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- About MMM
Clients from local firms to Fortune 50 enterprises utilize the comprehensive litigation services of Morris, Manning & Martin. Our Litigation Practice has earned respect throughout the U.S. and abroad for skillful advocacy and dispute resolution. In every aspect of our practice, we endeavor to keep our clients one step ahead through our entrepreneurial litigation strategies and cost-saving measures. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication.
Our litigators handle a full range of business-related disputes in a wide variety of industries and are veterans in virtually every area of the law that could impact our clients’ daily activities. We handle everything from recurring matters, such as employment claims and breach of contract cases, to class actions in such diverse areas as consumer, financial and toxic tort cases. Some of our recent wins include an $8 million victory for a mechanical and manufacturing client, a successful defense of an attempted certification of a 40-state national class action alleging consumer fraud for a Fortune 50 retailer, dismissals of consumer insurance class action in multiple states, and a dismissal through summary judgment of a dozen contract and tort claims for a leading developer and owner of shopping malls before the Georgia Supreme Court.
Our team’s diverse experience brings unique perspective to our clients. Members of our team include former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers, associate and general counsel for Fortune 500 companies, and U.S. Attorneys. Our litigators have been recognized as leaders in their field by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Super Lawyers ® and Legal Elite ®, and Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Americaand Who’s Who in American Law.
Our firm has handled a broad array of class actions and mass actions for insurance, lenders, developers, manufacturers and contractors. We assess early both the merits and the likelihood of class certification and often win on the merits before the certification process.
We work side-by-side with our clients to identify issues and minimize or expeditiously resolve disputes. We represent clients involved with projects of all types ranging from residential construction to commercial and industrial projects.
We provide practical, informed and efficient solutions that deliver the best available resolution to our clients. Our litigators counsel trustees and creditor committees on available options, creative solutions and complex legal proceedings, and handle a broad range of bankruptcy litigation in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. Actions include plan confirmation issues, asset purchases, stay litigation, fraudulent transfer litigation, preference litigation and claim objections.
We defend the full array of employment cases, including matters relating to compliance audits, corporate restructurings, executive compensation and restrictive covenants. Our lawyers have extensive experience involving discrimination claims of all types, and frequently conduct internal employment audits. While many of our cases are resolved before trial, our Employment lawyers are also skilled trial lawyers who have litigated employment cases of every size and type.
Our lawyers work side-by-side with our clients to help identify issues or problems and minimize or expeditiously resolve disputes. Our team has successfully negotiated and litigated broad-based concerns, from cost recovery to insurance disputes. We lead the region in handling the burgeoning legal issues arising from mold claims, especially in the multifamily and Section 8 housing context. We deal on a daily basis with representatives of the EPA and have solved rehabilitation issues for hundreds of environmentally impacted properties, including Atlantic Station®, the largest brownfield redevelopment in the U.S.
Our experienced litigators regularly represent clients in litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings. Our lawyers have represented clients in civil and criminal disputes involving allegations of fraud and abuse and false claims. In administrative matters, we regularly represent healthcare providers in Certificate of Need appeals; licensure investigations and disciplinary actions; credentialing matters; Medical staff investigations, adverse actions and hearings; and Medicare/Medicaid audits, investigations, and appeals.
We represent a broad array of insurers and reinsurers in complex litigation and arbitration matters, including coverage disputes, agent misconduct situations, product torts, class actions, RICO claims, reinsurance disputes and contested regulatory matters. Our real-world experience allows us to effectively and efficiently advise our clients in all aspects of insurance and reinsurance. Members of our practice have specialized insurance and reinsurance arbitration experience and our lawyers have served as arbitrators and umpires in such disputes.
Our lawyers represent clients in a full range of intellectual property disputes including patent, software and literary copyright and trademark infringement, and misappropriation of trade secrets. We have appeared as lead counsel in the courts of more than 35 states and U.S. territories, as well as Canada and Europe. With offices in Beijing, China, and Taipei, Taiwan, as well as close relationships with law firms in Brazil, Canada and the UK, Morris, Manning & Martin offers a worldwide legal view, global marketplace connections, and comprehensive counseling excellence to international Intellectual Property clients.
Our litigators serve as lead counsel, trial counsel, and national coordinating counsel in complex litigation involving products liability, mass torts and related insurance coverage analysis and disputes. Clients value our skill in coordinating similar cases in different jurisdictions to ensure a consistent, strategic defense approach, especially regarding issues such as regulatory considerations and discovery matters.
We provide relevant advice and counsel to business entities that may have been victimized by fraud, theft or other misconduct allegedly committed by employees or senior officials. In particular, we conduct sensitive inquiries on behalf of companies, boards of directors, audit committees or special committees convened to handle a problem. We have extensive experience conducting internal investigations and representing companies and individuals that are the subject of investigations, as well as handling regulatory inquiries that frequently accompany such allegations. Among our many investigations, we have addressed allegations of improper accounting practices, RICO violations, price fixing and market allocation, securities fraud, illegal takeover, portfolio mismanagement, and theft or misuse of intellectual property or trade secrets.
The Appellate Practice at Morris, Manning & Martin adds to the firm's well-known litigation practice by combining the strengths of our appellate and trial litigators to fulfill and accomplish the needs of our clients. The group has established a reputation for effectively representing clients in major appeals in a wide variety of litigation forums, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as numerous federal and state appellate courts. We represent leaders in diverse industry sectors, including many Fortune 100 companies and leading financial institutions, as well as smaller companies.
Our ultimate goal is to advance our clients’ interests. We are committed to developing solutions to help our clients solve their toughest problems, and we approach each new challenge as an urgent business matter to be resolved expeditiously and cost-effectively. MMM serves clients in appeals for cases that the firm originally tried and are also regularly retained to handle prominent appeals in cases tried by other firms. In addition, our appellate lawyers provide strategic counseling and guidance on legal issues well before they reach the appellate level.
Our appellate litigators handle a full range of business-related disputes in a wide variety of industries and are veterans in virtually every area of the law that could impact our clients’ daily activities. We handle everything from recurring matters, such as employment claims and breach of contract cases, to class actions in such diverse areas as consumer, financial and toxic tort cases.
A critical component of winning commercial litigation cases is having access to the leading thought leaders. Morris, Manning & Martin has the contacts, resources and know-how to win. We have established an exceptional network of world-renowned experts in many disciplines, and have immediate access to top economists, forensic accountants, scientists, doctors, engineers and other specialists.
Our appellate team brings a diverse and broad range of experiences and skill sets to support our clients and to accomplish their goals in a cost-effective way. Members of the team include a former senior lawyer for the federal government, who briefed and argued both civil and criminal appeals for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as other senior lawyers with decades of successful appellate experience. Our appellate litigators have been recognized as leaders in their fields by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Super Lawyers ® and Legal Elite ®, Law360, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.
The Class Action Litigation Practice group at Morris, Manning & Martin defends national and international corporations against nationwide, multistate and single-state putative class actions.
Handling Complex Cases
Attorneys in the Class Action Litigation Practice have handled class action cases in the areas of mass tort, products liability, the Fair Business Practices Act, consumer lending and securities fraud. We often tackle multiple situations within a single case. For instance, a Fortune 50 corporation engaged our team to handle three separate multistate and nationwide putative class actions involving product liability and toxic tort claims. These proposed suits involved the full spectrum of claims, including breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of state and federal consumer fraud statutes, strict liability and negligence, as well as complex scientific issues. We are veterans at handling the many legal and technical issues arising in such cases, and employ all litigation tools at our disposal, such as utilizing expert testimony, to successfully represent our client.
Defending MultiState Actions
Gaining the proper legal venue and case status is key to an appropriate defense. Our Class Action team has experience across multiple jurisdictions. In the case referenced above, we successfully petitioned for removal from a plaintiff-friendly Louisiana state court to a federal court, where we then obtained a ruling denying class certification. On the second related case, which involved a multistate class, we received an order and memorandum opinion from a federal district court judge denying class certification under Rule 23(a)(3) (typicality), as well as under Rule 23(b)(3) (predominance and superiority). The third case, a proposed 50-state nationwide class action, has been successfully removed from a Louisiana state court to federal court. The issue of class certification has yet to be briefed and decided.
Dismissing Unwarranted Cases
Some situations simply do not warrant a class action, and we work hard to present the reality of each situation before the courts, then argue for a fair and objective ruling. For a Fortune 500 forest products corporation being sued over a residential siding product, we not only defeated certification of a statewide Georgia class but also obtained a grant of summary judgment in favor of the client that ended virtually all of the cases. In the case of aFortune 500 medical software company, we obtained a summary judgment for our client in a federal securities fraud class action arising from allegations of various accounting violations and misstatements of earnings; the dismissal was upheld on appeal. With experienced representation on your side, class action cases are put into perspective, and serious allegations reach disposition in as reasonable a manner as possible. Let Morris, Manning & Martin’s Class Action Litigation group provide our counseling excellence for your most difficult litigation needs.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Commercial Litigation Practice features a market-leading team of trial lawyers specializing in the representation of public and private companies in connection with contract disputes, business torts, corporate governance and related issues such as risk assessment and litigation avoidance. We represent leaders in diverse industry sectors, including many Fortune 100 companies and leading financial institutions, as well as smaller businesses in connection with their complex commercial litigation matters.
Our ultimate goal is to advance our clients’ interests. We understand that a client’s business plan, balance sheet and competitive profile are critical elements for successfully positioning litigation matters from the outset. We are committed to developing solutions to help our clients solve their toughest problems, and we approach each new challenge as an urgent business matter to be resolved expeditiously and cost-effectively.
Our commitment to innovation and technology is unique among law firms and allows us to provide a distinct competitive advantage for our clients. We utilize Legal Project Management (LPM), our web-based secure system that applies traditional project management tools and techniques to the delivery of legal services.
A critical component of winning commercial litigation cases is having access to the leading thought leaders. Morris, Manning & Martin has the contacts, resources and know-how to win. We have established an exceptional network of world-renowned experts in many disciplines, and have immediate access to top economists, forensic accountants, scientists, doctors, engineers and other specialists.
Our practice has national reach and experience. Our attorneys have litigated in state and federal courts and agencies across the country. We have extensive experience appearing before specialized business and chancery courts in jurisdictions throughout the Southeast, as well as Delaware, New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Competition Law Practice provides a broad spectrum of specialized services including preventive counseling, advice on complex issues and the defense of “bet the company” litigation.
We have tackled difficult competition problems in all sectors of the global economy, including:
The Competition Law Practice works as an integrated team and is particularly experienced in addressing multijurisdictional issues. In addition, in many of our representations, we provide a multidisciplinary perspective to client problems. To serve our clients’ needs, we work closely with our colleagues in other Morris, Manning & Martin practices, drawing upon the knowledge and skills of Corporate, Intellectual Property, Regulatory, Tax and Labor lawyers.
Regulated industries give rise to special competition law problems because any legal strategy, whether developed for litigation, for a counseling project or for an acquisition, must take into account not only the principles of competition law, but the interplay of those principles within the legal and administrative framework of the industry. Among the industries in which we have substantial experience are life sciences/healthcare, technology/telecommunications and financial services.
Morris, Manning & Martin has unique experience and capability in advising Life Sciences and Healthcare Industry clients due to the integration of our Competition lawyers with our Healthcare Regulatory lawyers and Transactional lawyers who concentrate in this industry. Our knowledge of the industry’s regulated context enables us to effectively and efficiently address competition concerns.
We advise clients regarding a wide range of issues, including mergers, acquisitions and licensing; pricing and distribution; and federal and state competition and consumer-protection investigations.
We have substantial experience with the range of competition issues faced by companies involved with the technology, media and communications industries. We handle litigation and counseling, as well as mergers and enforcement actions.
Our lawyers have substantial experience with the competition issues that arise in the financial markets, including the securities and commodities markets. We handle government and private litigation (including class actions), as well as investigations initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement. We provide advice regarding joint ventures and mergers and assisted with SEC regulatory issues involving competition issues.
Mergers and Acquisitions/Premerger Notifications
Successful mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances are built on accurate assessments of potential competitive risks in the United States, the European Union, Asia and elsewhere. As a transaction is planned, the strategy for addressing competition enforcement agencies and other interested government officials must be planned carefully. We have significant experience advising and working with our clients to develop successful strategies for handling competition issues arising in connection with their transactions.
We are experienced with the full range of competitive issues that arise in the merger and acquisition context, including notification filings with appropriate governmental authorities and responding challenges brought by U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies and other U.S. regulatory agencies, state attorneys general and international authorities. We continuously update our experience with and knowledge of U.S. merger and acquisition enforcement policy as represented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the myriad of other potential enforcers. We also have extensive experience handling mergers and acquisitions in regulated industries, and are particularly sensitive to the need for careful coordination of filings and proceedings with regulatory agencies at both the federal and state levels.
We work with our clients to maximize the chances of regulatory authority approval of each transaction by:
An important part of client service in mergers and acquisitions is our experience with preparing and filing the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification materials with the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice. We maintain up-to-date knowledge of the filing regulations and provisions of the premerger notification law.
Today’s global economy has had a dramatic impact on competition policy and practice. Increasingly, competition cases possess international aspects, whether because the parties involved come from countries other than the United States, because the conduct at issue is subject to enforcement by multiple authorities, or because criminal or civil discovery has a transnational dimension. Morris, Manning & Martin attorneys successfully anticipate and address the complex issues that arise in these situations.
Our growing international presence allows us to serve non-U.S. companies facing U.S. government enforcement actions and private litigation. We have successfully obtained dismissals for clients based on a lack of subject matter or personal jurisdiction. Where such strategies are unsuccessful, we work closely with non-U.S. clients to develop discovery strategies that take into account the complexity of U.S. discovery for non-U.S. offices and executives. Our experience also allows us to efficiently and effectively represent clients seeking a U.S. forum for their disputes with non-U.S. entities.
When a foreign client faces the possibility of U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal enforcement, we work closely with the client and DOJ to resolve the matter as quickly and favorably as possible, taking into account the possibility of enforcement from other countries’ competition authorities. When early resolution is not desirable, we defend such clients by using appropriate procedural and substantive defenses. We regularly serve as international coordinating counsel on such matters, advising clients on the development of a single comprehensive strategy that addresses all potential challenges, whether asserted by government authorities and/or private parties.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Consumer Finance litigators provide specialized representation for lenders and servicers operating in the highly regulated consumer financial services arena. Our in-depth understanding of consumer-related statutes, combined with our proven litigation strategies and skills, enables our team to successfully defend clients in cases at the state and federal level, as well as consumer class actions.
Our Consumer Finance Litigation team represents a wide variety of clients, including banks, insurers, collection agencies, debt buyers, consumer finance companies, issuers of credit cards, retailers and vendors. In addition, we have successfully defended financial service providers in litigation involving automobile loans and leases, retail installment loans, revolving credit loans, credit cards, and other consumer credit products. Our clients range in size from some of the largest banks and finance companies to small, closely held enterprises. We counsel and defend these clients in matters related to the various consumer finance laws in state and federal courts throughout the country, both in individual and class action cases. In addition, our lawyers provide counseling to clients in this area to prevent future litigation and mitigate risks associated with litigation, including advising on measures clients can take to ensure compliance with applicable statutes.
Our team’s extensive experience includes individual and class actions claims brought under the CROA, ECOA, FCBA, FCRA, FDCPA, RESPA, TCPA, TILA, Reg. Z, and state UDAP statutes, as well as state common law. Our lawyers understand the requirements and prohibitions of these statutes and the ways in which the statutes have been interpreted by various courts to help guide our clients to the best possible outcome in court.
In addition to federal and state consumer finance statute defense cases, our team defends clients in housing and lending discrimination charges, including loan flipping, reverse redlining, insurance packing, and yield-spread premium claims, and handles cases involving collection activities, usury laws, and related state consumer fraud act claims. We assist with the pricing and design of various credit and loan programs, including the review of consumer loan and lease forms, and provide recommendations concerning compliance and financing procedures. Our lawyers often also provide advice and litigation assistance in connection with bankrupt consumers.
Experienced Class Action Defense
We have represented many entities, including financial institutions and collection agencies, in statewide and national litigation. When handling class action matters, our lawyers collaborate with our clients to obtain results in line with the client’s best interests and business goals. We promptly deal with important witnesses, documents, expert analysis, and other aspects to identify key facts and crucial legal strategies. Through our efforts, we have successfully moved to dismiss many cases before class certification and then negotiated reasonable individual and class-wide settlements. In cases where dismissal is not feasible, we have successfully settled such actions for appropriate amounts, opposed class certification, obtained decertification, and convinced courts to bifurcate discovery, thereby significantly limiting exposure and costs.
When accusations of corporate wrongdoing arise, a company must quickly and thoroughly investigate the situation and act on the results of that investigation. Morris, Manning & Martin’s Special Investigations Practice is your partner in evaluation and response.
Counsel for Sensitive Issues
We provide relevant advice and counsel to business entities that may have been victimized by fraud, theft or other misconduct allegedly committed by employees or senior officials. In particular, we conduct sensitive inquiries on behalf of companies, boards of directors, audit committees or special committees convened to handle a problem. We have extensive experience conducting internal investigations and representing companies and individuals that are the subject of investigations, as well as handling regulatory inquiries that frequently accompany such allegations.
Fielding a Veteran Team
Our Special Investigations Practice consists of both corporate lawyers and trial lawyers with broad-ranging skill and experience. Our team is led by a former Senior Special Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division, a former Special Assistant U.S. Lawyer, a trial lawyer previously with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and a senior transactional lawyer active in professional leadership positions across the field. With this veteran Special Investigations team, we have the capacity to respond immediately and conduct a privileged and thorough assessment of a business crisis. Our breadth of knowledge and professional contacts throughout the U.S. allow us to take decisive action to seek the best possible outcome for our clients.
From Investigation to Compliance
In determining whether and how to conduct an internal investigation, we bring discretion, business judgment and pragmatism to the table. We operate proactively and assist our clients in establishing corporate legal compliance programs and codes of ethical conduct, including those required by recent federal corporate governance legislation, evolving federal regulations, and stock market rules. Among our many investigations, we have addressed allegations of improper accounting practices, RICO violations, price fixing and market allocation, securities fraud, illegal takeover, portfolio mismanagement, and theft or misuse of intellectual property or trade secrets. When facing the complex, high-profile problems associated with corporate malfeasance, business leaders rely on the counseling excellence of the team at Morris, Manning & Martin.
At the most troubled time for a business, the Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy Practice at Morris, Manning & Martin works to attain the best solution that meets our clients’ goals and expectations. Legal options range from structuring workout financing to counseling credit committees to seeking recourse in court. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication.
Our attorneys regularly assist lenders in pursuing remedies against borrowers, guarantors and other third parties whose actions may have contributed to the lender’s loss. We represent clients in foreclosure proceedings, defend actions to enjoin foreclosures and pursue court confirmation of foreclosure sales. We also represent clients in state and federal courts to collect amounts owed, whether a direct suit on notes and guaranties or a deficiency claim subsequent to a foreclosure. We also counsel and represent clients in obtaining court-appointed receivers to manage the lender’s collateral and investigate and pursue fraudulent transfer actions against obligors. Our attorneys regularly represent unsecured creditors’ committees in bankruptcy and ad hoc committees of creditors outside of bankruptcy. The practice also includes the defense of lenders in lender liability claims.
Financially distressed businesses also gain valuable legal services when they enter the unfamiliar territory of loan workouts, corporate restructurings or Chapter 11 proceedings. Our experienced lawyers assess the legal issues related to the financial problems and guide company management toward realistic goals and solutions. We always seek to resolve problems and achieve business objectives by cooperating with creditors. However, when necessary, we utilize the array of legal tools to seek appropriate relief by proposing a plan of reorganization, a sale of the business or its assets or an orderly liquidation. We assist clients with voluntary wind-downs and liquidations that aim to avoid bankruptcy filings. With our veteran legal team, litigation is proactively managed and the risk of an involuntary bankruptcy filing can be minimized.
Lenders regularly seek our representation regarding problem business loans. These include real estate and asset-based financings, term loans, lines of credit, letters of credit, revolving credit facilities and franchise financing. Our philosophy is to be practical, solve problems, resolve conflicts and, whenever possible, maintain the loan as an earning asset. We assist lenders in identifying loan documentation deficiencies, identifying and correcting problems with recording of security interests and determining creative solutions to resolve any problems. In some cases, a workout or restructuring of the loan, whether cooperative or adversarial, may provide an acceptable and desirable solution.
Lenders and creditor committees are counseled on available options, creative solutions and complex legal proceedings. Practice group lawyers handle a broad range of bankruptcy litigation. Actions include plan confirmation issues, asset purchases, stay litigation, fraudulent transfer litigation, preference litigation, negotiation of cash collateral orders and claim objections. In any type of representation that requires specialized knowledge in other areas of law, we draw from the expertise of affiliated Morris, Manning & Martin practice groups. With this depth of support, the Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Practice provides practical, informed and efficient solutions that deliver to our clients the best available resolution.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Crisis Management Practice group is led by senior lawyers who undertake operational and management responsibility for high-risk, high profile situations and crises. We understand that how your company responds to a crisis will say a great deal about your organization, its culture and values.
Our interdisciplinary team provides assistance to management in preparing a comprehensive litigation methodology, including project management. We help our clients to either prepare for or instantaneously respond to crises situations, including investigations, evidence preservation, public relations selection, local counsel management, issue coordination, damage assessment, liability analysis, and financial exposure containment.
The interdisciplinary team includes lawyers from the firm’s products liability/mass torts, construction, environmental, finance/securities, compliance/regulatory, healthcare, bankruptcy, and logistics practices. The team’s experience covers virtually every industry including privacy and information technology, financial services, transportation, waste treatment, timberland, heavy manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, and construction.
Our lawyers and legal professionals include skilled litigators, highly respected industry and regulatory thought leaders, and project management leaders. We can assist clients with issues involving an isolated accident, product liability, environmental or toxic tort claims, subrogation recoveries, claims system reviews, due diligence requirements, or total quality management of a client’s claims, outside counsel or third party administrators. Our experience includes crisis preparedness and communication plans, governmental hearings, in-house event investigations, efficient nationwide claims resolution and lawsuit/law firm administration procedures, complex case negotiations, trial strategy, trial and appeals.
We help our clients achieve their crisis management goals through carefully developed programs that include:
One MMM Crisis Practice member has been involved for the last four decades in advising major transportation entities and diverse corporations in how to prepare for, and respond to, a crisis/catastrophic event. He has been the lead attorney advising airlines in the aftermath of forty-three catastrophic accidents (e.g. Tenerife and Lockerbie) and has directed the management of multi-district litigation and trials arising there from.
Data privacy and security is pivotal. Data – client data, customer data, vendor data, patient data, personnel data – is core to operating a business, as such it must be properly protected and maintained. The number of data breach incidents has increased sharply over the past few years. Given the potential costs associated with a data breach or cyber-attack, companies need a law firm with significant regulatory, risk management and litigation experience. Morris, Manning & Martin’s Cybersecurity & Privacy practice offers a wealth of experience guiding clients through such situations, managing them in the most effective way possible to optimize compliance, limit risk and minimize damages.
We provide a broad spectrum of specialized services which pull from several key practices including regulatory, litigation, insurance, financial services, healthcare, and technology. We recognize that the flow of information between businesses, consumers, and third-party vendors is becoming increasingly faster and more difficult to protect. While the vast array of data presents numerous opportunities and advantages, it also presents tremendous risks and exposure to potential cyber-liabilities.
Our specialized industry experience ensures we have the right lawyers in place to address regulatory compliance and breaches in a myriad of industries. We represent a diverse group of clients with respect to data security breaches, including financial institutions, payment processing vendors, retailers, health care providers, hospitality, travel & leisure, high-tech companies, and insurance issuers.
The means by which we communicate information has exploded in the past few decades and as each channel becomes available, the rules for protecting them must be created and the exposures they reveal must be examined. Clients need experienced, responsive counsel to help make sense of the opportunities and issues these channels present, as well as provide an understanding of the different rules associated with each, developing appropriate policies, and handling potential data breaches.
MMM’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Practice assists businesses of all sizes and types with:
Our lawyers have a thorough knowledge of the state, federal and international data privacy and security laws which apply to data breaches. For instance, our team regularly analyzes and applies the following laws to data breaches across various industries and circumstances:
We also advise clients with regard to state security breach notification laws and other state laws dealing with the privacy and security of personal information.
In the event of a breach, our integrated approach ensures that the best privacy, internal investigations and securities legal counseling is provided in a coordinated manner at a time when companies feel the most vulnerable. We have extensive experience working on cyber security matters with federal officials, investigators, the FTC and other government agencies. In addition, our corporate and securities lawyers have counseled the leaders of many top companies and their boards of directors in disclosure requirements arising from data security breaches.
Areas in which MMM provides specific advice pertaining to data breaches & security include:
Privacy of Consumer Information
Businesses must be hyper-cognizant of regulations concerning the protection of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII), particularly those within the healthcare and insurance industries. Those that collect, use, and store PII – such as names, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, credit information, and social security numbers – are subject to an increasing number of state and federal laws and regulations that require privacy notices to consumers, patients, employees, and the rigorous protection of PII. Noncompliance with these requirements, as well as data breaches resulting in sensitive information being released to unauthorized persons, can result in substantial fines, penalties and other legal liability, as well as public relations concerns.
Businesses are also subject to a plethora of regulations concerning marketing practices. We regularly counsel clients on the CAN-SPAM Act, Do Not Call and Telemarketing Sales laws among others, analyzing whether existing and prospective advertising campaigns and promotions are fully compliant. MMM’s lawyers are also experienced with the unique issues presented by new media outlets such as social networking sites, blogs, and mobile advertising, and we advise businesses on how to protect themselves while taking advantage of powerful, new communication tools.
Privacy of Healthcare Information
We regularly counsel clients on healthcare-related privacy regulations, such as those mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the HITECH provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, which imposes civil and criminal penalties for mishandling medical records upon healthcare providers and the many businesses that support them.
Privacy of Financial Information
MMM counsels clients regarding the rapidly evolving body of regulations aimed at protecting financial information. Under FTC regulations adopted pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, companies that offer financial products or services to individuals (consumer lending, tax preparation, financial advice or credit counseling, residential real estate settlement, and consumer debt collection) must comply with the Financial Privacy Rule, Safeguards Rule, and antipretexting provisions. The FTC’s “Red Flags Rule” requires virtually every business that extends credit to consumers to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. We are experienced in helping businesses understand their obligations and developing practical compliance methods.
Our Data Security, Privacy & Breach Practice is experienced with analyzing the internal practices of large and small employers, and the steps taken to maintain privacy compliance in the workplace. We advise employers on the development of systematic and consistent data protection policies across various company functions, such as the implementation of effective staff training to increase sensitivity to data privacy concerns and the maintenance of physical and technological safeguards for sensitive data, such as passwords, encryption, and data retention/destruction policies. Equally important, we advise employers regarding workplace monitoring and searches, the handling of medical records, employees’ personal use of office technology (e-mail, computers, phones), and social media.
Breach Management and Litigation
The evolution of privacy regulations has been paralleled by a significant increase in the penalties associated with breaches of privacy. The price of a compromise of confidential information is steep – it can result in fines reaching millions of dollars along with significant public relations and customer service challenges. The lawyers in our Data Security & Breach Practice offer a wealth of experience guiding clients through such situations, managing them in the most effective way possible to minimize damages, and correcting mistakes to ensure future compliance.
MMM lawyers have advised clients on a wide variety of data security and privacy matters, including the following:
Morris, Manning & Martin’s E-Cigarette/Vape practice group represents a broad spectrum of companies in the e-cigarette/vape industry, including retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. Our representation frequently involves defending these companies in state and federal courts around the country against complex and high-exposure product liability claims, including single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff claims arising from allegedly defective vape devices and/or their component parts.
Our firm’s experience representing companies in traditional product liability matters has provided a solid foundation for this evolving practice, including dealing with the myriad of scientific and medical causation issues that arise in these matters. Most e-cigarette/vape cases involve a variation of these issues, as establishing liability in such cases often turns on whether there was a product defect and, if so, who is responsible for the defect (e.g., the manufacturer of the device; the manufacturer of the battery; the retailer who provided or failed to provide appropriate warnings; the end user who failed to follow instructions, modified the device or failed to use the device in accordance with its instructions). These causation issues also frequently include detection of counterfeit devices, batteries, and component parts.
Product and party identification and evaluation is also critical in e-cigarette/vape matters. Because plaintiffs frequently do not know all parties in the chain of distribution, they either will not name all such parties as defendants in the lawsuit or will name incorrect/improper parties (i.e., those who had no connection to the product). Accordingly, in each case, we promptly determine whether our client was in fact connected to the product. If so, we identify other parties in the chain and their respective roles to assess whether there is a realistic chance of recovering contribution from them in the event they are at fault. Frequently, there are international manufacturers involved in the process, from whom it can be difficult or cost-prohibitive to obtain jurisdiction or enforce a judgment. Alternatively, there may be smaller “mom and pop” parties involved, over whom it may be possible to obtain jurisdiction but from whom it might be difficult to enforce a judgment to the extent they are not adequately capitalized. Understanding these causation and product/party identification issues, as well as the evolving landscape relating to joint and several liability and contributory negligence, is critical in connection with efficiently resolving these matters on terms beneficial to our clients and their insurers.
We also advise our e-cigarette/vape clients on how to minimize and/or mitigate their potential risk through pre-litigation strategies, including assisting them with securing appropriate insurance coverage; preparing limitation of liability language for use on their website or at the point of sale; and developing language regarding the proper use of the device and/or the appropriate types of batteries for the device. Our firm also tracks regulatory issues and other industry standards relating to e-cigarette/vape devices, which are critical to understand for businesses operating in any area of the industry.
Finally, we have counseled our e-cigarette/vape clients in connection with corporate matters (e.g., structuring their companies, funding, mergers and acquisitions, etc.) and intellectual property matters (e.g., registering and protecting trademarks and patents.)
The Environmental Litigation Practice at Morris, Manning & Martin is one of the leading practices of its kind in the U.S. Our lawyers routinely assist clients across the country with environmental considerations and their impact on business and corporate real estate. Redevelopment of contaminated properties hinges on liability, regulations, and financing. Our lawyers navigate a course through these obstacles and steer clients toward meeting their goals.
Negotiators and Litigators
Our lawyers address and solve environmental issues associated with every type of property, including steel mills, plating facilities, automobile manufacturing facilities, textile mills, military bases, ports, oil fields, shopping centers, landfills, timber assets, hotels, office complexes and residential developments. We develop mechanisms through which such properties can be purchased, financed, redeveloped and sold in an increasingly challenging market. This includes addressing environmental issues associated with distressed assets and, increasingly, port and infrastructure developments. Our lawyers possess broad based experience in issues associated with such developments, including Environmental Impact Statements and the permitting related to dredging and filling needed for port related expansions and development of other waterfront properties. We have also successfully negotiated and litigated broad-based environmental concerns, from cost recovery to insurance disputes. We deal on a daily basis with representatives of the EPA and their state counterparts and have resolved property rehabilitation issues for hundreds of environmentally impacted properties across the country, including Atlantic Station®.
Leadership Across the Field
Our lawyers are active in professional and regulatory circles, interpreting and drafting new regulations to guide business and industry toward creative new solutions. We serve as national environmental counsel for a number of major institutional clients. Our group includes lawyers with engineering and construction experience, an environmental specialist and a former state environmental regulator, adding technical and regulatory depth. We deal on a daily basis with representatives of the EPA, have developed close relationships with senior-level state regulators and regularly assist in developing cleanup standards that are realistic and cost-effective. We have developed brownfield legislation across the U.S. that engages local and state governments and provides economic and other incentives for redevelopment.
Focused on Solutions
Our lawyers concentrate on finding solutions to solve environmental risks while serving our clients’ business objectives. Redevelopment efforts proceed in combination with pollution cleanup, creating institutional-grade properties that become valuable business assets. Financing is secured with transferable liability protections. Our goal-oriented leadership on Atlantic Station® in Atlanta turned the nation’s largest brownfield site into a multi-use development that has earned the highest environmental accolades and the prestigious Phoenix Award. We are also actively involved on behalf of lenders in addressing distressed properties which suffer from environmental issues and in developing methods and strategies whereby the lender can realize upon its collateral. With environmentally compromised properties, land use, property values and corporate bottom lines are interwoven. Such disparate considerations can be overcome using the comprehensive expertise you will find in the Environmental lawyers at Morris, Manning & Martin.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Government Contracts team understands the federal government's procurement process. For a federal or state government contractor, or for a business that has decided to enter into the government market, the accurate identification and mitigation of the risks arising from the procurement process is a necessity. Our extensive background working within the federal and state procurements brings a significant advantage to our clients when navigating their relationships with government agencies. In addition to procurement matters, our lawyers specialize in administrative and contract law spanning the full range of federal, state, and local government contract formation and administration.
Our team assists clients with every stage of the government procurement process, beginning with an analysis of the risks associated with entering the market and continuing through the issues arising during the solicitation, award, performance, and completion of government contracts. Transactions in this market are affected by a mix of commercial and uniquely federal rules and regulations, many of which can vary substantially based on several factors, including the type of product or service being acquired, the acquiring agency, and the characteristics of the contractor itself. We help clients understand, respond to, and, if necessary, litigate issues and disputes arising in negotiated solicitations; GSA Schedule contracting; offer, acceptance and award; mistake in bid; contractor responsibility and responsiveness; cost reimbursement contracts; contract audits; suspension and debarment; Small Business contracting; the Service Contract Act; the Buy American Act; the Trade Agreements Act; the Freedom of Information Act; appropriation of funds; rights in technical data; contract interpretation; termination for convenience claims; change orders; excusable delays; inspection and acceptance of goods; cost accounting; warranties; and default terminations.
Many of our clients provide high technology goods and services. In addition, MMM's government contract team also represents a wide variety of other companies selling a wide variety of products and services to all levels of the government. Our lawyers have significant depth working with clients in industries including:
Mergers & Acquisitions
MMM provides merger and acquisition assistance at every stage, from planning strategic considerations involved in structuring and financing transactions to negotiating effectively to fully capitalize on the business opportunities presented. The firm works with companies and their directors to formulate and implement an acquisition strategy, respond to acquisition invitations of other bidders, and structure strategic joint ventures involving multiple parties and lines of business. We also conduct due diligence on the government contract portfolios of acquisition targets. When needed, our team relies on the depth of our full corporate to bring in needed expertise to successfully advise clients and close deals.
Termination of a government contract or subcontract before the completion of a performance can present significant challenges for any contractor. In cases where the government or a higher tier contractor has terminated a contract, whether for its convenience or for alleged default, MMM works with our clients to identify, analyze, and respond to the fact and legal issues raised by the termination. We help clients prepare and defend termination settlement proposals when required and, where appropriate, challenge the government’s (or higher tier contractor’s) allegations of non-performance in cases of termination for default. Often, when we are engaged prior to a formal adverse action by the government or higher tier contractor, we are able to help the contractor demonstrate the non-existence of the alleged failure of performance, and where appropriate, to develop, negotiate, and implement a corrective action plan to respond to the concerns and avoid termination.
MMM also represents contractors and subcontractors in formal legal proceedings challenging adverse contract actions, including litigation between the contractor and the agency in the government contracts forums (Boards of Contract Appeals, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or U.S. District Court) and between contractors and subcontractors in federal and state courts.
At a client’s request, our team will conduct an internal investigation in advance of any government inquiry into possible problems, as well as prepare responses to subpoenas and investigations. Our lawyers will represent the client in any suspension and/or debarment proceedings if necessary.
MMM counsels clients with regard to the often complex requirements of various government ethical mandates and the steps they must take and document to satisfy those requirements. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Today’s healthcare, pharmaceutical, life sciences and medical device companies face ever expanding state and federal regulations, and are often targeted in parallel civil, criminal and administrative proceedings at the federal and state level. Additional collateral proceedings such as product liability suits, third-party payor suits and employment issues are frequent by products of civil and criminal investigations. Morris, Manning & Martin’s deep expertise in the healthcare sector, along with its collaborative approach of teaming with appropriate substantive and regulatory experts, provides clients with full-service, multidisciplinary representation when confronted with such issues. In addition, the firm utilizes a broad array of mobile resources and technology to respond quickly and efficiently to pressing client needs.
A Diverse Team of Specialists
Attorneys in the Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Practice have extensive training and experience in the healthcare industry and with various federal healthcare compliance and regulatory matters. Two of the Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Practice’s members have served as in-house counsel at large Georgia hospitals, providing unique insight into the challenges faced by many of our clients. Additionally, one of our practice members is a former Assistant United States Attorney who served as the federal Criminal Healthcare Coordinator, in which capacity she oversaw all healthcare investigations and prosecutions in her office’s district, including investigations into and prosecutions of federal providers and pharmaceutical companies. These combined prior experiences provide a unique understanding of the investigative and prosecutorial process, as well as an appreciation for the consequences of the findings that may arise from such inquiries.
Should the need arise, we provide clients with a creative, hardworking litigation team equipped to deal efficiently, effectively and responsively with the most sensitive and challenging legal issues. Each case is engaged with our aggressive, hands-on approach and, always conscious of the cost of litigation, we strive to formulate a strategy to obtain the best possible result, carried out in a practical, cost-effective manner that best applies our resources to meet each client’s objectives.
The Healthcare Practice is highly regulated and rapidly changing. Individuals and companies that do business in this arena require legal counsel with a hands-on understanding of the unique issues of the healthcare environment and constructive solutions to their problems. Our Healthcare litigators practice exclusively in this area and, consequently, have in-depth expertise helping clients achieve successful resolutions in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication.
Our experienced Healthcare litigators offer deep healthcare expertise and significant experience with sensitive and high-pressure matters. Our clients span the healthcare industry, including for-profit and nonprofit healthcare providers, rural and community hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations and physician practice groups. We regularly represent these clients in litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings, ranging from complex business litigation to employment issues to whistleblower actions to provider reimbursement issues to medical staff disputes. Our team represents clients in civil and criminal disputes involving allegations of fraud and abuse and false claims. We also represents healthcare providers in administrative matters such as Certificate of Need appeals; licensure investigations and disciplinary actions; credentialing matters; Medical staff investigations, adverse actions and hearings; and Medicare/Medicaid audits, investigations, and appeals.
The Insurance and Reinsurance Dispute Resolution Practice at Morris, Manning & Martin combines best practices in litigation and arbitration with extensive experience serving the insurance industry.
Strategic Legal Services
Morris, Manning & Martin represents a broad array of insurers and reinsurers in complex litigation and arbitration matters, including coverage disputes, agent misconduct situations, product torts, RICO claims, reinsurance disputes and contested regulatory matters. We analyze the substantive and procedural law to identify available forums and seek the most favorable venue. For example, the application of the reinsurance principle of utmost good faith varies sharply by jurisdiction, as does the approach taken by differing courts with regard to parallel proceedings, stays or injunctions. In each instance, we are focused on a strategic, substantive defense designed to achieve the specific goals of our client.
Our litigation and arbitration professionals possess in-depth insurance and reinsurance industry knowledge. This real-world experience allows us to effectively and efficiently advise clients in all aspects of insurance and reinsurance dispute resolutions. Members of our practice have extensive jury trial experience, as well as specialized insurance and reinsurance arbitration experience, and our lawyers have served as arbitrators in such disputes. When we analyze issues and recommend solutions, we consider not only the procedural and substantive matters relevant to the specific dispute, but also the costs, the potential for settlement or mediation and the effect of alternative outcomes on future strategies and exposures. With a broad view of how the industry works, we concentrate on an overall solution that best serves the interests of our client.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s Insurance lawyers speak frequently to the industry on regulatory, litigation, reinsurance, healthcare and insurer insolvency matters. We are regularly retained by insurers and industry associations to submit amicus briefs to appellate courts. From an office in Washington D.C., we provide review and counsel to Congress and regulators on evolving issues, such as the question of federal oversight.
Our attorneys work everyday with insurance departments across the country. We advise clients on regulatory requirements and administrative procedures and represent clients before regulators and administrative agencies. Additionally, we have served as counsel to the insurance commissioners of both Georgia and Michigan in insurer rehabilitations and liquidations involving Confederation Life Insurance and Annuity Company and Coastal States Life Insurance Company.
Relationships across the U.S. and in financial centers around the world give MMM’s attorneys the ability to act on a client’s behalf wherever a problem arises. For national representation by a team of respected industry veterans, insurance and reinsurance clients rely on our counseling excellence.
Intellectual property disputes require the highest levels of expertise not only in the courtroom, but also in the technology matter at hand. Our IP clients succeed with unparalleled representation when they work with the talented and accomplished Intellectual Property Litigation Practice lawyers at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication.
Our IP Litigation Practice represents clients in a full range of intellectual property disputes including patent, software and literary copyright and trademark infringement, and misappropriation of trade secrets. We represent clients wherever the dispute may arise and have appeared as lead counsel in the courts of more than 35 states and U.S. territories, as well as Canada and Europe. Since 1987, we have served IP clients ranging from publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies to individual inventors and start-up ventures.
We understand that IP disputes involve unique legal and business issues that impact diverse aspects of our clients’ businesses. As a result, we provide clients with creative litigation strategies to resolve efficiently and effectively these unique issues. While we vigorously defend each client’s rights, we also recognize that litigation often is a distracting and time-consuming process for our clients. Accordingly, we stay focused on the substantive issues and work closely with our clients to reevaluate our strategies to balance potential benefits and the related costs, and achieve the optimum result.
Often, the greatest service we can provide our clients is counseling on how to avoid the necessity for our litigation services in the future. Our IP Litigation lawyers pride themselves on their ability to counsel clients in avoiding IP disputes by utilizing proven, proactive strategies that achieve their clients’ goals while minimizing the risk of costly litigation.
Companies seeking experienced counselors in recalling potentially harmful products and skilled litigators who have served as national coordinating counsel for complex cases, including multidistrict litigation and class actions, are more often turning to the lawyers in Morris, Manning & Martin’s Products Liability, Mass Torts & Class Actions Practice. The team’s national reputation is evidenced by their nomination as a leading practice by Chambers USA, a leading legal ranking publication.
Proven Cost-Value Approach
From manufacturers to retailers, those in this chain of manufacture, distribution and sale know of the business risk presented by threatened and actual product recalls and the ensuing litigation. As businesses involved in the consumer products world quickly learn, defense and liability for a faulty product or environmental hazard can arise against any link in that chain, regardless of an entity’s direct connection to the basis for fault. In these often multi-defendant, multijurisdictional cases, your legal team (both in-house and outside counsel) must swiftly and strategically respond to your needs, while at the same time understanding and managing the impact such a threat has on your bottom line and brand. Accordingly, we balance the equation of size and service with a team capable enough to serve Fortune 50 clients, yet one which has an individual client focus. You get top-shelf legal service and personal attention when you need it most, as well as cost controls that match your needs.
With MMM, clients discover a legal partner with experience and resourcefulness: experienced Products Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action lawyers who also are skilled managers and crisis coordinators, always on top of the details. We have built a national reputation on our inventive approach and mastery in complex legal disputes. In addition, our lawyers are active leaders in professional legal societies such as the Defense Research Institute and the American Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section, which enable us to affiliate with the best legal teams when local counsel is needed.
We represent clients throughout the country in industries ranging from building materials to chemical products to personal care products to pharmaceuticals. We act as lead counsel, trial counsel and national coordinating counsel for companies involved in a variety of manufacturing, distribution and retail concerns. We will expertly handle the litigation of a single case, but our clients also value our skill sets in coordinating multidistrict litigation to ensure a consistent, strategic defense approach, especially regarding issues such as overall defense themes, presentation of corporate representations, discovery and document production. For a discerning litigation manager, our practice handles the vexing problems of a multijurisdictional business: how to find responsive, experienced counsel with the goal of bottom-line protection.
Because Commercial Real Estate transactions often involve multiple parties, large sums of capital, long-term contracts and complex ownership structures, litigation is a very real possibility. For the benefit of our clients, Morris, Manning & Martin’s (MMM’s) national Real Estate Litigation Practice combines the firm’s extensive real estate knowledge with our broad litigation experience to provide our clients with value-added and industry-focused representation.
Commercial Real Estate
Developers, commercial landlords, owners, real-estate partnerships, limited partners and REITs are among those we represent in a wide range of real-estate disputes. We handle matters concerning real estate partnership interests, commercial office building appraisals, construction defects, contested easements, environmental, land use and zoning disputes, and disputes between lenders, owners and developers of office buildings, industrial sites, multi-family and multi-use properties, hotels, shopping centers, and residential communities.
Working in unison, MMM’s litigators and real estate attorneys efficiently assess the root cause of the dispute and diagnose the best path forward to provide our clients with clarity, closure and the best financial outcome possible.
In addition to MMM’s commercial real estate litigation experience, MMM possesses a number of highly skilled and experienced attorneys focused on specialty litigation/dispute resolution issues important to the real estate sector, including Environmental, Construction, Zoning & Land Use, and Eminent Domain.
MMM’s Environmental Practice develops mechanisms through which environmentally impacted properties can be purchased, financed, redeveloped and sold in an increasingly challenging market. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s continuous ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication. The practice’s key services include environmental insurance negotiations & claims; environmental litigation; environmental permitting; litigation, arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution in all state and federal courts and forums; negotiating risk allocation of environmental costs and liabilities; negotiations of remediation agreements; and negotiations with state & federal regulators.
At MMM, we understand the technical, business and legal issues inherent in the multidimensional construction process. Our Construction lawyers assure that developments proceed with our clients’ best interests in mind. Our key services include bid protests and procurement disputes; design, permitting and development of construction projects; design, engineering and construction contracts and related documents; and, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, arbitration and litigation of construction issues and disputes.
Construction projects involve a variety of parties, each having a different role in the permitting, procurement, design, implementation, completion and operation of a project. Our Construction lawyers represent each of the participants in the process, including owners, developers, lenders, bonding companies, construction managers, contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors and suppliers. We understand construction from each distinct perspective and are able to leverage that knowledge to assist clients in accomplishing their overall business objectives.
Zoning & Land Use
MMM’s Zoning & Land Use Practice is the first choice among property owners, developers, corporate and institutional users, and investors who demand the most effective representation. Our lawyers are at the forefront of every aspect of land use, zoning, permitting, eminent domain, property rights, telecommunications, environmental and other development-related regulatory issues that may arise in municipal and county jurisdictions in Georgia.
Our lawyers are experienced and well positioned to address issues related to special land use permits, rezonings, variances and special exceptions, impact fees, zoning modifications, text amendments, and interpretations of zoning ordinances and related comprehensive future development maps. We have successfully represented clients with regard to development regional impact (DRIs), tree preservation ordinances, zoning feasibility studies, traffic studies and other land use-related issues.
The lawyers in our Eminent Domain & Condemnation Practice have experience representing property owners and condemning authorities in matters relating to all types of property, including multiuse, business, industrial, residential and unimproved acreage. Our key services include direct condemnation, eminent domain acquisitions, inverse condemnation, and representing property owners & condemning authorities.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s securities litigation team provides clients with an extensive range of knowledge and experience, arguing matters before state and federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitration panels. The team has represented entities involved in investigative and regulatory inquiries conducted by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Georgia Securities Commissioner, other federal and state law enforcement authorities and self-regulatory organizations.
Our litigators have experience in all aspects of securities claims, from federal and state shareholder class actions to investigations by the SEC, state securities regulators or one of the exchanges, claims under state law (including derivative claims) and securities industry arbitration. We provide clients with a strategic advantage by our ability to draw upon our securities experience and transactional lawyers, as well as lawyers in our Creditors’ Rights Bankruptcy, White Collar Litigation & Government Investigations, Real Estate Litigation and Tax Practices.
Through this multidisciplinary approach to counseling our clients, we can help formulate strategies and take steps designed to limit their litigation risk. Our practice, however, is not limited to providing advice and settling cases: we are trial lawyers with extensive jury and non-jury trial experience that we can bring to bear whenever that is the right approach.
State Shareholder Litigation Practice
Morris, Manning & Martin has nationwide experience litigating shareholder claims arising under state law. Our experience includes defending state law class actions, handling shareholder derivative actions, litigating claims against officers, directors and controlling shareholders for breaches of fiduciary duty and other claims arising out of mergers and acquisitions and going-private transactions, and advising special committees, as well as representing both controlling and dissenting shareholders in statutory appraisal proceedings to determine the "fair value" of shares in closely held corporations.
Representative Securities Matters:
Attained total victory at trial in high-profile SEC insider trading case that attracted national and international attention; judge issued a comprehensive 44-page opinion finding for MMM’s client on all contested issues and which criticized the SEC’s “overreaching, self-serving interpretation” of the evidence, among other things, SEC v. Schvacho, 991 F. Supp. 2d 1284 (N.D. Ga. 2014).
Represented real estate developer and affiliates charged with securities fraud in SEC investigation and enforcement action filed in federal court; case settled on terms satisfactory to clients without any cash payment.
Represented oil and natural gas company, its officers and directors and affiliated entities in federal court cases in Georgia and Nebraska alleging claims for securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty; cases resolved on terms satisfactory to clients.
Represented technology company in connection with claims asserted by founder and former Chief Executive Officer seeking to hold up sale of company; case resolved on terms satisfactory to client.
Represented major investment bank in litigation brought by a bankruptcy trustee seeking over $30 million in damages for the bank’s purported breaches of fiduciary duties and complicity with former management in completing an acquisition that allegedly caused the debtor to file for bankruptcy. All claims against bank thrown out on a motion to dismiss without any discovery; case continued on against other defendants. Verilink Corp. v. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., 405 B.R. 356 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 2009).
Represented public technology company and its officers and directors in case alleging securities fraud arising from purportedly backdated stock options. Summary judgment granted to all defendants on all counts and affirmed on appeal, Rosenberg v. Gould, Civil Action No. 1:06-CV-1894 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 31, 2008), aff’d, 554 F.3d 962 (11th Cir. 2009).
Represented large public company that won summary judgment in the Delaware Court of Chancery on a claim brought by the company’s former Chief Financial Officer who alleged that the company had wrongfully refused to permit him to exercise stock options then worth approximately $35 million. Knight v. Caremark RX, Inc., 2007 WL 143099 (Del. Ch. Jan. 12, 2007).
Successfully defended Fortune 50 company in a significant securities fraud case in which MMM’s client was sued for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from a drop in stock prices resulting from a merger. McKesson Corp. v. Green, 610 S.E. 2d 54 (Ga. 2005).
Currently represent and represented entities involved in insider trading investigations conducted by the SEC and/or FINRA – all investigations terminated without charges brought against clients.
Technology cases necessitate astute legal thinking, technical expertise and extensive industry experience. Morris, Manning & Martin’s Technology Litigation Practice provides clients all of this and more with our firm’s representation.
Our Technology Litigation Practice handles cases involving the full range of disputes that arise in the life of technology businesses including software copyright, trademark and patent infringement, licensing and development, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality or non-compete agreements, movement of key employees between companies, and tortious interference with business and contractual relationships. We represent clients in state and federal courts throughout the U.S., and have appeared as lead counsel in the courts of more than 30 states and U.S. territories. Since 1987, we have served Technology clients ranging from publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies to individual inventors and start-up ventures.
We recognize that technology disputes involve unique legal and business issues. Our technical understanding has been informed by working with leading firms in computer hardware and software, medical devices and life sciences, outsourcing and consulting, Internet, e-commerce, privacy, electronic contracting, and telecommunications industries. Morris, Manning & Martin’s Technology litigators bring to each matter a high level of litigation expertise and a practical understanding of the technology, while also remaining focused on the relationship between the disputes and our clients’ pursuit of their business and personal goals.
Our Technology litigators work closely with colleagues in other practice areas at the firm, such as employment, intellectual property and technology transactions to fully serve our clients' cases. We vigorously defend our clients’ positions with thorough legal arguments and research based on the latest technology developments. Recognizing that litigation often can be an unwanted, distracting and time-consuming process for our clients, our lawyers often counsel clients on courses of action that will minimize the necessity of litigation and maximize their position in the event litigation arises.