In the latest development in the long-running FirstEnergy bribery-related derivative lawsuit settlement saga, a federal judge has granted final approval to the proposed settlement in the consolidated action pending in the Southern District of Ohio, albeit while reducing the amount of the plaintiffs’ fee award. The parties will now, with the benefit of the final settlement approval, turn to the Northern District of Ohio, where an unconsolidated parallel action remains pending, and where the presiding judge has recently appointed new counsel to prosecute the separate action. In a rational and orderly world, the separate proceeding in the Northern District of Ohio would be dismissed. However, under the actual conditions, anything could happen.
Continue Reading FirstEnergy Bribery-Related Derivative Suit Settlement Receives Final Approval; What Happens Next?

As I have previously noted (here), even though the parties to the consolidated First Energy derivative litigation pending in the Southern District of Ohio reached an agreement to settle the case for a payment of $180 million and the company’s agreement to adopt governance reforms, Northern District of Ohio Judge John Adams has tried to force the plaintiffs’ lawyers to continue to pursue the separate case pending in his court, notwithstanding the settlement. Now, as Alison Frankel reported in a July 15, 2022 post in her On the Case blog (here), Judge Adams has followed through on his threat to boot the plaintiffs’ lawyers and replace them with lawyers that will pursue the case in his court. At first no prospective replacement lawyers appeared. But now, of all things, the famed litigator David Boies has stepped forward to propose his firm as counsel to take over the case in the Northern District of Ohio. All of this comes just as the settlement proceedings in the Southern District of Ohio are about to come to a head.
Continue Reading FirstEnergy Derivative Suit: Cycle of Post-Settlement Weirdness Continues to Unspool