NONE – Amid a more than 1,000% increase in lawsuits — discovered by ALM’s Law.com Radar — under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, those in the industry — and Congress — are wondering whether the law’s lack of an attorney fee cap is best for clients. The law, signed into law in mid-2022, cleared 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 lawsuits filed, over 150 in just the last month according to Law.com Radar, those damages could skyrocket, and with it money for companies willing to to take cases. Traditional lawsuits against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act have fees between 20% and 25%. But as Law.com’s Brad Kutner reports, no language under the CLJA limits fees, and some attorneys and lawmakers are wary that plaintiffs’ attorneys may try to profit from lawsuits, an attorney called “ironclad” for plaintiffs.
APOCALYPSE NOW? – The demise of startup funding cornerstone Silicon Valley Bank on Friday sent tech executives and legal chiefs scrambling to find other sources of funding and immediate solutions. In the coming days and weeks, observers told Law.com’s Maria Dinzeo, corporate executives and in-house legal teams will scramble to identify financial and payroll risks. Some affected companies may want to extend payment terms with suppliers, 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 their footing in a shaky financial ecosystem . Businesses that had deposited the bulk of their funds with SVB were in a particularly tight spot, as the FDIC only insures up to $250,000 in deposits, and offers a proof of payment for the rest. “This is an apocalyptic moment for businesses,” Foster Sayers, GC of software company Pramata, said on Friday. He said Pramata was able to withdraw money from the bank and transfer it to another institution where it had an account just in time. The thread was cleared on Thursday afternoon. “It wasn’t a moment too soon,” he said.