Praise From the Courts
Courts routinely praise the work of Keller Rohrback attorneys on nationally prominent ERISA cases.
When appointing Keller Rohrback as lead counsel in the WorldCom ERISA litigation, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote stated:
In thinking about lead counsel, and I’ve read all the submissions made to me in that regard, I have used the following criteria. I’ve looked at specific law firms and the materials they’ve sent me regarding their firms, to identify those that have an expertise in ERISA litigation. I’ve found it also useful to look and see whether or not a law firm has an expertise in bankruptcy litigation or bankruptcy law, such as would assist in this case, and an expertise generally in class action and complex litigation. And then I’ve looked at the law firms to try to identify a firm or firms with sufficient size to support this litigation on behalf of the plaintiff class. And in that connection, one firm when I apply those criteria stands out, and that is Keller Rohrback…Then I’m going to appoint Keller Rohrback lead counsel here.
Later, when evaluating the settlement achieved by Keller Rohrback on behalf of the WorldCom plan, Judge Cote further added:
[Keller Rohrback] has performed an important public service in this action and has done so efficiently and with integrity. It has cooperated completely and in novel ways with Lead Counsel for the Securities Litigation, and in doing so all of them have worked to reduce legal expenses and maximize recovery for class members. [Keller Rohrback] has also worked creatively and diligently to obtain a settlement from WorldCom in the context of complex and difficult legal questions. It still faces significant challenges in pressing forward with its litigation against Merrill Lynch. [Keller Rohrback] should be appropriately rewarded as an incentive for the further protection of employees and their pension plans not only in this litigation but in all ERISA actions.
In re WorldCom, Inc. ERISA Litig., No. 02-4816, 2004 WL 2338151, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 18, 2004).
Additionally, courts have recognized that Keller Rohrback is particularly well suited to lead complex ERISA cases because of its unique combination of ERISA expertise and broad experience in other pertinent areas of law.
In appointing Keller Rohrback as lead counsel in the HealthSouth ERISA litigation, U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre, stated:
I want to say that I was very impressed with all of the material that was submitted by all of the firms represented here today. All of you come from firms with just extensive background and I think your participation in this case would be very beneficial to the Court.
But I feel like I need to select counsel to go forward and to be in charge. And what I think will be best for the class is the selection of the firm of Keller Rohrback. I think that firm has more expertise, not only in ERISA class actions, but also in other areas that will prove beneficial to the class in this case.
I think Mr. Sarko’s former occupation as a federal prosecutor and as a white collar criminal defense attorney will be particularly helpful in this case where the criminal aspects of the separate litigation that fortunately is not before this Court but I think there are going to be some overlaps and some interplays that are going to have to be navigated and I think his expertise there can be very helpful to the class and to the Court in dealing with that.
So I am going to appoint that firm, then, as lead counsel with the instruction that, Mr. Sarko, you and his firm put together an executive committee or steering committee of lawyers to work with him in proceeding as he sees fit.
Similarly, Judge Holmes in the Williams Cos. ERISA litigation, in appointing Keller Rohrback as lead counsel, stated:
The Court finds that [Keller Rohrback] is experienced and qualified counsel who is generally able to conduct the litigation as lead counsel on behalf of the putative class. Keller Rohrback has significant experience in ERISA litigation, serving as co-lead counsel in the Enron ERISA litigation, the Lucent ERISA litigation, and the Providian ERISA litigation, and experience in complex class action litigation in other areas of the law. Mr. Sarko’s presentation at before the Court evidences Keller Rohrback’s ability to adequately represent the class.
Additionally, in the Ford ERISA litigation Judge Pepe stated:
The vast experience of both Keller Rohrback and [proposed co-lead counsel] make them a superior choice for this type of case. They are well-versed in trial practice and in conducting discovery relevant to breach of fiduciary actions. Moreover, their experience has allowed them the opportunity to establish relationships with key experts in the field, as well as defense and insurance counsel who regularly appear in these actions, which should help to facilitate settlement alternatives.
And Judge Buchwald in the Wachovia Corp. ERISA litigation stated:
Keller Rohrback presents the most compelling case for appointment as interim lead class counsel based on (1) its extensive experience handling ERISA class actions and (2) the unitary leadership structure it proposes.
In approving the settlement in the IKON Office Solutions ERISA litigation, Judge Katz observed:
[P]laintiffs’ counsel clearly possess the expertise to litigate this matter effectively, as evidenced by the quality, timeliness and professional nature of their work before this court. The case has been vigorously litigated, from the filing of the initial complaint and its two subsequent amendments, through numerous discovery battles, a motion to dismiss, the several stages of argument concerning class certification, and the motions for summary judgment, partial summary judgment and decertification pending at the time that the parties reached tentative settlement.
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