California

  • May 23, 2016

    Spotify's Class Communications Off-Limits In $150M IP Row

    A California federal judge overseeing David Lowery’s $150 million putative copyright class action against Spotify denied the rocker access to the music streamer’s communications with possible class members who may be eligible for a settlement negotiated by the National Music Publishers Association.

  • May 23, 2016

    DHL To Pay $1.45M To End Workers' Unpaid Wages Suit

    DHL Express (USA) Inc. has agreed to pay $1.45 million to settle a class action accusing the logistics company of underpaying workers by reporting inaccurate time and wage statements, according to a filing in California federal court Monday.

  • May 23, 2016

    AutoZone's $5.7M Deal In Credit Check Suit Gets Tentative OK

    A California federal judge on Monday tentatively approved AutoZone's agreement to pay $5.7 million to end claims the company illegally ran credit checks on 200,000 prospective employees, saying she would likely sign off on the deal after reviewing the parties' revised class notice period.

  • May 23, 2016

    Judge Going To Facebook Recuses Self In Google Email Suit

    A California federal judge slated to become Facebook’s general counsel next month said Monday he’ll comply with a request to recuse himself from a suit brought against Google accusing the company of scanning emails, saying he sought to avoid even the appearance of partiality.

  • May 23, 2016

    Calif.'s Central District Has Most Trademark Cases: Report

    The Central District of California, the Southern District of New York and the Southern District of Florida were the top three venues for trademark litigation from 2009 through the first quarter of 2016, according to a report issued Monday by legal analytics company Lex Machina.

  • May 23, 2016

    CEO Sues To Stay On Redstone Trust, Viacom Parent Board

    The CEO of Viacom urged a Massachusetts state court Monday to stop Sumner Redstone from removing him from the former Viacom and CBS chairman’s trust, saying Redstone’s daughter is trying to illegally influence him, just two weeks after a California court ruled Redstone was competent.

  • May 23, 2016

    Nuns' Atty Facing Contempt In $14M Katy Perry Convent Row

    A California judge on Monday set a contempt hearing for an attorney representing nuns who unsuccessfully attempted to block Katy Perry's $14 million purchase of their former convent from a Catholic archbishop, after the church said the nuns are holding things up by keeping key property records.

  • May 23, 2016

    Finjan Ends IP Suit With $10.9M Proofpoint Licensing Deal

    Cybersecurity firms Finjan Inc. and Proofpoint Inc. dodged an impending trial when a California federal judge on Monday agreed to grant their request to throw out a patent infringement case brought by Finjan in lieu of a new $10.9 million licensing agreement.

  • May 23, 2016

    Toshiba Wields Morrison To Cut Off ADS Holders' Fraud Action

    A California federal judge Friday tossed a proposed class action against Toshiba Corp. over accounting fraud leading to a drop in the price of American depositary shares, saying the U.S. Supreme Court’s Morrison decision puts the claims out of reach of U.S. securities laws.

  • May 23, 2016

    Chrysler Wins Spoliation Sanctions Against Dealership

    A California federal judge ruled Monday that a Chrysler dealership did not do enough to preserve emails while preparing for its lawsuit alleging the automaker supplied an inadequate number of vehicles, granting Chrysler’s motion for spoliation sanctions.

  • May 23, 2016

    Asbestos Supplier Can’t Shake Jury Award In Disease Case

    The California Supreme Court on Monday refused to undo a jury’s decision that raw asbestos supplier Special Electric Co. owed $900,000 because it didn’t provide enough warning about the material’s dangers after a man who worked for a pipe company allegedly developed mesothelioma.

  • May 23, 2016

    High Court Won't Hear Appeal Over Calif. Shark Fin Ban

    The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge Monday to California’s prohibition on shark fin sales by two Asian-American groups that say the Ninth Circuit should have killed the ban because it gets in the way of federal fisheries law.

  • May 23, 2016

    Bourbon Maker Says It Didn't Abandon 'Stitzel' Trademark

    Distiller Allied Lomar Inc. hit back on Friday at Diageo North America's move to toss an infringement suit over the “Stitzel” trademark for bourbon products in California federal court, alleging that a shortage of quality aged liquor was the reason it did not sell the products for years.

  • May 23, 2016

    9th Circ. Rejects Bankruptcy Appeal As Constitutionally Moot

    The Ninth Circuit rejected an appeal Monday arising from a bankruptcy dispute over the sale of property in Los Angeles County, ruling that a real estate company’s failure to appeal an order dismissing the underlying Chapter 11 case rendered the challenge constitutionally moot.

  • May 23, 2016

    Cochran Firm Disqualified In TM Dispute Over Firm Name

    A California federal judge on Friday disqualified the Los Angeles outpost of the law firm founded by the late Johnnie Cochran in a trademark row over the famous attorney’s moniker, saying the firm’s representation of itself was a clear conflict of interest that warranted automatic disqualification.

  • May 23, 2016

    Four Firms Named As Co-Lead Counsel In DirecTV NFL MDL

    Attorneys with four firms were appointed as co-lead counsel to the subscribers in a California multidistrict litigation alleging DirecTV’s exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package violates federal antitrust laws after a judge said Monday Girard Gibbs LLP’s attorney lacks the experience for the role.

  • May 23, 2016

    Goodyear, Fennemore Atty Sanction Punitive, Justices Told

    Goodyear and a Fennemore Craig PC attorney have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn their massive, $2.7 million discovery fraud sanction in a tire liability suit, arguing the Ninth Circuit wrongly deemed the trial court's sanction was compensatory and not punitive.

  • May 23, 2016

    Uber, Drivers Blast ‘Irrelevant’ Objectors To $100M Deal

    Uber and drivers who agreed to a $100 million settlement in a pair of high-profile California class actions accusing the ride-hailing giant of misclassifying drivers as independent contractors on Friday fired back at the torrent of “largely irrelevant” and “self-interested” objectors who’ve challenged the proposed deal.

  • May 23, 2016

    High Court Won't Review 9th Circ.'s Pension Liability Test

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a Ninth Circuit’s panel’s ruling on how to determine whether an employer is responsible for a predecessor’s liability for withdrawing from a pension plan under a federal law.

  • May 23, 2016

    Pacific Rail, Sierra Railroad End Yearslong Merger Row

    Pacific Rail LLC has agreed to drop a California federal lawsuit against Sierra Railroad Co. over a collapsed merger following an order requiring Pacific to produce a privilege log, winding down seven years of litigation that saw Sierra win $53 million on counterclaims.

Expert Analysis

  • Preparing For New Paid Family Leave Laws

    Robin J. Samuel

    Recent developments in California and New York have significantly increased the availability of paid family leave. Employers in these areas and elsewhere should begin to plan for a likely rise in the number of employees taking family leave, as similar measures may well be adopted in more states in the near future, say Robin Samuel and Amy Kett at Hogan Lovells.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • 'Happy Birthday': Journey To The Public Domain

    Tamara Kurtzman

    With a landmark class action settlement scheduled to be approved next month, the iconic song that has ushered in birthdays of everyone from royalty and presidents to citizens and children alike will — for the first time in over 100 years — undisputedly fall in the public domain. The return of “Happy Birthday to You” to the public domain is unquestionably a resounding victory against ever-increasing false copyright claims, says Tama... (continued)

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

    Mark A. Cohen

    Last week, we discussed why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others — notably the Big Four — poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market, says Mark A. Cohen of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • Transgender Bathroom Debate: What's The Deference?

    Jim S. McNeill

    The issue of whether an individual has a right under federal law to use the bathroom or locker room corresponding to their gender identity has spurred multiple lawsuits throughout the country. However, the legal arguments underpinning the opposing sides of the debate are relatively straightforward and answers to the questions posed may come from an unusual source, say Jim McNeill and Peter Stockburger at Dentons.

  • Could Community Microgrids Be More Than Just A Fad?

    Thomas C. Havens

    Given the increased focus in the energy industry on reliability, sustainability and resiliency, microgrids could play a key role in shaping the U.S.'s energy future, but the speed and success of that growth will largely depend on how policymakers address the various legal and regulatory barriers to microgrid deployment encountered by project developers across the nation, say Tom Havens and Jennifer Galiette at Day Pitney LLP.

  • New Whistleblower Protections Could Endanger Trade Secrets

    Steven J. Pearlman

    Several new laws protecting whistleblowers could jeopardize employers’ trade secrets by allowing them to be disclosed to the government, which presents the risk that Freedom of Information Act officers will exercise their discretion to produce trade secrets to requesters and potentially impair their value, say attorneys at Proskauer Rose LLP.

  • Regulating Daily Fantasy: Considerations For A Framework

    Marc Zwillinger

    The glare of the spotlight on the daily fantasy sports industry suggests that oversight and regulatory frameworks are necessary to restore the public’s confidence. Massachusetts' attorney general illustrated one approach, and other constructive examples can be found in new laws in Indiana and Virginia. As others consider meaningful approaches, we offer some perspective on what a thoughtful regulatory regime should and should not co... (continued)

  • OPINION: Stop 'Vigorously Defending' Your Clients

    Dan McGinn

    Oddly, amazingly, inexplicably, in a business where words are never in short supply, only one word seems to work when it comes to characterizing a lawyer’s commitment to clients, says Dan McGinn, a national reputation management adviser who has counseled nearly half the Fortune 100.