By Alison Frankel
(Reuters) – The law business led by famed litigator David Boies seems to have engaged in some strange litigation methods on behalf of FTX crypto trade end users who accuse NFL quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, comedian Larry David and other celebrities of inducing them to open FTX accounts.
This tale ventures deep into the weeds of federal court submitting techniques, but the upshot is that Boies’ firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, and co-counsel from The Moskowitz Regulation Business filed 3 distinct but definitely similar FTX lawsuits in the exact federal court docket in Miami devoid of asking the courtroom to consolidate the situations in advance of just just one judge.
The cases were being assigned to three unique Miami federal judges just before the judges recognized they have been relevant. Last week, U.S. District Judge Michael Moore of Miami entered an buy consolidating the lawsuits and clarifying that he will oversee the litigation.
That was apparently not what the Boies and Moskowitz companies were being hoping. In mid-November, the corporations filed the initial of their three FTX lawsuits in federal courtroom. The go well with, a class action on behalf of FTX accountholders in the U.S., alleged that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and celebrity endorsers violated Florida securities and individuals guidelines by marketing the FTX yield-bearing accounts as a protected way to devote in cryptocurrencies.
I’ll pause right here to level out that legislation organization Latham & Watkins, which is symbolizing Brady, Bundchen and David, declined to remark on the cases. Bankman-Fried counsel Mark Cohen of Cohen & Gresser did not answer to a question. I also did not get a reaction from the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, which is also named as a defendant.
As you are doubtless conscious, Boies is recognized for substantial-profile matters, which includes his representation of Democratic presidential prospect Al Gore in the U.S. Supreme Courtroom situation that determined the election of 2000. A lot more not long ago he has represented Jeffrey Epstein accusers together with Virginia Giuffre.
On the official kind that accompanied Boies Schiller’s FTX lawsuit, which is recognized as a include sheet, the Boies and Moskowitz firms said the FTX course motion was similar to a distinctive course motion that the corporations are litigating on behalf of crypto traders who utilised the Voyager Electronic Ltd system. The Voyager circumstance equally accuses a celebrity crypto endorser – Dallas Mavericks operator Mark Cuban – of deceptive promotion of a crypto expense. Cuban counsel Stephen Best of Brown Rudnick told me he is assured the class motion will be tossed, in section because Voyager account holders did not depend on Cuban’s endorsement.
Presiding around that situation is U.S. District Judge Roy Altman, who was a associate at the plaintiffs’ agency Podhurst Orseck right before signing up for the bench in 2019. He has nonetheless to rule on Cuban’s motion to dismiss the situation, but in November established that the Boies and Moskowitz firms were being entitled to discovery from Cuban.
By asserting that the initially FTX fit was related to the Cuban circumstance right before Altman, the Boies and Moskowitz firms seemingly hoped Altman would also be appointed to oversee the FTX course action, even nevertheless there was no overlap among the plaintiffs and defendants in the situations.
The courtroom in its place assigned the case to Moore, a George H.W. Bush appointee and former federal prosecutor, on the exact day it was submitted.
On Nov. 21, the Boies and Moskowitz companies submitted a next FTX course action, this time on behalf of non-U.S. FTX clients. The protect sheet reported the situation was not relevant to any other continuing in Miami federal court, even though it stated the Voyager course motion in a box exactly where this kind of information and facts can be stated. The include sheet did not refer to the circumstance right before Moore.
The second suit was assigned to U.S. District Choose Darrin Gayles.
On Dec. 7, the Boies and Moskowitz firms filed a third FTX class action in federal courtroom in Miami, this time on behalf of all FTX consumers, in and out of the U.S. When once more, the go over sheet for the filing did not point out the firm’s prior (and very related) FTX satisfies. The moment all over again, the Voyager course action showed up in the box for relevant scenarios.
The third match was assigned to U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom. (Both Bloom and Gayles are former Florida condition-court docket judges who have been appointed by former President Barack Obama).
The working day immediately after Bloom’s assignment to the scenario, the Moskowitz and Boies companies voluntarily dismissed the two earlier-filed FTX class actions ahead of Moore and Gayles. They then submitted an amended criticism in the scenario prior to Bloom, incorporating the direct plaintiffs from the other two now-dismissed suits.
These maneuvers seem to be to have caught Bloom’s notice. She issued an buy on Dec. 9, transferring the remaining class motion to Moore, who experienced been assigned the initial go well with submitted by Moskowitz and Boies. Moore issued his order consolidating the litigation in his courtroom on the same day.
I emailed Adam Moskowitz of the Moskowitz firm and four Boies Schiller attorneys, including David Boies, to check with why they had stated the to start with FTX suit was similar to the Voyager circumstance and why they failed to disclose that their next and 3rd FTX fits have been associated to the very first class action. Specifically, I asked if they were being trying to stay clear of Moore and get the FTX litigation ahead of Altman, the choose overseeing the Voyager circumstance.
Moskowitz explained in two e-mail responses that the firms’ intention has generally been to have all of the federal conditions consolidated right before 1 decide. (His agency and the Boies company also have filed quite a few instances in Florida point out courts.)
“As we obtained additional conditions, we filed far more instances,” Moskowitz mentioned. “We wished to make certain to deal with all of these victims.”
Moskowitz explained the firms “always consider our very best to total all data on all court sorts.” He and Boies lawyers, he stated, have been coordinating with defense counsel in equally the state and federal FTX conditions, regardless of the “different cases, various purchasers and diverse law firms.”
The two the point out and federal situations, Moskowitz said, are now sorted out and will be overseen by 1 judge in federal court docket and a single in condition court docket.
“After 4 weeks of tricky do the job, cooperation and coordination, which include with protection counsel, we are joyful to at least have two avenues for all of those people victims throughout the world (in Florida state and federal courts),” Moskowitz mentioned. “It is a superior day for the victims.”
Boies legal professionals did not respond further than Moskowitz’s e-mail.
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FTX’s Bankman-Fried, Tom Brady and other superstar promoters sued by crypto traders