Appellate

  • October 31, 2014

    US Tells Justices To Keep Ban On Expired Patent Royalties

    The federal government urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday not to review a rule barring royalty agreements that extend beyond the expiration of a patent, saying that the inventor of a Spider-Man toy challenging the rule has failed to explain why the court should discard decades of precedent.

  • October 31, 2014

    NetBank Tells High Court $5.7M Refund Ruling Is A Deviation

    Bankrupt Internet banking pioneer NetBank Inc. told the U.S. Supreme Court that an Eleventh Circuit ruling that forwarded a $5.7 million tax refund to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. instead of NetBank conflicts with three other circuit court decisions and fails to consider equality of distribution precedent.

  • October 31, 2014

    GM's Bid To DQ Jones Day Falls Short, Celgard Says

    Celgard LLC on Thursday sought to block a General Motors Co. bid to disqualify its Jones Day lawyers in an infringement suit, contending that, like Apple Inc.’s DQ bid before it, the carmaker had failed to show how its law firm’s representation of the battery maker was directly adverse.

  • October 31, 2014

    10th Circ. Unfazed By 9th Circ. Ruling In Ex-CEO's Tax Suit

    A recent Ninth Circuit opinion heightening the standard for proving willful evasion of taxes was not enough to convince a Tenth Circuit panel to rehear its decision finding that the former CEO of cable television company FrontierVision Partners LP must pay his $14.3 million tax bill.

  • October 31, 2014

    Revolving-Door Roundup: Sidley, Jones Day, Morgan Lewis

    October was an especially busy month for attorneys moving back and forth between the government and private practice, with six federal prosecutors and a host of high-ranking officials joining BigLaw firms, including Jones Day, Sidley Austin LLP and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • October 31, 2014

    Rockefeller Estate Asks High Court To Toss Superfund Suit

    The estate of John D. Rockefeller Sr. has asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a Second Circuit decision denying Asarco LLC’s bid for environmental response costs for two Superfund sites in Washington state, arguing environmental law does not require contribution from beneficiaries of a responsible party’s estate.

  • October 31, 2014

    Md. Tells Supreme Court To Stay Out Of Its Tax Policies

    The Maryland comptroller told the U.S. Supreme Court that a business owner’s arguments that the state’s county income tax laws violate the Commerce Clause are invalid, and that upholding a ruling by the Maryland high court would interfere with the state’s power to tax its own residents.

  • October 31, 2014

    PSU's Sandusky Inquiry Docs Privileged, Pa. Court Rules

    The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled on Friday that records regarding an investigation commissioned by the Pennsylvania State University’s board of trustees into the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal are protected by privilege and cannot be released under the state’s Right to Know Law.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. High Court Updates Judicial Campaign Contribution Rules

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday updated the state's Code of Judicial Conduct to prevent candidates for judicial elections from personally soliciting or accepting campaign contributions other than through an authorized campaign committee.

  • October 31, 2014

    NJ Court Rejects Mandelbaum Malpractice Suit Over RE Fight

    The New Jersey Appellate Division on Friday refused to revive a developer's malpractice suit against Mandelbaum Salsburg Gold Lazris Discenza & Steinberg PC, finding insufficient links between the firm and that nonclient and no evidence that the firm made representations on which the developer might have relied.

  • October 31, 2014

    Zipcar Runs Over Damage-Fee Class Action At 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a proposed class action that accused Zipcar Inc of violating New York law by improperly charging fees for rental car damage, saying that the applicable statute doesn’t provide a private right of action.

  • October 31, 2014

    Consumer Group Takes Stem Cell Patent Fight To High Court

    A consumer group that was barred by the Federal Circuit from challenging a University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell patent asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to review the ruling, saying the appeals court's finding that it lacks standing "violates fundamental fairness and plain common sense."

  • October 31, 2014

    7th Circ. Casts A Wary Eye On Supplement Labeling Deal

    A Seventh Circuit panel on Friday grilled NBTY Inc. and plaintiffs’ attorneys about the $6.5 million settlement they struck in a glucosamine supplement false labeling class action, questioning how the class ended up with only $900,000 and a dubious label change.

  • October 31, 2014

    Deal Struck In 1st Circ. Battle Over Class Arbitration

    Restaurant chain 99 Restaurants LLC said Thursday it had reached a deal to resolve a First Circuit battle over whether courts or arbitrators get to decide whether class arbitration is permitted, as well as a related arbitration action brought by an ex-server over alleged wage violations.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. Gov.’s $95M Park Drilling Plan Faces 2nd Enviro Suit

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Thursday became the second Pennsylvania environmental group to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to lease state park and forest land to raise $95 million for the state’s general fund, claiming that the governor’s executive order violates the state’s constitution.

  • October 31, 2014

    Indiana Asks 7th Circ. Not To Rehear Right-To-Work Case

    Indiana’s attorney general asked the Seventh Circuit on Thursday not to reconsider a ruling preserving the state’s “right-to-work” law, arguing that the National Labor Relations Act gives states expansive power to bar agreements that require workers to pay union membership dues.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. Justices Affirm Philly Judge's Punishment For Lying

    An August 2013 order removing Philadelphia County judge from the bench after he was accused of withholding information about his legal and financial struggles as part of a review of judicial candidates was affirmed Thursday by a unanimous Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

  • October 31, 2014

    DirecTV Must Pay $10M Arbitration Award, Calif. Court Says

    A California appellate panel Thursday reinstated a $9.5 million arbitration award a DirecTV Inc. dealer won against the satellite company in a contracts dispute, saying a trial court judge was wrong in finding that the arbitrators' decision was fraught with legal errors.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. High Court Gives Hotelier's SEPTA Damage Suit 2nd Life

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday revived a hotelier's allegations that a railroad bridge owned by a state transit agency contributed to $6 million in flood damage, saying the claims aren't preempted by the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

  • October 31, 2014

    Profs Urge Fed. Circ. To Rehear Ruling Axing $30M Verdict

    Several intellectual property academics and a medical device association urged the Federal Circuit to rethink its decision to invalidate two patents and elimiante a $30.5 million verdict against Google Inc. and others, claiming that the court should mull how much deference to give juries in such cases.

Expert Analysis

  • Pearl Harbor Shipyard Asbestos Cases Stay In Federal Court

    Belynda Reck

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined review of Leite v. Crane Co., a tort case brought against a U.S. Navy contractor for failure to warn about asbestos hazards. Although several issues decided in this case were novel to the Ninth Circuit, the decision aligns with established precedents from other circuits regarding the ability of federal contractors to remove tort cases, says Belynda Reck of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Lessons From 4 Months Of Post-Alice Decisions

    Brian McCall

    Four months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Since then, patent challengers have routinely and successfully invalidated claims under Section 101 by applying Alice. The decision could prove to be a significant weapon against software and business method patents, says Brian McCall of Merchant & Gould PC.

  • How To Manage Client Expectations During Litigation

    Mark E. Goodman

    Litigation is a fluid and amorphous process, subject to shifts in strategy based on constant flows of information and events, not the least of which are the reactions of opponents and those who don the black robes. If a client feels informed and part of the process, he or she will feel satisfied with services received — even if the result is not a good one, says Mark Goodman, co-chairman of Capes Sokol Goodman & Sarachan PC's litig... (continued)

  • 7th Circ. LCD Antitrust Case: Foreign Vs. US Interests

    Bob Bloch

    To preserve the delicate balance between antitrust enforcement and international comity inherent in the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, the Seventh Circuit in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corporation will need to weigh carefully the views of foreign agencies against the U.S. Department of Justice’s interest in prosecuting foreign cartels that harm U.S. consumers, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Judge Blocks NJ Sports Betting — What's Next?

    Daniel Wallach

    Less than 48 hours before Monmouth Park Racetrack was to open the first legal sports book in New Jersey, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp put a temporary halt to those plans. Oral argument on the leagues’ application for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Nov. 20. Can we expect a different outcome? Don’t bet on it, says Daniel Wallach of Becker & Poliakoff PA.

  • Understanding Calif.'s Nuanced Trade Secrets Law

    Laura D. Smolowe

    After Parrish v. Latham & Watkins LLP, non-California arguments or authority might not simply be rejected regarding trade secret misapporpriation — now, depending on the outcome on rehearing, a failure to appreciate state-specific nuances might be considered frivolous or even bad faith, says Laura Smolowe of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • Supply Chain Management And The Alien Tort Claims Act

    Michael G. Congiu

    The Ninth Circuit's recent revival of the potential for supply chain liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act in Doe v. Nestle USA Inc. less than one year after many believed the U.S. Supreme Court effectively put an end to ATCA's use as a litigation tool to address alleged corporate human rights abuses has increased the importance of effective supply chain management, say Michael Congiu and Stefan Marculewicz of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • 7th Circ. Just Helped CERCLA Defendants Limit Liability

    Rick R. Rothman

    The Seventh Circuit in U.S. v. P.H. Glatfelter appears to have greatly expanded the applicability of the apportionment defense, which, if successful, can shield a potentially responsible party from joint and several liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, say attorneys at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • A Reasonable Measure Of Unreasonably Small Capital

    Brad Eric Scheler

    A Delaware district court ruling in the case of SemCrude LP is an important reminder that in determining whether a debtor had unreasonably small capital to support a fraudulent transfer claim, a court’s analysis must be based on reasonable foreseeability regarding whether the debtor would be able to continue to generate sufficient cash flow after the transaction, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.