California

  • May 5, 2016

    AT&T Mobility Sues Calif. Regulator To Block Data Request

    AT&T Mobility, along with local phone and wireless carriers, called on a California federal court Thursday to block a state regulator from compelling the turnover of subscriber data for a review on competition in the telecommunications market, arguing it violates their commercial privacy interests.

  • May 5, 2016

    Herbalife Says FTC Talks ‘Advanced,’ $200M Deal Possible

    Herbalife Ltd. said Thursday that it is in advanced talks with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to pay $200 million to settle allegations of a pyramid scheme that drew investor class actions, a reported FBI investigation and a battle with billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman.

  • May 5, 2016

    Calif. Judge Likes Illinois Law For Facebook Tagging Case

    A California judge allowed a consolidated suit alleging Facebook’s facial-recognition and tagging features violate Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act to proceed Thursday, ruling that although Facebook users agreed to a California choice-of-law provision, the court must apply Illinois law because the Prairie State has a greater interest in the case’s outcome.

  • May 5, 2016

    9th Circ. Urged To Certify Class In $54B Hilton Robocall Suit

    Hilton customers urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to grant class certification in their $54 billion suit alleging Hilton’s time-share unit spammed 6.5 million consumers with telemarketing robocalls, arguing no evidence backs the “hypothetical” individual issues that led a trial court to deny certification.

  • May 5, 2016

    Sumner Redstone Gave $150M To 2 Companions, Docs Show

    On the eve of a trial to determine the competency of 92-year-old Sumner Redstone, court filings Thursday revealed the former CBS and Viacom chairman provided about $150 million to his former caretaker and an ex-girlfriend in the years before angrily booting both women out of his life.

  • May 5, 2016

    Calif. High Court Mulls Breadth Of Anti-SLAPP Law's Powers

    The California Supreme Court on Thursday wrestled over whether the state’s anti-SLAPP law can be used to surgically trim allegations regarding protected activity from a cause of action that also includes claims outside the statute’s purview — a line-drawing power that lower courts have split on.

  • May 5, 2016

    9th Circ. Urged To Rethink Tossing Calif. Bar Rules Fight

    Attorneys challenging California rules denying bar admission to lawyers from states lacking reciprocity agreements urged the Ninth Circuit Thursday to reconsider tossing the suit, saying the panel shirked precedent by upholding a rule reflecting a hostility to out-of-state attorneys that mirrors the hostility some have to marriage or racial equality.

  • May 5, 2016

    Acer Drops Antitrust Claim Against Toshiba In Battery MDL

    Acer Inc. on Wednesday dropped its Sherman Act claim against Toshiba Corp. in a suit that is part of ongoing multidistrict litigation in California federal court over an alleged price-fixing scheme among lithium ion battery manufacturers, court documents show.

  • May 5, 2016

    Retailer Trusts Accused Of Overreach In Disk Drive MDL

    Electronics companies including Samsung and Sony told a California federal judge Wednesday that the liquidating trustees of Circuit City and RadioShack are pursuing antitrust claims over too broad a range of products in multidistrict litigation over the alleged price-fixing of optical disk drives.

  • May 5, 2016

    9th Circ. Won’t Revive Bank Bailout FCA Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel summarily refused Thursday to revive a whistleblower False Claims Act suit tossed for parroting public information, which accused American International Group Inc. and several banks of defrauding taxpayers by obtaining more than $137 billion in government bailouts for failed trades in the collateralized debt market.

  • May 5, 2016

    High Court Urged To Hear Sturgeon Critical Habitat Case

    Industry groups are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their arguments that critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act should be reviewable in court, saying a Ninth Circuit decision approving critical habitats for the green sturgeon on the West Coast opens the door for agency decisions that could lead to “economic ruin.”

  • May 5, 2016

    Class Cert. Denied For 11K Swift Truck Drivers In Wage Suit

    A California federal judge on Wednesday declined to certify a proposed class of 11,000 truckers in a suit accusing Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona LLC of not paying drivers for nondriving tasks, saying litigating as a class would be “unmanageable,” adhering to her prior tentative ruling.

  • May 5, 2016

    Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's Settle 'Honey Badger' IP Suits

    The man behind the viral "Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger" YouTube video has settled his suits accusing Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's of trademark and copyright infringement for selling merchandise that uses his catchphrase, according to voluntary dismissals approved this week in California federal court.

  • May 5, 2016

    Beer Drinkers Ask 9th Circ. For 2nd Round On Anheuser Suit

    Beer drinkers asked the Ninth Circuit Wednesday to grant a full panel rehearing on their antitrust lawsuit challenging Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20.1 billion merger with Grupo Modelo, arguing they do not need to prove that a merger would increase the concentration of beer companies in a relevant market.

  • May 5, 2016

    Prosecutor Fraud Behind $122M Wildfire Deal, 9th Circ. Told

    Sierra Pacific Industries on Wednesday continued urging the Ninth Circuit to reverse a district court’s refusal to unwind a $122.5 million settlement over a severe California wildfire, saying claims that the deal came about from prosecutors’ “egregious” fraud and misconduct cannot be ignored.

  • May 5, 2016

    Renzenberger Drivers Press 9th Circ. To Certify Break Class

    Renzenberger Inc. drivers urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to reverse a trial court's refusal to certify a class of potentially 1,100 drivers on claims they were denied rest breaks, arguing the trial court put the cart before the horse in finding Renzenberger's break policy was legal.

  • May 5, 2016

    9th Circ. Keeps Boeing Pollution Class Action In Wash. Court

    A group of Washington residents can keep their chemical contamination suit against Boeing and a local environmental consultant in state courts, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday, rejecting the Chicago-based aircraft giant’s argument that it was the proposed class action’s real target and that a federal court should take the case.

  • May 5, 2016

    Monsanto Beats $20M PCB Cancer Claims In Calif. Trial

    A Los Angeles jury on Thursday found Monsanto not liable in a $20 million trial brought by two men alleging they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to the company's polychlorinated biphenyls, saying the company was negligent in designing and distributing the chemical but did not cause the men's cancer.

  • May 5, 2016

    Official Can't Be Sued To Compel FWS Action, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit said in a Wednesday published opinion that government officials in their individual capacities can’t be the target of suits seeking to compel official government agency action, striking down claims against a wildlife refuge director over a Nevada stream diversion.

  • May 5, 2016

    Uber Riders' Sex Assault Suit Can Proceed, Judge Rules

    Uber Technologies Inc. will have to face the bulk of a suit brought by two women who say the ride-hailing service is responsible for two sexual assaults by drivers after a California federal judge ruled Wednesday the women plausibly claimed Uber was the drivers’ employer.

Expert Analysis

  • The Legal Barriers To Off-Grid Solar Photovoltaic Systems

    Molly L. Zohn

    As solar plus battery off-grid systems become more technologically feasible and economically viable, analysts and public utilities have struggled to predict whether a “utility death spiral” will eventually occur. However, technological innovation is only part of the equation. Another critical factor is whether off-grid systems are legal, says Molly Zohn at Klinedinst PC.

  • Your Online Insurance Sales Can Land You In Court

    Robert D. Helfand

    Like it or not, insurers now need to market and sell consumer products online, but two recent cases show that the legal framework for those activities is still being assembled and as insurers increasingly enter the electronic marketplace, they will find that courts already have ample resources to sustain lawsuits over online practices, says Robert Helfand at Carlton Fields.

  • 5 Takeaways From 9th Circ. Ruling In TWC Timecard Case

    Adam Rosenthal

    This week, the Ninth Circuit issued a crushing blow to a plaintiff who sought to use the California Labor Code to extract millions of dollars in penalties from his former employer, Time Warner, based entirely on the theory that over a 13-month period he was “underpaid” $15.02 and is owed compensation for precisely one minute. The decision restores some sanity to wage-and-hour jurisprudence, says Adam Rosenthal of Sheppard Mullin Ri... (continued)

  • Gig Economy: Settlements Leave Labor Issues Unsettled

    Miriam A. Cherry

    Perhaps what the recent $100 million Uber settlement shows us, more than anything, is the weakness of regulating labor standards through the method of private attorneys bringing class actions. But more important than these legal maneuvers is the issue of work changing in response to technological restructuring, says Miriam Cherry, a professor at Saint Louis University School of Law.

  • Settlement Language: Get Specific When Liens Are Involved

    Gregory M. Smith

    A California court of appeals' decision in Karpinski v. Smitty’s Bar is a reminder that settlement agreements in cases where Medicare liens are involved should be carefully drafted. It's not enough for defense counsel to include general language requiring the plaintiff to resolve all liens, say Gregory Smith and Elizabeth Trent at Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • A New Survey-Based Method For Valuations In IP Cases

    Sanjay K. Rao

    In patent litigation, teasing out the dollar value of the contribution of one or a very small subset of features of a product or service poses a substantial empirical challenge. In a recently concluded case, my colleague and I developed an innovative methodology based on an elegant concept describing how a consumer may value one feature over another, says Sanjay Rao of Charles River Associates.

  • What Is Your Squirm Factor?

    Ross Laguzza

    The fact that jurors are a captive audience doesn’t mean they are any more invested in your presentation than people who walk out of a boring movie. Jurors can’t physically leave, but they can and do mentally check out. If you are a trial lawyer, you should think about whether your squirm factor is high, moderate or low — and what, if necessary, you can do to change it, says Dr. Ross Laguzza of R&D Strategic Solutions.

  • Scalia’s Vacancy Shifts High Court On Class Actions

    Brian S. Kabateck

    In the wake of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death the pendulum may already be swinging back in favor of class actions. In fact, the post-Scalia court now sits divided evenly on business litigation issues, or perhaps even favoring consumers for the first time in a long time, say Brian Kabateck and Natalie Pang at Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP.

  • Employee Safety: When A 'Reasonable Response' Isn’t Enough

    Melody L. Rayl

    What happens when, following a criminal incident, an employer's attempt to beef up on-premise workplace security fails to prevent another occurrence? As one recent Missouri case demonstrates, such measures can ultimately put an organization at greater risk and employers can find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit they never saw coming, says Melody Rayl at Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Gig Economy: Are Your Workers Employees? The 6-Part Test

    Rachel Bien

    Unfortunately, many sharing economy companies have tried to have it both ways — benefiting from the cost savings of calling workers independent contractors while at the same time treating them as employees in most other respects. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor suggests that many of these companies have misclassified their workers as independent contractors, say Rachel Bien and Cara Chomski of Outten & Golden LLP.