The National Law Journal Names John Browne a 2019 “Litigation Trailblazer”

September 2019

The National Law Journal (“NLJ”) has named BLB&G partner John Browne a “Litigation Trailblazer,” recognizing him among “a handful of individuals from each practice area that are truly agents of change.”

In its profile of John, NLJ highlights his impressive career and several of his groundbreaking achievements, including litigation against Amedisys, a Louisiana-based health care company, which resulted in a $43.8 million recovery for Amedisys investors after the company defrauded Medicare by overcharging the government for medical services. According to John, “It’s one of the cases I’m most proud of. The Fifth Circuit is extremely defense-friendly, and plaintiffs’ decisions there are rare. When we appealed, there was a risk that the Fifth Circuit would issue a very bad decision for class actions. Instead, the ruling stopped a trend that was bad for plaintiffs, and then the Ninth Circuit adopted it, too.”

Among other matters, the profile notes John’s success in two cases against the companies Comscore and Clovis. In both cases the companies in question were struggling financially and didn’t have a great deal of insurance. “In both cases, the defense was suggesting settling for the amount of insurance they had before defense costs ate it up and the clients got nothing. But we decided we weren’t going to just take the remaining insurance, which was about $25 million for each company,” notes John. “We instead suggested that we get the insurance and a bunch of stock from them. It was very risky, especially since Comscore had been delisted. But in both cases, it worked. With Clovis, we got the $25 million and then another $117 million in stock, and with Comscore, we took the $25 million plus another $85 million in stock. In both cases, we were able to sell the stock, and the classes recovered more than $100 million. We were able to squeeze much more out when others wouldn’t have been able to. We had to be creative and push hard.”

John goes on to explain how he’s reached this point in his career. “I always wanted to be a lawyer to do something good. After law school, I started at a defense firm. But I didn’t really enjoy defending companies accused of fraud. So I identified Bernstein Litowitz and thought I might enjoy doing plaintiffs’ side work. And when I got here, I found a perfect mix pursuing shareholder litigation.”

Looking toward the future, John sees a great deal of potential fraud being revealed should an economic correction take place. “I unfortunately believe the bill for the tax breaks that have overheated the economy will come due soon. There will be a big correction, and a great deal of fraud will be revealed. A lot of sketchy practices that can be covered up when the market is soaring will come to light.”