California

  • July 30, 2014

    Killers Purportedly Want In On Apple, Google Anti-Poach Row

    The massive antitrust class action accusing Apple Inc., Google Inc. and other tech giants of illegally agreeing not to poach employees took a bizarre twist Wednesday when the court entered a motion purporting to be from a slew of convicted and accused mass murderers seeking to intervene as plaintiffs.

  • July 30, 2014

    Mugshots Website Says Free Speech Bars Class Action

    JustMugshots.com Corp. urged a California judge on Wednesday to toss a putative class action alleging the website violated arrestees' publicity rights by publishing mugshots and arrest data without consent and charging to remove the information, saying the site is protected under the First Amendment because it provides a public service.

  • July 30, 2014

    Judge Won't Toss Copyright Suit Over Disney's 'Frozen'

    A California federal judge refused Tuesday to toss a suit claiming the Walt Disney Co. infringed a short-film creator's copyright with the teaser trailer for its 3-D computer-animated blockbuster "Frozen," ruling its plot and sequence of events are substantially similar to the plaintiff's two-dimensional computer-animated movie.

  • July 30, 2014

    Iskanian Employer To Appeal Arbitration Case To High Court

    CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning the prohibition on Private Attorney General Act waivers in Iskanian, a landmark California Supreme Court ruling that generally strengthened enforceability of mandatory class waivers in employment arbitration agreements, the company’s attorney told a state judge Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    Securities Discovery Ban Hinges On Subpoena Date: 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit has ruled that a key securities law was never intended to ban the use of evidence requested prior to discovery freezes, reviving a class action Wednesday against the bankrupt maker of an electronic scratch-off card and greenlighting investors' evidence related to a catastrophic merger rollback.

  • July 30, 2014

    Study Finds Calif. Firms Dominated US IPO Market In 2013

    California-based companies dominated the U.S. initial public offering market in 2013, accounting for 28 percent of public floats during the year as health care, technology, media and telecommunications companies flocked to the stock market, a study released Wednesday found.

  • July 30, 2014

    9th Circ. Lets Insurer Avoid Priest Abuse Suit Coverage

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s ruling that held an insurer liable for covering settlement costs in four sexual abuse suits against priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, finding an assault and battery exclusion in the policy barred coverage for the diocese.

  • July 30, 2014

    LA Sushi Restaurant Sues Distributor Over Fishy Rice

    The owners of a Los Angeles sushi restaurant rolled Farmers Rice Cooperative Inc. into a proposed class action Tuesday, alleging the distributor provided the restaurant with "filthy, putrid, decomposed or substandard rice" that could not be legally sold for human consumption.

  • July 30, 2014

    Valley Forge Can't Dodge Class Action Over Illegal Exports

    A California federal judge on Tuesday declined to dismiss a proposed shareholder class action against aerospace technology company Valley Forge Composite Technologies Inc. over its alleged failure to disclose illegal exports, three months after tossing a prior complaint due to inadequate pleading.

  • July 30, 2014

    Calif. Brewer Attacks Rival Over Shark Trademark

    California-based brewer Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe accused Aviator Brewing Company Inc. of ripping off its "great white" shark trademark in federal court on Tuesday, claiming the rival brewer is selling a wheat beer with a confusingly similar logo.

  • July 30, 2014

    Ford Says Some Claims Too Late In Diesel Engine Row

    Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday urged a California federal judge to pare claims in a suit alleging it knowingly sold F-Series trucks that contain defective diesel engines, saying that a claim filed under state consumer law is time-barred and that there are no grounds for tolling the statute of limitations.

  • July 30, 2014

    Quaker Will Remove Trans Fats As Part Of Class Deal

    A California federal judge on Tuesday approved The Quaker Oats Co.’s settlement agreement in class action litigation accusing the company of falsely marketing its products as healthy despite containing trans fats, a deal under which the company promises to remove partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, from some products.

  • July 29, 2014

    S&P Slams NCUA Over Discovery In DOJ’s $5B MBS Fraud Suit

    Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC on Tuesday told a California federal judge the National Credit Union Administration is withholding documents it has subpoenaed for its defense of the federal government’s $5 billion suit alleging it knowingly inflated ratings on residential mortgage-backed securities.

  • July 29, 2014

    Square Counters Patent-Holder Letter With Lawsuit

    Square Inc. launched a lawsuit in California federal court on Monday in which it insists its online marketplace product does not infringe on a pair of patents owned by data encryption company Protegrity Corp., in response to a letter it received from the company.

  • July 29, 2014

    PG&E Faces $1B Indictment In Pipeline Blast Case

    A California federal grand jury hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a superseding indictment Tuesday over its role in the fatal 2010 San Bruno natural gas explosion, tacking on 16 new criminal counts, including obstruction, and pegging potential penalties at up to $1.1 billion.

  • July 29, 2014

    New Protections For Part-Time Workers Floated In SF

    A San Francisco supervisor on Tuesday introduced a proposed ordinance that would require retail, hotel, bank and restaurant chains operating in the city to provide more work hours for part-time employees before hiring additional staff members.

  • July 29, 2014

    Toshiba Can't Force Settlement Discovery In Price-Fixing MDL

    A California federal judge on Monday denied a bid by Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. to force several plaintiffs to fork over settlement agreements in multidistrict litigation over cathode ray tubes price-fixing, finding the discovery request was premature.

  • July 29, 2014

    Vizio's Bid For Fees In Oplus Patent Case Knocked By Judge

    An Illinois magistrate judge on Monday recommended rejecting Vizio Inc.'s motion seeking attorneys' fees from Oplus Technologies Ltd. as a sanction for what Vizio called a baseless patent suit, citing a February ruling by a different court denying Vizio fees in a closely related case.

  • July 29, 2014

    Calif. Appeals Court OKs Brake Co.'s $2M Asbestos Verdict

    A California appeals court has upheld a $2 million verdict in a mesothelioma victim's suit alleging he was exposed to asbestos through brake parts manufactured by Pneumo Abex LLC, rejecting the company’s argument that it was prejudiced during the trial by the application of an appeals court ruling.

  • July 29, 2014

    HTC Loses Attempt To Transfer Rockstar Suit To California

    HTC Corp. on Tuesday lost a bid to move to California a lawsuit that alleges the company — and several others, including Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. — infringed on patents that Apple Inc.-based Rockstar Consortium US LP bought for $4.5 billion.

Expert Analysis

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Calif. Courts Concede To Class Waivers Post-Concepcion

    Lori Phillips

    Despite the employee-friendly nature of California courts and their occasional rendering of arbitration agreements as unenforceable, two recent Ninth Circuit rulings in Davis v. Nordstrom Inc. and Johnmohammadi v. Bloomingdale’s Inc. may make challenges to class-claim waivers a thing of the past, says Lori Phillips of Sherman & Howard LLC.

  • Defense Bar Risks Giving Bad Advice About Pregnant Workers

    Joan C. Williams

    A few weeks ago, for the first time in 30 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its guidance on pregnancy discrimination in response to a flood of pregnancy discrimination complaints. What followed was truly weird, says Joan Williams of the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

  • Immigration-Related Liability For Calif. Employers Rises

    Richard E. Bromley

    In light of the California Supreme Court's recent ruling in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., employers should not continue to employ workers after discovery of unauthorized status because doing so may expose them to further liability, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Peregrine Puts Hired-To-Invent Issues In Spotlight

    Michael Bunis

    Do you think your employees are hired to invent? A California federal judge's recent ruling in Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. v. RF Micro Devices Inc. serves as a reminder that oral agreements are insufficient and employees who perform general engineering, development or other activities will likely fall outside the scope of the hired-to-invent doctrine, say Michael Bunis and Vanessa Arslanian of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Your State Contract May Prohibit Offshore Outsourcing

    Merle DeLancey

    A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General resurfaced the issue of offshoring restrictions in the context of Medicaid contracts. This easily overlooked issue has been percolating to the top of the list for government agencies, state attorneys general and, perhaps, qui tam plaintiffs’ attorneys, say attorneys with Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Rakoff's Foreign Fund Clawback Ruling Has Limitations

    Raniero D’Aversa

    Judge Jed Rakoff’s recent ruling in the case of Madoff Securities gives comfort to foreign investors that the proceeds of their indirect investments in U.S. companies will not likely be clawed back, but it does not come without certain warnings and limitations — especially considering a contradictory Ninth Circuit ruling issued a mere three days prior to Rakoff’s decision, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Government Seeks To Outsource Criminal Enforcement

    Nathan Hochman

    The prosecution of FedEx Corp. for allegedly failing to heed signs that illegal Internet pharmacies were using its facilities represents a significant expansion of the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to outsource law enforcement to private third parties and then go after these third parties when they fail to meet an undefined standard of compliance, rather than focus on the criminals, say attorneys with Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Calif. Is Particular About Secondary Exposure Liability

    Joel B. Crane

    Two California appellate courts recently decided cases that will significantly impact secondary asbestos exposure claims, differentiating between product manufacturers and premises owners, and may ultimately invite clarification from the California Supreme Court, say Joel Crane and Danila Toscano of Sedgwick LLP.