• September 15, 2014

    Robin Thicke Backpedals On Gaye's Impact On 'Blurred Lines'

    Singer Robin Thicke told a deposing attorney in Marvin Gaye's children's copyright suit that he lied to interviewers about his megahit “Blurred Lines” being inspired by the rhythm and blues legend, with Thicke explaining he had been on alcohol and drugs during the songwriting and exaggerated his creative role, according to documents filed Monday.

  • September 15, 2014

    Judge Koh Urged To Take On DreamWorks Anti-Poaching Suit

    An ex-Sony Pictures Animation technical director asked a California federal judge on Monday to relate with the massive Google Inc. antitrust action she is overseeing, his proposed class action accusing DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., The Walt Disney Co. and others of conspiring to not poach each other’s animators.

  • September 15, 2014

    Band Seeks Legal Death Blow In $100M Sirius Royalties Fight

    Members of rock band The Turtles suing Sirius XM Radio Inc. in a $100 million class action over unpaid royalties urged a California federal judge Monday to rule in their favor on the suit’s key issue — whether state law grants artists performance rights for songs recorded before 1972.

  • September 15, 2014

    DHL Pension Change Didn't Violate ERISA, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday ruled that DHL Holdings USA Inc. didn't violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by blocking pension plan participants from transferring their account balances from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan.

  • September 15, 2014

    RJ Reynolds Looks To Snuff Out ‘Camel Cash’ Class Action

    R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on Monday urged a California federal judge to dismiss a putative class action alleging the company broke a contract with customers by slashing merchandise from its “Camel Cash” promotion, saying only customers who actually redeemed their vouchers had a contract with the company.

  • September 15, 2014

    Big Lagoon Case Presents Key Test For Tribal Casino Deals

    An en banc Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday will hear arguments in a legal tug-of-war between California and the Big Lagoon Rancheria tribe over a failed casino deal in a case that could hand states new powers to challenge tribal gaming projects.

  • September 15, 2014

    Class Certified In Omni Hotels Phone Recording Suit

    A California federal judge has certified a class action accusing Omni Hotels Management Corp. of illegally recording conversations between customers and its employees, ruling the class is ascertainable despite Omni’s failure to preserve call data.

  • September 15, 2014

    Feds' Salmon Plan Based On Good Science, 9th Circ. Told

    The National Marine Fisheries Service urged the Ninth Circuit on Monday to reverse a lower court's decision invalidating a plan aimed at protecting endangered salmon in California's Central Valley, arguing that the judge abused his discretion by seeking independent expert opinions rather than relying on the government's science.

  • September 15, 2014

    CalPERS To End Costly $4B Hedge Fund Investment Program

    The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the United States, said on Monday that it would eliminate its hedge fund program worth approximately $4 billion — but noted that the decision was not based on the program’s performance.

  • September 15, 2014

    Publicity Rights Can Be Assigned, Calif. Appeals Court Says

    Publicity rights can be assigned to other parties — and those parties can litigate those rights — a California appeals court found in a published ruling Friday, reversing a lower court's decision to nix Timed Out LLC's misappropriation-of-rights case against cosmetic surgery company Youabian Inc.

  • September 15, 2014

    ZwillGen Adds Ex-O'Melveny Privacy Atty In San Francisco

    Technology law firm ZwillGen PLLC said Monday it is beefing up its litigation team by adding a privacy expert from O’Melveny & Myers LLP to its San Francisco office.

  • September 15, 2014

    Payment Service Owner Cleared In Illegal Pharmacy Case

    A Canadian and Israeli businessman was cleared Monday of charges relating to allegations that his online payment processing company was tied to a scheme to sell invalid prescription drugs through an Internet pharmacy, after a California federal judge vacated his guilty plea.

  • September 15, 2014

    J-M Pipe Plaintiff Seeks Cert. For Redefined 31-State Class

    Cambridge Lane LLC urged a California federal court on Friday to certify a redefined class in a putative class action alleging J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. falsely claimed its PVC pipes met industry standards, saying the new plan addresses the judge’s previous concerns about state-to-state membership.

  • September 15, 2014

    Calif. Judge Says Costa Concordia Wreck Suit Belongs In Italy

    A California federal judge on Monday dismissed a negligence suit brought against Carnival Corp. by two U.S. citizens who were passengers on the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, ruling the case should be heard in Italy and bringing to a close all U.S. litigation by passengers in relation to the 2012 shipwreck.

  • September 15, 2014

    EPA Query Into Superfund Site Counts As Suit, 9th Circ. Told

    Nonprofit United Policyholders and a number of companies potentially liable for an Oregon Superfund site have urged the Ninth Circuit to rule that an information request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent to Ash Grove Cement Co. counts as a "suit" that triggers an insurer's duty to defend.

  • September 15, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Farella Braun's Philip Peters

    The main driver of recent deal activity is a host of strategic acquisitions as blue-chip companies double down on or otherwise complement their strategies. This consolidation forces other companies to reevaluate their own strategies and possibly undertake deals of their own, says Philip Peters of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • September 15, 2014

    Malpractice Insurer's Arbitrator Ties Don't Ax Win, Court Says

    A California appeals court ruled Friday that Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. could enforce an arbitration award related to coverage for legal malpractice claims, finding the fact the insurer’s former general counsel worked with a member of the arbitration panel didn’t create a conflict of interest.

  • September 15, 2014

    Makers Of Faulty Fridges Agree To $33M Settlement

    The makers of malfunctioning refrigerators made for motor homes and houseboats agreed Friday to pay $33 million to settle with a putative class that alleged a refrigerator part corroded, overheated and in some cases caused fires, according to a motion filed in California federal court.

  • September 15, 2014

    Lavish Spending Doesn't Equal Tax Evasion, 9th Circ. Says

    Extravagant spending habits aren't enough to prove willful tax evasion, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Monday, reversing a district court decision that denied a discharge to a tax-delinquent former video game executive.

  • September 15, 2014

    Workers In No-Poach Tech Case Say Pacts Were Per Se Illegal

    Software engineer plaintiffs in the antitrust class action accusing Google Inc., Apple Inc. and other major technology companies of agreeing not to hire each other's employees argued on Friday that the agreements should be presumed illegal under the per se standard, saying the companies mischaracterized the rule’s scope.

Expert Analysis

  • No Industry Is Safe From TCPA Litigation

    Richard Benenson

    In recent years, the number of private actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has risen sharply, but perhaps more concerning is that litigants are using the act to target an increasingly broad range of industries, say attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • More State Courts Upholding Forum Selection Bylaws

    Melissa L. Nunez

    The recent case of Groen v. Safeway represents a clear move by California to join the growing list of states going on record to endorse the enforceability of forum selection provisions in corporate bylaws, say Robert Friedel and Melissa Nunez of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Why You Need A Court Reporter To Set The Record Straight

    Anne M. Grignon

    Court reporters, who used to be a regular presence in every courtroom in California, preserving every word for the record, are now conspicuously absent from many of the state's courts. This has serious implications for civil appeals, say Anne Grignon and Ilana Herscovitz of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Back To The '90s: Retail Pricing Class Actions Return

    Ed Chansky

    Despite a slowdown in lawsuits against retailers for deceptive price advertising since the mid-1990s, Federal Trade Commission guidelines and state laws and regulations are still in effect and have recently become the basis for a growing number of consumer class actions against retailers, say Ed Chansky and Irving Scher of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • New Calif. Appeal Bond Rules Correct Outdated Process

    Lisa Perrochet

    An overdue amendment to the California statutes governing deposits in lieu of appeal bonds brings the deposit procedure in line with modern banking and investment practices. Two important changes will streamline the process, say Thomas Watson and Lisa Perrochet, partners with Horvitz & Levy LLP and drafters of the bill.

  • Important Legal Effects Of California Short-Form Mergers

    Richard Marr

    As a California state appeals court held in Busse v. United PanAm Financial Corp., a dissenting shareholder in a short-form merger involving common control may bring an action to unwind a buyout, but may not seek an award of monetary damages pursuant to Section 1312(b) or for common law claims of fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, say Gerard Mooney and Richard Marr of Rutan & Tucker LLP.

  • Less Than Meets The Eye: Amicus Briefs In St. Luke’s

    David Balto

    An analysis of the amicus briefs in the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to the St. Luke’s Health System merger, currently before the Ninth Circuit, suggests why those who care about health care reform should be very concerned that the FTC’s action and the district court’s decision have set us off on an unwise course, says David Balto, former policy director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition.

  • Calif. Employers Should Be Ready To Reimburse Under BYOD

    Paula M. Weber

    The California Second District Court of Appeal's ruling in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services Inc. radically expands employers’ obligation to reimburse employees and does so without any significant support outside of the court’s own thinking, say attorneys at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Greater Guidance Comes To Calif. For Land Appraisals

    Bradford B. Kuhn

    San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Schmidt provides considerable guidance for California parties involved in the valuation of land containing natural resources — appraisers can avoid relying on comparable sales and instead focus on an income approach to value, say Bradford Kuhn and Alex Suarez of Nossaman LLP.

  • Clarity On Franchisor Liability, California Style

    Elizabeth (Lisa) Brown

    In Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, the California Supreme Court provided important guidance to both litigants and courts that it is not the quantity of the control in general, but the control over the relevant aspects of the relationship that should be analyzed when evaluating franchisor liability, says Lisa Brown of Grube Brown & Geidt LLP.