The Bloomberg legal research service has revealed the top ten most read US law dockets of 2010, revealing the legal information most sought-after by legal professionals, journalists and investors in the United States:
1. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Docket No. 1:08-bk-13555 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Sept. 15, 2008)
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the largest bankruptcy in history on September 15, 2008 with consolidated assets of $639 billion and debt of $613 billion. The case is ongoing in the Southern District of New York and remains the most read bankruptcy docket over two years after its initial filing.
2. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Goldman Sachs & Co. et al, Docket No. 1:10-cv-03229 (S.D.N.Y. April 16, 2010)
In July 2010, the SEC reached an agreement with Goldman, Sachs & Co. to settle securities fraud charges for $550 million. The SEC’s action, filed three months earlier, charged Goldman with failing to disclose that hedge fund Paulson & Co. Inc. had played a significant role in choosing the subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) underlying the synthetic collateral debt obligation known as ABACUS 2007-AC1. Paulson allegedly shorted the RMBS portfolio that it helped to select.
3. Air Products & Chemicals Inc vs Airgas Inc et al, Docket No. 5249 (Del. Ch. Feb. 04, 2010)
This case, as well as #8 on this list, involves Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.’s ongoing hostile takeover battle with target company Airgas, Inc. The two Pennsylvania-based industrial companies have been battling for over a year, with a ruling on Airgas’ “poison pill” takeover defense expected in January 2011.
4. Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, Docket No 1:09-bk-17442 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Dec. 20, 2009)
Citadel Broadcasting, the third-largest U.S. radio station operator, filed for bankruptcy in late 2009 and exited bankruptcy, despite the objection of several shareholders, by receiving court approval of its plan of reorganization in May 2010.
5. Ceglia v. Zuckerberg et al, Docket No. 1:10-cv-00569 (W.D.N.Y. July 09, 2010)
In this dispute over ownership and control of the social networking website Facebook.com, plaintiff Paul Ceglia alleged that defendant Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Inc., entered a written contract in 2003 granting Ceglia an ownership interest in Facebook in exchange for $1,000. The suit was originally filed in New York state court, where a judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing Zuckerberg or Facebook from transferring, selling, or assigning any of Facebook’s assets. Zuckerberg and Facebook removed the suit to federal court in July 2010, where the restraining order was allowed to expire.
6. General Growth Properties, Inc., Docket No. 1:09-bk-11977 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Apr. 16, 2009)
In November 2010, shopping mall owner General Growth Properties, Inc. completed the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history. General Growth began its reorganization in April 2009 with assets of $29.6 billion and $27.3 billion in total liabilities.
7. Citizens for Consume, et al v. Abbott Laboratories, et al, Docket No. 1:01-cv-12257 (D. Mass. Dec. 19, 2001)
This case is the federal branch of a long-running, multidistrict antitrust class action against various major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors over alleged inflation of the “Average Wholesale Price” – the price charged by wholesalers to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors for prescription drugs. A number of major plaintiffs and defendants settled and sought dismissal from the case in 2010.
8. Airgas Inc et al vs Air Products & Chemicals Inc, Docket No. 5817 (Del. Ch. Sept. 15, 2010)
See #3 on this list, above.
9. Washington Mutual, Inc., Docket No. 1:08-bk-12229 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 26, 2008)
Washington Mutual, Inc., the holding company that owned the largest savings-and-loan in the U.S., was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on September 25, 2008, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware the next day. Judge Walrath, who is presiding over the case, said she will not be able to decide by Dec. 31, 2010 whether she will approve the global settlement and confirm the Chapter 11 plan that was presented at a four day confirmation hearing that ended on December 7, 2010. If Judge Walrath approves the plan, over $7 billion will be distributed to creditors.
10. Chen-Oster et al v. Goldman, Sachs & Co. et al, Docket No. 1:10-cv-06950 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 15, 2010)
Three former high-level female employees of Goldman Sachs filed a class action against the prominent investment bank alleging gender discrimination and retaliation. The women claim that Goldman Sachs compensates its female employees less than male employees with the same or less experience and provides better business opportunities to male employees, charges that Goldman Sachs denies.