Appellate

  • August 29, 2014

    Keystone XL's Fate May Hinge On Neb. Supreme Court Ruling

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has set a Sept. 5 hearing to consider the state’s challenge to a decision striking down a law that authorizes the governor to approve the route for the Keystone XL pipeline — a case the Obama administration has said will have a huge impact on whether the controversial project can move forward.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas High Court Won't Overturn Fraudster's Disbarment

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday again rejected a bid by a disbarred lawyer to reinstate his law license after he was convicted in a fraud scheme involving a medical device company and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas High Court To Let Jury Resolve Enbridge Pipe Damages

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a jury should determine whether the damage to a couple’s property by Enbridge Pipelines East Texas LP is temporary or permanent and then calculate damages for the couple based on that finding, according to a decision that reversed the appellate court’s finding.

  • August 29, 2014

    Exxon Ruling Gives Employers More Leeway In Bonus Plans

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld an Exxon Mobil Corp. plan that stripped a top executive of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, paving the way for more employers to use incentive plans to keep top talent in place without running afoul of the state's noncompete laws.

  • August 29, 2014

    Amazon Not Liable For Affiliates' IP Violations: 9th Circ.

    Amazon.com Inc. is not vicariously liable for copyright infringement based on the conduct of Amazon Associates — participants in the online sales giant’s affiliate-marketing program — who use copyrighted photos without permission on their websites, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday when affirming a district court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Implied Easement In Land Row

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that a dispute over the use of a 50-plus-year-old access road that crosses another party’s property must be pursued based on implied easement by necessity — not by prior use — reversing the decisions of a trial and appeals court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Verizon Whistleblower Seeks High Court Review Of FCA Suit

    A whistleblower who twice sued Verizon Communications Inc. under the False Claims Act for allegedly fraudulent billing practices asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a lower court’s dismissal of his second suit under the first-to-file bar provision, citing a circuit split and a dissent from D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan.

  • August 29, 2014

    Gay Marriage Ban Challenges Cleared For Florida High Court

    A Florida appeals court has rejected the state attorney general's request to stay its appeals of two rulings overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban, instead consolidating and certifying them for consideration by the Florida Supreme Court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Legal Recruiter Can Seek Injunction To Block Web Defamation

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that a legal recruiter’s former employer can be forced to remove allegedly defamatory Internet postings accusing him of bribing an associate at K&L Gates LLP, but the company cannot be prohibited from making similar statements in the future.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Justices Say Jury Charge Objections Can Be Untimely

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that courts may set deadlines for objections to jury instructions, affirming a lower court’s order that found that a dredging vessel owner's objection to a jury instruction in a dispute over a worker's injury was untimely.

  • August 29, 2014

    9th Circ. Says Debtor Can Recoup Atty Fees From Stay Appeal

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday determined a Chapter 13 debtor should be repaid for attorneys' fees incurred defending a creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court ruling, finding the fees were recoverable because they constituted actual damages resulting from a violation of the automatic stay.

  • August 29, 2014

    Comcast Class Was Rightly Decertified, Appeals Court Says

    A California appeals court on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s decision to decertify a class of technicians in a suit brought against Comcast Corp. for allegedly overworking them and denying them meal and rest breaks, holding that data from a system for measuring the technicians’ time was unreliable.

  • August 29, 2014

    Wind Co. Seeks Sanctions Over 'Frivolous' Antitrust Appeal

    Gamesa Wind US urged the Seventh Circuit on Thursday to hit a wind turbine maintenance company with sanctions for attempting to appeal a dismissal of antitrust counterclaims that it had argued were too weak for federal jurisdiction, claiming it was well-deserving of attorneys’ fees for the “frivolous” appeal.

  • August 29, 2014

    Va., Okla. Same-Sex Couples Urge High Court To Hear Cases

    Following decisions in their favor, same-sex couples from Virginia and Oklahoma have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review rulings that found against same-sex marriage bans in their states, saying the time is now to clarify whether those types of prohibitions are unconstitutional.

  • August 29, 2014

    Ala. Asks Supreme Court To Nix Race Bias Suit Over Tax Law

    The state of Alabama has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny an appeal filed by a group of schoolchildren who claim the state's property laws are unconstitutional and racist, saying the students are unlikely to receive any benefit if they prevail.

  • August 29, 2014

    DC Circ. Denies FCA Appeal Over Chinese Tech Parts

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act suit accusing Govplace Inc. of improperly selling China-made technology products to the U.S. government, saying the company appropriately relied on its supplier’s certifications that the products met manufacturing requirements.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Can't Grab Uncollected Settlement Funds, Court Says

    Texas' high court said Friday that the state is not entitled to seize uncollected class action settlement funds that are earmarked for charities in a case involving a homebuilder that settled litigation accusing it of failing to obtain insurance coverage for subcontractors.

  • August 29, 2014

    Energy Groups Challenge EPA Carbon Solid Waste Regulation

    Three energy groups on Thursday urged the D.C. Circuit to reject an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation calling carbon dioxide emissions “solid waste” when transported in pipelines and stored in geological formation, arguing the rule contradicts Congress' intent. 

  • August 29, 2014

    Contractor Asks High Court To Review Mo. Deferred Comp Tax

    A contractor to the U.S. Department of Labor has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case arguing that the Missouri director of revenue wrongly counted a trust created for a deferred compensation plan as business income.

  • August 29, 2014

    9th Circ. Boots Oracle's Bid For $1.3B In SAP Software Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday ruled that Oracle Corp. can accept $356 million from SAP AG for infringing Oracle's software copyrights or head to a new trial on damages but can't reinstate the $1.3 billion awarded by the jury in the case.

Expert Analysis

  • Breaking Down The Collapse Doctrine In Wash.

    Michael V. Silvestro

    It is too early to tell which approach Washington will adopt regarding the collapse doctrine, but whatever conclusion the Washington Supreme Court reaches it likely won't be unanimous — prior cases suggest the state could require an actual collapse, says Michael Silvestro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • Not Every 363 Sale Is Bulletproof

    Harris B. Winsberg

    Creditors considering an involuntary bankruptcy filing with the goal of buying a debtor’s assets in a Section 363 sale or seeking a strategic advantage over the debtor will need to consider an Eleventh Circuit ruling in the case of Global Energies LLC before embarking on such a strategy, say Harris Winsberg and Stephen Roach of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • High Court Should Review Scope Of Crime-Fraud Exception

    Matthew D. Lee

    Given the significant differences among the circuits in examining the crime-fraud exception, and the Third Circuit’s recent erosion of the attorney-client privilege, U.S. Supreme Court review is necessary to ensure the consistent treatment of litigants and to protect the privilege, say attorneys with Blank Rome LLP.

  • Barko Muzzled, But Attorney-Client Info Remains At Risk

    Andrew Irwin

    There can be no assurance that the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Barko v. Halliburton Co. will lead courts in other jurisdictions to reach similar results — particularly in jurisdictions outside the U.S. where multinational corporations may well face efforts to compel disclosure of attorney-client information, say attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • Mixed Feelings In Texas About ALI's Negligence Approach

    Kelly J. Kirkland

    Just when we thought the Supreme Court of Texas wants nothing to do with the American Law Institute’s latest efforts to restate the law of negligence, two recent decisions indicate it actually has mixed feelings, in part because of its profound distrust of juries, says Kelly Kirkland of Fulkerson & Lotz LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • 2nd Circ. Has Made Morrison Standard Even More Arbitrary

    J. Robert Brown Jr.

    The Second Circuit was appropriately concerned with the implications of the Section 10(b) test set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Morrison v. National Australia Bank. But in ParkCentral Global Hub Ltd. v. Porsche Automobile Holdings, the court developed a test only used to deny the availability of Rule 10b-5, says J. Robert Brown Jr. of Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.

  • The Fee-Shifting Climate After Octane And Highmark

    Russell Cass

    Two U.S. Supreme Court cases — Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness and Highmark v. Allcare Health Management Systems — have loosened the requirements for fee-shifting awards in patent cases, but as certain decisions show, an award of attorneys’ fees is far from automatic, say Russell Cass and Kimberly Farbota of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Del.’s Adoption Of Garner — And Practical Ways To Respond

    Bruce A. Ericson

    A Delaware Supreme Court decision in a Wal-Mart shareholder suit connected to alleged bribery may breathe new life into the Garner doctrine and serves as a reminder of the fragility of the attorney-client privilege, say Bruce Ericson and Dorothy Kaslow of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • How Did Employers Fare This Supreme Court Term?

    Teeka K. Harrison

    Overall, the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions this term presented some differences from last, when all five of the major decisions impacting labor and employment issues were employer-friendly but they were all 5-4 opinions, says Teeka Harrison of Polsinelli PC.