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Wells Fargo Misled Customers, Whistleblower Claims

Sometimes when you read the news, you can see the lawsuits coming.

Like the latest whistleblower suit against Wells Fargo. The former head of the bank's foreign-exchange group claims he was fired right before he was scheduled to tell government regulators about allegedly "false and misleading" sales practices at the company.

The lawsuit follows a Wall Street Journal report that federal prosecutors were investigating foreign-exchange trading at the beleagured bank. For general counsel, sometimes it's about knowing what's happening before it hits the news.

When to Settle a Whistleblower Suit?

There is no one-size-fits-all for when to settle a lawsuit, especially when it comes to whistleblower cases.

Whistleblower suits, in many cases, have the added pressure of government enforcement. And unless you have more resources than the kingdom of Amazon, the government can outspend you in litigation.

That had something to do with why two Utah companies folded for $1.2 million in a whistleblower case. Money and timing were keys to settling the suit, but then there were also the intangible factors.

Target Settles Criminal History/Racial Disparity Case

Doing criminal background checks for new hires is just doing business these days, but not so fast.

A settlement against Target suggests 3.74 million reasons why companies should pay closer attention to how they use criminal histories. If employers are not careful, they may have to pay the hard way.

Target admitted no wrongdoing in the case, but it still has to pay $3.74 million to settle it.

Did Overstock Investors Get Fooled in Bitcoin Frenzy?

Imagine you are general counsel of Overstock.com and you discover a legal problem that will put the company's stock in a tailspin.

Then imagine your compensation package is tied to the stock's performance. Now you have a dilemma: do you sell before you advise the directors?

Just kidding, SEC; we're talking hypotheticals here. Oh wait, the company just got sued for defrauding investors.

While most of the internet public was outraged when news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, one Facebook investor and shareholder decided to take legal action.

The shareholder, Fan Yuan, filed a federal class action in the Northern District Court of California. The lawsuit claims that Facebook's privacy failures resulted in the 10 percent drop in Facebook's share price, causing significant losses to its shareholders. As noted by comedian and the Late Show host Stephen Colbert, that's equates to a $36 billion dollar tumble.

H&M Drops Lawsuit Against Street Artist

There's a case to be made that a graffiti artist may own copyrights to the scribbles on your property.

For now, however, that case will not be made. A clothing company had sued a street artist who claimed copyright for wavy lines he etched on a wall, but now the company has withdrawn the complaint.

H&M, a multi-national clothing company, voluntary dismissed its case against the popular artist. Basically, the company said, "my bad."

The litigation over whether Monsanto's flagship weed killer, Round Up, causes non-Hodgkins lymphoma heated up earlier this month. The federal district court was treated to a parade of experts expressing competing opinions on the safety of Round Up.

Notably, reports from the closing day of testimony explain that Judge Chhabria expressed skepticism as to the plaintiffs' experts, going so far as to call it "highly questionable at best and maybe junk science." And if that wasn't enough, the distinguished federal jurist is quoted calling epidemiology a "highly subjective" and "loosey goosey" field.

Software Company Accuses Military of Copyright Piracy

What happens when you put a bunch of young people in a room with a lot of computers?

In the case of the U.S. military, copyright violations happen. Hundreds of thousands of them, according to a lawsuit.

But is it really a surprise? When it's possible that even monkeys can copy a Shakespearen play, it had to happen.

Lawsuit Claims Walmart Issued Misleading E-Commerce Results

As if general counsel didn't have enough hats to wear already, the stock market cap is coming out for Walmart's in-house attorneys.

Walmart shares fell as much as 2.45 percent after news of a whistleblower suit, alleging the company "issued misleading e-commerce results." A wage dispute by warehouse workers might have been better because this lawsuit comes from the former director of business development.

Tri Huynh said he was wrongfully fired for raising concerns about the company's "overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible -- even, illegitimate ones." That's right, clean up on aisles 1 through 22.

#MeToo, Microsoft? Big Numbers in Gender Discrimination Case

Women at Microsoft in U.S.-based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, according to newly released court records.

In a proposed class action, the plaintiffs cite the numbers to allege the company routinely denies pay raises and promotions to women. With up to 8,000 possible plaintiffs, the numbers are daunting.

For a company with 124,000 workers worldwide, however, the complaints represent less than two tenths of a percent of the total workforce. Still, in the #MeToo times, it's enough to make general counsel take a second look.