In the News Today - August 18, 2016

August 18, 2016
  • Watts Fraud Case Heads to Jury: The criminal fraud case against Texas plaintiffs’ attorney Mikal Watts and six others has now gone to a jury. Watts and the other defendants are facing allegations they signed up fake clients and submitted false claims after the Gulf oil spill. (Moulton Advertiser)

  • TPLF “Forced into the Light’ in Chevron Case: As we posted yesterday, a federal judge has granted Chevron Corporation's motion to compel a plaintiff to reveal the identity of the litigation financing firm funding its proposed class action regarding a gas explosion off the coast of Nigeria. Law360 reports that this judge’s decision “has the potential to force the burgeoning and secretive industry of litigation funding out of the shadows, experts say.” (Law360)

  • Criminal Defense Bar Sides with U.S. Chamber in State Farm False Claims Act Appeal: The criminal defense bar is siding with the U.S. Chamber and other business groups in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal by State Farm over a federal court ruling in a case alleging the company violated the False Claims Act by over-billing the government for damage from Hurricane Katrina. State Farm argues that part of the lawsuit should’ve been thrown out because the plaintiffs’ former lawyer, Dickie Scruggs — who served prison time over bribery charges in a separate case — had distributed information about the lawsuit to the media before the mandated seal was lifted. (Reuters)