News Highlights 2007 and 2006
Major litigation pending in three courts successfully settled
1. Kentucky Coal Venture I, LLC v. Darrell Williams, et al, Case No. 07 CV 1339 (D. Md.);
2. In re: Alma Energy, LLC Chapter 11, Case No. 07-70370 and Adversary Proceeding Nos. 07-07025 and 07-07032 (Bankr. E.D. Ky.); and
3. THC Kentucky Coal Venture I, LLC v. Nathan Williams, Pike County Circuit Court, Case No. 07-C1-00910.
• As lead counsel for Kentucky Coal Venture I and a group of related companies owned in significant part by Warren E. Halle based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Roger C. Simmons was in charge of three cases involving Mr. Halle’s companies’ investments in a series of coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia. The cases sought the recovery of millions of dollars in investments and required the defense of counter-claim allegations asserting $100 million in damages in a bankruptcy adversary action in Kentucky. Mr. Simmons was assisted by Matthew S. Johnston, who joined the firm in early August of this year. All three of these cases were successfully settled in late November after seven months of intensive work.
| 2007 |
Frederick Circuit Court Enters Verdicts of More Than $400,000
in Attorney Malpractice Cases
Cronin v. Dorsey, Case No. 10-C-05-000040
Bears v. Dorsey, Case No. 10-C-05-000041
• At the conclusion of two separate trials in the Circuit Court for Frederick County, the Court entered verdicts in favor of the firmâ€™s clients in amounts totaling more than $400,000 against the defendant, Nelson Bernard Dorsey. The plaintiffs in the two cases, Anna Cronin and Susan Bears, had each brought an attorney malpractice suit against their previous attorney related to his handling of their employment discrimination claims against their employer, the United States Postal Service. The Court found that the defendant committed malpractice, negligently allowed plaintiffsâ€™ complaints against their employer to be dismissed, and was legally responsible for the damages plaintiffs would have recovered against their employer had the defendant not committed malpractice. These related cases were tried before two different judges.
| 2007 |
Court of Special Appeals reverses trial court at the request of
Gordon & Simmons, LLC
Hearn v. Hearn, Ct. of Spec. App., September 2006 term, Case No. 2761, Nov. 30, 2007, reported opinion
• Gordon & Simmons, LLC won a favorable decision in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland in a case involving the language used in a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) that divided a spouse’s pension benefits pursuant to a divorce. The Circuit Court of Frederick County had denied the husband’s request to issue an order necessary to carry out the QDRO according to the parties’ negotiations during the divorce. In denying the husband’s motion, the Circuit Court did not permit him to offer any evidence in support of his motion. The Court of Special Appeals agreed with the firm’s argument and remanded the case, directing the Circuit Court to permit the husband to present evidence of the parties’ negotiations. In the reported opinion, the Court of Special Appeals clarified Maryland’s caselaw relating to mutual mistakes of the parties to a contract negotiation.
| 2007 |
• Gordon & Simmons, LLC obtained treble damages and attorney’s fees against an employer in Washington County District Court in October 2006 for attempting to withhold wages from two employees that were fired from their jobs. Following a full trial, the Court found for the employees.
| 2006 |
• Recently, Gordon & Simmons, LLC obtained a highly favorable settlement for his client in a Washington County case involving the wrongful repossession of his client’s automobile by one of the country’s major automobile financiers. In addition to obtaining more than full value for the client’s losses, the settlement resulted in the dismissal of the defendant’s counterclaim and ensured that the client’s credit rating would not be negatively impacted by the wrongful repossession.
| 2006 |
• The firm’s longtime clients, April Oliver and Jack Smith, CNN producers who developed the Tailwind Story for CNN in 1998 and have been continuously involved in litigation since then (which they have consistently and unanimously won), were vindicated once again by a Federal District Court in California in September 2006 when the Court dismissed a libel case against CNN and certain of its employees that had been pending for more than four years and involved extensive discovery into the facts relating to the Tailwind Story and its origins. In Re Cable News Network and Time Magazine “Operation Tailwind” Litigation, Case No. C 99-20137 JF(RS), Judge Fogel, U.S. Dist., No. Dist. Calif., September 21, 2006.
| 2006 |
• During the third week of August 2006, following intense briefing, numerous pretrial motions, multiple depositions in five states, and professional mediation, attorney Roger Simmons, representing plaintiffs who had sold their small corporation to a professional venture capital firm, but had not previously received full compensation, settled a series of complex suits before Virginia state courts, the American Arbitration Association, and a Federal court. The actual settlement amount is confidential, but the Gordon & Simmons, LLC clients received full dollar value in the low to mid-seven figure range. Moreover, the firm’s attorneys kept fees and expenses within a reasonable range (less than 15% of the recovered money) to achieve a spectacularly positive result, especially in comparison to the settlements that other, similarly situated, stockholders had previously obtained by settling their cases earlier, following the advice of other, larger law firms.
| 2006 |
• In April 2006, Gordon & Simmons, LLC filed suit in Atlanta, Georgia for TV news anchorman, Ken Watts, alleging age discrimination against his former employer. Mr. Watts’s case was successfully settled in the fall of 2007.
| 2006 |
• Gordon & Simmons, LLC represented a diabetic long-haul truck driver for a national trucking line who was fired for contracting the disease. After winning preliminary motions Gordon & Simmons, LLC successfully settled this case.
| 2006 |
• Other matters of current interest involve the firm’s work as Special Counsel appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to investigate and litigate a matter involving major high tech products of national importance; representation of nationally renowned authors in professional disputes; work for publishers in connection with their dealings with authors; construction litigation; zoning litigation; and many other matters of local, regional and national interest.
| 2006 |