Although 2012 was a landmark year for data privacy issues at the state level, early trends from 2013 suggest that it will become the norm, rather than an outlier. We expect California Attorney General Kamala Harris to build on her extensive activity from last year and Maryland AG Doug Gansler to have a large impact this year as well. Additional federal action likely also will influence activity at the state level in 2013, say Divonne Smoyer and Aaron Lancaster of Dickstein Shapiro LLP.
Litigating large, complex environmental cases requires special skills as a trial lawyer, and lawyers and experts sometimes become so focused on small skirmishes that they forget the big picture and lose their credibility. A recent California case, American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company v. United States, provides a cautionary tale and a number of lessons that environmental attorneys should keep in mind, says William Wagner of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.
Even before the proposal rule to implement the essential health benefits provisions of the Affordable Care Act was released, some states proceeded with their own proposals for implementing the provisions for their plans and exchanges. While California’s approach provides just one example of how the essential health benefits requirements are taking shape, this state’s early efforts may be particularly informative to stakeholders following these fast-paced developments, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.
New Year’s resolutions may already be waning, but consumers continue to purchase foods and beverages bearing the "all natural" labels in an effort to eat healthier. As seen by several recent cases, the only food trend hotter than buying "natural" foods and beverages is suing the manufacturers that produce them, says Scott Galla with Cozen O'Connor.
A California jury recently returned an $8.1 million verdict in favor of Mixed Chicks LLC against Sally Beauty Supply LLC, finding that Sally Beauty had infringed the Mixed Chicks trademark and the trade dress of Mixed Chicks’ premium hair care products. The Mixed Chicks case presents many practical tips — some obvious and some not — for practitioners, IP owners and litigators, says Kenneth Parker of Haynes and Boone LLP.
Until the California Supreme Court formally narrows the scope of Raymond Edwards II v. Arthur Anderson LLP to make clear that it applies only to noncompete clauses contained in employment agreements, one should generally consider noncompete clauses — in merger and acquisition agreements, commercial real property lease agreements and license agreements, for example — to be unenforceable in California, says Adam Bloom of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP.
A significant part of the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. was what the court declined to address: whether National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit terms are sufficient to establish liability. This primes the pump for future Clean Water Act lawsuits against permittees of municipal separate storm sewer systems, which is particularly problematic, say attorneys with Beveridge & Diamond PC.
Although indemnity for negligence arising out of construction claims in California is a thing of the past, enforcing contracts with strong indemnity agreements is very much a thing of the present. The first step in that process is obtaining a declaration that a duty to defend exists. However, to get there, the developer and contractor must be meticulous from the beginning, says Steven Cvitanovic of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.
For pharmaceutical executives facing criminal charges, the elephant in the room is the risk that a conviction will result in mandatory exclusion from participation in federal health care programs. A California federal court's decision in the ex-InterMune Inc. CEO case has the potential to refine the rules governing orders of exclusion, a collateral consequence that may be more severe than the sentence itself for a convicted pharmaceutical executive, say Michele Adelman and Dan McFadden of Foley Hoag LLP.
As we gear up for the next meeting by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation — scheduled for Jan. 31 in the backyard of the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” Orlando, Fla. — let us explore a recurring question that the Panel addressed in two of its rulings on motions heard at its last session in Dallas, Texas: When will the Panel NOT create an MDL? says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.