Appellate

  • August 21, 2019

    Mass. Driver Asks 1st Circ. To Revive Mercedes Defect Suit

    A Massachusetts Mercedes-Benz owner asked the First Circuit on Tuesday to revive his proposed class action against the luxury car maker, claiming a judge was wrong to dismiss the suit over “catastrophic” radiator defects that pose safety issues and require pricey repairs.

  • August 21, 2019

    Italian Film Composer Can Reclaim Copyrights, 2nd Circ. Says

    Famed Italian film composer Ennio Morricone won a key victory Wednesday at the Second Circuit that will allow him to reclaim the copyrights to his music: a ruling that he had not produced his scores as so-called works for hire.

  • August 21, 2019

    Fed. Circ. Temporarily Stays L'Oreal Injunction In $50M Suit

    A day after a lower court ordered L'Oreal to pay nearly $50 million for misappropriating trade secrets and infringing patents belonging to a hair care rival, the Federal Circuit on Wednesday issued a short-term stay that will allow L'Oreal to keep making and selling some of the disputed products.

  • August 20, 2019

    AIG's $13M Battle May Bolster Insurers' Settlement Challenges

    The Ninth Circuit recently sought the Arizona Supreme Court’s help to decide whether an AIG unit was justified in its refusal to cover the University of Phoenix's $13 million settlement of a class action, and attorneys say a ruling in the insurance company’s favor could give other carriers more leverage to challenge the reasonableness of policyholders’ deals.

  • August 20, 2019

    2nd Circ. Orders Damages Redo In Pension Funding Suit

    The Second Circuit on Tuesday found a federal district judge incorrectly applied an interest rate when looking at how much a food services business owed a union pension fund in damages for unpaid pension contributions, kicking the case back to the lower court to rethink how much the company needs to pay.

  • August 20, 2019

    Calif. Judge Under Investigation Is Tough, But Fair, Panel Told

    A parade of attorneys and judges who worked with California appellate Justice Jeffrey Johnson told a Commission on Judicial Performance panel Tuesday that he could be tough in his questioning from the bench but always treated people with dignity and respect.

  • August 20, 2019

    9th Circ. Shuts Door On Medtronic Obesity Bias Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a former Medtronic Inc. employee's suit accusing the company of illegally firing him because he was morbidly obese, saying he couldn't show that his weight led to his firing while sidestepping the broader question of whether obesity alone qualifies as a disability.

  • August 20, 2019

    Ex-Davis Wright Partner Can't Shake Arbitration On Appeal

    A former Davis Wright Tremaine intellectual property and entertainment partner can’t get out of arbitrating his contract dispute with the firm, a California appeals court said Monday, finding that a lower court properly considered and rejected his claim that an arbitration agreement had been fraudulently induced.

  • August 20, 2019

    College's Actions Created Duty To Athletes, Pa. Justices Say

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Lackawanna College left itself open to claims from two would-be football players by taking it upon itself to provide athletic trainers, who the two players claim were grossly unqualified, at the team’s tryouts.

  • August 20, 2019

    Pa. Justices Say State Has Final Say Over Utility Lines

    Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission has the exclusive right to regulate power lines and pipelines within the state, and that authority preempted the city of Lancaster’s effort to inspect and charge fees for utilities in city-owned rights of way, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday.

  • August 20, 2019

    Amazon Win Shuts Down IRS' Broad Definition Of Intangibles

    The IRS loss at the Ninth Circuit in its dispute with Amazon.com Inc. — the latest defeat for the government over cost-sharing rules — likely signals that legal battles over the precise definitions of intangible assets are coming to a close.

  • August 20, 2019

    Enviros Challenge EPA Pesticide Approval As Unwarranted

    Green groups on Tuesday challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of an insecticide that was previously banned by the Ninth Circuit over concerns there was not enough research about its effect on bees.

  • August 20, 2019

    Delta Urges 1st Circ. Not To Revive 'False Imprisonment' Suit

    Delta told the First Circuit on Tuesday that a federal judge got it right when he dismissed a suit brought by a noted Massachusetts doctor who claimed the airline detained him against his will because the man's claims were preempted by the Montreal Convention treaty on international air travel.

  • August 20, 2019

    Noncitizens Fearing Persecution Have Right To Atty: 9th Circ.

    A Ninth Circuit panel has found that a San Francisco immigration judge deprived a Mexican national of his statutory right to counsel during his expedited removal proceedings, issuing a unanimous order Tuesday granting the man’s petition for review and ordering the case back to immigration court.

  • August 20, 2019

    New York Times Warns Palin Libel Ruling Will Chill Speech

    The New York Times is asking the Second Circuit to undo a decision earlier this month that allowed Sarah Palin to sue the paper for defamation, warning that the ruling would weaken "bedrock First Amendment protections."

  • August 20, 2019

    Fed. Circ. Asked To Rethink Alice Ax Of 3 Targeted Ad Patents

    Bridge and Post Inc. on Monday asked the Federal Circuit to reconsider its decision to invalidate three targeted advertising patents under the U.S. Supreme Court's Alice decision, saying the court puts too much focus on the first part of the patent test and not the other.

  • August 20, 2019

    3rd Circ. Revives Ex-Pipeline Worker's Overtime Pay Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal court applied the wrong standard when it found that a construction company didn't violate wage laws intentionally, the Third Circuit said Tuesday as it revived a former employee's overtime suit.

  • August 20, 2019

    Deaf Shipper Holds On To Jury Win In ADA Suit At 6th. Circ.

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday held that a lower court correctly handled a trial over whether a steel manufacturing company ran afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act by not letting a deaf employee work as a shipper, affirming a verdict in the worker’s favor.

  • August 20, 2019

    Qualcomm Can't Put 'Blinders' On 9th Circ., Cell Buyers Say

    Consumers blasted Qualcomm on Monday for trying to limit the Ninth Circuit's gaze in the chipmaker's class certification appeal, urging the court again to recognize the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust win over the tech giant and their efforts to notify a class of 250 million U.S. phone buyers.

  • August 20, 2019

    Panel Ruling Undermines Tribal Court Authority, 8th Circ. Told

    Three Affiliated Tribes court officials on Monday urged the Eighth Circuit to reconsider its ruling that they can't hear tribe members' suits seeking royalties for the flaring of natural gas from wells on reservation lands, saying the ruling overrules U.S. Supreme Court precedent and neuters tribal court authority.

  • August 20, 2019

    Fed. Circ. Won't Revive DRM Patent, In Win For Samsung

    Several claims in a digital rights management technology patent that Samsung was accused of infringing are invalid as indefinite, the Federal Circuit affirmed Tuesday.

  • August 20, 2019

    Justices Asked Once More To Review IRS Summons Dispute

    An Eleventh Circuit dismissal of a dispute over an IRS summons seeking clients' bank records as part of an investigation into their attorney's tax liabilities conflicts with Tenth Circuit precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court was recently told.

  • August 20, 2019

    Auto Cos. Want Full 9th Circ. Redo In Nissan Defect Spat

    Automakers have urged the full Ninth Circuit to review a panel’s decision reviving a consumer class certification bid in a suit alleging defective manual transmissions in Nissan vehicles, saying class action plaintiffs can now go on a cash grab using dicey damages theories.

  • August 20, 2019

    5th Circ. Invokes Chanel In Siding With Pier 1 Over Stock Drop

    The Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a shareholder suit alleging Pier 1 hid the possibility that it might cut prices to sell excess inventory, using a Coco Chanel quote to reject claims executives knew their products were at risk of discounts because they were trendy.

  • August 20, 2019

    San Diego Pot Zoning Rules Need Enviro Review, Justices Say

    The California Supreme Court on Monday said a San Diego ordinance regulating medical cannabis shops is the type of government activity that counts as a “project” in need of review under the California Environmental Quality Act, though the ruling’s effect on the ordinance at issue wasn’t immediately clear.

Expert Analysis

  • Can Text Messages Or An Airbag Cause A Suicide?

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    An infamous 2017 criminal case in Massachusetts and a recent civil case in South Carolina both hinged on whether other parties can be responsible for someone's suicide. Both cases suggest a trend toward applying traditional tort principles, and consideration of special factors suggesting the foreseeability of suicide, say Christopher Collier and Michael Arndt of Hawkins Parnell.

  • 5th Circ. Liquor Sales Ruling Skirts Commerce Clause Issues

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    The Fifth Circuit's decision in Walmart v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, upholding a Texas law that bans public ownership of retail liquor stores, suggests that there will continue to be tension between states’ 21st Amendment rights to regulate liquor within their borders and the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause, says Louis Terminello at Greenspoon Marder.

  • Uncertainty On Hospital Disproportionate Share Pay Eligibility

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    In two recent disputes over whether hospitals serving a disproportionate number of low-income patients qualify for additional payments under Medicare and Medicaid, hospitals can claim one tentative win at the U.S. Supreme Court and one loss at the D.C. Circuit, say Stuart Gerson and Rob Wanerman of Epstein Becker.

  • Fed. Circ.'s Arduous Legal Landscape For Diagnostic Patents

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    The Federal Circuit's recent opinion in Genetic Veterinary Sciences v. Laboklin continues the trend of invalidating claims to diagnostic inventions as being directed to patent-ineligible natural phenomena, and it highlights the challenges facing innovators attempting to protect such inventions, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • ADP Cases Show Pitfalls Of One-Size-Fits-All Noncompetes

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    A New Jersey appellate court's recent opinion in six noncompete cases filed by ADP illustrates the challenges in adopting a successful multijurisdictional restrictive covenant program, but employers can avoid many of these problems with careful planning, say Henry Perlowski and Edward Cadagin at Arnall Golden.

  • A Federal Pathway To Enforcing Tribal Court Judgments

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    The Ninth Circuit's decision in Coeur d’Alene Tribe v. Hawks provides tribal entities with the option of going to federal court to seek enforcement of tribal court judgments against nonmembers. This may provide litigants with enforcement opportunities that do not exist in state court, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight.

  • California Tax Takes: A Tool To Fight Underpayment Penalties

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    If the California Legislature adds tax claims to the ambit of the state False Claims Act, taxpayers would need to evaluate their potential exposure to the large corporate understatement penalty or consider challenging the penalty as an excessive fine, pursuant to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Timbs v. Indiana, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • How Electric Power Group Case Is Affecting Software Patents

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    The Federal Circuit's 2016 Electric Power Group v. Alstom decision, more frequently applied of late, and its progeny pose a serious risk to software inventions. As a result, knowing how to avoid Section 101 invalidity risk is critical when drafting software patents, says Michael Kiklis of Bass Berry.

  • Crisis Messaging To Protect Law Firm Brand And Bottom Line

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    When crises occur, such as data security incidents or gender bias suits, a well-prepared law firm has a thoroughly tested communications plan at the ready, which ensures the firm is the most proactive news source, prevents the crisis from escalating and notifies stakeholders about mitigation efforts, says Zach Olsen at Infinite Global.

  • Shareholder Activism Pushes Boundaries Of Board Duties

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    The Delaware Supreme Court’s recent decision in Marchand v. Barnhill may signal a shift in how the state recognizes broader stakeholder interests in the name of shareholder value, say Beth Boland and Andrew Howell at Foley & Lardner.

  • Calif. Justices Set Low Bar For Website Bias Claims

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    The California Supreme Court’s recent opinion in White v. Square — that plaintiffs need only show they intended to use an online business’ services in order to sue for alleged discrimination — could have far-reaching consequences for e-commerce, initially in California and potentially nationwide, say Katherine Catlos and Aaron Cargain of Kaufman Dolowich.

  • When A Click Doesn't Count As Arbitration Acceptance

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    The Eighth Circuit's recent denial of an employer’s request to force arbitration in Shockley v. PrimeLending teaches employers important lessons about how courts will interpret concepts like “agreements” when the employer’s personnel documents are electronically stored and contain automated acceptances, says Michele Brott at Davis Brown.

  • Perspectives

    What You Should Know About Courtroom Closures

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    At attorney Greg Craig’s trial in D.C. federal court this week, the courtroom was cleared so prospective jurors could answer sensitive questions. Even seasoned litigators were left wondering about the nature of this subtle, yet significant, issue involving Sixth Amendment public trial rights, says Luke Cass at Quarles & Brady.

  • A District Court Split On Curing Copyright Timing Defects

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    Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Fourth Estate, district courts have split on whether a plaintiff who filed suit before obtaining a copyright registration may cure that defect by amending the complaint after it received the registration. As a result, some pending copyright cases may be dismissed or barred, say Adam Wolek and Rashad Simmons of Taft Stettinius.​​

  • Pa. Justices Could Shift State's Consumer Litigation

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    Depending on how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides Gregg v. Ameriprise Financial — a dispute over the culpability standard for the “catch-all” provision of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law — consumer protection litigation in the state could change profoundly, says Karl Myers of Stradley Ronon.