Archive for April, 2009

A $50 Million Shake-down?

Update –  It appears that The Recorder has picked up this story:
Former IP Client Goes After Heller for $50 Million

If you’ve checked out the Claims Register over in the Bankruptcy section lately, you’ll see a claim for $50 million filed by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P.

What’s this all about? And why does one claim seem to represent almost 50% of the current claims? Well it appears that Mr. Katz was a client of Heller Ehrman and has been termed a “patent troll” for his litigious nature when it comes to his patent portfolio.  You can read more about RAKTL here.

And if you read Memorandum of Points and Authorities in of in Support of Motion for Order Authorizing the Filing Under Seal of Documents filed recently in bankruptcy court on behalf of RAKTL, you realize that Mr. Katz is claiming breach of a legal services agreement with Heller Ehrman which is the basis for his $50 million claim.

It appears that Mr. Katz tried to shop his legal needs to the shareholders who went to Covington & Burling but was conflicted out on many of the matters.  And while RAKTL has found a new legal home, isn’t it a bit galling that he not only wants to do the “shake-down” on the Heller estate in the same manner in which has has dealt with much of the Fortune 500 – but he wants all the legal work Heller has done (on contingency) to go to a new firm without paying his current outstanding bills?

Claims Register Updated

Knowing that today is the deadline for filing a Proof of Claim, I’ve updated the Claims Register over in the Bankruptcy section.

Did You Receive a COBRA Packet From PayFlex?

I was first alerted to this COBRA info from an astute ex-Hellerite in New York who scanned a copy and sent it my way.  It was only several days later that I received my own packet from PayFlex.

From what others have told me, none of us qualify for this and that it may be just a formality that PayFlex has to go through in order to comply with HIPAA and COBRA notification laws.  

If you have any other information please feel free to add in the Comments section.

Heller’s Severance Policy

Thanks to a devoted reader, I have some information on Heller’s severance/termination policy.  Click termination to see the page from the Heller employee manual.

From the information I’ve received, this appears to be applicable to associates and special counsel, at least in New York.  If anyone has more information especially as to its applicability firmwide and not just in New York, please let me know or add your two cents in the Comments section.

Suit Filed Against Heller Shareholders

Some big news which technically won’t hit the presses until Monday, April 27th but is available online now: the class action group led by Blum Collins has filed suit against at least 179 former shareholders including Matt Larrabee.

Read the article in The Recorder here.

You may also access the complaint here: complaint-v-heller-shareholders

What You Filed vs. What You See

A quick note since the comments section on a few posts are burning up tonite!

Please realize that the clerks at the Bankruptcy Court who enter in the claim information have been known to make mistakes.  This is why we are seeing:

– the use of Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 in the heading on some reports like the Docket Report and the Claims Register.  We confirmed today that this was in fact a mistake and that the bankruptcy case did not “magically” move from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.

– the use of total unsecured claim amounts from Box 1 of the Proof of Claim form despite some people filing out Box 5 with a priority claim.

There will be time to amend these claims – the important thing is that you got (or get) the proof of claim in before the end of business on Monday, April 27, 2009.

If you still have not filed, please think about working on it this weekend and dropping it off at the court in San Francisco on Monday.  The address is 235 Pine Street, 19th Floor, San Francisco.

If you are not in San Francisco, try to do your claim on Saturday and have it delivered using one of the overnight services such as FedEx or UPS.

SF Get-Together Photos

We have photos available from the San Francisco ex-Hellerite get-together held April 17th.

Life preserver.jpg
Remember the words of Rev. Frank Scott (Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure):

". . . sitting on our butts is not going to help us either. Maybe by climbing out of here, we can save ourselves. If you've got any sense, you'll come along with us."

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This blog has been created by Thomas MacEntee.

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