, the last thing I was expecting was a Continue reading “…and the Saints go marching in Katrina litigation”
My computer broke before I could post the breaking news (hence the “almost”). $%#& Now, I’m broke; $%#& However, Sop (and everyone else who saw the Katrina survivor I typed on until today) will tell you that I’ve needed a new computer at least as long as he’s known me.
I’ve got one now…it looks a lot like the trip to the beach I was planning because I didn’t just buy one, I bought two and an external hard drive that backs up what I put on them (and will hold more than I’ll have to save before placing my order with Walmart) – but enough of that and on to the (almost) breaking news.
Rigsby qui tam is going to trial. December 1 is the date…2010 is the year – according to the scheduling order locked in my old computer.
It’s been a long day. I started shopping after lunch but didn’t have everything working until an hour or so before midnight. So, tomorrow Scarlett (or maybe the next day) I’ll come up with the scheduling order and update this post. Meanwhile, let us all ponder WTF is the reason there will be no trial on the Rigsby qui tam claim until the sixth year following Hurricane Katrina.
Ordinarily, a Motion to appear Pro Hac Vice does not merit a mention, much less a post. However, there is nothing ordinary about the appearance of a Susman Godfrey attorney for the plaintiffs in the Branch Consultants qui tam case.
Founded in 1980, Susman Godfrey focuses its nationally recognized practice on just one thing: big – stakes commercial litigation. We are one of the nation’s leading litigation boutique law firms with locations in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. Each of the firm’s 79 trial attorneys devotes all of his or her time and talent to achieving excellent outcomes within the complex commercial litigation environment…
Susman Godfrey’s very first case, the Corrugated Container antitrust trial, led to one of the highest antitrust jury verdicts ever obtained.
Like that antitrust experience a lot; but, what I really find intriguing is… Continue reading “Just a twig about Branch qui tam”
…counsel for the Defendant became aware of a problem with getting the files in and began trying to investigate the holdup on receiving the files. Counsel for the Defendant received an answer and provided that information to both counsel for the Plaintiff and the Court on September 24, 2009. The individual responsible for gathering and scanning the files in the Southern Zone for State Farm had been out of the office the week prior. Nevertheless, a disk had been made of the claim files on Monday, September 21, 2009, within the time agreed to by Plaintiff’s counsel for the production, but the disk did not reach counsel for the Defendant until Thursday, September 24, 2009. The disk was immediately provided to counsel for the Plaintiff at or near noon of September 24, 2009. Another disk with twelve additional claims was provided on September 29, 2009. (State Farm’s October 7, 2009, Response to Bossier’s Motion for Sanctions) (emphasis added)
The Court ordered documents were to be produced by State Farm by September 17, 2009. Without withdrawing his Motion for Sanctions Under Rule 37(b) For Failure to Comply With Court Order of September 3, 2009, on September 25, Bossier withdrew his motion to expedite a hearing on the matter pending Counsel’s review of the claim files.
JURY TRIAL SET for 11/2/2009, 10:00 A.M., in Courtroom 506, Gulfport, MS, before District Judge L. T. Senter Jr!
Surely, State Farm isn’t trying to delay the trail and set up Bossier’s counsel to take the fall for the delay – but a reading of Bossier’s Reply to State Farm’s Response in Opposition to the Motion for Sanctions certainly makes it seem that way. Continue reading “Bossier challenges State Farm’s round tuit approach to compliance with Court’s Order – Trial begins in 2 weeks!”
Dean Starkman’s very fine writing about the insurance industry’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Insurance Transparency Project blog, continues to be an invaluable resource for SLABBED. In fact, it was my search for something he’d written that led me to the Columbia Journalism Review where I found (much to my delight) SunHerald’s Lee, Times-Pic’s Mowbray: Still on it
One of the true pleasures of reporting on the insurance industry’s response, or non-response, to Hurricane Katrina was meeting, and reading the reporting of, the principal Gulf-area papers’ reporters on the insurance angle, Rebecca Mowbray of the Times-Picayune and Anita Lee of the SunHerald of Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss.
It is heartwarming to see them still on the case, four years later. It is heartbreaking to read what they are reporting.
Mowbray: “Report dubs FEMA poor watchdog”
That one, from September 22, is about how the government fails to supervise the private insurers who administer the federal flood program under a “private-public partnership” (always a good idea to check your wallet when you read those words):
That’s for expenses, people. Insurers under this program bear no risk. What financial product comes with a 66% load? Continue reading “Dean Starkman – SunHerald”
Many of my retail corporate clients and their general counsel have told me that if they advertised and then performed in the manner of their insurer, the federal and state trade commissions would be holding “bait and switch” hearings. But, this is exactly the type of treatment insurance executives are calling for when they support the propaganda against their own customers through spokespersons such as Hartwig.
I am not the only one to have noticed this…The editors of Slabbed were pretty blunt about what they think about Hartwig.
Chip linked two recent SLABBED posts – Bam Bam’s The Push Back on Corban – “You’re gonna pay for this” and Sop’s Da Corban spin continues: AIA prefers denial while the National Underwriter carries III press release calling it news – and added his thoughts as he raised the question Why Is the Property Insurance Industry Against Its Own Customers?
The response by Robert Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute to the landmark Corban decision typifies how executives at many insurance companies feel about their customers. If not, Hartwick would be out of a job. Here is his quote taken from Anita Lee’s article: Continue reading “Chip Merlin asks Why is the property insurance industry against its own customers?”