Appellate

  • May 22, 2015

    Centex's Atty Choice Claims Unripe, Calif. Court Affirms

    A California appellate court upheld a lower court's dismissal of Centex Homes' claims that a Travelers Cos. unit is manipulating its defense in an underlying construction defect suit, thereby entitling it to independent counsel, holding on Friday that the builder didn't sufficiently back up its allegations.

  • May 22, 2015

    2nd Circ. Revives Debtor's Midlands Interest Rate Suit

    The Second Circuit on Friday paved the way for a Midland Funding LLC debtor to seek class certification in her suit accusing the creditor of charging illegally high interest rates, finding that a lower court wrongly determined that the claims were preempted by the National Bank Act. 

  • May 22, 2015

    Mich. AG Asks High Court To Grant Workers' Comp Appeal

    Michigan's attorney general has told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should grant an appeal of a Second Circuit decision freeing two insurers from certain workers' compensation liabilities of previously bankrupt Delphi Corp., saying this exercise of judicial power supplanted the state’s administrative regime.

  • May 22, 2015

    Trucking Co. Takes $5M EEOC Fees Fight To High Court

    CRST Van Expedited Inc. has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a $4.7 million fees award against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its sexual harassment case, arguing the Eighth Circuit countered other circuits in overturning the award.

  • May 22, 2015

    Writ Voiding 'Squawk Box' Guilty Plea Forced Feds' Hand

    A Manhattan federal judge's use of a rare writ to erase former Merrill Lynch assistant Irene Santiago's guilty plea for lying in the Squawk Box securities fraud case may have been a valid exercise in sympathy, but its value as a possible precedent for use by less sympathetic convicts forced the government to have it knocked out on appeal.

  • May 22, 2015

    Bar On Abortions At Fla. Planned Parenthood Upheld

    A Florida appeals court on Friday affirmed a temporary injunction barring Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando Inc. from performing abortions at one of its offices on the grounds that doing so would violate a restrictive covenant on the property.

  • May 22, 2015

    5th Circ. Pares Claims In Hurricane Ike Coverage Row

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday trimmed a couple's suit against Fidelity National Property & Casualty Insurance Co. over coverage for property damage from Hurricane Ike, holding that state-law claims relating to the insurer's claims handling are preempted by federal law, but that those pertaining to the sale of the policy are not.

  • May 22, 2015

    2nd Circ. Affirms Fraud Convictions Of McGinn Smith Execs.

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions and sentences of top-ranking McGinn Smith & Company Inc. executives, but blasted a New York federal judge for improperly allowing a letter written well before the alleged fraud occurred to be used in cross-examination.

  • May 22, 2015

    Aurora Tells High Court 9th Circ. Permit Ruling Narrows CWA

    Aurora Energy Services LLC and Alaska Railroad Corp. told the U.S. Supreme Court that environmentalists are wrong to assert that a Ninth Circuit decision allowing citizen suits over discharges of pollutants not specified in a Clean Water Act permit won’t have broader impacts.

  • May 22, 2015

    Hagens Berman In Hot Seat Over Dropped GSK Suits

    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is fighting tooth and nail to stop a special master from questioning 31 of its clients on their decision to drop birth defect suits in Pennsylvania federal court against GlaxoSmithKline, saying the move would violate attorney-client privilege. But there is precedent for inquiries into plaintiffs firms’ conduct, especially in the context of tort litigation gone awry.

  • May 22, 2015

    6th Circ. Upholds GE's Win In Omniscan Suit

    The Sixth Circuit affirmed Friday that Tennessee’s one-year statute of repose barred a woman’s claims against General Electric Co. alleging she contracted a rare kidney condition after taking Omniscan, a drug the company developed to distinguish body parts in MRI scans.

  • May 22, 2015

    Rejected Offer To Settle In Full Won’t End Suit: 2nd Circ.

    In an amended decision issued Thursday, the Second Circuit ruled that an unaccepted offer to settle claims for their full value doesn’t entitle a defendant to dismissal, clarifying its stance on a circuit-splitting issue that will soon be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • May 22, 2015

    IRS Tells Justices There's A Limit To Discharging Late Returns

    The IRS asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to reject a petition filed by three debtors who claim tax debts can still be discharged in bankruptcy when the applicable tax return has been filed late, saying there's a limit to allowable lateness.

  • May 22, 2015

    5th Circ. Should Hear Certain BIA Appeals, High Court Hears

    A Mexican national deported after a drug violation has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Fifth Circuit has jurisdiction to hear appeals of decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals that are made under the board's own discretionary authority, part of his years-long effort challenging his removal.

  • May 22, 2015

    Cruise Co. Takes Lloyd's Collusion Row To High Court

    A Connecticut cruise company has told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Fifth Circuit wrongfully tossed its suit alleging Lloyd’s Register North America Inc. colluded with a shipbuilder to falsely represent a vessel’s compliance with maritime safety laws during a related arbitration proceeding.

  • May 22, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Clears Microsoft In Speech Software Patent Case

    The Federal Circuit on Friday upheld a victory for Microsoft Corp. in a suit by Allvoice Developments US LLC over a speech recognition patent, finding that Microsoft did not infringe most claims and that others are not patent-eligible because they cover only software instructions, not a tangible object.

  • May 22, 2015

    Fla. Court Reverses Geico Loss, Punts On Estoppel Question

    A Florida appeals court on Friday agreed with Geico that a reversal in one denial-of-coverage suit over car accident injuries required the reversal of a “wait and see” case involving the same accident and the same policy, but it didn’t rule on the insurer’s request to relitigate without collateral estoppel.

  • May 22, 2015

    Estee Lauder Shut Out Duty Free Retailer, 11th Circ. Hears

    Duty Free Americas Inc. asked the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to reinstate its antitrust suit against Estee Lauder Cos., arguing it had properly pled that the cosmetics giant acted anti-competitively by refusing to do business and interfered with its airport contracts.

  • May 22, 2015

    Atty Asks Justices To Review His Role In $2B NJ Mall Deal

    An attorney has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a judgment preventing him from recovering $200 million in commission he says he is owed for working out a $2 billion shopping mall project in New Jersey's Meadowlands, saying he was mistakenly labeled as a broker instead of a principal in the deal.

  • May 22, 2015

    Fired Worker's Hospital Stay Not 'Overnight,' 3rd Circ. Says

    A divided Third Circuit panel handed down a precedential ruling on Friday finding that a worker’s November 2011 hospitalization did not count as an overnight stay under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act because he had been admitted shortly after midnight and discharged later the same day.

Expert Analysis

  • Blurred Lines Remain On Health Care Liability In Texas

    David M. Walsh IV

    The Supreme Court of Texas' ruling in Ross v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital leaves unanswered questions surrounding the nonexclusive, seven-factor test analyzing the relationship between health care liability claims and the provision of care, and does not create a “bright red line” clearly defining state tort law, says David Walsh IV of Chamblee Ryan Kershaw & Anderson PC.

  • What Corp. Attys Can Learn From High Court Ch. 13 Ruling

    Abigail L. Lerner

    While the particular Bankruptcy Code sections most implicated by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Viegelahn are not ones corporate restructuring attorneys generally grapple with, any insight into the Supreme Court’s statutory interpretation framework is always useful. In addition, there are broader lessons to be learned from this one, says Abigail Lerner of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • In Wisconsin, FCA Liability May Apply To E-Rate Program

    Jessica Sharron

    The peace of mind enjoyed by E-Rate service providers following the Fifth Circuit’s decision that the False Claims Act does not apply to the E-Rate program may be fleeting. A case pending in the Eastern District of Wisconsin — U.S. v. Wisconsin Bell Inc. — is poised to challenge the Fifth Circuit’s ruling, and the possibility of a circuit split is looming, say attorneys with Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Fed. Circ. Guidance For Means-Plus-Function Software Claims

    Dev Batta

    The Federal Circuit's recent decision in EON Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC clarifies that when claiming a software-implemented invention in means-plus-function form, an applicant should not rely on the Katz exception and should almost always disclose at least one algorithm for each means-plus-function limitation, says Dev Batta of Locke Lord LLP.

  • The NJ High Court Case That Could Recast NJ Insurance Law

    William F. Stewart

    Although the New Jersey Supreme Court made no new law on substantive coverage issues in Occhifinto v. Olivo Construction Co., a colorable argument can be made that Occhifinto is the most important New Jersey insurance case in more than a decade. The court’s procedural holdings are likely to impact if, how, when, by whom and where, coverage cases are litigated, says William Stewart of Stewart Bernsteil Rebar Smith.

  • Calif. Sings A Song Of Song-Beverly Developments

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    Although Harrold v. Levi Strauss & Co. and Davis v. Devanlay are similar — both involving a request for information made after a customer’s credit card was swiped — they differ in a significant way. While Davis is largely focused on whether the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act imposes a consumer perception test, the issue in Harrold was whether any request after the transaction is completed would violate the law, say Stephanie Sheridan... (continued)

  • A Route To Directors' Early Exit From Merger Litigation

    Kevin C. Logue

    It has become all too common in transaction-related stockholder litigation for the pleading net to be cast widely, embroiling disinterested and independent directors into long and costly litigation. The Delaware Supreme Court's decision in the case of Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. should lead to closer scrutiny of allegations against individual directors, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • NJ Court Fails To Clarify Payroll Account Levy Rules

    Nicholas M. Gaunce

    The New Jersey state appeals court in The Pitney Bowes Bank Inc. v. ABC Caging Fulfillment seemingly set a bright-line test balancing the rights of judgment creditors and employees when it comes to monies in a levied “payroll” bank account. Where Pitney Bowes falls short, however, is in describing what proofs a business debtor must utilize to establish what amounts are owed to employees, says Nicholas Gaunce of Eckert Seamans Cheri... (continued)

  • Proposition 218 Obstacles To Calif. Tiered Water Rates

    Sue Meyer

    Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano teaches us that, under California's Proposition 218, the burden of proof is on an agency to demonstrate that revenues derived from a water service fee or charge not exceed the funds required to provide the service and that the fee or charge imposed on a parcel not exceed the proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel, says Sue Meyer of Nossaman LLP.

  • Texas Contractors, With Immunity And Liability For Some

    John R. Hawkins

    In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court's refusal to extend sovereign immunity to a private engineering company in Brown & Gay Engineering Inc. v. Olivares is a reminder that the principle's rationale is to guard against unforeseen government expenditures incurred in defending lawsuits and paying judgments that divert public funds from their allocated purposes, says John Hawkins of Porter Hedges LLP.