Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo

Global

Benchmark Litigation Reviews

United States (National)

Dispute resolution

Starting as a New England-centric shop, with roots in Boston stretching back more than 80 years, Mintz has since expanded both its geographic reach and its reputation considerably since that time. The firm has also grown its international footprint, with an office in London, as well as making a substantial push into California in 2003, with three offices in the state. “Mintz is definitely not just the firm that people in Boston are going to know,” insists one local peer. “In fact, although they’re definitely still a big name here, you’re more likely to see them in the big cases outside of Boston.”
     Supporting this claim, Frank Earley, in the firm’s New York office, has been generating an increased level of profile for his securities and commercial practice. Earley led a team that represented longtime firm client, XpresSpa Group and several of its directors and former directors in a securities fraud case, in which the team achieved a decisive victory in securing a motion for summary judgment in its entirety, dismissing the plaintiffs’ federal securities claims and related breach-of-contract claim. This team also recently won a securities matter for this same client when it became embroiled in litigation with its founders after they sold the business to an earlier incarnation of the firm client in 2016 and got sellers’ remorse. In early 2019 the Mintz team won the dismissal of this litigation, which asserted various common law and securities violations, on summary judgment. The firm additionally won dismissal of further similar claims asserted by an investor friend of the founders who was persuaded to file suit. Earley also led a team representing Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company in a case against AXA Equitable, a direct competitor in the annuity marketplace. Equitable sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin AXA from using the name Equitable without the prefix “AXA” or another dynamic qualifier. On the day prior to the hearing, AXA rang the bell on the NYSE and implemented a major media blitz announcing its name change. A few days later, the court ordered AXA to effectively “un-ring” the bell after the Mintz team successfully argued on behalf of Equitable to secure the injunction. Also in New York, Peter Chavkin, head of the firm’s white-collar practice, is a recipient of peer plaudits. “If I were under investigation for any crime, I could call him,” insists one peer, who goes on to assert, “You may not know about him because he does so well in taking care of getting his clients out of trouble.” Chavkin led a team that represented Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, in connection with his appearances before Special Counsel Mueller’s office, and various congressional bodies, including the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and a potential obstruction of justice by Trump. Chavkin was also retained by Ruth Madoff in the well publicized implosion of her husband Bernard’s long-running Ponzi scheme. In the past year, Chavkin and his team counseled Ruth Madoff through a settlement with Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee in charge of liquidating her husband’s estate. Picard initially sought $44.8 million but settled for a tiny fraction of that claim and also guaranteed express acknowledgement that the arrangement should not be construed as any evidence that Ruth admitted to “participating in or knowing of Bernard Madoff’s fraud.” Ruth Madoff was also dismissed from every civil lawsuit in which she was named, was never charged criminally or administratively, was allowed to keep almost all of the money she had.
     Arguably the most visible and auspicious acquisition to come from Mintz’s California expansion was its addition of Ralph Campillo, a Los Angeles-based national-level star in the mass tort and product liability space who joined from the now-defunct Sedgwick. “Ralph is based in California, but he is a nationally known trial lawyer,” testifies one peer. In one of many examples of Campillo’s prowess, he triumphed for Illinois Tool Works Food Equipment Group, who was sued by a meat department worker at a local supermarket, who suffered a catastrophic injury to her left arm while grinding meat using a Hobart meat mixer-grinder. The plaintiff alleged that her injuries were caused by known design defects with the machine’s operational safeguards. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the client was liable for punitive damages because it had prior knowledge of the alleged defects yet failed to recall, retrofit or warn customers of the known defects. At an October 2018 jury trial, a decision was rendered that both the market and plaintiff were ultimately responsible for this avoidable accident.
     While the firm has proven its successful expansion beyond Boston, this flagship office still hosts the highest concentration of its star talent. Keith Carroll, who was part of the team on the aforementioned matter for Equitable, attends to a unique practice that blends investigation work with a comprehensive sports litigation component. The Boston office has also been noted as “an insurance powerhouse.” Kim Marrkand is identified as “a trusted advisor to Liberty Mutual,” by a peer, who testifies, “when I have a conflict on the insurance side, I call her.” Another peer raves, “There’s a guy at Mintz I regard as the BEST litigator there, [commercial and criminal litigator] Michael Gardener. Pound for pound, just the best, the guy I would go to if I had an issue. [He is} Very tough, very smart, very sophisticated, endlessly resourceful.”