Appellate

  • February 27, 2015

    Ford Throttle Defect Class Action Revived By 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit ruled Friday that a lower court erred in denying class certification to Ford Freestyle owners who claim the automaker failed to disclose an acceleration defect in 150,000 vehicles, but rejected a request to order that the class be certified.

  • February 27, 2015

    Calif. Court To Weigh If Attys’ Fees Need Stricter Review

    The California Supreme Court plans to hear a class member’s challenge claiming a $6.3 million fee award in staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.'s $19 million labor violations settlement is too high, and lawyers say a ruling in his favor could place class attorneys’ fee award proposals under greater scrutiny by judges and class members.

  • February 27, 2015

    FTC To Face Grilling By 3rd Circ. Over Data Security Powers

    The scope of the Federal Trade Commission's authority will take center stage at the Third Circuit on Tuesday, with questions posed by the appellate panel in advance of the arguments indicating that the regulator faces an uphill battle to fend off Wyndham Worldwide Corp.'s claims that the agency doesn't have the power to regulate companies' cybersecurity practices.

  • February 27, 2015

    Art Investors Urge High Court To Revisit $22M Insurance Beef

    A group of art investors has again urged the U.S. Supreme Court to force a New York federal court to clarify or enforce its order dismissing a $21.6 million coverage fight with an AXA SA subsidiary, saying recent events involving Alabama’s same-sex marriage laws underpin the importance of the underlying issue.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Says Workers’ Comp Bars False Arrest Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court held Friday that a worker injured at an Asarco LLC plant is barred from pursuing malicious prosecution and other claims against his insurer and claims service provider, saying state workers’ compensation law requires that the disputes over his false arrest be heard in the Texas Department of Insurance.

  • February 27, 2015

    Mid-Continent Must Cover Advertising Damages In IP Row

    Insurer Mid-Continent Casualty Co. must pay “advertising injury” damages in an intellectual property suit brought by an architectural firm against a bankrupt homebuilder that allegedly used its designs without permission, the Fifth Circuit said on Thursday.

  • February 27, 2015

    11th Circ. Rips Life Insurance ‘Speculator’ For ‘Dumb’ Expert

    Imperial Premium Finance LLC was rightly sanctioned for providing a witness it allegedly kept “dumb” about incriminating facts in an insurance dispute over a $5 million policy it financed under its "stranger-originated life insurance" business, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Thursday, blasting Imperial as a “speculator.”

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Won't Rehear Exxon Bonus Plan Suit

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday denied an appeal to rehear a former Exxon Mobil Corp. top executive's case against the company for stripping him of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, re-confirming the court's decision granting employers more leeway in bonus plans.

  • February 27, 2015

    Beef Over Royalties For Unpatented Features Hits High Court

    Six electronics makers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a Federal Circuit decision affirming a $1 million jury verdict that they say wrongly includes royalties for a motherboard switch's unpatented elements and opens the door for an “improper damages model” on patent infringement cases.

  • February 27, 2015

    High Court Asked to Review 'Erroneous' Deportation

    An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo fighting her deportation has asked the high court to resolve a circuit split over whether she can appeal being wrongly placed in administrative removal proceedings based on an incorrect reading of a felony conviction if she did not promptly challenge it.

  • February 27, 2015

    Not All Property Damage Is 'Structural Damage': 11th Circ.

    The Eleventh Circuit said Friday that a lower court construed the phrase "structural damage" too broadly in ruling that a Florida couple is entitled to payment from The First Liberty Insurance Corp. for sinkhole damage to their home, ruling that the phrase only covers damage that affects a building's structural integrity.

  • February 27, 2015

    8th Circ. Revives Fraud Claim In Blood Patent License Beef

    The Eighth Circuit ruled Friday that Safeblood Technologies Inc. must face fraud claims brought by two patent licensees, saying they were not required to investigate the status of the licensed patent, even though the information was publicly available, unless it was obvious they were being duped.

  • February 27, 2015

    Stan Lee Media Urges High Court To Revive Spider-Man Suit

    Stan Lee Media Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court in a filing made public Friday to revive its suit seeking profits and ownership rights to Spider-Man and other characters created by its ex-President Stan Lee, arguing that the Ninth Circuit’s dismissal deviated from Twombly.

  • February 27, 2015

    AlvaradoSmith DQ'd In SM Graphics Patent Fee Row

    A California appeals court on Friday disqualified AlvaradoSmith APC from representing an expert seeking consulting fees from Shared Memory Graphics LLC for his work on a patent case, ruling AlvaradoSmith’s work representing SM Graphics’ former lawyers in a related case was a potential concern.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas Justices Extend Clock For Suits Against Partners

    In an oil and gas investment dispute, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that the clock to sue business partners to recover partnership debt doesn’t start when the underlying cause of action accrues, but after a final judgment against the partnership is entered.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Won't Rehear Promega, Life Tech IP Dispute

    The Federal Circuit shot down on Thursday dueling petitions by Promega Corp. and Life Technologies Corp., which each sought to have the appellate court review its ruling that reversed an order vacating Promega’s $52 million win in a patent and licensing dispute over gene-testing technology.

  • February 27, 2015

    11th Circ Seeks Fla. High Court's Aid In Pruco Insurance Row

    The Eleventh Circuit on Friday asked the Florida Supreme Court to determine which of two conflicting state statutes governs two cases involving $10 million insurance policies from Pruco Life Insurance Co. originated by people not connected to the insured.

  • February 27, 2015

    BP Asks 5th Circ. To Allow Clawbacks From $9.2B Settlement

    BP Exploration and Production Inc. on Thursday asked the Fifth Circuit for permission to claw back payouts it made under a since-overturned claims calculation that’s part of a $9.2 billion Deepwater Horizon settlement, saying individual releases don’t bar BP from obtaining restitution.

  • February 27, 2015

    Iowa High Court Nixes 'Field of Dreams' Doc Co.'s Tax Appeal

    The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday rejected a film tax credit appeal by baseball documentary maker Joe Scherrman’s Ghost Player LLC, finding a lower court correctly dismissed its suit because the “Field of Dreams”-connected company did not exhaust its administrative remedies.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fla. AG Defends State's Credit Card Surcharge Ban

    Florida's attorney general defended a state law that prevents merchants from imposing credit card surcharges, telling the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday that the statute is intended to protect consumers from unfair pricing and doesn't restrict businesses' free speech rights.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Takeaways From EEOC V. Abercrombie Oral Arguments

    Dawn R. Solowey

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. is expected to focus on what level of knowledge an employer must have that an employee or job applicant’s religious practice may conflict with a job requirement — and from what source — before it has a duty to consider accommodation, say Dawn Solowey and Ariel Cudkowicz of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • 2 Delaware Cases May Slow Appraisal Arbitrage Momentum

    Mark D. Gerstein

    Two appraisal cases out of Delaware involving CKx Inc. and Ancestry.com mark an important judicial response to the recent spike in “appraisal arbitrage,” which may effectively subdue the rise of this practice. The scope of these decisions, however, should not be overstated, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • 11th Circ. Widens Split Over Class Action 'Pick Offs'

    Josh Jubelirer

    After Stein v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership, the Eleventh Circuit is squarely at odds with the Seventh Circuit over whether unaccepted offers of judgment moot putative class actions if made before the motion to certify the class has been filed. Stein further emphasizes the circuit split on this issue, making it ripe for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court, say Josh Jubelirer and Jason Stiehl of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Takeaways From High Court's NC Dental Opinion

    Amy Paul

    The U.S. Supreme Court's message in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission is clear — the actions of active market participants cannot be cloaked as government action merely because a state has established a regulatory board to oversee the industry in which they participate, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

    John J. DiChello Jr.

    While there is no bright-line rule for determining the existence or absence of intent for purposes of arranger liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, several factors identified by circuit courts should serve as useful guideposts for businesses seeking to reduce their exposure to arranger liability, says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • A Warning To Tech-Savvy Prosecutors

    Daniel Wenner

    As the recent Washington Supreme Court case Washington v. Walker illustrates, visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations make it all too tempting to cross the line from persuasive to prejudicial, say Daniel Wenner and Sunita Paknikar of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Yates: A Welcome End To Prosecutorial 'Fishing' Expedition

    Diana Lloyd

    In this week's ruling in Yates v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court reinforced the principle that the language of a statute must be analyzed in an appropriate context and, more importantly, put a damper on prosecutors’ dangerous trend toward applying certain statutes to criminalize behavior beyond what one would reasonably understand to be prohibited, says Diana Lloyd of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Unmasking Justice Roberts' Umpire Metaphor In ACA Fight

    Robert B. Hoffman

    What is so concerning about King v. Burwell is that an issue of statutory construction regarding the Affordable Care Act has become so politically driven — the fact that, in all likelihood, the split will hew closely to the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative blocs on how to interpret a statute is a troubling sign of the times, says Robert Hoffman of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • Jury Bias And Big Numbers In Patent Litigation

    Andrew Clarke

    Given the lack of research into the existence of jury biases in patent damage awards to date, other factors — such as the higher costs of more granular apportionment — should be accorded greater weight by the Federal Circuit in determining whether to allow use of a larger royalty base, says Andrew Clarke of ARPC.

  • Fla. Exculpatory Clauses Enjoy Their Moment In The Sun

    Robert L. Rogers III

    The Supreme Court of Florida's ruling in Sanislo v. Give Kids the World Inc. is an important victory for purveyors of amusements, not-for-profit organizations and other businesses that require customers to sign releases or waivers. Sanislo suggests that such businesses will not be punished for failing to itemize the potential causes of action that might be asserted against them, says Robert Rogers III of Holland & Knight LLP.