Appellate

  • September 19, 2014

    Full Fed. Circ. Won't Eye 'Mandate Rule' In Becton IP Case

    The full Federal Circuit decided Friday not to review the so-called mandate rule requiring lower courts to strictly comply with appeals court decisions, rejecting Becton Dickinson and Co.'s argument that the rule was misapplied when the court refused to reduce a $5 million patent verdict against it.

  • September 19, 2014

    Apple Anti-Trust Monitor Should Stay, Govt. Tells 2nd Circ.

    The government and attorneys general for 33 states on Thursday urged a Second Circuit panel to keep a court-appointed monitor for Apple Inc. put in place after a ruling that the company fixed e-book prices with publishers, saying a judge didn't abuse discretion in denying Apple's attempt to disqualify the monitor.

  • September 19, 2014

    7th Circ. Says Doctor Group Lacks Standing In ACA Tax Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling to toss the Association of Physician and Surgeons' challenge to the Internal Revenue Service decision to implement the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate tax without the employer mandate this year, blasting the group for its expansive and unsuccessful standing argument.

  • September 19, 2014

    Mega Damages In Peril After Fed. Circ. Nixes Apple Verdict

    It will be much more difficult for patent owners to secure massive verdicts now that the Federal Circuit has thrown out a $368 million damages award against Apple Inc., attorneys say, since the court sent a clear message that damages estimates must be closely tied to the patented features.

  • September 19, 2014

    Sanctions, $1M Fee Award Nixed In Texas State Farm Dispute

    A Texas appeals court on Friday reversed a $1 million award of attorneys' fees and “death penalty” sanctions assessed against a couple who allegedly doctored photos of flooding damage to collect insurance money from State Farm Lloyds, finding the penalties excessive.

  • September 19, 2014

    NJ Appeals Court Revives Town's Suit Over Smelly Well

    A New Jersey appellate court Friday revived the town of Berlin’s lawsuit against two engineering companies accused of negligently located a well near groundwater containing an odorous chemical, saying that expert testimony on damage costs had been improperly dismissed.

  • September 19, 2014

    Insurers Needn’t Cover Delphi’s Self-Insured Cos.: 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit on Friday said two insurers don’t have to assume worker’s compensation liabilities from formerly bankrupt auto parts giant Delphi Corp., now known as DPH Holdings Corp., saying their policies don’t cover the company’s self-insured entities in Michigan.

  • September 19, 2014

    Nev. High Court Chops Inventor's $600M Damage Award

    The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday reversed and remanded parts of a decision that awarded $600 million in damages and interest to an inventor who sued the California Franchise Tax Board for allegedly targeting him and causing a range of financial and emotional harm through its audit.

  • September 19, 2014

    Conan Doyle Estate Takes Sherlock IP Fight To High Court

    The estate of writer Arthur Conan Doyle took its copyright dispute over the Sherlock Holmes stories to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, arguing that the editor of a new anthology of tales inspired by the detective should have been forced to cough up the work in question.

  • September 19, 2014

    7th Circ. Cancels $10 RadioShack Coupon Settlement

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday nixed a class action settlement over RadioShack Corp. printing expiration dates of customer credit cards on their receipts, criticizing a plan to give customers a $10 coupon, which only .5 percent of the class actually claimed.

  • September 19, 2014

    Pa. Atty Gets Stayed Suspension For Concealing $1M Loss

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday approved a 6-month stayed suspension of a Pittsburgh lawyer for concealing about $1 million in shortfalls at various real estate firms caused by employee misconduct.

  • September 19, 2014

    Starbucks Chair Suit Revived By Calif. Appeals Court

    A California state appeals court has revived a warranty lawsuit brought by Starbucks Corp. against Outdoor Lifestyle Inc. over allegedly defective chairs purchased by the coffee giant, saying Starbucks’ interpretation of the underlying forum selection clause in the warranty agreement is correct.

  • September 19, 2014

    7th Circ. Joins Chorus Of Cariou Critics

    In commenting on the Second Circuit's much-discussed decision against photographer Patrick Cariou, the Seventh Circuit’s recent fair use ruling added to criticism that courts are placing too much emphasis on “transformativeness." Some attorneys, though, say that's not the real problem with the earlier case.

  • September 19, 2014

    Fla. Justices Examine Privilege Claims For Voter Map Docs

    Florida's Supreme Court raised questions about waiver and legal tactics during oral arguments Friday over privilege claims by a GOP consulting firm seeking reversal of a trial court's ruling requiring it to disclose documents in a successful challenge to the state’s congressional redistricting map.

  • September 19, 2014

    Groups Urge Supreme Court To Clarify Scope Of TIA

    The Council on State Taxation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce were among several groups this week that urged the U.S. Supreme Court to limit the scope of the Tax Injunction Act in light of a Tenth Circuit decision that nixed a challenge to Colorado's so-called “Amazon tax” law.

  • September 19, 2014

    9th. Circ. Strikes Calif.'s Boeing Site Cleanup Law

    The Ninth Circuit said on Friday that a bill requiring Boeing to clean up a toxic site to a farming-safe level was too stringent under the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, and that California overextended its authority by requiring more within a government site than was generally required in the rest of the state.

  • September 19, 2014

    Cos. Liable Under TCPA For 3rd-Party Texts, 9th Circ. Rules

    Companies that hire third parties to send unsolicited text messages can be liable for Telephone Consumer Privacy Act violations, the Ninth Circuit held Friday in a published opinion reviving a proposed class action that blamed U.S. Navy contractor Campbell-Ewald Co. for recruitment messages cellphone users received.

  • September 19, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Drops Matchmaking Patent Appeal Following 'Alice'

    The Federal Circuit on Tuesday granted Lumen View Technology LLC’s request to drop its appeal over the validity of its matchmaking patent in its case with FindTheBest.com, after Lumen acknowledged in its dismissal motion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. had “provided greater clarity on patentability.”

  • September 19, 2014

    USAID Contractor Seeks To Revive Suit Against US In DC Circ.

    A U.S. Agency for International Development contractor who was imprisoned in Cuba for his pro-democracy work urged a D.C. Circuit panel on Friday to resurrect his negligence claims against the federal government, claiming it shouldn't be immune from paying damages.

  • September 19, 2014

    GM Not Liable For Pre-Ch. 11 Settlement, 2nd Circ. Says

    The Second Circuit on Friday said General Motors LLC isn't on the hook for a settlement reached in a class action against its pre-bankruptcy predecessor over allegedly faulty transmissions, upholding a district court's ruling that the settlement wasn't an assumed liability under the bankruptcy sale order.

Expert Analysis

  • A Case To Study On Patent And Trade Dress Protection

    Anthony V. Lupo

    The Fourth Circuit's ruling in McAirlands Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. highlights the intersection of patent and trade dress protection — while utility patents provide inventors a limited monopoly over functional aspects of a product, trade dress affords potentially perpetual protection for nonfunctional designs that associate a product with a manufacturer or source, say attorneys at Arent Fox LLP.

  • High Court Roundup: Recent, Pending Environmental Cases

    Anthony B. Cavender

    Scaling back considerably from its 2012 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law in 2013, however cases slated for its upcoming term presage rulings across a broad spectrum of environmental and administrative law issues, say Anthony Cavender and Amanda Halter of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Ga. Ruling Will Curtail Systemic Condemnation Abuses

    Monica R. Owens

    The Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling in Dillard Land Investments LLC v. Fulton County will prevent condemnors from using proceedings as tools to test the strength of their position as to the value of a property and will restrict judge-shopping in hopes of getting more favorable awards, says Monica Owens of Pursley Friese Torgrimson LLP.

  • Unmasking And Suing The Anonymous Social Media Speaker

    Steven Richard

    Parties contemplating a lawsuit over anonymous online postings may seek court-ordered, presuit discovery to investigate who owns and operates the social media account. Recent New York and Texas decisions evidence the necessity to research and understand fully the extent to which a jurisdiction allows presuit discovery, says Steven Richard of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Debt Collector Envelopes Need To Protect Privacy

    Alan S. Kaplinsky

    Assuming the Third Circuit's decision in Douglas v. Convergent Outsourcing Inc. stands, the ruling should make debt collectors wary of any language or markings appearing on an envelope that in any way touch upon the debt collection effort, or that even remotely reveal private information about the borrower, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Tolling Provision Is Only Worth The Language That's Written

    Daniel Wenner

    In its recent decision in U.S. v. Mergen, the Second Circuit essentially gave the government carte blanche to style tolling provisions as it sees fit, but — and this “but” is the import of Mergen — what the government drafts is what the government gets, say Daniel Wenner and Elizabeth Latif, attorneys with Day Pitney LLP and former federal prosecutors.

  • Takeaways For Texas Contractors Post-Barzoukas

    Pierre Grosdidier

    Taken together, Barzoukas v. Foundation Design Ltd. and two prior Texas cases on the economic loss rule suggest that establishing an owner as subcontract third-party beneficiary might be a possible line of defense for a subcontractor that invokes the rule when trying to shield itself from owner negligence claims, say Pierre Grosdidier and Mike Stewart of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Differing, Changing Pleading Standards For FCA Suits

    Jonathan Feld

    Two recent decisions — U.S. v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center Inc. and U.S. v. Planned Parenthood — highlight the difference among circuits in the way they treat False Claims Act actions. While some courts are raising the bar on qui tam pleadings, other courts are making it easier to bring suit under the FCA, says Jonathan Feld of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • Class Ascertainability Continues To Become More Concrete

    David C. Kistler

    In the most recent example of a district court addressing ascertainability based on the Third Circuit's Marcus, Hayes and Carrera rulings, the matter of Paulsboro Derailment Cases demonstrates that, outside of consumer fraud class actions, plaintiffs can still overcome ascertainability, say David Kistler and Rachel Gallagher of Blank Rome LLP.

  • Brace For This Brief's Impact On The Supreme Court

    James H. Wendell

    SCOTUSblog founder Thomas Goldstein's no-party, no-argument amicus brief in M&G Polymers USA LLC v. Tackett is likely the first of its kind before the U.S. Supreme Court, making it one of the more intriguing developments of the upcoming term. It can demonstrate the power of a data-centric argument, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.