Appellate RSS

  • April 22, 2014

    Mitsubishi Can't Win Judgment In Trade Secrets Suit

    A California appeals court decided Tuesday that a lower judge did not err when he ordered a new trial after tossing a jury's $124 million finding that Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA Inc. breached a nondisclosure agreement over a confidential design for computer memory chips.

  • April 22, 2014

    MetWest Loses $12.5M Wilshire Bank Deal, Suit And Appeal

    A California appeals court upheld a lower court's decision that MetWest Ventures LLC can't enforce Wilshire State Bank's letter of intent to sell seven subperforming loans to MetWest for $12.5 million, ruling Monday that the letter lacks essential terms including for interest and repayment.

  • April 22, 2014

    Lawyers Weigh In On High Court's Affirmative Action Ruling

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a Michigan law banning affirmative action programs for college admissions is constitutional. Attorneys told Law360 why the ruling matters.

  • April 22, 2014

    9th Circ. Hands Win To EA In Cybersports Show Copyright Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a screenwriter's copyright infringement suit alleging Electronic Arts Inc., Viacom Inc. and others stole his idea for a sports video gaming show, agreeing that the plaintiff lacked standing because he didn't list his alleged copyright as an asset in a bankruptcy proceeding.

  • April 22, 2014

    3 Lessons From The FTC's ProMedica Hospital Merger Win

    The Sixth Circuit handed the Federal Trade Commission a solid victory Tuesday when it refused to let ProMedica Health System Inc. keep a rival Ohio hospital it acquired, reinforcing the antitrust watchdog's approach to hospital mergers. Here are three lessons other health care providers can take from the ruling.

  • April 22, 2014

    TRW Automotive's Insurance Switch Violated CBA: 6th Circ.

    The Sixth Circuit upheld a victory Tuesday for a class of retired union workers who sued TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. over a switch from group insurance coverage to health reimbursement accounts, ruling that the unilateral move ran afoul of collective bargaining agreements.

  • April 22, 2014

    Nonprofits Urge DC Circ. To Uphold Tougher Meat Label Rules

    A group of nonprofits filed an amicus brief on Monday urging the D.C. Circuit to affirm the order of the district court denying American Meat Institute’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of tougher country-of-origin labeling rules aimed at settling a trade dispute with Canada and Mexico.

  • April 22, 2014

    Justices' Heads In The Cloud During Aereo Hearing

    U.S. Supreme Court justices grilled attorneys for both Aereo Inc. and the big broadcasters Tuesday, expressing strong skepticism about the legality of the streaming service but also pushing the networks to explain how the court could avoid a ruling in the copyright battle that harms cloud computing.

  • April 22, 2014

    5th Circ. Affirms Travelers' Win In Truck Crash Spat

    The Fifth Circuit said on Tuesday the Bituminous Casualty Corp. must cover a trucking company in litigation over an accident involving one of its vehicles, upholding The Travelers Indemnity Co.’s win in a lower court.

  • April 22, 2014

    The Accidental Advocate: Judge John E. Jones III

    Pennsylvania Middle District Judge John E. Jones III talks to Law360 about the surreal aftermath of his divisive ruling against intelligent design as he prepares for yet another potentially explosive trial over Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban.

  • April 22, 2014

    State Climate Actions Stumble On Dormant Commerce Clause

    A recent ruling that a Minnesota emissions law effectively barring electricity use from new coal-fired power plants is unconstitutional is the latest example of the dormant Commerce Clause impeding states' ability to regulate climate change, and experts say such legal skirmishes will continue until the U.S. Supreme Court sets clear, constitutional boundaries for states' climate policies.

  • April 22, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Revives Tamiflu Case, Expands Double-Patenting

    The Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday that a patent can be rendered invalid for double-patenting based on a patent that expires before it, expanding the double-patenting doctrine and giving Natco Pharma Ltd. another shot at invalidating Gilead Sciences Inc.'s patent on the flu drug Tamiflu.

  • April 22, 2014

    Freeh Urges Pa. Appeals Court To Nix Stay In Libel Suit

    A Pennsylvania state judge wrongly allowed ex-Penn State University chief Graham Spanier to stay a libel suit he launched against former FBI Director Louis Freeh following an independent report that criticized Spanier's handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, a state appeals court heard Tuesday.

  • April 22, 2014

    Ariz. Appeals Court Revives Medicaid Expansion Challenge

    Arizona Republicans may resume their legal challenge of the state’s Medicaid expansion and ensuing tax hike under the Affordable Care Act, an Arizona appeals court ruled Tuesday.

  • April 22, 2014

    Wrongful Death Suit Revived Against Chemical Mixing Cos.

    A California appellate court on Monday reinstated a wrongful death suit blaming insulation chemical mixing machines for a deceased worker’s lung cancer, finding three machine manufacturers could be sued for releasing carcinogens in another company’s product.

  • April 22, 2014

    Uphold New Keystone Route, Neb. Officials Tell High Court

    Nebraska officials on Monday urged the state's top court to toss a lower court ruling that nixed Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a new route for TransCanada Corp.'s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, saying it wrongly determined that the law giving him the power to do so was unconstitutional.

  • April 22, 2014

    5th Circ. Ends Appeal Of Malpractice Suit Over Patent Apps

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a malpractice lawsuit brought by a mouthwash inventor against his attorney charged with preparing and filing patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, saying the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence of damages.

  • April 22, 2014

    10th Circ. Nixes $7.3M Tax Break For Cement Co.

    The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday swatted down a Kansas cement company’s attempt to claim a $7.3 million deduction for a settlement paid to minority shareholders after a reorganization of the company.

  • April 22, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Flips Braintree Win In Generic Suprep Suit

    The Federal Circuit on Tuesday vacated a district court's ruling that Novel Laboratories Inc. infringed Braintree Laboratories Inc.'s patent for the colon cleanser Suprep, finding the lower court misconstrued a key claim term.

  • April 22, 2014

    Telecommuting May Be Reasonable For Ford Worker: 6th Circ.

    Stressing that technology has made telecommuting easier, the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday revived the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's claims that Ford Motor Co. had failed to accommodate a worker with irritable bowel syndrome by letting her work from home most days.

Expert Analysis

  • Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not The Answer For Practitioners

     Amanda D. Smith

    The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • 'Urban Decay' Still Plagues Calif. Big-Box Retail Plans

    Robert D. Thornton

    The latest decision in California's ongoing big-box retail battle came from a state appellate court in California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, which invalidated the approval of a development project. The reversal highlights a number of important California Environmental Quality Act compliance issues — not least among them mitigating "urban decay" and energy impacts, say Benjamin Rubin and Robert Thornton of Nossaman LLP.

  • Let The Frequent Flyer Beware: Airlines Can Nix Memberships

    Marie E. Williams

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Northwest Inc. v. Ginsberg that the Airline Deregulation Act preempts a state-law claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing if the claim seeks to enlarge the contractual obligations of parties. The practical result is that any airline can terminate a frequent flyer membership according to the terms of its contract, without fear of implied duties being applied to it, says Marie Williams of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • NY Holds The Line On Expert Testimony In Toxic Torts

    Brian D. Casey

    The recent New York Court of Appeals ruling in Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty LLC emphasizes the difficult burden faced by plaintiffs in mold exposure personal injury cases when a Frye challenge is made relating to the foundation of the plaintiff’s expert opinion on both general and specific causation, say John Casey and Brian Casey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • The 3rd Circ. Stance On FLSA Liability For Successor Cos.

    Patrick J. McCarthy

    The Third Circuit recently ruled in Thompson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network that a successor company can be held liable for remedying Fair Labor Standards Act violations committed by a predecessor company. In light of this highly visible and expanding precedent, case law is clear that liability may apply even when successor employers are bona fide purchasers and specifically disclaim in agreements any liability for legal claims against the predecessor, say Patrick McCarthy and Kevin Skelly of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Courts Split On Applying Therasense To Summary Judgment

    Scott Breedlove

    District courts remain split on how to apply Therasense’s intent standard to motions for summary judgment of no inequitable conduct. Parties pleading inequitable conduct should bear in mind that they cannot simply focus on developing evidence that demonstrates the strength of the inference of deceptive intent — they must demonstrate why the patentee’s alternative inferences of no deceptive intent are, in fact, not reasonable, say Scott Breedlove and Andrew Allen of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • Eyes On The Road: Trucking Perspective For 2014

    Michele H. Gehrke

    Trucking employers should note two developments that could impact their operations and employee relations in the coming year — the U.S. Department of Transportation proposal for a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse, and two pending cases in the Ninth Circuit pitting California wage and hour laws against the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, says Michele Haydel Gehrke of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Trudging On After No Ruling For TCPA 'Opt-Out' Notices

    Jason P. Stiehl

    With the Eighth Circuit's refusal to consider the challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's rulemaking authority over "improper opt-out" notices in Nack v. Walburg, the number of Telephone Consumer Protection Act facsimile cases has substantially increased. Given the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of certiorari in the case and the far-distant horizon for a declaratory ruling by the FCC, the ongoing absurdity of the TCPA's cottage industry of litigation is likely to continue, says Jason Stiehl of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • 6th Circ. Creates Risky Situations For Secured Parties

    David E. Peterson

    The lesson arising out of a Sixth Circuit ruling in 1st Source Bank v. Wilson Bank & Trust for a junior secured party taking a security interest in accounts (or anything else, for that matter) is to make certain that the collateral is something that will not likely be subject to a prior security interest in proceeds. The riskiest situations will naturally involve accounts receivable, general intangibles, instruments, deposit accounts and investment property, says David Peterson of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed PA.

  • Fla. Court Tips Scales In Favor Of Involuntary Bankruptcy

    James P. S. Leshaw

    In light of a recent Florida state court decision in Sargeant v. Al-Saleh, there is now a question as to whether a Florida court has authority to direct a Florida judgment debtor to turn over any asset physically located outside the state, thus tipping the scales in favor of filing involuntary bankruptcy petitions as a method to invoke the broad powers of a bankruptcy court, says James Leshaw of Leshaw Law PA.