California

  • June 30, 2016

    'Happy Birthday' Copyright Settlement Gets Final Approval

    A California federal judge on Thursday gave final approval to a $14 million settlement that will place “Happy Birthday To You” in the public domain, bringing the copyright saga over the traditional tune to an official close, save for the issue of plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

  • June 30, 2016

    Vector's Cutco Trainees Win OK Of $6.7M Deal In Wage Suit

    A California federal judge gave the green light Thursday to a $6.75 million settlement resolving a class and collective action accusing Vector Marketing Corp. of not compensating workers for time spent in mandatory training sessions to become Cutco knife sales representatives.

  • June 30, 2016

    HP Enterprise Wins $3B Verdict In Long-Running Oracle Fight

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Corp. won a $3 billion jury verdict Thursday against Oracle Corp. in a California suit alleging Oracle broke a settlement in a dispute over whether it poached former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd by phasing out software for an HP server, hurting its rival’s sales.

  • June 30, 2016

    Sony Can't Slip Michael Jackson Deception Class Claims

    A California judge rejected Sony Music Entertainment's bid to toss consumer protection claims from a putative class action alleging Sony tricked Michael Jackson fans into buying posthumous albums containing songs sung by other vocalists, saying the dismissal bid was improper procedurally and wouldn't have prevailed anyway.

  • June 30, 2016

    Hasbro 'Pony' Toys Survive 9th Circ. Trade Secret Review

    Hasbo Inc. is free to keep making a line of “Littlest Pet Shop” and “My Little Pony” toys despite ongoing accusations from a toy inventor that the company stole her ideas after they passed over her prototypes, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled in an order filed Friday.

  • June 30, 2016

    Ex-Drinker Biddle Atty Can't Get Docs In $30M Firing Row

    A California judge Thursday rejected a former Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP associate's bid to force the firm to hand over internal documents relating to her performance and communications with clients in her $30 million suit alleging she was wrongly fired for opposing an attorney job candidate.

  • June 30, 2016

    Fuddruckers Gets Nod To Settle Beef Over 'Kobe' Burgers

    Fuddruckers restaurant on Thursday received tentative approval of a settlement resolving claims it falsely advertised burgers as containing a famed Japanese beef when a California judge greenlighted a deal providing vouchers to potentially tens of thousands of affected customers and banning unqualified use of the Kobe label.

  • June 30, 2016

    Supercuts To Pay $2M Settlement In Shorn OT Suit

    A $2 million settlement in a proposed class action alleging Supercuts failed to pay its managers proper overtime wages gained preliminary approval from a California federal judge Wednesday.

  • June 30, 2016

    Tesla Reports 1st Self-Driving Car Death Amid NHTSA Probe

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Tesla Motors Inc.'s Autopilot in the wake of what is believed to be the first death involving a Tesla Model S in self-driving mode, the carmaker said Thursday.

  • June 30, 2016

    Uber, Drivers Asked To Provide More Info In $100M Deal

    A California federal judge on Thursday ordered Uber and its drivers to produce more information over a proposed $100 million settlement in two class actions accusing the ride-hailing company of misclassifying drivers as independent contractors, ruling he couldn't yet determine if the deal was fair.

  • June 30, 2016

    Qualcomm Sues Meizu In China Over Wireless Technology

    Qualcomm Inc. on Thursday said that it has filed patent infringement suits against Meizu Technology Co. Ltd. in the intellectual property courts in Beijing and Shanghai, alleging that the Chinese consumer electronics company is infringing its patents that cover features and technologies relating to 3G, or third generation, and LTE, or Long Term Evolution, wireless communications standards.

  • June 30, 2016

    GNC Can't Ax ThermoLife Patent Row

    A licensee's yearslong delay in suing GNC Corp. over patents for amino acids delivery devices will not nix ThermoLife International LLC's infringement suit, but will limit the sports nutrition company's damages period, a California federal judge has ruled.

  • June 30, 2016

    Girardi Keese Could Get Costs In Nixed Excessive Fee Row

    A California judge Thursday indicated he would award costs to Girardi Keese in a dismissed lawsuit claiming the firm charged excessive fees in a Lockheed Martin class action that settled for $131 million, but possibly less than half of the $102,000 requested.

  • June 30, 2016

    Calif. Signs New Gaming Deals With 3 Tribes, Amends 4th

    The state of California has inked new gaming compacts with three tribes and amended an existing one with a fourth tribe, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday.

  • June 30, 2016

    Calif. Bar Unveils 1st Major Conduct Rules Revamp Since 1987

    The State Bar of California on Thursday unveiled a proposal for the first major revision to its attorney conduct rules in 30 years, including new guidelines for advertising, conflicts of interest and sexual relations with clients and a new numbering system that matches what's in the regulations used by the rest of the nation.

  • June 30, 2016

    SeaWorld Wants Amended Investor Class Action Beached

    SeaWorld asked a California federal court on Wednesday to dismiss the latest complaint from a proposed class of investors accusing the theme park operator of failing to tell shareholders that its drop in attendance had been caused by a 2013 documentary, saying the claim still comes up short in linking the movie to corporate performance.

  • June 30, 2016

    Companies Return To Bond Markets With Big Post-Brexit Deals

    Several corporations braved the post-Brexit chaos on Wednesday with large debt offerings, including an €800 million ($889 million) bond by Molson Coors Brewing Co., marking the first euro-denominated corporate bond since the referendum vote over whether the U.K should leave the European Union, plus a massive $14 billion U.S. bond by information technology firm Oracle Corp.

  • June 30, 2016

    EPA Needn't Mandate Pesticide Disclosure, Calif. Judge Says

    A California federal judge held Wednesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t act arbitrarily by effectively denying a petition to force certain inert ingredients to be listed on pesticides, concluding that the agency is allowed to impose such a requirement but isn’t obligated to do so.

  • June 30, 2016

    Netflix Sued For Rate Hike On 22M 'Grandfathered' Customers

    Netflix Inc. on Wednesday was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court claiming that its plan to raise monthly prices on 22 million “grandfathered” customers goes against the company's alleged promise that they had a lifetime guarantee of being charged $7.99 per month.

  • June 30, 2016

    Google Renews Sanctions Bid For Oracle Atty In Java IP Suit

    A California federal judge on Wednesday allowed Google Inc. to proceed with accusations that an attorney representing Oracle Corp. in its blockbuster Java code infringement suit against Google revealed confidential financial information in open court, granting Google’s request to move for sanctions now that the trial is over.

Expert Analysis

  • California's Anti-SLAPP Law Is Not Systematically Abused

    Felix Shafir

    The real problem with California's anti-SLAPP law is not systematic abuse by litigants. It is contradictory appeals court opinions construing critical portions of the statute, say attorneys at Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • NY Should Unify Standards For Atty Fees Against State Agency

    Matthew T. McLaughlin

    Two bills introduced in the recently ended New York legislative session, if adopted into law, will provide government entities and Freedom of Information Law practitioners with the mooring of predictable and consistent outcomes in FOIL proceedings by changing the standard for determining attorneys’ fee awards, say Matthew McLaughlin and Benjamin Argyle of Venable LLP.

  • Clean Energy Incentive Program Creates More CPP Confusion

    Charles T. Wehland

    The U.S. Environmental Agency's position regarding its recently proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program makes it challenging for states and the regulated community to understand and implement Clean Power Plan requirements, and is also contrary to relevant precedent, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Appeals Court Saves Private Partnerships In California

    Norman F. Carlin

    In a pair of recent decisions, a California appeals court endorsed a practical approach to California Environmental Quality Act compliance for public-private partnerships, which could be applied to a wide range of agreements between public agencies and private entities, say Norman Carlin and Emily Burkett at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Price Check: Uncertain Outcomes In Advertised Price Cases

    Christopher Finnerty

    Plaintiffs attorneys have recently begun suing retailers for advertising products as discounted in outlet stores when those products were not sold at full price in nonoutlet stores. However, the decisions issued to date show that different federal courts have reached somewhat different conclusions, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • How To Manage Your Law School Debt After Graduation

    Andrew Josuweit-headshot.jpg

    Student loan debt can feel overwhelming to new lawyers, especially when just getting started post graduation. Andrew Josuweit, co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Hero Inc., reviews the loan repayment plans available and discusses the best path forward for recent grads shouldering law school debt.

  • Making Rule 68 Offers Of Judgment In Employment Cases

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
    A. Jonathan Trafimow

    Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 provides defendants with the ability to make an offer of judgment in order to pressure plaintiffs to settle. Jonathan Trafimow at Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP outlines whether and how to make an offer of judgment in employment cases, the potential benefits and disadvantages, and the various state and federal laws that govern Rule 68.

  • Claim Construction At PTAB And Its Effect On District Courts

     Andrew R. Sommer

    When faced with claim construction decisions from other districts or judges, many courts give “reasoned deference” to the earlier opinion, and have applied a similar rubric to evaluating Patent Trial and Appeal Board claim construction decisions. Others, however, appear to have amplified the deference. Still others have refused to give any deference, says Andrew Sommer of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Forming Drug Test Policies Through A Haze Of Marijuana Laws

    Amanda Wingfield Goldman

    When it comes to protections for medical marijuana users, the tide appears to be turning as some states are revising their laws to include specific discrimination protections for employees. Amanda Wingfield Goldman at Coats Rose Ryman Yale & Lee PC provides practical steps for drafting drug testing policies in states where medical marijuana is legal, and states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal.

  • New Vt. Drug Pricing Law Will Have A Limited Impact

    Joanne L. Zimolzak

    If, as Vermont's new drug pricing law itself expresses, transparency is merely the first step to health care cost control, patients need and deserve to know: What is the next step? Vermont will eventually be faced with more daunting questions around what actions it will take to rein in these costs and what impact those changes will have on patients, say attorneys at Dentons.