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Litigation Notes

Firm Newsletter Spring 2011

Resolution of NASCAR v. Mayfield 
BSF defended NASCAR against claims by NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina. Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine in May 2009, prompting NASCAR to suspend Mayfield indefinitely.  Mayfield sued NASCAR for a preliminary injunction to get back on the track, which he briefly obtained, and for damages. The Firm successfully advocated to the Fourth Circuit and district court to overturn that injunction and won a complete pre-trial dismissal of all of Mayfield’s claims on May 18, 2010. 

Partner Helen Maher led the legal team, which included partner Gary Harris, counsel Olav Haazen and associates Michael Merley and Jarrod Reich.

Substantial Settlement Reached In Quixtar Class Action  
As co-counsel for a class of distributors of Quixtar products, BSF filed a proposed settlement in November 2010 that would provide economic benefits and injunctive relief, with an estimated value of $55 million.  The suit alleges violations of federal RICO and state unfair trade practice laws based on the multi-level marketing system of Quixtar (formerly Amway). 

BSF partner Stuart Singer directed the settlement negotiations. BSF’s team also includes partners William Dzurilla, Sigrid McCawley, David Shapiro, Carlos Sires, and associate Joshua Riley.

BSF Plays Prominent Role in Investigation Leading to Ken Starr’s Guilty Plea
In September 2010, Kenneth Starr, the "business advisor to the stars," pled guilty to money laundering, wire fraud and investment advisor fraud. BSF represented former Starr clients in efforts to recover funds owed them by Starr. Following Starr's arrest, BSF partner Courtney Rockett helped clients free their bank accounts from government-issued freeze orders.  On March 3, 2011, Starr was sentenced to 7.5 years and a forfeiture order was entered against him for over $29 million dollars.

Working with Rockett on the matter are BSF associates Brooke Alexander, Daniel Bryan, Jarrod Reich and Jeremy Vest, as well as law clerk Marc Ayala.    

BSF Successfully Appeals “Blue Valentine’s” NC-17 Rating
In December 2010, the Motion Picture Association of America’s Classification and Ratings Appeals Board decided to change the rating of “Blue Valentine” from NC-17 to R. “Blue Valentine,” produced by The Weinstein Company and starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who was nominated for an Academy Award, tells the story of a disintegrating marriage. It originally drew an NC-17 rating due to one sexually intimate scene. In its appeal, handled by BSF Chairman David Boies, The Weinstein Company successfully argued for an R-rating based on clips from other R-rated films as well as moviegoers’ support for an R-rating. BSF also represented The Weinstein Company in its effort to reduce the MPAA rating for the film “The King’s Speech,” which won four Oscars at the 2011 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


Related Lawyers: Courtney R. Rockett, Helen M. Maher