California

  • October 31, 2014

    Bingham Loses IP Vet To Maynard 18 Months After Hire

    Less than two years after joining Bingham McCutchen LLP, a partner specializing in intellectual property and is moving to Maynard Cooper & Gale PC’s San Francisco office in the firm's technology and IP practices amidst continuing merger discussions between Bingham and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • October 31, 2014

    Herbalife Pays $15M To End 'Pyramid Scheme' Class Action

    Herbalife Ltd. agreed to pay more than $15 million to members of its sales force who filed a class action accusing the company of being a pyramid scheme, according to a proposed settlement filed in California federal court Friday.

  • October 31, 2014

    Samsung, Apple Bicker Over Costs In $120M Patent Case

    Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. filed dueling objections to each other's bill of costs in a case over smartphone and digital photo patents that yielded a roughly $120 million jury verdict in May, with both companies claiming to be the prevailing parties on various aspects of the litigation.

  • October 31, 2014

    Law Groups Push Supreme Court To Take Up Iskanian

    Four legal and employer advocacy groups have told the U.S. Supreme Court to hear CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC's appeal of the California high court's landmark Iskanian ruling, which held that Private Attorneys General Act claims can’t be waived in employment arbitration deals, saying the decision undermines federal precedent.

  • October 31, 2014

    PNY Stiffed Startup Owner In $1.5M Job Deal, Jury Told

    Flash-memory maker PNY Technologies Inc. breached a $1.5 million contract with a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, hiring him as a sales executive before firing him and reneging on a $500,000 payment, the man's attorney told a California state jury Friday in closing arguments in his trial against PNY.

  • October 31, 2014

    Ex-UCB Exec. Indicted In Plot To Hide $65M In Bank Losses

    The former chief financial officer of now-defunct United Commercial Bank on Thursday became the latest top executive charged for his role in a scheme to hide $65 million in loan losses from the bank’s accountant.

  • October 31, 2014

    Banker Beats Israeli Account Tax Fraud Charges At Trial

    A Beverly Hills executive for Israel’s Mizrahi Bank on Friday beat criminal charges that he conspired with his clients to hide millions from the Internal Revenue Service in overseas accounts, with a California federal jury delivering a unanimous not guilty verdict.

  • October 31, 2014

    Titan Of The Plaintiffs Bar: Francis O. Scarpulla

    A pioneering attorney, Francis Scarpulla of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP helped pave the way for indirect purchaser actions in California and played a key role in a recent $1.1 billion price-fixing settlement, but he might have skipped the law completely had it not been for a heart-to-heart with his uncle, the eventual mayor of San Francisco.

  • October 31, 2014

    DirecTV Must Pay $10M Arbitration Award, Calif. Court Says

    A California appellate panel Thursday reinstated a $9.5 million arbitration award a DirecTV Inc. dealer won against the satellite company in a contracts dispute, saying a trial court judge was wrong in finding that the arbitrators' decision was fraught with legal errors.

  • October 31, 2014

    8 Ballot Measures Attorneys Will Be Watching

    Voters on Tuesday will decide the fate of myriad state and local initiatives that address issues as varied as fracking, medical marijuana and care for terminally ill patients. Here, Law360 looks at eight ballot initiatives that could have significant nationwide implications, should they pass or fail.

  • October 31, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Equity Residential, Bowery, Stoltz RE Co.

    Equity Residential is said to have paid $126 million for a North Hollywood apartment complex, while five buildings in the Bowery have reportedly been sold for $45 million and Stoltz Real Estate is said to have purchased a Tennessee development for $24 million.

  • October 31, 2014

    Ares Nabs Energy Infrastructure Manager With $4B In Assets

    Ares Management LP is shifting toward a more energy-heavy strategy with a Friday agreement to acquire asset manager Energy Investors Funds, which has $4 billion in its funds.

  • October 30, 2014

    Charles Schwab Sues Law Firm Over 'Defamatory' Website

    Charles Schwab Corp.'s founder and his son sued a Beverly Hills law firm and one of its clients Thursday in California state court, accusing them of creating a website associating them with an infamous Indonesian dictator in order to gain an advantage in another suit over a real estate investment venture.

  • October 30, 2014

    ‘American Hustle’ Makers Face $1M Suit For Microwave Scene

    A scientist wants $1 million from “American Hustle” producers including Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. for allegedly damaging his reputation with dialogue that suggests he made a scientifically unsupportable statement that microwaves are dangerous, according to a suit filed Thursday in California state court.

  • October 30, 2014

    Glaser Weil Can't Duck Malpractice Suit Under Anti-SLAPP

    A California appeals court on Thursday refused to end a $27.5 million malpractice suit targeting Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, dismissing the firm’s claims that the suit was barred under an anti-SLAPP statute because of its allegedly unusual circumstances.

  • October 30, 2014

    Calif. Court Upholds $31M Visa, Mastercard Antitrust Deal

    A California appeals court on Thursday approved a $31 million settlement in two consolidated class actions challenging Visa USA Inc.'s and MasterCard International Inc.'s allegedly anti-competitive debit and credit policies, finding a revised version of the deal fixed an improper release of claims.

  • October 30, 2014

    Dignity Health To Pay $37M To End Medicare Payments Row

    Dignity Health agreed to pay $37 million to settle a whistleblower suit alleging 13 of the nonprofit system’s hospitals overcharged Medicare and the U.S. military’s insurance system by admitting patients who could have been treated as outpatients, California prosecutors said Thursday.

  • October 30, 2014

    Investors Blast OCZ Trustee's Bid To Halt $7.5M Settlement

    The lead plaintiffs in a shareholder class action against bankrupt OCZ Technology Group Inc.’s former brass in California federal court blasted on Thursday an effort by the estate’s liquidation trust to halt consideration of a $7.5 million settlement by asking the Delaware bankruptcy court to enforce Chapter 11’s automatic stay.

  • October 30, 2014

    Adobe Bid For Extra IP Damages Over Wowza Hack In Doubt

    A California federal judge voiced skepticism Thursday over Adobe Systems Inc.'s request for enhanced damages in a lawsuit accusing Wowza Media Systems LLC of infringing Flash encryption patents, saying Thursday that he didn't think Wowza executives' hacking of Adobe's software was enough to prove willful infringement.

  • October 30, 2014

    Fry’s Tells Calif. Panel Concepcion Requires OT Arbitration

    Fry's Electronics Inc. urged a California appellate panel Thursday to send to arbitration a putative class alleging the retailer violated wage and hour laws, saying a lower court erroneously ruled its arbitration contract was unconscionable and unenforceable by applying outdated case law superseded by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 Concepcion decision.

Expert Analysis

  • Pearl Harbor Shipyard Asbestos Cases Stay In Federal Court

    Belynda Reck

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined review of Leite v. Crane Co., a tort case brought against a U.S. Navy contractor for failure to warn about asbestos hazards. Although several issues decided in this case were novel to the Ninth Circuit, the decision aligns with established precedents from other circuits regarding the ability of federal contractors to remove tort cases, says Belynda Reck of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Application Of California’s Long-Arm Statute In M&A

    Louis R. Dienes

    Section 2115 of the California Corporations Code can complicate a deal involving a private target that has a significant presence in California but is incorporated in another jurisdiction, such as Delaware. Particularly for private equity and venture capital-backed corporations that are deemed to be quasi-California corporations, Section 2115 has the potential to cause problems, says Louis Dienes of Locke Lord LLP.

  • 'Green Revolution' Is Here — Try Not To Lose Your Head

    William J. Simonitsch

    "Ganjapreneurs" beware. Cannabusiness is fraught with risk, even when legal under state law, and bankruptcy does not appear to be an option for anyone in the supply chain, says William Simonitsch of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How Law Firms Are Revolutionizing Services In California

    Michael Pontrelli

    The California legal market is experiencing a disruptive transformation as in-house counsel look for ways to trim their budgets by disaggregating services. Business growth in certain sectors of the state's economy has spurred the development of new ways to manage escalating legal costs — for example a new service delivery model that “right-sources” work, says Michael Pontrelli of Huron Legal.

  • When Things Do Not Go As Planned In A Bankruptcy Sale

    Jeffrey A. Krieger

    The somewhat problematic issue in a bankruptcy sale is determining what rights or obligations, if any, do the parties have under the agreement between the date of execution and the date the court enters an order approving the sale. This is precisely the issue the parties encountered in the Chapter 11 case of Hot Dog on a Stick, says Jeffrey Krieger of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP.

  • Understanding Calif.'s Nuanced Trade Secrets Law

    Laura D. Smolowe

    After Parrish v. Latham & Watkins LLP, non-California arguments or authority might not simply be rejected regarding trade secret misapporpriation — now, depending on the outcome on rehearing, a failure to appreciate state-specific nuances might be considered frivolous or even bad faith, says Laura Smolowe of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • Supply Chain Management And The Alien Tort Claims Act

    Michael G. Congiu

    The Ninth Circuit's recent revival of the potential for supply chain liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act in Doe v. Nestle USA Inc. less than one year after many believed the U.S. Supreme Court effectively put an end to ATCA's use as a litigation tool to address alleged corporate human rights abuses has increased the importance of effective supply chain management, say Michael Congiu and Stefan Marculewicz of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Looking At Lanham Act Claims Against Drug Cos. Post-Pom

    Maia H. Harris

    A California district court's ruling in JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Hospira Inc. may persuade other courts to either extend the U.S. Supreme Court's generally permissive view of Lanham Act claims to drugs and cosmetics or find some claims that previously required U.S. Food and Drug Administration expertise may now be precluded after Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Regulatory Mismanagement May Cause CERCLA Exposure

    Lester Brown

    The takeaway from California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas Inc. is that government agencies that mismanage response actions may now be exposed to — at the very least — cost recovery or contribution litigation where there is evidence the agency made management decisions that led to contamination, or allowed it to continue to be released, say attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP.