Appellate

  • July 30, 2014

    Copyright Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2014

    Things move slowly in the dog days of summer, but expect the world of copyright law to speed up in the second half of the year, with highly anticipated decisions and developments on mass digitization, the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” ruling, Aereo's bid for a compulsory license, and more.

  • July 30, 2014

    11th Circ. Ruling On Gun Gag Law Could Affect Speech Rights

    With the Eleventh Circuit's recent ruling backing Florida's “gun gag” law restricting doctors from asking patients about firearm ownership, First Amendment experts fear that the decision will be used to encroach on private speech not just by doctors but also by lawyers and other licensed professionals.

  • July 30, 2014

    Employers To Embrace Arbitration After 3rd Circ. Ruling

    The Third Circuit's ruling that courts, rather than arbitrators, should decide whether classwide arbitration is available when an agreement is silent on that point will encourage some employers that had been on the fence about arbitration to embrace it as a means to counter the surging tide of costly wage-and-hour class actions, lawyers say.

  • July 30, 2014

    Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation Of 2 Fla. Gay Marriage Cases

    Plaintiffs who recently won challenges to Florida's same-sex marriage ban in parallel suits in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties are asking an appeals court to consolidate the cases and present the state's appeals to the Florida Supreme Court for immediate consideration.

  • July 30, 2014

    Army Corps Wetlands Finding Not Reviewable, 5th Circ. Rules

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a suit accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of sinking a property deal between two companies by improperly designating the property as wetlands under the Clean Water Act, thwarting plans to turn the site into a landfill.

  • July 30, 2014

    AT&T Not Liable For Dead Telecommuter's Workers' Comp

    The Supreme Court of New Jersey on Wednesday freed AT&T from a workers’ compensation claim, ruling a widower failed to demonstrate his late wife’s fatal blood clot resulted from extended periods of sitting while working from home for the telecommunications giant.

  • July 30, 2014

    Med Exam Ruling Alters Case Against State Farm, Panel Says

    Based on the Florida Supreme Court's recent ruling that an insured's breach of a compulsory medical exam provision does not qualify to automatically terminate an insurance policy, a Florida appeals court Wednesday remanded a similar case back to the trial court.

  • July 30, 2014

    Texas AG Asks State High Court To Block Whistleblower Suit

    The Texas attorney general’s office has asked the Texas Supreme Court to find that it’s immune from a whistleblower suit brought by a former child support division attorney who claims she was fired after refusing to sign a false affidavit against a family court judge.

  • July 30, 2014

    8th Circ. Says One-Recovery Rule Dooms Tobacco Death Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a wrongful death action brought against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc., holding that the dead man's relatives could not sue over his death because they had already brought a personal injury suit.

  • July 30, 2014

    Securities Discovery Ban Hinges On Subpoena Date: 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit has ruled that a key securities law was never intended to ban the use of evidence requested prior to discovery freezes, reviving a class action Wednesday against the bankrupt maker of an electronic scratch-off card and greenlighting investors' evidence related to a catastrophic merger rollback.

  • July 30, 2014

    City Can Keep Interest Accrued During Eminent Domain Case

    Former property owners involved in an eminent domain case with the city of Tampa are not entitled to interest on funds the county clerk held during the proceedings because those funds were not considered in their possession while accruing interest, a Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    9th Circ. Lets Insurer Avoid Priest Abuse Suit Coverage

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s ruling that held an insurer liable for covering settlement costs in four sexual abuse suits against priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, finding an assault and battery exclusion in the policy barred coverage for the diocese.

  • July 30, 2014

    UK Tribunal Upholds Judgment Against Ex-Hedge Fund CEO

    The United Kingdom’s Upper Tribunal on Wednesday upheld a regulator’s ban of former hedge fund CEO Alberto Micalizzi from working in financial services for lying to investors about losses involving a fund he ran at now defunct Dynamic Decisions Capital Management during the credit crisis.

  • July 30, 2014

    Apple Tells Fed. Circ. To OK $930M Samsung Patent Verdict

    Apple Inc. on Monday urged the Federal Circuit to uphold a $930 million judgment as part of an ongoing smartphone patent infringement suit against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., saying its rival presented no evidence to overturn a jury's infringement verdict and damages award.

  • July 30, 2014

    Court Misused FLSA's Sales-Rep Exception, 6th Circ. Says

    The Sixth Circuit on Wednesday revived a collective action accusing KeHE Distributors LLC of stiffing employees on overtime pay, saying that a lower court was wrong to rule that an exception for outside salesman under the Fair Labor Standards Act applied.

  • July 30, 2014

    After Hobby Lobby, Business Revives Contraception Fight

    The Mennonite owners of a Pennsylvania furniture manufacturing company who unsuccessfully argued that the new federal mandate that they pay for contraceptive services violated their First Amendment rights asked a Pennsylvania federal court Wednesday to block the requirement, following the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision.

  • July 30, 2014

    4th Circ. Says Noel Canning Kicks Nestle Case Back To NLRB

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday sent the National Labor Relations Board's case alleging Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Co. had violated federal labor law back to the board for reconsideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Noel Canning decision invalidating three NLRB recess appointments.

  • July 30, 2014

    Ill. Court Lets Lloyd's Revive Additional-Insured Fight

    An Illinois appeals court has backed a trial court's decision to set aside Pekin Insurance Co.'s victory in litigation over additional insured coverage for a general contractor targeted in an injury suit, paving the way for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London to jump into the fight.

  • July 30, 2014

    Library Activists Seek To Reopen NYPL Suit

    A group of authors, historians and citizens concerned about a $350 million plan to renovate the New York Public Library asked a state judge on Tuesday to reconsider a June dismissal of their suit, saying the decision was issued erroneously after the library announced that it would revise the plan.

  • July 30, 2014

    Class Arbitration A Question For Courts, 3rd Circ. Says

    In a precedential ruling, the Third Circuit determined Wednesday that whether an arbitration agreement permits classwide arbitration is a question for courts — not arbitrators — to decide, siding with Robert Half International Inc. in its challenge to an arbitrator's ruling that its agreements with former staffing managers allowed class proceedings. 

Expert Analysis

  • Dukes May Have Doomed Toxic Tort Class Certification

    Peter E. Seley

    Heightened focus on commonality and the other Rule 23 prerequisites post-Dukes has been a tremendous hurdle for toxic tort class action plaintiffs as courts reject classes based on the individual nature of exposure, causation and damages and the insufficiency of expert testimony, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Fed. Circ. And USPTO Diverge On Lead Compound Analysis

    William Carroll

    Recent decisions show that, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the Federal Circuit's so-called lead compound analysis has not displaced traditional approaches to analyzing chemical obviousness. Therefore, the forum where a chemical obviousness battle is played out can have a big impact on the results, say Jeffry Nichols and William Carroll of Brinks Gilson & Lione.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • 1st Circ. Case Could Severely Impact Mass. Franchises

    Barry A. Guryan

    It has been argued that an expansive reading by a district judge of a stringent Massachusetts employment classification law in Awuah v. Coverall North America — now pending in the First Circuit — puts the state’s robust franchising business in jeopardy by, among other things, disincentivizing franchisees from supplying their financial capital into new and existing franchises, say Barry Guryan and Jeffrey Ruzal of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Not A Federal Question: ACA Fund Dispute Is For States

    Eric G. Pearson

    The Seventh Circuit In Hartland Lakeside Joint No. 3 School District v. WEA Insurance Corp. remanded to state court a dispute over the distribution of funds from the Affordable Care Act for failure to present a federal question under Grable, which regrettably did not create the sort of bright-line rule that often does and should govern issues of federal jurisdiction, says Eric Pearson of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • Calif. Courts Concede To Class Waivers Post-Concepcion

    Lori Phillips

    Despite the employee-friendly nature of California courts and their occasional rendering of arbitration agreements as unenforceable, two recent Ninth Circuit rulings in Davis v. Nordstrom Inc. and Johnmohammadi v. Bloomingdale’s Inc. may make challenges to class-claim waivers a thing of the past, says Lori Phillips of Sherman & Howard LLC.

  • Clearer Standard For Multiple Source Causation In Texas

    James E. Smith

    For defendants, perhaps the most important task will be to impress upon trial judges just how rigorous plaintiffs must be to meet the Supreme Court of Texas' standard in Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. — any failure to present an opinion based on generally acceptable methodologies as to any component will doom the plaintiff to summary judgment, directed verdict or reversal on appeal, says James Smith of Porter Hedges LLP.

  • High Stakes In Play With Rule 68 Decisions

    David Carpenter

    This week, the Eleventh Circuit will hear appeals in two Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases centered on whether a Rule 68 offer of judgment can completely moot a class action. While the court may follow suit and adopt either the Seventh Circuit or Ninth Circuit rule, the door is open for a decision that changes the class action landscape, say David Carpenter and James Cash of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Amtrak's Metrics-Making Power Hangs In The Balance

    Kevin M. Sheys

    For industry, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Association of American Railroads v. Department of Transportation will be about whether the standards Amtrak helped create will survive and be used to measure how the railroads adhere to their long-standing statutory obligation to give priority to Amtrak trains, says Kevin Sheys of Nossaman LLP.