California

  • May 28, 2015

    Workers Win Cert. In Suit Over SEIU Political Expenses

    A California federal judge has granted class certification to a group of nonunion California civil servants challenging the Service Employees International Union's practice of deducting money for political activities from employees' wages unless they annually opt out.

  • May 28, 2015

    Tribal Graves Illegally Dug Up For $360M Casino, Suit Says

    Two former leaders of a half-blood Native American community filed suit in California federal court on Wednesday targeting community officials and three companies over the alleged disinterment and dumping of their families’ remains to build a proposed $360 million casino near San Diego.

  • May 28, 2015

    Another McKenna Long Gov't Contracts Partner Joins Pillsbury

    Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has added another former McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP partner to its government contracts group by hiring veteran attorney Richard B. Oliver, Pillsbury said in a Wednesday news release.

  • May 28, 2015

    Fitbit Hit With Skin Rash, Burn Claims

    Fitness tech maker Fitbit Inc. was hit with a proposed class action in California state court claiming that two of its newly released activity monitors have manufacturing defects that cause skin rashes, burns and nerve damage.

  • May 28, 2015

    Criminal Restitution Trumps Bankruptcy Stay, 9th Circ. Says

    A Ninth Circuit panel ruled Wednesday in a case involving a woman convicted of embezzling union funds that a debtor's obligation to pay criminal restitution trumps the protection of an automatic bankruptcy stay.

  • May 28, 2015

    Song Owner Can't Kill Jay-Z's Defense In 'Big Pimpin'' IP Suit

    A California federal judge issued a written order Wednesday denying a bid by the co-owner of an Egyptian song sampled in Jay-Z's hit "Big Pimpin'" to rule against the rap star's copyright infringement defense that he has a license to use the song, saying the agreement’s terms were still in dispute.

  • May 28, 2015

    Seal Advocates Win Fees From San Diego In Appeals Court

    A California appeals court ruled Wednesday that the city of San Diego must pay attorneys' fees to advocacy groups that had challenged the city’s denial of their bid to install protective measures for seals at a La Jolla beach, even though the city later admitted fault.

  • May 28, 2015

    9th Circ. OKs NextEra Wind Project Over Enviro Objections

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a district court’s toss of environmental groups' attempt to thwart a proposed NextEra Energy Inc. wind energy project by challenging the construction of a connecting road, saying the government’s narrow environmental assessment of the project was acceptable.

  • May 27, 2015

    Fitbit Slapped With Trade Secrets Suit Ahead Of IPO

    Ahead of its initial public offering, Fitbit Inc. was hit with a lawsuit on Wednesday in California state court by rival Jawbone, which accused the maker of wearable fitness trackers of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets in order to “decimate” its competitor.

  • May 27, 2015

    Nestle Puts Frozen Treat Rival’s Antitrust Suit On Ice

    A California judge on Wednesday tossed allegations that Nestle USA Inc. froze ice cream competitors out of supermarket aisles, saying antitrust claims by a rival ice cream maker were supported only by ambiguous evidence and an expert’s “incompetent” declaration. 

  • May 27, 2015

    Tech Investors Fight 'Crap Cleaner' Evidence Wipe Sanctions

    Several tech investors urged a California federal court Wednesday to relieve them from hefty monetary sanctions imposed on them and their former Jackson Lewis PC attorneys after a judge found they destroyed evidence with "Crap Cleaner" software in Clear-View Technologies Inc.'s suit alleging the investors conspired to steal its intellectual property.

  • May 27, 2015

    Turtles Win Class Cert. In $100M Royalties Row With Sirius

    A California federal judge on Wednesday granted class certification in a long-running, $100 million royalties dispute between the Turtles and Sirius XM Radio Inc., ruling the rock band’s proposed class could also include other owners of pre-1972 songs that the satcaster played.

  • May 27, 2015

    Thompson Coburn Snags Ex-Arent Fox Automotive Pro For LA

    Thompson Coburn LLP said Wednesday it has recruited for its Los Angeles office, a former Arent Fox LLP partner with experience advising Asian companies and automotive clients on cross-border transactions, intellectual property litigation and more.

  • May 27, 2015

    Boss-Related Stress Not A 'Disability,' Calif. Court Says

    A California state appellate court on Tuesday held that an employee's inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress regarding oversight is not a disability under state law, affirming a lower court's dismissal of a wrongful termination and disability discrimination case against Sutter Medical Foundation.

  • May 27, 2015

    Turkish Co. Sued Over Seeds Linked To Hepatitis A Outbreak

    An Oregon food distributor on Tuesday filed suit in California federal court against a Turkish company in connection with imported pomegranate seeds the distributor sold to Costco Wholesale Corp. that were later linked to a 2013 hepatitis A outbreak, allegedly costing the company $7.5 million.

  • May 27, 2015

    Enivros Sue FEMA Over Calif. Wildfire Reduction Plan

    Two environmental groups sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency in California federal court Tuesday, challenging its proposals for preventing wildfires in a nature preserve outside of San Francisco as too vague.

  • May 27, 2015

    Panasonic, Others Can't Ditch Capacitor Price-Fixing Suit

    A California federal judge on Wednesday appeared ready to deny Nippon Chemi-Con Corp.'s bid to escape a consolidated case alleging a capacitor price-fixing scheme, the day after he largely upheld direct and indirect purchasers' suit against Panasonic Corp. and its purported conspirators.

  • May 27, 2015

    Fox, Universal Accused Of Ripping Off Soundtrack Musicians

    The world’s largest musicians’ union has lodged a California federal suit accusing Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal City Studios LLC and other movie studios of wrongfully reusing the soundtracks for blockbusters such as “Titanic” and “Die Hard” in other movies and TV shows.

  • May 27, 2015

    Contractor Settles INA Bias Claim With Largest-Ever Penalty

    The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that a California farm labor contractor accused of treating non-U.S. citizens unfairly has agreed to pay $320,000 in civil fines, the largest penalty ever imposed to resolve a discrimination claim under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

  • May 27, 2015

    Massive Class Of Yahoo Email Users Wins Cert. In Privacy Suit

    A California federal judge on Tuesday certified a class including multitudes of email users nationwide in a privacy action that claims Yahoo Inc. violates federal law by scanning emails, and created a subclass for Californians raising state law claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Fracking 2.0: The Rise Of American Shale Refracking

    Gabriel B. Collins

    New data strongly suggests energy companies will likely accelerate the refracturing of previously hydraulically fractured wellbores in unconventional shale gas plays across the U.S. The trend from industry analysis points to a much more positive outlook for refracking's growth potential than the present market consensus would suggest, says Gabriel Collins of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

  • San Bernardino Ch. 9 Plan Looks Like An Opportunity Missed

    Karol K. Denniston

    Instead of restructuring its largest liability, San Bernardino has created a situation where the California city’s financial future remains very much in question. It is not enough to virtually eliminate financial obligations to bondholders, contract out services and exit with backbreaking pension obligations, says Karol Denniston of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: The MDL Lexicon

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to Minneapolis, Minnesota — currently home to 10 MDL proceedings — for its post-Memorial Day hearing, this month’s column recaps the March session and explores the “MDL Lexicon,” says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Could This Case Change The Cyberinsurance Landscape?

    Daniel S. Marvin

    With the emergence of stand-alone cyberinsurance policies, there was little doubt that courts would ultimately be called upon to weigh in on their scope of coverage. Now, that time may have finally come in an apparent case of first impression in Columbia Casualty Co. v. Cottage Health System, say Daniel Marvin and Robert Stern of Stern & Montana LLP.

  • 4 Lessons From The Robin Williams Estate Litigation

    Jeffrey K. Eisen

    It did not take long for litigation to be filed over Robin Williams' estate, or more specifically, his living trust. Published reports reveal a number of interesting issues, some of which are unique to “celebrity” estates, but most of which apply to all estate planning, says Jeffrey Eisen of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.

  • Power Continues To Flow Toward Calif. Plaintiffs Via PAGA

    Joshua R. Dale

    Since its enactment in 2004, California's Private Attorney General Act is clearly gaining strength as a tool for plaintiffs' employment attorneys, as evidenced by the recent suit against 99 Cents Only Stores over "suitable seating." In light of this trend, employers should aggressively preempt potential bases for claims against them over nonmonetary violations of the state labor code, says Joshua Dale of Michel & Associates PC.

  • Calif. Sings A Song Of Song-Beverly Developments

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    Although Harrold v. Levi Strauss & Co. and Davis v. Devanlay are similar — both involving a request for information made after a customer’s credit card was swiped — they differ in a significant way. While Davis is largely focused on whether the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act imposes a consumer perception test, the issue in Harrold was whether any request after the transaction is completed would violate the law, say Stephanie Sheridan... (continued)

  • Making The Right Call On 'On-Call' Shifts

    Lindsay A. Ayers

    As labor costs have risen in recent years, on-call shifts have grown in popularity, particularly in the food and retail industries, because they allow employers to avoid paying for excess labor during slow periods. However, employers may soon see these efficiencies evaporate in light of the evolving legal landscape relating to shift scheduling, say Lindsay Ayers and David Szwarcsztejn of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP.

  • Proposition 218 Obstacles To Calif. Tiered Water Rates

    Sue Meyer

    Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano teaches us that, under California's Proposition 218, the burden of proof is on an agency to demonstrate that revenues derived from a water service fee or charge not exceed the funds required to provide the service and that the fee or charge imposed on a parcel not exceed the proportional cost of the service attributable to the parcel, says Sue Meyer of Nossaman LLP.

  • Use Of Biometric Information As A Basis For Civil Liability

    Derek Sarafa

    Despite the proliferation of the use of biometrics, there are very few state statutes and no federal statutes that create civil remedies based on the capture and disclosure of biometric data by private businesses. But enterprising plaintiffs lawyers are attempting to use those that do exist to create a potential new sphere of liability, say attorneys with Winston & Strawn LLP.