CEI Today: Monsanto Protection Act?, CEI lawyer wins case on trial lawyer fees, and the Gross Distorted Product


Greens Falsely Sow Seeds of Doubt on Farmer Assurance Provision

During negotiations on the continuing budget resolution last weekend, farm state senators inserted a rider they call the “Farmer Assurance Provision,” which critics have derided as the “Monsanto Protection Act.” The provision codifies existing USDA practices and elements of a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that lower courts should not automatically prohibit the planting of biotech crop varieties, or the harvest and sale of biotech crops already planted, when their commercial approval is revoked for procedural reasons. Activists have mischaracterized the rider’s actual effect and have called on Congress to repeal it.

All the Farmer Assurance rider does is codify existing case law and agency practice.
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> Interview Gregory Conko

CEI.org: CEI Lawyer Wins Fight Against Sky-High Class Action Attorney Fees in Groundless Merger Challenge


In a victory for shareholders over baseless class actions, a Texas appeals court has ruled that trial lawyers were wrongly awarded several hundred thousand dollars in attorney fees in return for making trivial changes to a proxy statement.

The case arose from a 2011 merger between Frontier Oil and the Holly Corporation. The shareholders were overwhelmingly satisfied with the proposed merger.  But, as is the case with more than 95 percent of mergers, several trial lawyers saw this as a money-making opportunity and filed class-action challenges to the merger, alleging deficiencies in the proxy statements. Plaintiffs and the companies quickly settled, with the companies agreeing to issue a 1,300-word proxy supplement consisting of immaterial tweaks to the original disclosure. In return, the plaintiff class lawyers would receive over $600,000 in fees—nearly $500 per word. >
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> Interview Sam Kazman

CNBC Squak on the Street with Rick Santelli

GDP: Gross Distorted Product? 

The economy expanded at a sluggish pace in Q4. Bill Frezza, Forbes, and CNBC's Rick Santelli discuss whether the economy is as bad as the numbers indicate. > View the CNBC interview

 > Interview Bill Frezza


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