Retail & E-Commerce

  • August 20, 2019

    Walmart Claims Faulty Tesla Solar Panels Are Starting Fires

    Walmart has hit SolarCity Corp. with a breach of contract and negligence lawsuit in New York state court that accuses Tesla’s solar energy subsidiary of negligently installing solar panels that have started at least seven fires on the rooftops of retail stores in Ohio, Maryland and California.

  • August 20, 2019

    Amazon Can't Ditch Claims Over Fire-Prone Hoverboard

    Amazon must face claims of negligent misrepresentation and consumer fraud lobbed by an insurance company accusing the online retailer of selling hoverboards with counterfeit Samsung batteries that can combust and cause fires, an Illinois federal judge said Tuesday.

  • August 20, 2019

    Mass. Amazon Driver Exempt From Arbitration In Wage Suit

    A delivery driver suing Amazon over alleged unpaid wages and unreimbursed expenses counts as a transportation worker exempt from arbitration, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Tuesday, but he’ll have to fight the case in Washington state alongside a similar suit.

  • 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

    ViSalus, Consumers Brawl Over Decert. Bid In Robocall Suit

    ViSalus Inc. and a consumer class fighting a high-stakes robocall lawsuit are escalating their feud over whether an Oregon federal judge should dismantle the class after the Federal Communications Commission retroactively waived violations for many of the unwanted marketing calls that triggered the legal action.

  • 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

    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

    Real Estate Rumors: MRK, Taconic, Witkoff

    A venture of MRK Partners has reportedly dropped $24 million on a Florida senior living facility, Taconic Investment Partners is said to be paying roughly $220 million for part of the former ABC campus in New York and Witkoff Group is said to have landed $31 million in financing for a residential project in California.

  • August 20, 2019

    Avenue Stores Cleared To Use Full $12M Ch. 11 DIP Loan

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday gave her nod for women's plus-size clothing retailer Avenue Stores LLC to tap into its $12 million post-petition financing as it continues closing all 222 of its brick-and-mortar stores and seeking a buyer for its e-commerce business.

  • 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

    PTAB Ends VR Patent Challenges After Forum Clause Ruling

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has shut down MerchSource’s challenges to three virtual reality patents, accepting the company’s request to withdraw its petitions after a court ruled the challenges were barred by a license agreement.

  • August 20, 2019

    Under Armour Latest Company Sued Over Milk Crate Logo

    Under Armour executives discussed design collaborations with Milkcrate Athletics before ripping off its trademarked milk crate logo, the latter company said in a lawsuit brought a week after filing a similar one against Adidas and the Brooklyn Nets.

  • August 19, 2019

    9th Circ. Backs Conviction In $6M 5-Hour Energy Fraud

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday upheld a California federal judge's move to allow civil deposition testimony in a criminal case in which a married couple was charged with running a $6 million scheme to sell fake 5-Hour Energy products, saying that the inclusion of two witnesses' statements after they invoked the Fifth Amendment was lawful.

  • August 19, 2019

    Mushroom Antitrust MDL Deals Totaling $34M Get Initial OK

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Monday preliminarily approved settlements totaling $33.7 million that would resolve decade-old claims in multidistrict litigation that dozens of farms fixed the price of mushrooms sold to grocery stores, finding that the settlement amounts are “within the range of fairness.”

  • August 19, 2019

    Risky Amazon Warehouse Rack Work Hurt 2 On Job, Jury Told

    Two ironworkers who say they suffered career-ending injuries when an uncertified forklift driver caused a massive storage rack to fall on them as they worked on a behind-schedule Amazon warehouse project with inadequate supervision asked an Illinois federal jury Monday to hold Amazon and others responsible.

  • August 19, 2019

    Under Armour Ditches Stock-Drop Suit

    Athletic apparel company Under Armour on Monday escaped a proposed securities class action accusing it of hiding a decrease in demand for its products, with a Maryland federal judge finding the company’s investors failed to convincingly plead their case.

  • August 19, 2019

    Sprint Distributor's Fraud, Contract Case Sent To Arbitration

    A former Sprint distributor will have to hash out its multimillion-dollar fraud, contract and defamation claims against the telecom giant in arbitration, after a D.C. federal judge on Monday rejected the retailer’s claims that Sprint bullied it into inking a one-sided dispute resolution agreement.

  • August 19, 2019

    Facebook, Amazon Blast French Digital Tax In USTR Hearing

    Representatives from Facebook, Amazon and Google said complying with a new French digital services tax will present significant challenges, including creating new measures to track individual user data, while testifying at a U.S. trade representative public hearing Monday.

  • August 19, 2019

    EEOC Nets $600K From Bias Suit Deals With Walmart, Others

    Wal-Mart Stores will cough up $100,000 to end a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability discrimination suit, the EEOC said Monday, marking the latest settlement announcement in a week that has seen the workplace bias watchdog bring in more than $600,000.

  • August 19, 2019

    Cox’s CDK Auto Data Deal Off-Limits In Antitrust Row

    The confidentiality of the settlement between CDK Global and Cox Automotive outweighs any potential value its terms might have in sprawling antitrust litigation where car dealers continue to say CDK and a rival monopolized the market for crucial auto dealer data, an Illinois federal judge ruled Friday.   

  • August 19, 2019

    Mall Used Break-In To Boost $12M Storm Claims, Insurers Say

    Two Germany-based insurers sued a shopping mall in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday, alleging it used a break-in at the mall before Hurricane Maria to improperly claim the building was more susceptible to damage once the storm hit.

  • August 19, 2019

    Lost Evidence Leaves NY Judge With Doubts Over MMA Suit

    A mixed martial arts fighter's quest to hold supplement maker Gaspari Nutrition liable for his positive drug test took a body blow Monday as a Manhattan federal judge suggested the loss of the supplement bottle at the heart of the case might mean it can't go forward.

  • August 19, 2019

    Walgreens Not Liable To Crash Victims After Drug Mix-up

    The Fifth Circuit agreed Friday that the Walgreens pharmacy chain is not liable for a death and injuries caused by a customer who was given the wrong prescription and later crashed his car, backing a district judge's finding that the pharmacy did not owe a duty of care to third parties under Texas law.

  • August 19, 2019

    3 Firms Guide Catalyst's $140M Deal For Hudson's Bay Stake

    Catalyst Capital is buying a 10.05% stake in Hudson's Bay for roughly CA$187 million ($140.4 million) with help from McMillan, Brown Rudnick and Latham & Watkins, the private equity firm said Monday.

  • August 19, 2019

    Attys Win $29M Fees In Samsung, Sony Battery Settlement

    A California federal judge approved $29 million in attorney fees Friday as part of a $113 million final settlement that resolves claims that Samsung, Sony and others fixed lithium-ion battery prices.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Class Settlements And The Risks Of Viral Media Attention

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    When class settlements go viral — increasingly as a result of websites that promote settlement payouts — companies face extreme losses that could exceed reserves and available cash on hand. But there are several considerations that may help minimize this risk, says Kevin Skrzysowski at Risk Settlements.

  • 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.

  • Assessing The Cost, Legal Fallout Of Capital One Data Breach

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    Following Capital One's recent massive data breach, Jack Lu of IPMAP estimates the incremental direct cost incurred for management of the breach and for post-breach legal and regulatory processes, shedding light on the economic and legal uncertainties.

  • 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.

  • Chancery Decision Demonstrates When To Skip Appraisal

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    The Delaware Chancery Court's Appraisal of Jarden opinion shows that stockholders should seek out appraisal proceedings arising from mergers with caution, and consider a fiduciary duty action based on an inadequate sales process if the buyer is a strategic buyer, say Michael Maimone and Joseph Schoell at Drinker Biddle.

  • FLSA Overtime Deal Highlights Worker Classification Priorities

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    A Panera Bread franchisee's recently approved $4.6 million settlement involving overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act serves as a cautionary employee classification tale, reminding employers to review overtime-exempt managers’ duties in order to ensure their status under the FLSA is not at risk, says Kate Dewberry at Poyner Spruill.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: A Seaweed Scientist's Odyssey

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    In the early 1980s, I was working on my Ph.D. in marine biology and ecology. As part of an international team of scientists studying oil spill impacts on marine ecosystems, I saw a niche opportunity to combine science and law, says Andrew Davis of Shipman & Goodwin.

  • DOJ Enforcement Insights From Poultry Price-Fixing Case

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    The U.S. Department of Justice recently stayed the discovery process in the broiler chicken antitrust litigation in order to pursue a criminal investigation over the next six months. The potential crackdown on U.S. poultry companies demonstrates changing DOJ antitrust enforcement priorities, says Bill Dillon of Taylor English.

  • Will New Hampshire's Anti-Wayfair Law Stand?

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    New Hampshire has enacted a law in opposition to the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, to prevent foreign taxing jurisdictions from imposing sales tax collection obligations on New Hampshire remote sellers in contravention to the state or U.S. Constitution. However, foreign taxing jurisdictions are unlikely to take this lying down, says Michael Bowen of Akerman.

  • How To Counter Jury Reliance On Plaintiff's Damages Ask

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    Years of interviewing jurors and observing deliberation show that the amount juries award in damages is almost always influenced by the amount of the plaintiff's demand, but there are three ways defense counsel can combat this anchoring effect, says Christina Marinakis at Litigation Insights.

  • NY Tax Minutes: Trump Tax Returns, New Corporate Tax Regs

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    In their roundup of New York's recent tax law highlights, Timothy Noonan and Craig Reilly of Hodgson Russ discuss the ongoing battle over President Donald Trump’s state tax returns and New York's recently updated corporation franchise tax apportionment regulations.

  • ECJ FashionID Case Is Big Milestone For Website Ad Liability

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    The European Court of Justice's recent decision in the FashionID case — finding that websites that integrate Facebook plugins are jointly responsible for the data collected by those plugins and sent to Facebook — will potentially have significant implications for website publishers of all kinds and for the online advertising ecosystem, says Daniel Felz of Alston & Bird.

  • How Connected Cars Will Merge With Payment Technology

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    Bringing payment technologies into passenger vehicles will require partnerships between and among automotive, financial and technology companies. It is critical that these companies anticipate issues including fraud, safety, privacy, intellectual property ownership and overlapping regulatory regimes, says Howard Wettan of White & Case.

  • Opinion

    Clients Benefit From Law Firm Expense Growth

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    Although there continue to be corporate clients who are seduced by the idea that cheapest is always best when it comes to outside counsel, there are many negative implications on service delivery that result from myopically focusing only on cost reduction at the expense of quality and innovation, says Keith Maziarek at Katten Muchin.