California

  • April 20, 2015

    Evidence Wrongly Barred In Asylum Case, 9th Circ. Rules

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday remanded the Board of Immigration Appeals’ affirmation of an adverse credibility finding for an Indian asylum-seeker after ruling that an immigration judge had improperly excluded evidence in his case, including notarized affidavits that supported his claim of being tortured by police.

  • April 20, 2015

    Calif. Court Nixes Tiered Prices Meant To Conserve Water

    A California appeals court on Monday struck down an Orange County city’s tiered water pricing system, ruling it was unconstitutional to charge heavy water users higher rates without showing it cost more to deliver them water, even if the pricing helped conservation in the drought-stricken state.

  • April 20, 2015

    Hausfeld Says NCAA Trying To Stall On Paying Attys Fees

    Attorneys for student-athletes in the sprawling antitrust dispute over the NCAA's ban on compensating college athletes ripped the association’s bid to postpone a fee hearing Friday, saying it was just another attempt by the NCAA to delay paying its legal bills.

  • April 20, 2015

    9th Circ. Won't Revive $13.5M Award In Playtex False Ad Row

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday shot down a bid to reinstate a jury’s $13.5 million award to Munchkin Inc. in its false marketing suit against rival baby products maker Playtex Products Inc., ruling the lower court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the award and ordering a new trial.

  • April 20, 2015

    Judge Bags Coach's Bid To Toss Calif. Security Check Suit

    A California federal judge on Friday rejected Coach Inc.’s bid to toss a putative class action alleging the retailer owes workers for time spent on security searches, holding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that search time isn’t compensable does not apply to state labor law. 

  • April 20, 2015

    J&J Says Costco Blind To Legality Of Contact Lens Pricing

    Johnson & Johnson’s contact lens unit on Friday urged a California federal judge to toss Costco Wholesale Corp.’s antitrust suit alleging J&J drives up prices by cutting off retailers that sell its lenses at a discount, arguing its unilateral pricing policies are “entirely lawful.”

  • April 20, 2015

    Union Seeks NLRB Injunction For Wal-Mart Store Closings

    A group backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union filed an injunction request with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., claiming the big-box retailer suddenly closed five stores in retaliation for organizing activity at a Southern California store.

  • April 20, 2015

    Deals Rumor Mill: GE, Encana, Tesla Motors

    GE is in talks to sell its $74 billion U.S. commercial lending and leasing portfolio to Wells Fargo, while Canadian natural gas producer Encana is mulling an up to $1 billion sale of its Louisiana natural gas properties in the Haynesville Shale basin acreage.

  • April 20, 2015

    GAO Axes Protest Over $2B Yosemite Concession Prospectus

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office has rejected a contractor’s challenge to a prospectus for a $2 billion concessions contract at Yosemite National Park, saying the request as a whole was compliant with regulations and the office could not rule on specific complaints.

  • April 20, 2015

    Aussie Co. Says Defamation Suit Doesn't Belong In Calif.

    An Australian businessman accused of trying to thwart a California company’s deal to sell military helicopters to the Philippines urged a federal judge to dismiss the defamation suit Friday, saying the case lacks personal jurisdiction.

  • April 20, 2015

    Enviros Sue Calif. Land Agency Over Tesoro Terminal Lease

    Two environmental groups on Friday sued the California State Lands Commission for allegedly renewing Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co.’s lease at an oil receiving facility near San Francisco bay without adequately considering the business’ impacts on the surrounding area.

  • April 20, 2015

    Wells Fargo Wants Justices To Review $203M Overdraft Award

    Wells Fargo & Co. earlier this month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit decision that allowed a $203 million class action penalty in overdraft fee litigation despite not all class members being injured by the alleged violations.

  • April 20, 2015

    Apple Execs Deny Knowledge Of Jobs' Anti-Poaching Deals

    Apple Inc. executives on Friday said that they didn’t know anything about founder Steve Jobs’ alleged anti-poaching agreements with other technology companies, reiterating that a California federal judge should kick a shareholder derivative suit alleging that Apple’s board hurt the company by failing to stop the purported misconduct.

  • April 20, 2015

    Sheppard Mullin Botched Whistleblower Suit, Playboy Says

    Playboy Enterprises Inc. sued Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP on Friday for allegedly exposing the media company to millions of dollars in damages by not recommending that a wrongful termination suit be settled for substantially less money.

  • April 20, 2015

    Ariz. Tribe Seeks To Block Uranium Mining During Appeal

    The Havasupai Tribe on Friday asked an Arizona federal judge to block any progress on a uranium mining project near the Grand Canyon while the Ninth Circuit considers its appeal of a ruling that allows the mine to go ahead.

  • April 20, 2015

    Hartford Suit Over $15M Squire Patton Tab Has Firms On Edge

    The California Supreme Court is set to hear arguments next month in a dispute over whether Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. can seek reimbursement from a policyholder's lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs LLP, and attorneys say a ruling in the insurer's favor could scare off law firms from serving as independent counsel and erase the incentive for insurers to defend upfront.

  • April 20, 2015

    Uber Can't Shake ADA Suit Over Treatment Of Blind Riders

    A California federal judge on Friday kept alive a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and saying that drivers for the company's UberX ride-hailing service often refuse to transport blind customers with service animals, saying that anti-discrimination laws favor plaintiffs in making claims and establishing standing.

  • April 20, 2015

    9th Circ. Nixes Tribe's Gaming Compact Suit Against Wash.

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court judgment tossing the Tulalip Tribes of Washington’s complaint seeking amendment of its tribal-state gaming compact to acquire additional licenses for video player terminals, ruling a “most-favored tribe” clause in the compact didn't require the state to adopt Tulalip’s proposed amendment.

  • April 20, 2015

    Suit Over SoCal Nuke Plant Charges Gets Tossed

    A California federal judge has tossed a proposed class action, saying that the constitutionality of a California Public Utilities Commission decision to include charges for a nuclear power plant's defective steam generators in utility bills should be decided by the state courts.

  • April 20, 2015

    Guess Accused Of Deceptive Outlet Store Pricing

    Guess Inc. on Friday became the latest retailer to be hit with a proposed class action accusing the company in a California court of using deceptive comparison pricing to dupe customers into believing that they are receiving deep discounts at the company's outlet stores.

Expert Analysis

  • 'Primary Users' May Be On Speed Dial For TCPA Suits

    Robert A. Scott

    Recent case law appears to reflect a growing willingness among courts to allow claims by plaintiffs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act who receive calls on cellphone lines paid for by their employers or some other party. This may expose creditors and debt collectors that use automated dialing equipment to contact customers on their cellphones to additional claims, says Robert Scott of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • A New Paradigm For Industrial Hemp Farming On Tribal Lands

    Timothy Purdon

    Although the past two decades have seen 22 states and many tribal governments pass laws permitting industrial hemp cultivation, pushback from the federal government and a persistent association of hemp to marijuana has prevented American Indian farmers from pursuing this cash crop. However, a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo could usher in a new area for industrial hemp farming on tribal lands, say attorneys with Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • A Trend Toward More State Focus On Lawyer Mobility?

    Allison Martin Rhodes

    The efforts of state bar regulators in three large legal markets — Florida, New York and now Virginia — are almost certainly an indication of increased regulation to come in the area of lawyer mobility, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Calif.'s Flexible New Tool For Infrastructure Development

    Glenn Q. Snyder

    California’s enhanced infrastructure financing districts are new and powerful tools that offer greater flexibility to raise funds and implement infrastructure or community revitalization projects. However, it remains to be seen how well multiple taxing entities will be able to work together to approve and implement specific projects, say Glenn Snyder and Matthew Valdez of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-In-Fiction Claim

    Kelli Sager

    In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” recently successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897 Henry James novel. The case highlights the unusual legal questions raised by defamation claims arising from fictional works, say attorneys with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • Calif. Retailers Better Check Their Supply Chains

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    The California Department of Justice's recent letter campaign targeting retailers and manufacturers centers around the Transparency in Supply Chains Act. This is California's first step in enforcing the law and we have reason to believe over 100 companies were targeted, say Stephanie Sheridan and Meegan Brooks of Sedgwick LLP.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Let The Buyer And Retailer Beware Of Pricing Practices

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    Although recent decisions involving Nordstrom Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC held that outlet “compare at” prices do not deceptively suggest that an item was originally sold at the retailers' full-priced stores, actions involving inflated manufacturer's suggested retail price, or “original” prices, show that retailers may still be liable for exaggerating any discounts they offer, say Stephanie Sheridan and Meegan Brooks of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Mandatory Subordination And The Fate Of Equity Claims

    Robert L. Eisenbach III

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Tristar Esperanza Properties LLC essentially says, “once a shareholder, always a shareholder,” and reminds us that Section 510(b)’s mandatory subordination rules impact entire categories of claims and make it extremely difficult to collect on any equity-like claim in bankruptcy, says Robert Eisenbach of Cooley LLP.