WaPo: “Mike Lindell Must Pay Man $5M in ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ Challenge, Judge says”

Mike Lindell, MyPillow founder and 2020 election conspiracy theorist, has lost his challenge to the multi-million-dollar arbitration award made in favor of Robert Zeidman, a respected cyber expert. BG’s Brian Glasser and Cary Joshi represent Mr. Zeidman in this matter, as well as partner Lori Bullock and paralegal Manuel Rios.

Following the 2020 election, Lindell prominently trumpeted the false theory that the 2020 presidential election involved alleged Chinese government hacking that resulted in votes cast for Donald Trump being switched to Joe Biden. In July 2021, Mike Lindell sponsored his own so-called “Cyber Symposium”, which he said would provide an opportunity for technical experts in cyber forensics to examine and evaluate the evidence presented by Lindell. Lindell was so confident in the validity of his so-called “evidence” that, as part of his Cyber Symposium, he held the “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge” and offered a $5 million prize to anyone who could prove the data was not valid.

As described in this Washington Post article, Zeidman compiled a report of his findings and sent a letter to Lindell’s firm asking for the reward, and filed for arbitration after Lindell denied his payment request. The arbitration panel required Lindell to pay Zeidman within 30 days, and when it was not paid Zeidman asked a federal court to confirm his arbitration award. On Wednesday, the federal district judge in Minnesota upheld the previous ruling from the arbitration panel and Zeidman is now owed the $5 million payout plus interest.

“The chances of a confirmation were in Zeidman’s favor,” Brian Glasser said, as arbitration rulings are upheld unless they are found to be obtained by “corruption, fraud or undue means.”

Read the full Washington Post article here.

To learn more about this case please visit here.

#ProveMikeWrong #BaileyGlasser #Electionfraud #Arbitration #Litigation

Op-Ed: “Without Funding, Student Discipline Bill Will Hurt the Kids Who Need the Most Help”

“This bill gives just half the solution: it relieves the teacher and protects the other kids, but in the majority of counties, steers the disruptive child out of the classroom and into a void where much-needed help simply does not exist.”

In their second op-ed, Sharon Iskra, BG’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect team leader, and Kellie Caseman, Executive Director of Think Kids in West Virginia, provide a persuasive analysis of a new West Virginia discipline bill they say will hurt the kids who need the most help.

The op-ed published in News From The States, points out that to many, Senate Bill 614 seems to be a balanced solution, allowing elementary teachers to remove disruptive students ages 5-12 from the classroom, however, it “puts nothing in place to help them,” they argue.

The article details important underlying facts to consider: only 13 of the state’s 55 counties have an elementary alternative discipline program, and many of the schools lack the proper program resources, which requires significant funding. Other factors such as law enforcement involvement and childhood poverty rates have considerable implications for the children subjected to these disciplinary actions and must also be addressed, they contend.

Read the full op-ed here.

To learn more about Sharon, follow this link.
To learn more about the firm’s Institutional Abuse & Neglect practice, visit here.

University of Iowa Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Attracting Media Coverage

A Bailey Glasser lawsuit filed last week against the University of Iowa on behalf of a former professor for sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and unequal pay, is gaining local media attention – most recently by the Iowa Capital Dispatch, The People’s Network, and The Gazette.

The lawsuit alleges that Mélisse Brunet, the former Director of Orchestral Activities, was the victim of repeated sexual advances by Associate Director Alan Huckleberry, and also alleges she was subjected to gender-based discrimination and retaliation resulting in her resignation.

Partner Lori Bullock, who is representing the plaintiff said, “These disparities, are not only a violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act but also a reflection of the school’s ongoing failure to make the cultural changes necessary to address gender discrimination throughout the university.”

The lawsuit “has sent shockwaves through the University of Iowa’s School of Music and the broader academic community,” according to the article by the People’s Network.

Read this article and other news coverage of this lawsuit below:

The People’s Network

Iowa Capital Dispatch

The Gazette

#EmploymentDiscrimination #GenderEquality #SexDiscrimination

BG ESOP Lawsuit Noted in New York Times Article

The New York Times reported on a lawsuit filed by Bailey Glasser. The article, titled “He Grew Up in the Shadow of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ Then He Got Into Debt Settlement” (Saturday, February 10, 2024), details a debt settlement operation run by Ryan Sasson (the stepson of Stephen Drescher, a close associate of Jordan Belfort, the self-proclaimed “Wolf of Wall Street”) across several states and involving various entities and law firms – and even shoe designer Steve Madden – now facing serious civil fraud changes brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the attorneys general of New York, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

To cash out his stake in the company before the regulators pounced, Sasson sold the company to “to its employees, through a financial transaction known as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The deal valued the company at $242 million. Mr. Sasson described the transaction as something of a gift to the employees — ‘our Strategic family,’ he called them — who had built the company. Mr. Sasson had, effectively, cashed out. His employees now owed 100 percent of Strategic.”

Bailey Glasser’s highly experienced ESOP team filed a lawsuit challenging the fair market value of the $242 million ESOP transaction, which the Times linked to in its article. In 2019, the ESOP trust allowed Sasson and others to reap an additional $104.5 million from the ESOP, supposedly because the company met certain targets. Sasson and the other defendants are trying to move the lawsuit to a secret arbitration proceeding and limit the damages to a fraction of the excess money paid to Sasson and others. A decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on that issue is forthcoming.

Our award-winning and nationally ranked ERISA/ESOP team has deep experience in handling matters such as the one described by the New York Time article and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of employees and retirees. To learn more about our ERISA group visit here.

To read the New York Time article, visit here

Partner D. Todd Mathews Named a “Super Lawyer”

BG partner Todd Mathews has been named a 2024 Super Lawyer. Todd dedicates his career to fighting for people injured by defective products like asbestos, hernia mesh, 3M’s combat earplugs, as well as on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse. We thank everyone who took part in Todd receiving this recognition. For more about Todd and his work, please visit here.

In addition to this accolade, Todd is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only organization composed of premier trial lawyers from each state or region, and is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in America. In 2024 he was also recognized by Best Lawyers in America in three categories: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Law – Plaintiffs.

Law360 Covers ERISA Team’s Win Over Attempted Motion to Dismiss

Bailey Glasser’s ERISA team achieved another litigation win in the fight to protect employee retirement funds. In an order issued Tuesday, a North Carolina federal judge denied industrial refrigeration company, Morris & Associates’ motion to dismiss former CEO Bryan John’s ERISA case that alleged the company mismanaged an employee stock ownership plan by grossly undervaluing the business.

According to a Law360 article covering the ruling, the court found that the plaintiff could still sue on behalf of the plan even if he’s no longer a trustee because he is still a plan participant.

Bailey Glasser partner Mark Boyko, who is representing Mr. Johns, told Law360 he is “looking forward to seeing the case resolved on the merits.”

Originally filed in June, the lawsuit against Morris & Associates and nine ESOP trustees, alleged that the family company’s patriarch used the company and the plan to benefit himself and his family by undervaluing the company and issuing bonuses and high salaries not approved by the ESOP trustees, which hurt employee shares.

In addition to Boyko, the plaintiff is represented by Bailey Glasser partner Gregory Porter, associate Laura Babiak, as well as attorneys from Tuggle Duggins PA.

Read the full Law360 article here.

To learn more about our ERISA, Employee Benefits & Trust Litigation practice, please visit here.
#ERISA #ESOP #BaileyGlasser

Luke Thomas Joins BG Corporate Practice Group

We warmly welcome new partner Luke Thomas to our Corporate Practice Group. Luke has over 15 years of private practice experience handling both transactional and litigation matters, and joins us after serving as an Associate General Counsel at ASTEC Industries, a publicly traded, billion-dollar international heavy equipment manufacturer. In his new role, Luke is handling a wide range of transactional matters such as mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, banking and finance, commercial loans, commercial contracts, private equity, construction contracts and disputes, dealer agreements and disputes, land use and zoning, payment and performance bonds, and health care contracts. He routinely negotiates and drafts multimillion-dollar transactions and has extensive experience leading high-volume transactions.

Read the full announcement and learn more about Luke here.

Litigator Elliott McGraw Elevated to Partner


Bailey Glasser is pleased to announce that Washington, D.C. litigator Elliott McGraw has been elevated to partner effective January 2024.

“Congratulations to Elliott on her much-deserved promotion to partner at Bailey Glasser,” said Cary Joshi, Commercial & Environmental Litigation Practice Group Leader. “Elliott’s tenacity and strategic skills as a litigator are exceptionally valuable to our clients as she handles some of our most complicated matters.”

Elliott is a member of the Commercial & Environmental Litigation Practice Group, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts across the country and represents institutional investors and asset managers, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in contract and tort-based claims arising from financial fraud, accounting malpractice, and corporate malfeasance. Elliott has an extensive privacy and data protection background and was named a Best Lawyers Ones to Watch in Privacy and Data Security Law in Washington, D.C. in 2024.

Elliott commented: “I love practicing law with Bailey Glasser and I’m very excited about the additional opportunities to contribute to this world class group of litigators and our fantastic clients as a partner.”

Bailey Glasser’s Commercial & Environmental Litigation practice has a proven track record of successfully handling national high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts and before arbitrators and mediators across the country. We represent businesses in many industries and of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies to family offices, individuals, governmental entities, government servants, and even other law firms call upon us to lead bet-the-company litigation and parachute into cases and appeals when our deep experience and resources are necessary.

Elliott is a vital team member in some of our most complex matters. Notably, she was a member of the Bailey Glasser team that served as co-lead trial counsel representing the Official Committee of Talc Plaintiffs in its high-profile challenge against Johnson & Johnson’s “Texas Two Step” bankruptcy ploy to offset the liability of 38,000 lawsuits related to the company’s alleged cancer-causing baby powder. She has also contributed her time to litigating cases on behalf of women athletes in Title IX sex discrimination cases against universities across the country. Elliott’s experience also includes advising organizational and individual clients navigating government or internal investigations and has represented clients in front of Congressional committees, including the 2019 Impeachment Inquiry into then-President Donald Trump.

To learn more about Elliott’s experience please visit this link.

ERISA Partner Mark Boyko Quoted in Law360 on 401(k) Forfeiture Case

Bailey Glasser partner Mark Boyko was quoted in the Law360 article, “3 Arguments, Hearing Benefits Attys Should Watch in Feb.,” commenting on the significance of a new theory of liability under ERISA against Clorox Co. in a California federal court. The case challenges the company’s use of 401(k) forfeitures, created when employees leave before fully vesting, to offset corporate contributions into the plan.

“The two main issues in the case involve the plaintiffs’ standing and industry practice of how to treat 401(k) plan forfeitures,” Mark said. “A decision for defendants on standing or for plaintiffs on the merits would have meaningful consequences that sweep beyond the case itself.” Read the full article here.

Mark is a pioneer in ERISA class action litigation and represents 401(k) plan participants alleging breach of fiduciary duties by their employers and has secured judgments and settlements in this area exceeding $500 million. Learn more about his experience here.

#ERISA #ClassActions #EmployeeBenefits #BaileyGlasser

BG Defeats Attempt to Dismiss Federal Class Action ESOP Lawsuit

Another win on behalf of protecting company employees’ hard-earned money: today, our ERISA team defeated a motion to dismiss that challenged a class action brought on behalf of a class of investors in the Churchill Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Option Plan where we alleged that the trustees breached their fiduciary duties and engaged in prohibited transactions in violation of ERISA law.

The federal court in Arnold v. Parades (filed in the Middle District of Tennessee), rejected virtually every argument made by defendants. Judge Crenshaw held that the plaintiffs’ individual releases did not bar them from suing on behalf of their ESOP, that the plan’s class action waiver was unenforceable because it prevented effective vindication of statutory rights and violated ERISA’s anti-exculpatory provision, section 410, and that plaintiffs adequately alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions. Plaintiffs are challenging the fair market value of the stock determination made by the trustee when it terminated the Churchill Holdings, Inc. ESOP.

The Bailey Glasser team includes partner and ERISA Practice Group Leader Greg Porter, partners Mark Boyko, Ryan Jenny, and Patrick Muench, and associate Laura Babiak. Our ERISA team is a leader in protecting ERISA and ESOP plans, and is ranked nationally by Chambers & Partners and Best Law Firms, with Greg Porter also being ranked Band One in ERISA Litigation, Mainly Plaintiffs – USA-Nationwide. For more about our ERISA work, please visit here.

To read the Court’s opinion, visit this link.

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