California

  • October 21, 2014

    'Goodfellas' Actor Sues For $250M Over 'Simpsons' Likeness

    "The Godfather: Part II" and "Goodfellas" actor Frank Sivero slapped Fox Television Studios Inc. with a $250 million intellectual property suit in California state court on Tuesday, claiming a mobster character on Fox's "The Simpsons" is based on his performances in those films.

  • October 21, 2014

    Ex-Yahoo Worker Can't Duck Patent Row Under Anti-SLAPP

    A former Yahoo Inc. employee must face a suit alleging he stole a patent from the tech giant when he founded his own startup, a California judge ruled Tuesday rejecting the ex-worker’s argument that Yahoo’s trade secrets and patent suit violated his free speech rights.

  • October 21, 2014

    ABM Pushes To Nix 'Absurd' $90M Rest Break Loss In Calif.

    ABM Industries Inc. urged a California appeals court Tuesday to reverse the “absurd” $90 million a lower court awarded a class of thousands of security guards for being “on call” during breaks, arguing the trial court severely misinterpreted California's rest break requirement.

  • October 21, 2014

    Ericsson Seeks Clarity On Injunctions In Apple, Samsung Row

    Ericsson Inc. urged the Federal Circuit on Monday to use an appeal by Apple Inc. that seeks to bar Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. from including features in its smartphones that a jury found to infringe Apple's patents to clarify proof requirements for patent holders seeking injunctions.

  • October 21, 2014

    Toyota Hit With $12.5M Verdict In Defective Seat Belt Case

    A California jury has walloped Toyota Motor Corp. with a $12.5 million verdict, finding a defectively designed lap seat belt caused a passenger riding in a sport utility vehicle that crashed into a tree in a drunk driving accident to become a paraplegic.

  • October 21, 2014

    Firm Fights Sanctions In Hobby Lobby 'Forum Shopping' Row

    Employee rights law firm Scott Cole & Associates APC struck back on Monday at a move by Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. to sanction it $10,000 for "forum shopping" by filing a state court claim that is identical to a federal court claim, saying it has the duty to pursue the claims in a forum that’s most advantageous to its clients.

  • October 21, 2014

    Apple Slams GPNE's 'Extreme' $94M Patent Bid

    Apple Inc. bashed GPNE Corp.’s $94 million damages demand as “extreme” and “unreasonable” Tuesday during closing arguments in GPNE’s trial accusing Apple of selling millions of iPhones and iPads that infringe two data-communications patents, telling a California federal jury that Apple should pay nothing.

  • October 21, 2014

    Griffin-American Puts Up $135M For Medical Office Portfolio

    California-based Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Inc. said Tuesday it will pay $135 million for five medical office buildings in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Kentucky, in a move intended to bolster the real estate investment trust’s health care holdings in growing urban markets.

  • October 21, 2014

    Google Can't Hide Behind Stored Communications Act: Court

    The Stored Communications Act doesn't allow service providers to defy civil discovery subpoenas, according to a California appellate court, which ruled Tuesday that Google Inc. must provide emails sought by a ship manufacturer suing a former employee for breach of duty.

  • October 21, 2014

    DirecTV Dealer Urges Calif. Panel To Reinstate $9.5M Award

    A DirecTV Inc. dealer on Tuesday urged a California appeals court to reinstate a $9.5 million arbitration award it won against the satellite company in a contract dispute, arguing a trial court erred in applying state rather than federal arbitration law to vacate the award.

  • October 21, 2014

    Mercedes Says Its Reputation Isn't Cause For Leaky AC Suit

    Mercedes-Benz USA LLC told a California federal judge on Monday that consumers’ supposed reliance on its “reputation” can't be used to pursue claims that it allegedly failed to fix leaks present in Sprinter model van air-conditioning units, asking that the class action be tossed.

  • October 21, 2014

    EA Beats Investor Suit Over ‘Battlefield 4’ Bugs

    A California federal judge on Monday tossed a shareholder class action accusing Electronic Arts Inc. of failing to foresee technical problems with its “Battlefield 4” videogame that caused stock prices to fall, saying the company’s statements leading up the game’s release were nothing more than corporate “puffery.”

  • October 21, 2014

    Verizon’s $15M Settlement OK’d In Pay Stub Class Action

    A California judge on Monday approved a $15 million settlement that would resolve a class action accusing Verizon California Inc. of issuing inaccurate wage statements that excluded crucial information that made it impossible for employees to determine whether they had been paid properly.

  • October 21, 2014

    Canyon Partners Sues LA, Saying It Overpaid Millions In Taxes

    Two affiliates of leading global asset manager Canyon Partners LLC sued the city of Los Angeles on Monday, accusing the city of making them overpay their taxes by nearly $2.3 million by failing to properly categorize them.

  • October 21, 2014

    Toyota Inks 145 Deals In Unintended Acceleration Injury MDL

    Attorneys on both sides of multidistrict litigation over deaths and injuries caused by alleged unintended acceleration defects in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles told a California federal judge on Tuesday that the settlement process has been efficient and effective, saying more than half of nearly 250 individual lawsuits have been resolved.

  • October 21, 2014

    Gibson Dunn Can't Shake Trustee's $150K Adversary Suit

    A California bankruptcy judge on Monday refused to dismiss a $150,000 clawback suit against Gibson Dunn in the bankruptcy of the former CEO of Mariner Systems Inc., saying it appeared the debtor had an interest in the funds.

  • October 21, 2014

    Manatt Snags Steptoe IP Partner In Los Angeles

    Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP has hired away a former Steptoe & Johnson LLP partner who led the firm's trademark transactional practice in California, with particularly deep experience in entertainment and media, food and beverage, software and online services, the firm announced Monday.

  • October 21, 2014

    Ackman Says Allergan CEO Oversaw Valeant Smear Campaign

    Activist investor Bill Ackman in a new court filing late on Monday accused Allergan Inc.'s CEO of trying to tarnish Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in an effort to sour shareholders on its hostile $53 billion bid.

  • October 20, 2014

    Santander Spares $200M Of Auto Debt To Settle Notice Claims

    A California federal judge on Monday approved Santander Consumer USA's agreement to not collect almost $200 million in outstanding car loan debts in order to settle class action claims that the subsidiary of the Spanish banking behemoth issued faulty notices to borrowers after repossessing their cars.

  • October 20, 2014

    'Brisbane's Bernie Madoff' Can't Dodge US Fraud Charges

    A well-connected businessman who fled the U.S. after the collapse of his auto dealership and set up shop in Australia, where he was later dubbed “Brisbane’s Bernie Madoff,” can’t escape charges he defrauded U.S. banks and investors of up to $200 million, a California federal judge ruled Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • The Latest On Preliminary Injunctions In Trademark Cases

    Richard Kirkpatrick

    For many years, preliminary injunctions have long been the standard remedy of choice to challenge and stop trademark infringements at an early stage, but that long tradition may be in for a big change, says Richard Kirkpatrick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Work Plan Signals Expanded Calif. Green Chemistry Program

    Joshua A. Bloom

    California's Safer Consumer Products Regulation will be closely watched given the potential for its broad application — indeed, following its enactment, Congress attempted to develop nationwide green chemistry initiatives, say Joshua Bloom and Christopher Jensen of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Calif. Case Opens Door To Property Transfer Tax Rise

    Thomas S. Wisialowski

    A significant number of transactions that we normally would not have expected to trigger real property documentary transfer tax in most California cities and counties may now do so thanks to a ruling in 926 North Ardmore Avenue LLC v. County of Los Angeles, say Thomas Wisialowski and Sarah-Jane Hornbeek of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Closes More Doors On ACA Challenges

    Michael W. Lieberman

    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Coons v. Lew serves as a warning to would-be plaintiffs that challenges to the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate based on contrary state laws or the right to medical autonomy are likely to fail, say Mike Lieberman and Harsh Parikh of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • OPINION: Don't Mess With... Arizona?

    Michael Li

    Fifty years ago, Justice Felix Frankfurter cautioned courts about getting mired in the “political thicket” of redistricting. In agreeing to hear Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court could be about to take a big step further into that thicket, says Michael Li, counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law.

  • Tug-Of-War: Attorney-Client Privilege Vs. Deposition

    There is an inherent tension between the process of preparing a corporate representative to testify and the protections usually afforded by attorney-client privilege. Judicial decisions addressing these tensions are limited and, as of yet, the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals do not appear to have weighed in on these issues in any meaningful way, say Vanessa Miller and Nicholas Ellis of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • RCRA Citizen Suits No Longer Option In Regulating Diesel

    Kirsten L. Nathanson

    The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. BNSF Railway Co. has potentially broad implications for all diesel exhaust emitters — it may even serve to foreclose future Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit challenges to air emissions beyond diesel, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • OPINION: Uphold Reasonable Regs On Judicial Campaigns

    Matthew Menendez

    If the U.S. Supreme Court applies strict scrutiny in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar to strike down reasonable restrictions on judicial campaign activity, the increasing flood of judicial campaign spending may further damage the public’s eroding confidence in the judiciary, says Matthew Menendez, counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law.

  • Don't Disregard Calif.'s Non-Disparagement Clause Ban

    Songmee L. Connolly

    Because AB 2365's ban on nondisparagment clauses in California carries statutory penalties, plaintiffs’ class action attorneys will be incentivized to test its scope and ambiguities next year given the potential size of aggregated penalties, says Songmee Connolly of Fenwick & West LLP.