Appellate

  • December 19, 2014

    Split 1st Circ. OKs Kohl’s Win In EEOC's Diabetes ADA Suit

    The First Circuit on Friday narrowly affirmed a summary judgment win for Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. in a discrimination suit brought by a diabetic employee who said that working erratic hours aggravated her condition, ruling the employee had not properly tried to reach a solution.

  • December 19, 2014

    Bankruptcy Attys, Trustees Back Baker Botts' Meta-Fee Bid

    Former bankruptcy judges from Texas and Pennsylvania, a trustee association and others have filed briefs supporting Baker Botts LLP in its Supreme Court case over awards for defending core fees in miner Asarco LLC's bankruptcy, saying the Fifth Circuit's disapproval of those awards creates a “perverse incentive” for spurious fee challenges.

  • December 19, 2014

    8th Circ. Says Tribal Liquor Laws Apply To Nebraska Town

    In a published opinion released on Friday, the Eighth Circuit affirmed that the Village of Pender, Nebraska, is subject to the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska's liquor license and taxing regulations because it is located on reservation land.

  • December 19, 2014

    Texas High Court Will Hear Life Partners Securities Suits

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to resolve a split among lower appellate courts on whether life settlements — fractional interests in insurance policies — sold by Life Partners Inc. can be regulated as securities, granting review to a putative class action and an enforcement suit from state regulators.

  • December 19, 2014

    9th Circ Holds Anti-Whaling Protester Group In Contempt

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday held anti-whaling activist Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which the court previously called pirates, in contempt for violating an injunction barring them from interfering with Japanese whale-hunting researchers and ordered them to pay at least $2 million in sanctions.

  • December 19, 2014

    NJ Asks High Court to Review Power Plant Subsidies Denial

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision rejecting the state’s subsidy program aimed at spurring construction of new gas-fired power plants, arguing that the program is within the state’s dual regulatory authority with the federal government.

  • December 19, 2014

    Calif. Panel Says Concepcion Defeats Broughton-Cruz Rule

    A California appellate panel Thursday bolstered the Federal Arbitration Act's preemption in the Golden State, finding the U.S. Supreme Court's Concepcion decision and the state high court's Iskanian ruling defeat a judge's reliance on the Broughton-Cruz rule to deny Citibank NA's bid to arbitrate an insurance consumer class' injunctive-relief claims.

  • December 19, 2014

    1st Circ. Colorfully Affirms Military Supply Row Verdict

    The First Circuit ruled in a published opinion that a jury was right to issue a take-nothing verdict in a suit by military tactical product supplier Ira Green Inc. alleging tortious interference and defamation by its rival Military Sales & Service Co.

  • December 19, 2014

    5th Circ. Rejects Insurer's Call To Review Home Defect Ruling

    The Fifth Circuit declined on Thursday to revisit its earlier decision that Mid-Continent Casualty Co. had incorrectly applied a contractual liability exclusion in a construction defect case and also denied its request to certify questions to the Texas Supreme Court.

  • December 19, 2014

    Retiring Pa. Chief Justice Pegs Legacy On Fracking Decision

    As he prepares to leave the bench at the end of the year, the retiring chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court told Law360 in an interview that his legacy would live on through a 2013 ruling finding that statewide hydraulic fracturing rules violated constitutionally enshrined environmental protections.

  • December 19, 2014

    Texas High Court Denies Rehearing In Port Contract Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday denied the Port of Houston Authority's petition to rehear its decision that Zachry Construction Corp. can pursue the majority of some $20 million in losses the company says were caused by project-delaying revisions the authority made to a wharf construction deal.

  • December 19, 2014

    Samsung Tells High Court Memory Cartel Suit Should Survive

    Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Panasonic Corp.’s bid to rebury Samsung’s antitrust suit alleging Panasonic restrained competition through a patent-licensing deal on secure digital memory cards, arguing that the Ninth Circuit rightly found that Samsung alleged a single continuing violation.

  • December 19, 2014

    Fla. Can't DQ Judge From Every Case Involving Orlando PD

    A Florida appellate court has denied the state’s bid to get a criminal trial court judge kicked off of more than 50 cases involving the Orlando Police Department after he allegedly berated the department’s attorney and accused its officers of not showing up for depositions.

  • December 19, 2014

    Enviros Sue EPA Over Court-Ordered Stormwater Law Update

    Two environmental groups on Thursday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Ninth Circuit, claiming that the agency has yet to comply with a 2003 decision rendered by the appeals court that mandated the agency strengthen its stormwater runoff rule.

  • December 19, 2014

    SG Says High Court Shouldn't Hear Teva Drug Label Case

    The solicitor general told the U.S. Supreme Court that it shouldn’t hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc. in a California state case over the generic-drug maker’s alleged liability for injuries stemming from out of date warning labels, saying that court lacks jurisdiction.

  • December 19, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Revives DataTern Database Patent Suit

    A Federal Circuit panel on Friday gave DataTern Inc. a second chance in its database storage patent infringement suits against MicroStrategy Inc. and its clients, ruling that a lower court relied on an incorrect claim construction when it tossed the cases.

  • December 19, 2014

    Walgreen, Kroger Urge 11th Circ. To Kill Fla. Swipe Fee Ban

    Consumer rights groups and major retailers including Walgreen Co. and Kroger Co. joined forces Wednesday and urged the Eleventh Circuit to strike down a Florida law prohibiting merchants from charging “swipe fees” on credit card sales, saying the law’s language is unconstitutionally vague and violated the First Amendment.

  • December 19, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Shoots Down Challenge To HVAC Customs Suit

    The Federal Circuit on Friday denied Belimo Automation AG's bid to earn a lower tariff on its imports of heating and cooling system components, affirming the U.S. Court of International Trade's decision that the products were correctly deemed to be electric motors.

  • December 19, 2014

    9th Circ. To Rehear En Banc Bankruptcy Atty Fee Row

    The Ninth Circuit agreed Friday to grant an en banc review of an appellate panel's holding that a Chapter 13 debtor should be repaid for attorneys' fees incurred while defending a creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court ruling because the fees resulted from a violation of the automatic stay.

  • December 19, 2014

    Teva, Pliva Ask High Court To Weigh Pa. Reglan Preemption

    Generic-drug makers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court in three petitions to review a Pennsylvania appellate court ruling that the product liability claims of thousands of generic Reglan users weren't necessarily preempted by federal law.

Expert Analysis

  • The Naked Truth: Intricacies Of Naked Short Sales

    Joshua Hamilton

    The California Court of Appeal decision in the Overstock.com Inc. case provides an unusually deep discussion of the interplay between short selling — specifically, naked short selling — and both the California and federal laws designed to prevent market manipulation, say Joshua Hamilton and Ryan Walsh of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Seminal Supreme Court Employment Cases In 2014

    Keenya Harrold

    National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Lawson v. FMR LLC. The highly anticipated 2013-2014 U.S. Supreme Court term did not disappoint employment lawyers as it was filled with cases that had a major impact on presidential power, union claims and religious freedom, says Keenya Harrold of Cozen O'Connor PC.

  • The 'Transformation' Of The Copyright Fair Use Test

    Rollin Ransom

    Lawyers are frequently asked to clear copyright issues for new works, and when a new work is based on an existing work, the different approaches that the courts have adopted in analyzing fair use can significantly complicate the analysis. Assuming the lawyer concludes the work is "transformative," she must also decide the significance to afford to such conclusion, says Rollin Ransom of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • A Murky Trade Secret Landscape: What Employers Can Do

    Robert Hanna

    The Arizona Supreme Court’s recent decision in Orca Communications Unlimited LLC v. Noder permitting common law tort claims for misappropriation of confidential information that do not fall under the definition of trade secret may indicate a trend toward state courts reconsidering their positions on this issue, say Robert Hanna and Stephanie Rzepka of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Louisiana Weighs In On Double Derivative Action Debate

    Andrew R. Lee

    In a case of first impression in Louisiana, the state's Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal has recognized the procedural availability of the “double derivative” action, allowing minority members of a parent LLC to bring an action on behalf of the parent's wholly owned subsidiary LLC for wrongful acts against the subsidiary. The ruling follows case law from other states, including Delaware, say Andrew Lee and Brett Venn of Jones Walker LLP.

  • Avoiding 'Deja Vu 2' In High Court CSX Tax Case

    Benjamin Blair

    The U.S. Supreme Court in Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation Inc. may realize that the best path forward is to issue a narrow decision and let the issue of other allegedly discriminatory aspects of the state’s tax regime come to the court on their own — one thing is certain, the high court does not want its decision in CSX II to lead to a CSX III, says Benjamin Blair of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • 8th Circ. Clarifies Coverage Trigger For Food Recall

    Jennifer Senior

    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision on the level of public health risk required to trigger coverage for a voluntary food product recall under an accidental product contamination policy in Hot Stuff Foods LLC v. Houston Casualty Co. may encourage settlement in coverage disputes and is reason to re-evaluate and clarify policy language, says Jennifer Senior of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • A Year For Whistleblower Rewards And Protections

    Jason Zuckerman

    2014 has been a transformative year for the development of whistleblower law between whistleblowers obtaining record recoveries through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower rewards program, the U.S. Supreme Court's Lawson v. FMR ruling and the strengthening of protection provisions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, say Jason Zuckerman and Dallas Hammer of Zuckerman Law.

  • Another Big Year For ITC: Top 12 Section 337 Highlights

    Shara Aranoff

    This year, the Federal Circuit agreed to reconsider its decision narrowing Section 337’s applicability to induced infringement, as the U.S. International Trade Commission held onto its jurisdiction over standard-essential patents and confirmed its ability to reach digital imports. Meanwhile, the ITC took steps toward better exclusion order enforcement, even as it stayed a remedial order pending appeal for the first time, says Shara... (continued)