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Former Dolphins Coach is Still Mad at Paul Weiss (Docket Scanner)

Sept. 15, 2016, 4:26 PM

It’s been a while since we last published our Docket Scanner report, laying out the big law firms involved as a plaintiff or defendant in litigation. Aug. 10, to be precise, back when Jillian Michaels of “The Biggest Loser” fame was featured as a top litigant against Greenberg Traurig .

One loyal reader wrote to us last week to ask if we killed the column, and we’re here to tell you: most assuredly, no.

Instead, we’ve been quietly building a mountain of content: Usually we list four or five cases; today we bring you 17 that we’ve tracked over the past month.

If you’re just joining us for the first time, the Docket Scanner is a list of cases that turn up in an alert we created through Bloomberg Law, which searches for litigation in which firms are getting sued or doing the suing. As the name suggests, these aren’t fully reported stories, but little blips of information that we present for lawyers and other legal journalists to glean. A data report, if you will, with some curating.

First, a few highlights from the deep trove:

  • Who knew Jones Day was so concerned about aesthetics?The giant U.S. law firm filed a complaint against Structure Tone, Inc. in the New York Supreme Court on September 9. Structure Tone is a commercial contractor hired to construct the firm’s New York City office on Vesey Street. Per the complaint, Rulon International was subcontracted to manufacture and install wood panels in the office. Jones Day alleges that the panels that were installed, but not in accordance with the required specifications, and specifically took issue with the fact that custom-colored wooden dowels in the panels were replaced with plastic rods. As a result, the panels were “aesthetically inconsistent” with the architectural design prepared by Skidmore, Owens & Merrill. Jones Day is seeking $500,000 in damages.

  • About that law firm merger... Paul Gremillion, Glen Gremillion and Derek Lancaster filed a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago on September 2 againstNixon Peabodyand Ungaretti & Harris, a law firm Nixon acquired in 2015. The plaintiffs claim they hired Nixon to advise on the sale of their majority interest in the company Intra-Op Monitoring Services and claim Nixon failed to ensure that financial statements connected with the transaction complied with “generally accepted accounting principles.” As a result, the plaintiffs claim they faced arbitration claims by the purchasers, during which Nixon failed to procure an expert or conduct proper discovery and that the firm provided false and insufficient advice. The plaintiffs were eventually found liable for breach of the purchase agreement and the purchasers were awarded damages in excess of $8 million with post-judgment interest accruing at $1,386 per day.

  • Former Miami Dolphins Coach James Turner still mad at Paul Weiss... Turner on August 25 filed an appeal to reinstate his libel and defamation suit againstPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrisonand partner Theodore Wells in the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The original dispute arose after the NFL commissioned Paul Weiss’ Wells to investigate Dolphins’ lineman Jonathan Martin’s departure from the team in the middle of the 2013 season. Wells filed a report on allegations Martin was harassed by his teammates and coaches, including mention of a “Judas Code” that imposed fines for “snitching” on other team members, and an incident where a player who had reported being the subject of homophobic taunts was given a male blowup doll from Turner. The report also alleged that Turner failed to take action when team members repeatedly made crude sexual comments about Martin’s sister. After his report was complete, Turner was fired and subsequently sued Paul Weiss for libel and defamation. Turner’s appeal seeks to overturn the dismissal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Plus, the full docket scanner below:

  • Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smithfiled a complaint against Milestone Hospitality Management in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on September 13. The complaint alleges nonpayment of legal services in the amount of $30,419.19.

  • Locke Lordfiled a complaint through Liberty Mutual Insurance against Midea, Inc., Holiday House Distributing and AVM Services in the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago on September 6. According to the complaint a Kool-Tek water cooler which was designed and manufactured by Midea and supplied by Holiday House a company with offices above Locke Lord had leaked, causing damage to both of their offices. Locke Lord is seeking damages in the amount of $105,469.68.

  • Frank Scarpelli, Jr. filed a complaint againstMcDermott Will and Emoryand its client Anne-Marie Poincelet on September 6 in the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago. According to the complaint, Scarpelli assisted Poincelet’s mother with the management of her properties and financial affairs. Scarpelli claims Poincelet, who is his cousin, conducted a scheme to “bully” him into signing away his assets. Specifically, it claims Scarpelli and his wife attended a meeting where Poincelet, a man introduced as an “ex-FBI agent” and seven people from McDermott presented a draft complaint that would be filed in court if Scarpelli and his wife did not sign documents that granted control of their assets to Poincelet. He claims he was coerced into signing the documents and is seeking a judgment to deem those documents unenforceable.

  • Michael and Fiona Reynaud filed a complaint againstOgletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewartand Technicolor Creative Services in the Los Angeles Superior Court on September 6 for professional malpractice and negligence. According to the complaint, Michael Reynaud, a British national, was hired by Technicolor under an H1 visa with Ogletree advising on his immigration status. Per the complaint, on March 8 2016, Michael was informed that his immigration status was expiring on May 24 and he would have to leave the country at that time. He claims the defendants did not submit any documentation for the green card process and is seeking damages to cover the loss of salary, cost of relocation and attorney fees.

  • Perkins Coiefiled a complaint in the New York Supreme Court on September 2 against Sam Sprei, Olden Equities, Sullivan Holdings, Chaim Miller and Edgewater Plaza Loft. The complaint alleges non-payment of legal services and seeks $177,310 in damages.

  • Myra Sugiyama filed a complaint againstCooley LLP Health and Welfare Planalong with Unum Life Insurance in the Northern District of New York on August 31. Myra’s husband John Paul Sugiyama was an employee of Cooley and was killed in a car accident in December 2015. The complaint alleges that the Cooley plan and Unum have failed to pay benefits, and seeks $550,000 in damages.

  • Michele Scoggins filed a complaint againstPerkins Coiein the Santa Clara Superior Court on August 29. Scoggins had been employed in Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto office as a Practice Technology Services Analyst and claims that she was wrongfully terminated after disclosing a medical condition and disclosing her belief that the on-call nature of the position violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • Adam Simon filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on August 25 againstNorton Rose Fulbright, partner Matthew Kirtland and Frameworks, a Delaware based company providing communications research to non-profit organizations. Simon, a PhD in Political Science with a focus on statistical analysis, claims he was wrongfully terminated from Frameworks. The company traditionally focused its reports on quantitative analysis, but switched to focusing on narratives. Simon claimed he was forced to skew his statistical reporting to match the narratives and that he was given impossible deadlines and eventually terminated. At this point, he claims that Matthew Kirtland of Norton Rose Fulbright was hired as counsel to Frameworks and started threatening Simon with criminal prosecution if he did not produce documents by specific deadlines. In addition to claims of unlawful termination and harassment against Framework, Simon includes Norton Rose Fulbright in a claim of civil extortion and intention infliction of emotional distress based on the alleged threats.

  • Norma and Michael Knopf filed a complaint againstDechertand Pursuit Holdings LLC in the New York Supreme Court on August 24 based on a complex theory of fraudulent retainer. The Knopfs claim to have invested $11.6 million in the Sanford Partners hedge fund, which used some of the funds to make loans to Pursuit to purchase Manhattan real estate. Later, the Knopfs filed a complaint , claiming that Sanford and Pursuit had not granted mortgages to the properties, which they won on summary judgment. As a result, Pursuit sold one of the properties for $3 million and then paid creditors more junior to the Knopfs, according to the complaint. They also claim Pursuit secured Dechert as its counsel through a $500,000 retainer. The suit claims Pursuit was insolvent at the time of the retainer payment and that the money was owed to them. They are seeking the $500,000 in this action along with punitive damages.

  • Kelly S. Johnson filed a complaint againstTroutman Sanders and its attorneys Meghan Sherril, Penelope Parmes and Matthew Murphey in Orange County Superior Court in California on August 22. Johnson accuses the firm and its attorneys of filing a malicious and improper restraining order against him, which he claims was meant to delay him from submitting a motion in another case involving the defendants.

  • Karin Reidy filed a complaint againstSquire Patton Boggson August 19 in U.S. District Court in Maryland. The plaintiff is a former employee of Squire Patton Boggs and served as their director of professional recruitment and retention. Reidy is seeking restatement of benefits and back pay of past benefits from a rejected disability claim.

  • Nicolle Conyers filed a complaint against the Virginia Housing Development Authority and McGuireWoodsin the Eastern District of Virginia on August 19. The complaint seeks to overturn a judgment from a prior case which Conyers alleges was obtained through fraud. Conyers had initially filed suit against the VHDA for employment discrimination and she claims that McGuireWoods defrauded the court by identifying the VHDA as a non-profit organization while at other times classifying them as a government agency. She argues that the designation led the court to grant the motion to dismiss and that the status as a government agency would have affected due process rights. This complaint seeks to overturn the judgment and remand the case to trial.


  • William McEssey filed a Notice of Appeal againstNixon Peabodyin the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on September 9. The appeal seeks to overturn a motion to dismiss granted to Nixon Peabody from a judge in the Northern District of New York. The original action was a securities case involving Uber stock with damages sought up to $10 million. The motion to dismiss was granted in Nixon Peabody’s favor for failure to state a cause of action.


  • McGuirewoodsfile a Writ of Summons against Floriance International Limited in the High Court of Hong Kong, Court of First Instance on September 2. McGuirewoods alleges that they received a counterfeit check as partial payment for a settlement in a case where they defended a Taiwanese company called E-Lead Electronics Co. against a US company called Process Electronic Corporation. They are seeking $325,000 in damages.

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