Michael Forde tried two cases on behalf of three Sprint 'affiliates' in cases they filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery and Cook County Circuit Court. These affiliates of Sprint Nextel Corporation were third parties who had the exclusive right to provide Sprint mobile service in certain large geographic areas. After Sprint announced its $35 billion merger with Nextel Communications, Inc., these affiliates filed separate suits against Sprint in Delaware and Cook County alleging that the merger would result in a breach of their exclusivity rights. In the Delaware case, the Court of Chancery issued an injunction barring Sprint Nextel from engaging in certain marketing activities. In the Illinois case, the court issued an injunction requiring Sprint Nextel to divest itself of the Nextel network and assets in our client's service area. The Appellate Court affirmed this decision. Sprint ultimately resolved the case by acquiring our clients for approximately $831 million in cash and assumed debt.
Some of our lawyers also represented three Sprint affiliates in litigation pending in Delaware and Illinois that sought to enjoin the closing of an $11 billion transaction in which Sprint agreed to contribute certain assets to a new venture to be called Clearwire in exchange for a majority interest in the new company. Sprint announced that it was acquiring Virgin Mobile USA, Inc. Our lawyers filed another lawsuit on behalf of the affiliates in Illinois seeking to enjoin the closing of the Sprint-Virgin transaction. Sprint ultimately resolved both of those cases when it acquired our clients.
Kevin Forde was again lead counsel and argued in the Supreme Court of Illinois on behalf of the President of the Illinois Judges Association in a class action on behalf of Illinois judges challenging the constitutionality of executive and legislative branch actions that prevented payment of cost-of-living adjustments to Illinois judges. The case resulted in a salary increase and back-pay awards of more than $10 million for Illinois judges. Jorgensen v. Blagojevich, 211 Ill. 2d 286 (2004).
Kevin Forde served as lead counsel and argued in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of a class that included all members of the federal judiciary. This case was brought by the judges to challenge the constitutionality of certain Acts of Congress that withheld cost-of-living salary adjustments claimed due to the judiciary. In addition to substantial salary increases, this case produced back-pay awards totaling $10 million for federal judges and justices then in office. United States v. Will, 449 U.S. 200 (1980).