On Tuesday, attorney Scott Drury submitted a responsive filing to Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman concerning whether he as an individual professional or his former firm, Loevy & Loevy (L&L) was appointed interim lead counsel in the biometric privacy litigation against Clerview AI.
Drury said that despite L&L’s contentions, the court unambiguously appointed him interim lead counsel and should retain him in that leadership position alongside two others he seeks to have newly appointed.
The dispute comes as discovery is drawing to a close in the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) case. The suit alleges that Clearview AI, companies that used its software, and other defendants violated the privacy of millions of Americans by creating, in the case of Clearview, a database using photographs scraped from the internet that identify people by their unique face print.
Last week, L&L filed a motion seeking clarification from the court on the aforementioned question after Drury parted ways with the firm in September to begin a solo practice. As previously reported, L&L said it did not seek to bar Drury from participation in the case, but wanted the court to clarify that L&L as a firm is interim lead counsel.
Tuesday’s response, which the court permitted to exceed the originally prescribed length, presents a different take on the dispute.
Drury points out that although L&L made “false claims” about his character and intent, the firm underscored its hope that Drury would continue working with the firm on the case. “Underlying L&L’s irreconcilable positions is its knowledge that it cannot lead this multidistrict litigation on its own,” the motion responds, claiming that “L&L does not even know what this case is about.”
Drury’s motion tells his side of the story to combat L&L’s alleged misrepresentations, including that he acted in his own self interest at the expense of class members. In further support of his leadership abilities, Drury points to several declarations from fellow plaintiffs’ counsel purporting to attest that removing Drury from leadership would prejudice the named plaintiffs’ case.
The motion further claims that L&L is in the wrong for several other reasons, including that it is not qualified to seek leadership because “it does not appear to actually represent any putative class members.” Drury also asserts that L&L’s filing was not only procedurally improper, but also prejudiced the plaintiffs by disclosing one of their consulting experts as well as the existence of confidential settlement communications.
The filing requests that Judge Coleman modify its lead counsel order and designate one lawyer from Bursor & Fisher P.C. and one from Hedin Hall LLP as interim co-lead counsel along with Drury “to allay any concerns the Court may have regarding resources.”