Munger, Tolles & Olson won two of the 10 legal victories recognized on the Daily Journal’s list of Top Defense Verdicts for 2016 announced on Feb. 15, 2017.
Himelsein Mandel Fund Management LLC v. Fortress Investment Group LLC
The firm’s successful defense of Fortress Investment Group LLC against allegations that Fortress reneged on a promise to extend a $65 million credit facility, declared an improper default and misappropriated proprietary information was recognized by the Daily Journal.
Describing the importance of effective videotaped trial depositions in the case strategy, the firm’s co-lead counsel Lisa J. Demsky said, “You might be asking questions in discovery mode if the witness will be available for trial, but here you had to be more judicious in asking because it will be viewed by the judge.”
“Many lawyers take long discovery depositions, but here you need to think very carefully about how what you ask is going to play in court. You need to make everything very understandable,” co-lead counsel Brad D. Brian added.
Led by Brad D. Brian and Lisa J. Demsky, the Munger Tolles attorneys representing Fortress include Michael R. Doyen, Bradley S. Phillips, Jeffrey Y. Wu, Laura D. Smolowe, Marja-Liisa Overbeck, Emily B. Viglietta, Jordan D. Segall and Bryn A. Williams.
von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena
The Daily Journal also recognized the firm’s representation of the Norton Simon Museum in winning summary judgment in against a claim by Marei von Saher that her family was the rightful owner of two 16th Century oil paintings painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder that she claimed were taken by the Nazis during World War II. The article traced the “tangled background” and decade-long litigation involving ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve.’
“The claim aroused some natural sympathies, but the important thing to do was to put forward the actual facts of how postwar Dutch restitution law functioned,” Munger Tolles attorney Luis Li said.