Cooley Secures Key Early Victory for Kim Kardashian and Others in Putative Class Action Suit
Los Angeles – December 15, 2022 – Cooley secured a key early win on behalf of its client, Kim Kardashian, when a California federal judge tossed a putative class action claiming Kardashian, other celebrity defendants, and executives of the cryptocurrency firm EthereumMax (EMAX) misled investors in their promotion of the token. Partners Michael Rhodes and Travis LeBlanc led the Cooley team.
The suit alleged that EMAX executives colluded with celebrity promoters to sell EMAX tokens to unsuspecting investors in a “pump and dump” scheme. Plaintiffs asserted a federal civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act claim and numerous state law claims. Ultimately, the court ruled that the investors lacked standing to bring their RICO claim, failed to allege a RICO enterprise, failed to plausibly allege that they had relied on any alleged misrepresentations and granted the defendants’ omnibus motion to dismiss.
Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald dismissed with prejudice the plaintiffs’ claims under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) as a matter of law, citing recent California district court decisions involving virtual tokens and cryptocurrency, in which Cooley teams led by Rhodes and LeBlanc secured dismissals with prejudice of CLRA claims at the pleading stage for clients Coinbase and Niantic. Along with this recent victory on behalf of Kardashian, Cooley has shaped California policy on this important consumer law issue – preventing attempts by plaintiffs to extend legacy laws to emerging technologies.
This victory earned the Cooley team a shout out as part of the American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs list.
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