CBS/INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “JUSTICE IN AMERICA” PROFILES OLGA HERNANDEZ CASE AND REID COLLINS’ PRO BONO WORK
June 2022 – A moving new documentary on Reid Collins’ pro bono representation of Olga Hernandez, a 66-year-old San Antonio grandmother who became the unlikely target of an FBI insurance fraud investigation, has just been released by CBS affiliate Justice In America.
“The Olga Hernandez Story” details the firm’s work defending the former San Antonio Independent School District employee and Board Trustee after she was wrongfully accused of bribery and conspiracy by the federal government. After four decades of service to the SAISD, she resigned in February 2017, when she was indicted, arrested, and publicly led away in handcuffs.
Speaking on why he and the firm took on this fight, William T. “Bill” Reid said: “Olga really impressed me…. [she was] someone who needed my help, and I could help….and when I learned [the degree to which the FBI and prosecutors were] willing to intimidate her…it angered me. So I put my own resources and the resources of my firm behind this case.”
Reid and the trial team, including second chair Brandon Lewis, Sean Johnson, and paralegal Mina Myers, handled Hernandez’s defense at trial in Texas federal court and obtained a full acquittal on all charges.
More than half of all wrongful criminal convictions in the U.S. are caused by government misconduct. The case demonstrates how important – and difficult – it is to push back against government overreach. Reid said, “Think of people you can recall who have the moral fortitude to stand up to the federal government and all its power…. Olga did. She told the federal government ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. Take your best shot.’ That takes a lot of courage.”
A former prosecutor who has spent the last 20 years handling high-stakes, often multi-billion- dollar, business disputes, Reid explains the unique pressure of representing someone so clearly innocent after this, his first criminal defense: “It is a lot more difficult to represent someone who is innocent. The pressure it puts on you of knowing that basically this person’s life is in your hands.
“This is the single most meaningful thing I have ever done as a lawyer.”
Click here to view “The Olga Hernandez Story”
COURT APPROVES $300 MILLION SETTLEMENT OF RENREN DERIVATIVE LITIGATION – ONE OF LARGEST DERIVATIVE RECOVERIES IN HISTORY
On June 9, 2022, the New York State Supreme Court granted approval of a direct pay cash settlement totaling at least $300 million, resolving the In re Renren, Inc. Derivative Litigation – one of the largest cash settlements of a derivative action in history. (The aggregate cash payment to Renren’s minority shareholders and ADS holders may exceed $300 million depending on the final determination of the number of shares and ADSs held by non-Defendants). The action alleges a complex scheme by Renren insiders to take the company’s billion-dollar investment portfolio for themselves. Reid Collins & Tsai LLP, Lead Counsel for the derivative plaintiffs, originally announced the terms of the settlement in October 2021.
The precedent-setting case will have long term impacts for protecting investors from cross-border fraud and financial misconduct. In both trial court and on appeal, Reid Collins defeated attempts by the Defendants to dismiss the case and evade accountability, with the courts accepting Reid Collins’ arguments addressing novel issues on personal jurisdiction and standing. Facing significant legal challenges to acquire U.S. jurisdiction over multiple foreign defendants and establish derivative standing under Cayman law, these wins by the Reid Collins team have created new precedent to combat a growing problem in the financial sector – the difficulty in addressing fraud and wrongdoing by foreign companies (and related individual actors) publicly traded in the U.S.
Click here to view the press release describing the litigation and ruling.
The case and settlement have received significant media coverage:
— The New York Times – “Renren, SoFi and a $300 million settlement” (scroll down)
— Financial Times – “US-listed Chinese group Renren settles investor complaint for $300m”
— Reuters – “‘Facebook of China’ shareholders score $300 million in cross-border derivative deal”
— Bloomberg – “Renren Insiders Settle SoFi Stake Suit in $300 Million Deal”
— Law360 – “Renren Investors To Settle Derivative Claims With $300M Deal
— AmLaw Litigation Daily – “Litigators of the Week”
REID, MADDEN & TSAI PROFILED AS CHAMBERS USA TOP LITIGATORS
In its 2022 USA Guide to leading law firms and lawyers, Chambers and Partners has recognized three Reid Collins partners as among the top litigators in the nation: William T. Reid, IV; Lisa S. Tsai; and Eric D. Madden. Their Chambers’ profiles feature numerous highlights: Reid is described as “an incredible lawyer …. His ability to take complex matters and simplify them in a way that makes it clear to judges and mediators what happened is unparalleled”; Tsai is praised for her “broad-based commercial litigation practice …. she advises clients on everything from shareholder disputes to professional liability claims and class actions”; and Madden “handles a wide array of commercial disputes, including bankruptcy-related litigation …. a great lawyer …. very responsive …. [with] an ability to communicate and take on complex matters.”
Click here to view Chambers’ full 2022 profiles of the firm’s leading lawyers.