NO CAP – Amid a spike of over 1,000% in litigation—detected by ALM’s Law.com Radar—under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, those in the industry—and Congress—are wondering if the law’s lack of an attorney fee cap is best for clients. The act, signed into law in mid-2022, paved the way for those injured by toxic chemicals in the North Carolina Marine Corps base’s water supply from the 1950s through the 1980s to file claims. The Congressional Budget Office estimated about $6 billion in payouts to those affected, but with the number of cases filed, over 150 in just the last month according to Law.com Radar, those damages could skyrocket and with it money for firms willing to take the cases. Traditional lawsuits against the government, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, have fees capped between 20% and 25%. But, as Law.com’s Brad Kutner reports, no language under the CLJA limits fees and some lawyers and lawmakers are wary that plaintiffs lawyers may seek to take advantage of litigation one attorney called “iron clad” for plaintiffs.
APOCALYPSE NOW? – The demise of startup financing cornerstone Silicon Valley Bank on Friday sent tech corporate executives and legal department chiefs scrambling to find other sources of financing and immediate solutions. In the days and weeks ahead, observers told Law.com’s Maria Dinzeo, corporate leaders and in-house legal teams will be racing to identify financial and payroll risks. Some affected companies may want to extend payment terms with vendors, review insurance options as well as lean on outside counsel, they said, with GCs immediately taking on a mountain of new responsibilities to help their companies regain footing in a shaky financial ecosystem. Companies that had the bulk of their funds deposited with SVB were in a particularly tight spot as the FDIC only insures up to $250,000 in deposits, offering a receivership certificate for the rest. “This is an apocalyptic moment for companies,” said Foster Sayers, GC for software company Pramata on Friday. He said Pramata was able to pull money out of the bank and transfer it to another institution where it had an account just in time. The wire cleared Thursday afternoon. “It was not a moment too soon,” he said.