• March 30, 2015

    Pao’s Defeat To Chill Sex Bias Claims In Tech Industry

    Ellen Pao’s high-profile loss in her $100 million gender discrimination battle against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC is likely to deter other female professionals from sticking their necks out and waging similar fights against venture capital firms and technology companies, lawyers say.

  • March 30, 2015

    Axed Trustees Of Herbalife Founder's Estate Still Fired

    A California appeals court on Monday upheld the removal of three trustees from the estate of Herbalife Ltd. founder Mark Hughes for breach of trust and gross negligence epitomized by the botched sale of 157 acres of land in Beverly Hills that exposed the trust to millions in litigation costs.

  • March 30, 2015

    DOJ Charges 2 Federal Agents With Fraud In Silk Road Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday unveiled money laundering and fraud charges against two former federal agents for allegedly stealing bitcoin during the undercover investigation of black market website Silk Road.

  • March 30, 2015

    New Deal To Keep Abused Immigrant Kids In US Gets OK'd

    A California federal judge on Friday approved a deal between the federal government and a class of abused immigrant children, in which the immigrants will have a path to U.S. residency under the “special immigrant juvenile” program and the applications of those who aged out of the program will be reopened.

  • March 30, 2015

    Calif. Water Board Has Discretion On Pollutants, Court Says

    A California appeals court on Monday affirmed that a state water board has broad discretion to choose any reasonable method to set pollution limits for water bodies, tossing an appeal claiming that the figure could not be based on pollutant concentrations in the sediment of a lake bed.

  • March 30, 2015

    The 2015 Rising Stars, By Firm

    Law360's Rising Stars recognizes attorneys under 40 who have demonstrated outstanding career accomplishments. This year, King & Spalding LLP and Sidley Austin LLP led the pack with seven Rising Stars each, followed by Gibson Dunn and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP with six Rising Stars each, and Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis LLP with five Rising Stars apiece.

  • March 30, 2015

    St. Luke's Asks 9th Circ. To Rehear FTC Merger Challenge

    St. Luke’s Health System Ltd. has asked the full Ninth Circuit to reconsider siding with the Federal Trade Commission and forcing it to divest a local physician practice group, arguing that the panel should have weighed the deal's benefits for patient care against any alleged anticompetitive effects.

  • March 30, 2015

    Wells Fargo, Overdraft Counsel To Resolve $51M Fee Spat

    Attorneys who won a $203 million judgment against Wells Fargo NA for reordering customers’ debit transactions to maximize overdraft fees can’t point to “subjective” information to justify their $51 million fee request as the parties enter limited discovery related to the disputed fees, a California federal judge ruled Friday.

  • March 30, 2015

    Insurer Didn't Breach Defense Duty In Loan Fraud Case

    United States Liability Insurance Co. didn't improperly deny coverage to defendants in a mortgage loan fraud suit, a California appeals court affirmed on Friday, agreeing with a lower court that the policy unambiguously excludes coverage for both real estate sales and fraudulent transactions.

  • March 30, 2015

    CFPB Says Debt Collection Firm Impersonated Prosecutors

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday launched an enforcement action against a California debt collection firm that the bureau says used its connection to law enforcement agencies to improperly threaten debtors with jail time if they did not pay up on bounced checks.

  • March 30, 2015

    Google Engineer Nixes Objections To $415M Anti-Poach Deal

    A Google Inc. software engineer on Monday withdrew his objections to a $415 million settlement in the antitrust class action accusing Apple Inc., Google Inc. and others of illegally agreeing to not poach engineers, asking a California federal judge to disregard concerns he raised Friday.

  • March 30, 2015

    Calif. Surgery Centers Say Aetna Staged Boycott Of Services

    Bay Area Surgical Management LLC and other ambulatory surgical centers sued Aetna Life Insurance Co., United Healthcare Services Inc. and rival companies affiliated with the insurers in California federal court Friday, alleging an anti-competitive conspiracy to crush the plaintiffs' businesses.

  • March 30, 2015

    9th Circ. Bankruptcy Panel Finds Tuition Credits Dischargeable

    A Ninth Circuit bankruptcy panel on Friday ruled that tuition credits offered by a for-profit university as financial aid could be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings because no actual money changed hands, an issue of first impression for the circuit.

  • March 30, 2015

    High Court Won't Hear Stan Lee Media's Spider-Man Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review the Ninth Circuit’s dismissal of Stan Lee Media Inc.’s suit seeking profits and ownership rights to Spider-Man and other characters created by its former President Stan Lee, despite its argument that the dismissal deviated from Twombly.

  • March 30, 2015

    Oracle Slams Support Cos.' Defenses In Software IP Fight

    Oracle America Inc. urged a California federal judge on Monday to rule that Terix Computer Company Inc. infringed its software copyrights by illegally downloading software patches in order to “steal” customers and provide them with third-party support for Oracle’s Solaris operating system and related software.

  • March 30, 2015

    Jay-Z Rides ‘Big Pimpin’ License Issue To Jury In IP Row

    A California federal judge on Monday agreed with rapper Jay-Z that a jury should decide if he had the right to sample an Egyptian song in his hit "Big Pimpin," finding that too many areas of dispute remained for her to decide now if the license is valid.

  • March 30, 2015

    Gov't Escapes Suit Over Failure To Pay $1.2M FCA Settlement

    A California federal judge has tossed a lawsuit from two whistleblowers accusing the government of negligently failing to pay them more than $1.2 million of a settlement stemming from their separate False Claims Act suit, saying a provision in the settlement bars their claims.

  • March 30, 2015

    DirecTV Can't Cut Itself From $10B Bias Suit, Group Says

    The National Association of African-American Owned Media told a California federal court Friday that DirecTV Inc. should not be allowed to sever itself from a $10 billion suit accusing it and prospective buyer AT&T Inc. of discriminating against African-American-owned companies, saying the satellite provider's request is premature.

  • March 30, 2015

    Teva To Buy US Biotech Auspex Pharma In $3.2B Drug Merger

    Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Monday it will buy California biotech Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $3.2 billion cash, bolstering its central nervous system pipeline as high-stakes deals continue to shake up the drug landscape.

  • March 30, 2015

    Warriors, Ticketmaster Teamed To Block Resales: StubHub

    StubHub Inc. slapped the Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster LLC with an antitrust suit in California federal court Sunday alleging they conspired to monopolize the ticket resale market for fans by excluding providers of competing secondary ticket exchange services.

Expert Analysis

  • Ride App Class Actions May Impact 1099 Business Model

    Richard J. Reibstein

    The separate decisions by federal judges in class actions against Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to permit juries to decide whether the companies' drivers are employees or independent contractors may have far-reaching implications for companies that use a 1099 business model and fail to properly structure and document independent contractor relationships, say attorneys at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • A Primer On Defending Your Calif. Insurance License

    Sanford L. Michelman

    A special notice of defense lays the foundation for insurance licensees to go on the offensive, not only demanding that the California Department of Insurance provide evidence supporting its allegations but also raising potential shields to its allegations, say Sanford Michelman and David Samuels of Michelman & Robinson LLP.

  • Implied Easements And Lessons For Landowners

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    For the first time in more than 50 years, a California appeals court effectively expanded the scope of an express written easement by granting a concurrent implied irrevocable license. Landowners simply can no longer assume that a written agreement will limit the rights of the parties if the factual circumstances would otherwise establish new or additional implied rights, says Sylvia Arostegui of Nossaman LLP.

  • Federal Judge Puts Tito’s Safe-Harbor Claim On The Rocks

    Thomas J. Cunningham

    On March 18, a federal judge in San Diego issued an eagerly anticipated ruling on a motion to dismiss filed by Fifth Generation Inc. — the producer of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. In issuing its ruling, the court became the first to offer an opinion on the merit of claims made in numerous similar cases filed across the country against a number of spirits producers, say Thomas Cunningham and Simon Fleischmann of Locke Lord LLP.

  • Can Employers Record Employee Phone Conversations?

    James M. McCabe

    Although no court has fully addressed the lawfulness of employers using voice over Internet protocol services to record all employee phone calls under federal and state laws, courts will likely apply the same framework used to examine the lawfulness of traditional telephone recordings, says James McCabe of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Just Say No (To MDLs)?

    Alan E. Rothman

    What will spring bring for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation? Will it continue to close the door on new MDL proceedings? Will it decide to throw the baby out with the bathwater and decline to create a baby wipe MDL? asks Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • BPCIA: How Long Is The Party, And Do I Have To Dance?

    Leslie-Anne Maxwell

    A California federal court's recent ruling in Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. is the first to interpret two key provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act and, if upheld on appeal, will have a tremendous impact on the patent litigation strategies of both reference product sponsors and biosimilar applicants going forward, say attorneys with Cantor Colburn LLP.

  • Beware Attorney Charging Liens On California Real Property

    Jessica Bagdanov

    Charging liens are valid provisions of a fee contract in California, and such “secret” liens take effect and are perfected upon execution of the contract creating the lien. Yet in the context of a bankruptcy case, a Chapter 7 trustee plays a prominent role in the ultimate treatment of the lien with respect to property of the bankruptcy estate, says Jessica Bagdanov of Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP.

  • This Week In Congress: Bicameral Coincidence, Vote-A-Rama

    Richard A. Hertling

    This week both chambers begin the annual congressional budget debate, a process that will set the budget rules and spending limits for the congressional appropriations committees in funding federal agencies for fiscal year 2016. And on Thursday, the Senate will begin its famed “Vote-a-rama,” say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Calculating Costs Of Improper Calif. Background Checks

    Joshua R. Dale

    There are substantial penalties for California employers obtaining information on job seekers in violation of state and federal law or for using lawfully obtained information for an improper purpose. These penalties can include federal and state agency enforcement actions as well as private lawsuits on behalf of the aggrieved job applicant, says Joshua Dale of Michel & Associates PC.