• December 19, 2014

    Bankruptcy Attys, Trustees Back Baker Botts' Meta-Fee Bid

    Former bankruptcy judges from Texas and Pennsylvania, a trustee association and others have filed briefs supporting Baker Botts LLP in its Supreme Court case over awards for defending core fees in miner Asarco LLC's bankruptcy, saying the Fifth Circuit's disapproval of those awards creates a “perverse incentive” for spurious fee challenges.

  • December 19, 2014

    NJ Asks High Court to Review Power Plant Subsidies Denial

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision rejecting the state’s subsidy program aimed at spurring construction of new gas-fired power plants, arguing that the program is within the state’s dual regulatory authority with the federal government.

  • December 19, 2014

    Retiring Pa. Chief Justice Pegs Legacy On Fracking Decision

    As he prepares to leave the bench at the end of the year, the retiring chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court told Law360 in an interview that his legacy would live on through a 2013 ruling finding that statewide hydraulic fracturing rules violated constitutionally enshrined environmental protections.

  • December 19, 2014

    Reckitt Asks Judge To Again Consider Axing Suboxone Suit

    Reckitt Benckiser Inc. has urged a Pennsylvania federal judge to reconsider his decision to allow Suboxone buyers to pursue claims that the drugmaker violated antitrust law by using a "product-hopping" scheme to delay generic competition for the opiate addiction treatment.

  • December 19, 2014

    FERC Approves $607M Leidy Gas Pipeline Project

    Natural gas pipeline group Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday to build its 30-mile Leidy Southeast pipeline expansion project and to abandon a compressor engine in Pennsylvania.

  • December 19, 2014

    Teva, Pliva Ask High Court To Weigh Pa. Reglan Preemption

    Generic-drug makers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court in three petitions to review a Pennsylvania appellate court ruling that the product liability claims of thousands of generic Reglan users weren't necessarily preempted by federal law.

  • December 19, 2014

    Report Clears Remaining Pa. Justices In Porn Email Scandal

    A report commissioned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the wake of a pornographic email scandal involving now-retired Justice Seamus McCaffery on Friday revealed that no additional inappropriate emails traveled between the court and the state Attorney General’s Office.

  • December 19, 2014

    $450M Live! Casino License Faces Pa. High Court Challenge

    At least two of the losers in the fight to secure the second and final license for a Philadelphia casino on Thursday launched a Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeal of a November decision that favored Stadium Casino LLC's $450 million Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia proposal.

  • December 18, 2014

    3rd Circ. Affirms Life Term For NJ Atty In Witness Murder Plot

    The Third Circuit on Thursday affirmed the conviction and life sentence of a former New Jersey criminal defense attorney convicted of using his law practice as a racketeering enterprise through which he plotted murder and facilitated drug trafficking and prostitution.

  • December 18, 2014

    Kogan Trichon Breached Office Lease Deal, Pa. Judge Says

    After rejecting arguments that the owners of a Philadelphia office tower refused to engage in good faith negotiations, a Pennsylvania state judge refused to reconsider a ruling that Kogan Trichon & Wertheimer PC breached a lease agreement for its former offices.

  • December 18, 2014

    Rohm & Haas Settles Ill. Cancer Cluster Toxic Tort In Pa.

    Dow Chemical Co. unit Rohm & Haas Co. has settled 33 cases in a Pennsylvania state court toxic tort in which plaintiffs claimed the company’s improper disposal of chemicals near an Illinois plant caused brain cancer.

  • December 18, 2014

    Former Rite Aid VP Cops To $15M Kickback Scheme Lies

    A former Rite Aid Corp. vice president and a liquidation business owner agreed Thursday in Pennsylvania federal court to plead guilty to a felony charge in connection with an alleged nine-year kickback scheme that defrauded the pharmacy giant of nearly $15 million.

  • December 18, 2014

    Pa. Court Won't Reconsider Sandusky Probe Privilege Ruling

    A Pennsylvania appeals court said Thursday that it would not reconsider a decision finding that records regarding an investigation commissioned by Pennsylvania State University's board of trustees into the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal are protected by privilege and cannot be released under the state's Right to Know Law.

  • December 18, 2014

    Pa. PUC OKs Experimental License For Lyft Outside Philly

    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday gave Lyft Inc. permission to operate throughout the state for two years, but said the the ride share company cannot offer its services in Philadelphia.

  • December 18, 2014

    Philly Housing Agency Can't Nix Ex-Labor Atty's Firing Claim

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday refused to rule in favor of the Philadelphia Housing Authority in a case brought by its ex-labor counsel who alleges he was wrongfully fired in 2011 based on false and defamatory statements made by former mayor and authority chairman John Street.

  • December 18, 2014

    NJ High Court Concurs With Pa. In Suspending Disgraced Atty

    The Supreme Court of New Jersey on Thursday issued a 30-month suspension to a former attorney of Pennsylvania firm Bochetto & Lentz who was dismissed for theft, choosing to impose the same discipline as Pennsylvania rather than disbarring him.

  • December 18, 2014

    FERC Seeks $30M In Hedge Fund, Trader Manipulation Fines

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday proposed approximately $30 million in fines for a Pennsylvania-based hedge fund and a trader working on its behalf over electricity market manipulation allegations, claims the hedge fund's owners have been publicly fighting.

  • December 17, 2014

    3rd Circ. Greenlights Sanctions Bid In Veggie Contract Row

    A Third Circuit panel on Wednesday freed frozen vegetable company Unilink LLC officers from liability to supplier Food Team International Ltd. after Unilink canceled a broccoli contract, but the court said the company and its attorney could potentially be sanctioned for failing to disclose its insurance policy.

  • December 17, 2014

    3rd Circ. Won't Undo Injunction On Euro-Pro Steam Claims

    The Third Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a preliminary injunction issued to steam iron manufacturer Groupe SEB USA in a suit over a competitor’s advertising claims, finding that Euro-Pro’s packaging unambiguously and falsely told consumers that its Shark steam irons had more powerful steam than SEB’s Rowenta irons.

  • December 17, 2014

    PennDOT Corruption Investigation Snares 10

    Ten people, including two former PennDOT managers, have been charged for their alleged roles in an overbilling scheme that defrauded state taxpayers of at least $1.2 million, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Tracking State Data Protection Enforcement In 2014

    Heather Egan Sussman

    In 2014, state attorneys general continued to play the important parallel roles they have developed in recent years by expanding their use of joint, multistate investigations into data breaches and state legislatures introduced bills on issues such as revenge porn and students' personal and social media information, say attorneys at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Year In Review: 2014 State And Local Employment Laws

    Susan Gross Sholinsky

    In 2014, states, cities, counties and other localities have been busy picking up Congress' slack on employment law by introducing bills and enacting laws on issues such as ban the box, sick leave and pregnancy accommodation, say Susan Gross Sholinsky and Nancy Gunzenhauser of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Tips For Managing E-Discovery In State Courts

    Ethan Hastert

    The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006 to provide a uniform set of rules across the federal courts to govern the preservation, collection and production of electronically stored information, and most companies that regularly litigate complex disputes are familiar with them. At the state level, however, counsel must navigate an often unfamiliar and disparate legal landscape, say Ethan Hastert and Corwin Carr of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • May State And Local Gov'ts Control Low-Flying Drones?

    William O’Connor

    While most of the attention paid to drones has focused on issues of Federal Aviation Administration authority, state and local governments are increasingly asserting regulatory authority over drones and citing the need to protect the health and safety, including privacy, of residents. Do they have this authority? This question will only become more critical, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • A New Era Of Simplified M&A In Pennsylvania

    Perry S. Patterson

    Though Pennsylvania's new Entity Transaction Law is expected to streamline and simplify transactions from a process perspective, the various state and federal tax implications that are often drivers of transaction goals and outcomes could give rise to significant tax gains despite simplified transaction structures, say attorneys with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: End Of An Era

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to Charleston, South Carolina, for its Dec. 4 hearing, let's take a moment to acknowledge a changing of the guard as Judge John Heyburn II, panel chairman for the past seven years, passes the torch. The panel also welcomes its newest member, from the Eastern District of Missouri, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Caution: Flaws Of The Attorney-To-Secretary Ratio

    Sharon Quaintance

    Most sophisticated law firms have found that firmwide attorney-to-secretary ratios do not truly indicate whether a firm is staffed efficiently. At best, these ratios could be considered a baseline measurement or a high-level indicator of whether a firm is “progressive.” But there are some reasons why one should be skeptical of the numbers, says Sharon Quaintance of HBR Consulting.

  • States Still Fighting Bad-Faith Patent Infringement Claims

    Michael Martinez de Andino

    With 17 states having enacted legislation against bad-faith patent infringement assertions and 12 reviewing proposed legislation, states are sending a clear message that the current patent demand letter business model is insufficient to protect companies from unscrupulous patent holders, say Michael Martinez de Andino and Matthew Nigriny of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Pa. High Court Tort Ruling Is Relief To Local Gov't

    Casey A. Coyle

    Zauflik v. Pennsbury School District represents a significant victory for local governments — had the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reached a contrary result it could have served as a catalyst for renewed challenges to the constitutionality of governmental immunity statutes nationwide, says Casey Coyle of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • What If States Opt Out Of EPA's Existing Source Rule?

    Scott C. Oostdyk

    The initial legal question surrounding the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is whether long-standing principles of federalism allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compel states to enforce a federal program like it — legal precedent establishes that the EPA cannot, say Scott Oostdyk and Duncan Getchell Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP.