7:42pm PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Sony Hires Top Attorneys to Defend Privacy Breach Lawsuits
Sony Pictures is readying its defenses for the slew of class-action lawsuits filed against it over the recent hack into employees' personal information. The studio has hired attorneys from WilmerHale to defend it in several of the new lawsuits.
The firm's vice chair of litigation/controversy, David C. Marcus, and Christopher T. Casamassima, both from the firm's Los Angeles office, will represent the studio in the cases, which so far were all filed in California. They will be joined by Boston partners Felicia Ellsworth and William F. Lee and New York partners Noah A. Levine and Alan Schoenfeld.
The group specializes largely in intellectual property and business and antitrust litigation. Their recent work includes Casimassima’s successful defense of Regal Cinemas in an antitrust suit filed by an independent theater chain in California, Levine and Schoenfeld’s defense of JPMorgan Chase in a consumer protection case, and Ellsworth and Lee’s ongoing representation of Cisco Systems in a patent dispute.
The class-action suits filed against Sony started on Dec. 15 and continued throughout the week. In each case, ex-employees claim the studio didn't do enough to prevent the release of 47,000 present and former employees' personal information, including details that put them at risk of identity theft.
WilmerHale is already involved in the fallout from the hack, which shut down the studio’s computers on Nov. 24 and continued with the disclosure of emails, documents, employee information and more in the following weeks. The firm filed Google’s lawsuit to block the Mississippi attorney general’s subpoena of its records after emails leaked in the hack reportedly revealed the probe was part of a large-scale plan by the MPAA and the major studios to combat piracy.
The firm had another hack on its hands earlier this year — it filed JPMorgan Chase’s disclosure in October that information for 76 million consumers and seven million small businesses was stolen in a data breach. Its other work in technology litigation includes fighting for Apple in its patent infringement battle with Samsung.