• April 17, 2015

    Ford Prevails In Suit Over Taurus Rear-End Design

    A California state jury found in favor of Ford Motor Co. in a suit seeking $18 million that alleged that the defective rear structure of a Ford Taurus caused a 13-year-old boy’s brain damage in a car accident in 2000.

  • April 17, 2015

    UFC, Fighters Want ADR To Referee Antitrust Dispute

    An antitrust battle between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a putative class of its mixed martial arts fighters will enter an alternative dispute resolution process before October, according to a joint order signed by a California federal judge Friday.

  • April 17, 2015

    Rule Change Irrelevant To High Court Plea, Navy Ad Co. Says

    The U.S. Navy’s advertising partner urged the U.S. Supreme Court this week to reject an argument that recent developments had voided the court’s need to hear an appeal in the case alleging illegal recruiting via text messages, saying the logic was speculative.

  • April 17, 2015

    State AGs Eying Pay-For-Delay Suits, Calif. Official Says

    State attorneys general may consider pursuing their own pay-for-delay challenges if the California Supreme Court decides that pharmaceutical patent settlements can be targeted under state antitrust law, a California official and chair of the Multistate Antitrust Task Force said Friday.

  • April 17, 2015

    Group Says Calif. Never Ceded Jurisdiction Over Casino Site

    A coalition suing to shutter a tribal-owned Sonoma County casino urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a California appeals court's holding that a 2000 federal statute granting the tribe federal recognition divested the state's historic territorial jurisdiction over the casino site.

  • April 17, 2015

    REIT Prologis Issues $324M Note Offering In Europe

    A Prologis Inc. subsidiary has sold €300 million ($324 million) in notes, the San Francisco real estate investment trust said Friday.

  • April 17, 2015

    High Court Urged To Toss 'Rogue' 9th Circ. Labor Ruling

    Penske Logistics LLC has told the U.S. Supreme Court that by refusing to find that federal preemption bars a set of California laws requiring meal and rest breaks for truckers, the Ninth Circuit has “flagrantly” ignored high court precedent and is “out of whack” with other circuits.

  • April 17, 2015

    SBE's Nazarian Bilking Hotel Investor In $125M Deal, Suit Says

    An investor in SLS South Beach hotel sued owner Sam Nazarian and his SBE Entertainment Group for $15 million Thursday for allegedly breaching a contract by trying to close the property's $125 million sale while paying the plaintiff “peanuts.”

  • April 17, 2015

    Agents Can’t Strike Out ‘Trouble With The Curve’ Suit

    A California judge ruled on Friday that a talent agency swept up in a suit alleging that screenwriters stole a project to make the 2012 film “Trouble with the Curve” can’t invoke the First Amendment to nix the suit because it wasn’t part of the creative process.

  • April 17, 2015

    Atty Can’t Prove Insurer Promised To Hire Him, Judge Says

    A California federal judge on Thursday declined to reconsider an order finding that Lexington Insurance Co. didn’t renege on an oral agreement with Cell-Crete Corp. to hire its personal counsel, ruling that additional depositions wouldn’t advance the plaintiffs’ claims.

  • April 17, 2015

    American Apparel Sued Over Improper Notices Of Mass Layoff

    American Apparel Inc. was hit Thursday with a proposed class action in California that accuses the beleaguered retailer of giving 180 employees only a couple of days' notice before a mass layoff and pressuring some non-English-speaking workers to sign “paltry” separation agreements.

  • April 17, 2015

    Boulder Can't Melt Smart Balance Butter False Ad Suit

    A California federal judge on Thursday nixed an attempt by Boulder Brands Inc., owner of the Smart Balance brand, to dodge a proposed class action claiming that it overstated the cholesterol-reducing effects of its spreadable butter, saying the company didn’t show any new evidence.

  • April 17, 2015

    High Court Urged To Overturn Abood Union Fee Ruling

    A group of California teachers has again urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its challenge to both union fees and the high court's 1977 Abood ruling, which gave states approval to require public workers to pay union agency fees, saying union respondents have failed to defend Abood's rationale.

  • April 16, 2015

    Carlton Fields Adds Ex-Locke Lord Insurance Pro In LA

    Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP has snagged a former Locke Lord LLP insurance and reinsurance pro with experience in litigation, regulatory and transactional matters for its Los Angeles office, the firm announced Thursday.

  • April 16, 2015

    Saddled With Legal Debt, Little Saigon News Files For Ch. 11

    Orange County newspaper The Little Saigon News Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in California on Thursday, saying a defamation fight with a competitor left it with a destructive $4.5 million debt it couldn't pay.

  • April 16, 2015

    9th Circ. Defers To Calif. Jury Trial Waiver Law In Tata Dispute

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ruled that federal courts sitting in diversity must look to state standards for jury trial waivers when the state’s laws are more protective of the federal constitutional right to a jury than federal rules are, siding with Orange County in a contract dispute with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

  • April 16, 2015

    Kirkland Steers Lovell Minnick's $100M Finance Co. Investment

    Led by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners LLC said Wednesday it will invest $100 million in LSQ Funding Group to help the accounts receivable finance company capture more small-business customers through better technology.

  • April 16, 2015

    Yelp Says User Complaints Don't Prove Reviews Were Rigged

    Yelp Inc. urged a California federal judge Thursday to throw out a consolidated class action alleging the online consumer review website artificially inflated its stock by falsely promoting the authenticity of “firsthand” reviews, arguing there's no evidence that Yelp's claims about its reviews are false.

  • April 16, 2015

    Law Firms Nix Hospital CEO’s $60M Suit With ‘Slam Dunk’

    A California judge on Thursday shut down a defamation suit filed by a hospital CEO at the center of a knock-off medical device controversy, finding that the three law firms and individual attorneys the CEO sued had a “slam dunk” anti-SLAPP defense.

  • April 16, 2015

    Calif. Judge Urged To Revive Hyundai, Kia Coating IP Row

    A carbon coatings patent holder urged a California federal judge Wednesday to revive its suit accusing Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Co. of infringement, saying it now has standing to pursue its claims after original owner Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. transferred its rights to the patent.

Expert Analysis

  • A Trend Toward More State Focus On Lawyer Mobility?

    Allison Martin Rhodes

    The efforts of state bar regulators in three large legal markets — Florida, New York and now Virginia — are almost certainly an indication of increased regulation to come in the area of lawyer mobility, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Calif.'s Flexible New Tool For Infrastructure Development

    Glenn Q. Snyder

    California’s enhanced infrastructure financing districts are new and powerful tools that offer greater flexibility to raise funds and implement infrastructure or community revitalization projects. However, it remains to be seen how well multiple taxing entities will be able to work together to approve and implement specific projects, say Glenn Snyder and Matthew Valdez of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-In-Fiction Claim

    Kelli Sager

    In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” recently successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897 Henry James novel. The case highlights the unusual legal questions raised by defamation claims arising from fictional works, say attorneys with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • Calif. Retailers Better Check Their Supply Chains

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    The California Department of Justice's recent letter campaign targeting retailers and manufacturers centers around the Transparency in Supply Chains Act. This is California's first step in enforcing the law and we have reason to believe over 100 companies were targeted, say Stephanie Sheridan and Meegan Brooks of Sedgwick LLP.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Let The Buyer And Retailer Beware Of Pricing Practices

    Stephanie A. Sheridan

    Although recent decisions involving Nordstrom Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC held that outlet “compare at” prices do not deceptively suggest that an item was originally sold at the retailers' full-priced stores, actions involving inflated manufacturer's suggested retail price, or “original” prices, show that retailers may still be liable for exaggerating any discounts they offer, say Stephanie Sheridan and Meegan Brooks of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Mandatory Subordination And The Fate Of Equity Claims

    Robert L. Eisenbach III

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Tristar Esperanza Properties LLC essentially says, “once a shareholder, always a shareholder,” and reminds us that Section 510(b)’s mandatory subordination rules impact entire categories of claims and make it extremely difficult to collect on any equity-like claim in bankruptcy, says Robert Eisenbach of Cooley LLP.

  • St. Luke's: A Major Step Back In Merger Efficiencies

    David Balto

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent St. Luke’s decision involving the vertical acquisition of a provider group by a health system in Idaho seems to severely restrict the efficiencies defense in a fashion inconsistent with the goals of antitrust law and sound enforcement policy, say David Balto and James Kovacs of the Law Offices of David Balto.

  • 9th Circ. Comes Around On CAFA

    Sean D. Unger

    Taken together, three recent cases demonstrate the Ninth Circuit’s new fidelity to Congress’ stated intent that Class Action Fairness Act cases be heard in federal courts. However, they also confirm that, where Congress limited CAFA, the Ninth Circuit will not ignore that limitation, say attorneys at Paul Hastings LLP.