Appellate

  • April 24, 2015

    Christie Warns Of Court ‘Entanglement’ In $1.6B Pension Fight

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Friday told the state Supreme Court that the judiciary branch would become entangled in the annual budget process if it lets stand a lower court ruling that he unlawfully trimmed $1.57 billion in pension funding.

  • April 24, 2015

    Border Agent Has Immunity For Teen's Shooting: 5th Circ.

    The full Fifth Circuit on Friday ruled that the U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teenager standing in Mexico from across the U.S. border in Texas had qualified immunity and could not be sued by the teen’s family under the Fourth or Fifth amendments.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. AG Wants 9th Circ. To Restore Card Surchage Ban

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday served notice that she will ask the Ninth Circuit to overturn a California federal judge’s ruling striking down a state ban on credit card surcharges on free speech grounds.

  • April 24, 2015

    Firm Wrapped Up In Partner's Malpractice Row: Ex-Client

    A name partner in Blum Collins LLP should have told an ex-client who was contemplating suing him for malpractice that he had been working for her independently, and not as part of his firm, a California appeals court heard Friday in a suit stemming from a $6 million dispute over a backyard pool.

  • April 24, 2015

    Anthem Covered For Medical Payment Rows: Ind. High Court

    The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that Anthem Inc. is entitled to coverage for nearly all of its costs to defend and settle allegations that it failed to timely or fully pay medical reimbursement claims, largely overturning a win for reinsurers Continental Casualty Co. and Twin City Fire Insurance Co.

  • April 24, 2015

    Texas Justices Toss $1.3M Verdict In Retaliation Suit

    A San Antonio Water System male executive's frequent, unwanted lunch invitations to two female co-workers weren't sexual harassment, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday, tossing a $1.3 million jury award for a third co-worker who said she was fired for advising him to stop.

  • April 24, 2015

    Bergstein Fights To Keep Stroock In Atty Betrayal Fight

    An attorney for film producer David Bergstein told a California appeals court Friday that Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill LLP weren’t protected by litigation privilege when they elicited secrets from Bergstein’s longtime attorney to use against him in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Backs SUFI's Fees Win In Air Force Phone Row

    The U.S. Air Force must pay attorneys' fees to a former telephone contractor who had won a $112 million judgment after the military reneged on an exclusivity promise, the Federal Circuit affirmed Friday, saying the government appealed under the wrong law.

  • April 24, 2015

    7th Circ. Lead Paint Ruling Threatens Cos., High Court Told

    Dupont Co. and former manufacturers of lead paint have told the U.S. Supreme Court that a Seventh Circuit decision in a man's injury suit over lead paint has broad implications and could expose companies to billions of dollars in liability.

  • April 24, 2015

    Del. Justices Nix Cyveillance Shareholders' $40M Bonus Bid

    The Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday ruled QinetiQ North America Operations LLC did not shortchange former shareholders of Cyveillance Inc. after it acquired the cyber tech outfit, rejecting the investors' claim that QNA purposely tried to avoid triggering up to $40 million in earn-out payments.

  • April 24, 2015

    Insurers Rip Tenn. 'Retaliation' Tax In High Court Petition

    Zurich American Insurance Co. and other insurers have told the U.S. Supreme Court that Tennessee is unfairly retaliating against New York insurance companies operating in the state by levying taxes to compensate for surcharges that New York charges out-of-state insurers to fund its workers’ compensation program.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Upholds Acquitted Mayor's Reinstatement

    A Florida appeals court on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Michael Pizzi should be reinstated as Miami Lakes mayor following his acquittal on federal bribery and extortion charges and the subsequent lifting of his suspension by the governor.

  • April 24, 2015

    High Court Urged To Hear Suit Over Student Loan Servicing

    A California attorney defending himself in a battle over $35,000 in student loans is urging the Supreme Court to take up the case, saying the loan service providers’ “dirty little secret” of inflating debt must be exposed.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Reinstates Same-Sex Divorce Case

    A Florida appeals court on Friday overturned a lower court's dismissal of a petition to dissolve a same-sex couple's marriage recorded in Massachusetts, saying that the state and one of the partners in the couple failed to offer rational reasons for Florida law to block the request.

  • April 24, 2015

    Texas Justices Dump Mexican Crash Suit Against Bridgestone

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said a wrongful death suit against Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC can’t be heard in Texas court because it arose from a car accident that took place in Mexico, involving Mexican residents.

  • April 24, 2015

    DOJ Tells High Court 5th Circ. Fumbled BIA Deportation Ruling

    The U.S. Department of Justice continued its push for the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a Mexican man's deportation challenge over a blown deadline, telling the justices the Fifth Circuit mischaracterized a Board of Immigration Appeals' decision, according to a filing released Friday.

  • April 24, 2015

    5th Circ. Wipes Out ACA Origination Clause Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday smacked down a prominent GOP donor’s lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act flouted the U.S. Constitution’s origination clause, finding that the complaint failed to describe harm and was filed prematurely.

  • April 24, 2015

    Toxic Tort Claims Over Fracking Create IP Discovery Risk

    A recent Pennsylvania ruling finding that trade secrets, including the makeup of hydraulic fracturing fluids, should be handed over in discovery in a toxic tort case against Range Resources Corp. is likely just the beginning of attempts by plaintiffs to win access to proprietary information, experts say.

  • April 24, 2015

    DC Circ. Sinks Animal Feedlot Reg Suit Against EPA

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday tossed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of taking too long to list pollutants from animal feedlots as sources of pollution under the Clean Air Act, saying the plaintiffs couldn’t show how the EPA broke the law.

  • April 24, 2015

    Pharmacies Are Health Care Providers, Texas High Court Says

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a woman’s claim she was blinded by a nutritional supplement provided by a compounding pharmacy, holding the pharmacy is a health care provider entitled to protections from medical malpractice tort reforms.

Expert Analysis

  • NY High Court Emphasizes Evidence In Serious Injury Cases

    Matthew J. Rosno

    The New York Court of Appeals' opinion in Alvarez v. NYLL Management Ltd. reiterates the importance of evidence of degenerative and pre-existing conditions in serious injury threshold cases when citing Insurance Law Section 5102(d), says Matthew Rosno of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • Court Has Broad Authority Over Assets To Satisfy Restitution

    Daniel W. Levy

    The Second Circuit recently affirmed the government’s sweeping authority over a defendant’s assets in the face of unpaid restitution obligations. This authority includes the power to restrain assets prior to the entry of a restitution order, and — as exemplified by U.S. v. Bengis — this authority extends to assets held overseas, says Daniel W. Levy, a principal at McKool Smith PC and former federal prosecutor.

  • 9th Circ. Clarifies Functionality Test For Color TM Cases

    Cynthia Hernandez

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Moldex-Metric Inc. v. McKeon Prods. Inc. guides the lower courts to follow Qualitex’s core aesthetic functionality principles for color trademarks while applying the Ninth Circuit’s nonexclusive four factors as considerations to determine whether a product feature is functional, say David Martinez and Cynthia Hernandez of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • CERCLA 'Arranger Liability' Continues To Elude Clarity

    Meline G. MacCurdy

    Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S., courts still struggle with the distinction between parties that bear liability as “arrangers” and parties that instead sell “useful products,” the most recent being the Fourth Circuit in Consolidation Coal Co. v. Georgia Power Co., says Meline MacCurdy of Marten Law PLLC.

  • NLRB's Specialty Healthcare Test Comes To Acute Care

    Barry A. Guryan

    The National Labor Relations Board's refusal to order an election in a wall-to-wall unit at Rush University Medical Center seems inconsistent with its long-held view that acute care hospitals are entitled to a special protected status, says Barry Guryan of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • 6th Circ. Is Making Sure Misclassification Goes To Trial

    Matthew S. Disbrow

    The Sixth Circuit's decision in Keller v. Miri Microsystems LLC illustrates the dangers of classifying individuals as independent contractors when engaging in business or structuring an organization. Keller makes clear it is becoming increasingly difficult to quickly dispose of misclassification challenges — more cases will likely go to trial, says Matthew Disbrow of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP.

  • Trading Inside Information With 'Friends' Post-Newman

    Jon Eisenberg

    Newman is a sea change in the law when it comes to insiders who tip friends without a quid pro quo. At least in the Second Circuit, the government’s argument that a mere tip to a friend violates insider trading law is dead on arrival, says Jon Eisenberg of K&L Gates LLP.

  • NJ Borrowers Under HAMP May Pursue State Law Claims

    Wayne Streibich

    The New Jersey Appellate court recently held that the language of a Home Affordable Modification Program trial period plan or forbearance agreement may require a lender to modify the loan if a borrower complies with its terms, which qualifies the long-standing principle that a borrower does not have a right to a loan modification and a lender is not required to offer one, say attorneys from Blank Rome LLP.

  • 11th Circ. Exclusive Dealing Decision Is Big Win For FTC

    Bruce Sokler

    Because McWane Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission involved appellate review of an FTC ruling — where deference to the agency on certain findings played an important part — the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision upholding the FTC’s ruling that McWane enforced an illegal exclusive dealing policy provides important guideposts, say attorneys with Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Spring Begins With 3 Important Class Action Decisions

    Fred T. Isquith

    The volume of commentary on the Omnicare opinion has pushed aside two other important and likely influenced decisions — the Second Circuit’s opinion in Roach v. T.L. Cannor Corp. addressing the breadth of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, and New York’s Anwar v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., which requires readers’ attention because of the court’s discussion of the “predominance” element of Rule 23, says Fred Isquith of Wolf Haldenstein Adler ... (continued)