• May 22, 2015

    Centex's Atty Choice Claims Unripe, Calif. Court Affirms

    A California appellate court upheld a lower court's dismissal of Centex Homes' claims that a Travelers Cos. unit is manipulating its defense in an underlying construction defect suit, thereby entitling it to independent counsel, holding on Friday that the builder didn't sufficiently back up its allegations.

  • May 22, 2015

    Founder Of Facebook's Oculus Stole IP, Ex-Partners Claim

    A Hawaii-based partnership claimed in a suit in California federal court Wednesday that Facebook's Oculus VR Inc. and its founder Palmer Luckey violated a 2011 contract to develop a 3D virtual reality headset for them and claimed the resulting prototype as his own.

  • May 22, 2015

    Sirius’ Gripe With Pre-‘72 Cert. Is Nonsense, Turtles Say

    The Turtles rock band urged a California federal judge Friday to certify a class of owners of pre-1972 songs that they say Sirius XM Radio Inc. played without paying royalties, contending that the satcaster’s argument that the licensing situation for each record is individualized “makes zero sense.”

  • May 22, 2015

    Coffee Bean Chain Hit With Background Check Class Action

    A proposed class action removed to California federal court Thursday claims cafe chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf didn't properly inform people applying for positions of its background check policies or get their permission to pull their consumer credit reports. 

  • May 22, 2015

    Calif. Water Board OKs Delta Farmers' Water Cutback Plan

    California's Water Resources Control Board on Friday approved a voluntary plan from farmers and other water-rights holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to cut back their water usage by 25 percent in exchange for a promise that they won't face further rationing during the growing season.

  • May 22, 2015

    Aurora Tells High Court 9th Circ. Permit Ruling Narrows CWA

    Aurora Energy Services LLC and Alaska Railroad Corp. told the U.S. Supreme Court that environmentalists are wrong to assert that a Ninth Circuit decision allowing citizen suits over discharges of pollutants not specified in a Clean Water Act permit won’t have broader impacts.

  • May 22, 2015

    Ev Williams’ VC Firm Raises $123,456,789 For 'Positive' Fund

    Obvious Ventures LP, the venture capital fund launched by Twitter Inc. co-founder Ev Williams, closed its first pool on Thursday, raising a sequential $123,456,789 million to invest in companies that have positive social and environmental effects.

  • May 22, 2015

    Big Banks Never Stopped Rigging Forex Market, Suit Says

    The day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $5.6 billion settlement with five big banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and others are once again being accused of rigging the foreign exchange market, this time by a putative class of bank customers who claim the conspiracy continues to this day.

  • May 22, 2015

    Deals Rumor Mill: Reynolds American, Time Warner, Uber

    The proposed $27.4 billion tie-up between Camel cigarettes maker Reynolds American Inc. and rival Lorillard Inc. will likely receive antitrust clearance as early as next week, while Charter Communications Inc. is gearing up to make an offer to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for more than $170 per share.

  • May 22, 2015

    How WilmerHale Probe Sparked RICO Claims In Tribal Schism

    The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians made headlines last year after an internal battle for control of a tribe culminated in an exchange of gunfire at a casino, but the intratribal legal battle is only now heating up. Here, Law360 provides an inside look at how a WilmerHale investigation led to a lawsuit that’s pushing the boundaries of federal racketeering law.

  • May 22, 2015

    Movie Studios Want Animators’ Anti-Poaching Suit Tossed

    The Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and others urged a California federal judge on Thursday to toss a proposed class action brought by animators accusing the studios of conspiring to keep down wages, saying that plaintiffs failed to show proof the studios knowingly misled them in the alleged scheme.

  • May 22, 2015

    Operations Suspended On Ruptured Line In S. Calif. Oil Spill

    The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Friday ordered Plains All American Pipeline LP to suspend operations and make safety improvements on a line that recently ruptured near Santa Barbara, California, and released an estimated 105,000 gallons of oil underground.

  • May 22, 2015

    Objections Can't Sink $40M Airline Price-Fixing MDL Deal

    The California federal judge overseeing passengers' antitrust claims in multidistrict litigation against Societie Air France and other airlines gave final approval Friday to their $39.5 million settlement, overruling objections but saying he'd take a closer look at a last-minute bid for an additional $1 million for plaintiffs' attorneys.

  • May 22, 2015

    Wal-Mart Argues Calif. ZIP Code Class Can't Stand

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday urged a California federal judge to decertify a class of more than 100,000 consumers who allege that the retailer illegally collected their ZIP codes during credit card transactions, arguing that it had no uniform policy of requesting ZIP codes.

  • May 22, 2015

    CVS Pays $2.4M To End Calif. Consumer Overcharging Suit

    CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a consumer protection lawsuit over allegedly charging customers more than advertised and failing to give cash back on gift cards less than $10 apiece, the Los Angeles County district attorney said Thursday.

  • May 22, 2015

    Irell's Own Docs Favor DQ In 'Dirty Grandpa' Row, Court Told

    A defendant in a trademark suit over upcoming comedy film “Dirty Grandpa” starring Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron told a California federal court that Irell & Manella LLP’s own filings raise ethical concerns and support his bid to disqualify the firm.

  • May 22, 2015

    Volvo Tells High Court EPA's $62M Engine Fine Broke Rules

    Volvo Powertrain Corp. on Friday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Environmental Protection Agency illegally exercised extraterritorial enforcement authority under the Clean Air Act by imposing $62 million in penalties for 7,262 engines that were neither built nor sold in America.

  • May 22, 2015

    Insurer Says Defective Jeep Caused Massive Calif. Wildfire

    An insurance company sued Chrysler Group LLC on Thursday in federal court, alleging that the automaker caused a massive California wildfire that consumed 7,000 acres and destroyed 122 homes by failing to recall an allegedly defective Jeep Wrangler that it claims sparked the blaze.

  • May 22, 2015

    Salmonella May Be Linked To Raw Tuna In Sushi, CDC Says

    Fifty-three people in nine states, including California and Arizona, have contracted salmonella in an outbreak most likely linked to sushi made from raw tuna, the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday.

  • May 22, 2015

    Judge Caps Fee At $19M For Lieff Cabraser In Wells Fargo Win

    Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP won’t be taking home the $51 million it sought for winning a $203 million overdraft fee class action judgment against Wells Fargo Bank NA, after a California federal judge said Thursday he couldn’t justify the “unreasonable” fee, capping it at $19 million.

Expert Analysis

  • Power Continues To Flow Toward Calif. Plaintiffs Via PAGA

    Joshua R. Dale

    Since its enactment in 2004, California's Private Attorney General Act is clearly gaining strength as a tool for plaintiffs' employment attorneys, as evidenced by the recent suit against 99 Cents Only Stores over "suitable seating." In light of this trend, employers should aggressively preempt potential bases for claims against them over nonmonetary violations of the state labor code, says Joshua Dale of Michel & Associates PC.

  • Calif. Sings A Song Of Song-Beverly Developments

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    Although Harrold v. Levi Strauss & Co. and Davis v. Devanlay are similar — both involving a request for information made after a customer’s credit card was swiped — they differ in a significant way. While Davis is largely focused on whether the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act imposes a consumer perception test, the issue in Harrold was whether any request after the transaction is completed would violate the law, say Stephanie Sheridan... (continued)

  • Making The Right Call On 'On-Call' Shifts

    Lindsay A. Ayers

    As labor costs have risen in recent years, on-call shifts have grown in popularity, particularly in the food and retail industries, because they allow employers to avoid paying for excess labor during slow periods. However, employers may soon see these efficiencies evaporate in light of the evolving legal landscape relating to shift scheduling, say Lindsay Ayers and David Szwarcsztejn of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP.

  • Proposition 218 Obstacles To Calif. Tiered Water Rates

    Sue Meyer

    Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano teaches us that, under California's Proposition 218, the burden of proof is on an agency to demonstrate that revenues derived from a water service fee or charge not exceed the funds required to provide the service and that the fee or charge imposed on a parcel not exceed the proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel, says Sue Meyer of Nossaman LLP.

  • Use Of Biometric Information As A Basis For Civil Liability

    Derek Sarafa

    Despite the proliferation of the use of biometrics, there are very few state statutes and no federal statutes that create civil remedies based on the capture and disclosure of biometric data by private businesses. But enterprising plaintiffs lawyers are attempting to use those that do exist to create a potential new sphere of liability, say attorneys with Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Calif. Supreme Court Should Overturn Henkel In Fluor Ruling

    Kurt Melchior

    The California Supreme Court should overturn its ruling in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. when it decides the forthcoming insurance policy transfer rights case, Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court of Orange County, says Kurt Melchior of Nossaman LLP.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono Lawyers Can Close Debtors' Prisons

    Lisa W. Borden

    The damning U.S. Department of Justice report on municipal court practices in Ferguson, Missouri, recently put a spotlight on the re-emergence of debtors' prisons. These practices are by no means limited to Ferguson. As tax revenue and other sources of operating income have declined, many cities and towns throughout the country have looked to municipal court operations as a primary source of revenue, says Lisa Borden of the Associa... (continued)

  • US V. Vassiliev — Some Foreign Bribery Is Beyond US Reach

    Drew Harker

    A California federal court's recent decision in U.S. v. Vassiliev limiting the reach of U.S. anti-bribery laws, not including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, confirms that the courts will rein in expansive enforcement efforts if extraterritoriality requirements for jurisdiction are lacking, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • The Short And Long Game Of Calif.'s GHG Reduction Plan

    Allison C. Smith

    While the lack of specific direction over how to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions based on California Gov. Jerry Brown's recent executive order leaves some uncertainty, in the near term we could see state agency action and, by the time the state's legislative session concludes in September, there may be a definitive statutory mandate to achieve reductions by 2050, says Allison Smith of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Induced Seismicity Legal Issues Break New Ground

    Barclay R. Nicholson

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma Geological Survey and a recent Texas study all raise a variety of potential issues surrounding induced seismicity for the energy industry and may shape emerging regulatory trends and liability theories, say Barclay Nicholson and Emery Richards of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.