Appellate

  • April 28, 2016

    Nonprofits Back Immigrant In SSN Row At 9th Circ.

    A trio of nonprofits on Wednesday urged the Ninth Circuit to defer to federal guidance on considering criminal records in employment decisions when weighing the case of an immigrant who claims a California agency's question about using an invalid Social Security number negatively affected Latino job applicants.

  • April 28, 2016

    High Court OKs Rule Change Expanding FBI Hacking Powers

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would allow judges to issue FBI warrants to access computers located outside their districts, despite opposition from critics including Google Inc. that claim it would expand the government’s hacking and surveillance powers.

  • April 28, 2016

    Tribe, Enviros Say Win In Alaska Forest Case Warrants Fees

    A Native American tribe and several environmental groups have requested nearly $700,000 in attorneys' fees from the federal government after winning a fight over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to drop protections against road construction and timber harvesting in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

  • April 28, 2016

    Gap Beats Injunction Bid In IP Row Over Old Navy Tees

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday refused to block Gap Inc. from selling Old Navy shirts with the phrase “Eat Sleep Ball,” denying a request by a clothing and accessories brand accusing Gap of infringing and counterfeiting its trademark.

  • April 28, 2016

    SemGroup Trustee Loses Appeal Bid To Claw Back $55M

    The Third Circuit on Thursday denied the efforts of the litigation trustee for SemGroup LP to set aside $55 million from two equity distributions made before the company’s 2008 Chapter 11 bankruptcy as constructively fraudulent conveyances, affirming a bankruptcy court’s findings that the trustee’s claims improperly rest on hindsight.

  • April 28, 2016

    High Court May Be Next Stop For PTAB Deference Issue

    The Federal Circuit's holding that America Invents Act decisions must be reviewed with deference on appeal could inspire the U.S. Supreme Court to consider requiring greater scrutiny of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which could make AIA decisions easier to overturn, attorneys say.

  • April 28, 2016

    Split 9th Circ. OKs Steeper Sentences For Medical Suppliers

    Medical equipment suppliers who fraudulently overbill Medicare can be given longer sentences based on their positions of trust, a split Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday, saying a California couple convicted of $1.6 million worth of False Claims Act violations took advantage of a government honor system.

  • April 28, 2016

    Hotel Asks 5th Circ. To Rethink Ruling Denying Hail Coverage

    A Dallas hotel urged a panel of the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to reconsider a ruling that it isn't entitled to coverage for hail damage because it took years to notify its insurance carrier, asserting that the timing of the claim doesn't matter because the insurer's ability to conduct an investigation wasn't hampered.

  • April 28, 2016

    Avis Must Face Bias Claim In Rental Co.’s Suit, 3rd Circ. Says

    The Third Circuit on Thursday revived a discrimination claim in a suit in which a vehicle rental business run by two African-Americans accused Avis Rent a Car System Inc. of unfairly terminating an operating agreement, although the appeals court refused to revive its retaliation claim.

  • April 28, 2016

    NY High Court Backs Con Ed In Pipe Explosion Discovery Row

    New York's top court on Thursday upheld a ruling that a New York Supreme Court judge wrongly denied Consolidated Edison Inc.'s discovery request for the litigation documents of a contractor the utility blames for a deadly 2007 steam pipe explosion in Manhattan.

  • April 28, 2016

    Ex-Toyota In-House Atty Can't Revive Malpractice Suit

    A California state appeals court on Wednesday refused to revive a suit in which a former in-house attorney for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. accused his own ex-lawyer of malpractice in his employment dispute with Toyota.

  • April 28, 2016

    NJ Justices' Fee-Shift Ruling Could Fuel Fiduciary Suits

    A New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that attorneys who intentionally breach a fiduciary duty can owe counsel fees to a nonclient involves such unusual facts that it's unlikely to open the floodgates for malpractice lawsuits, but it could trigger more litigation against other professionals with alleged fiduciary responsibilities, experts said.

  • April 28, 2016

    2nd Circ. Affirms Trump Win In Cybersquatting Suit

    The Second Circuit has backed Donald Trump in an intellectual property lawsuit filed by a self-described “domainer” who registered domain names with the word “Trump” in them, saying that a district court correctly found the man’s actions violated a federal cybersquatting law.

  • April 28, 2016

    George Mason Faces Faculty Backlash Over Scalia Law School

    George Mason University’s law school became embroiled in another controversy over its name change in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday as university professors and a Virginia lawmaker called the decision “polarizing” and “problematic” given the conservative jurist’s comments about minority groups.

  • April 28, 2016

    WWE Wants Out Of 2nd Circ. Concussion Suit Appeal

    World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. asked the Second Circuit on Wednesday to toss an appeal by a former wrestler who accused the company of hiding the risks of traumatic brain injuries from its employees, arguing the matter has not yet been finalized by a Connecticut district court.

  • April 28, 2016

    Fla. High Court Nixes Workers' Comp Law Atty Fee Formula

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the prevailing-party attorneys' fees provision of the state's workers' compensation law, ruling that the mandatory fee structure is an unconstitutional violation of a worker's due process rights.

  • April 28, 2016

    NJ High Court Allows Wider Doctor Testimony In Bias Cases

    The New Jersey Supreme Court held Thursday that a former police dispatcher was denied a fair chance to prove that she suffered from a disability when a trial court restricted her treating physician’s testimony in discrimination litigation because he wasn’t designated an expert witness.

  • April 28, 2016

    Ex-Ambassador Can't Slash Stanford Penalty, 5th Circ. Says

    A former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador was denied by the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday a rehearing bid to slash a $953,000 payment he owes, leaving in place a court ruling in favor of the receiver in the Robert Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme who had argued the funds were fraudulent transfers.

  • April 28, 2016

    Atty In NY Mayor Bribery Scheme Officially Disbarred

    An attorney who was convicted on fraud, bribery and witness tampering charges for his role in a scheme to buy a path for New York Republican Malcolm Smith into the mayor’s office was disbarred, according to a New York appeals court order Wednesday.

  • April 28, 2016

    Pa. Justices Won't Reconsider National Penn Overdraft Case

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday it would not review a decision that a putative class action accusing National Penn Bank of charging improper overdraft fees was not eligible for arbitration.

Expert Analysis

  • Using The New Federal Rules To Rein In Discovery

    Martin J. Healy

    The 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure present a fertile opportunity for defendants to leverage the rules' renewed focus on reasonableness and proportionality to rein in rampant discovery abuse. Courts' application of the amended rules has already shown promise in this regard, say Martin Healy and Joseph Fanning of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Why Celebrity Sponsors Aren't Liable For False Advertising

    Christina Guerola Sarchio

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent opinion in a case involving a dietary supplement manufacturer and its celebrity spokesperson, former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, reaffirms a large body of case law suggesting that public figures who simply endorse a product have a viable defense against claims for false advertising, say Christina Guerola Sarchio and Emily Luken at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Dentons: A New Kind Of Network?

    MarkACohen.jpg

    Dentons is two different law firm networks in one. So even if the Swiss verein structure should eventually fail and Dentons is forced to operate as a network of independent law firms, it could still be a significant market force, says Mark A. Cohen, a recovering civil trial lawyer and the founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • A New Perspective On Seated Work For Calif. Employers

    Jason Brown

    In Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, the California Supreme Court made three core holdings, but none tracked the arguments made by either the defendant or plaintiff in the case. The court instead adopted the conclusions of a case decided by the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, which shows how persuasive the DLSE is to the court on issues of statutory interpretation and application, says Jason Brown at Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Why High Court Should Preserve USPTO Autonomy In Cuozzo

    Shubha Ghosh

    Cuozzo is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s broadest reasonable interpretation standard, which would mean the USPTO would have to engage in the extensive method of claim construction we see in the courts. There are many reasons to be skeptical of Cuozzo’s arguments, says Shubha Ghosh, director of Syracuse University College of Law's technology commercialization law program.

  • Affordable Housing Constraints Don't Limit Value Of Claims

    Jackson E. Warren

    The Ninth Circuit's decision in the matter of Sunnyslope Housing Ltd. will make it more difficult for affordable housing entities to restructure under Chapter 11 where the property has a higher value without affordable housing restrictions. However, the decision gives affordable housing lenders greater ability to protect their secured claims in bankruptcy, say attorneys at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • FTB V. Hyatt: Taxes, Torts And The Constitution

    Julie M. Bradlow

    As long as Nevada v. Hall remains settled law, state courts entertaining suits against agencies of other states will be required to apply the home state’s limitations on damages under the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt. Once a ninth justice is confirmed, perhaps another case will give the court a chance to revisit the question whether Hall was rightly decided, says Julie Bradlow of ... (continued)

  • A Victory For SOX Whistleblowers In Recent DOL Decision

    Debra Katz

    A recent decision from the U.S. Department of Labor's administrative review board in Dietz v. Cypress ultimately strengthens protections for whistleblowers at publicly traded companies. The language about protected activity and constructive discharge in this decision could form useful tools for whistleblowers and their counsel in years to come, say Debra Katz and Matthew LaGarde at Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • IPR At Supreme Court: Inside Cuozzo Oral Arguments

    Angela Johnson

    Despite what appeared to be a dissenting view by the chief justice at oral arguments in Cuozzo, most of the U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared satisfied with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s current implementation of the broadest reasonable interpretation standard in inter partes review proceedings, which lends itself to the interpretation that the fundamental role of the PTAB is to ensure patent quality and provide clear noti... (continued)

  • Garland On The High Court: What It Could Mean For Employers

    Brian W. Bulger

    A review of recent labor and employment opinions from Merrick Garland, chief judge of the D.C. Circuit, reveals a judge who appears to have no glaring ideological allegiance to either employers or employees. However, the U.S. Supreme Court nominee does show a deference to administrative agencies that could be troubling to employers, say Brian Bulger and Charles Wilson at Cozen O'Connor PC.