Appellate

  • February 22, 2017

    Fla. Court Limits Widow's Damages Under Wrongful Death Law

    A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday in a suit brought by the widow of a man who died of mesothelioma that a surviving spouse cannot claim loss of consortium damages under the state's wrongful death law if the two were not married at the time of the deceased spouse's injury.

  • February 22, 2017

    9th Circ. Won't Reconsider Decision To Arctic Protect Seal

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied a request from oil and gas interests, Alaskan local governments, and Native American tribes to reconsider a panel’s decision that the National Marine Fisheries Service reasonably relied on climate change projections to determine that an Arctic seal population would be endangered by the end of the century.

  • February 22, 2017

    4th Circ. Says BIA Used Wrong Standard In Waiver Case

    The Board of Immigration Appeals used the wrong standard of review in deciding that a Thailand citizen’s marriage was a sham and that she was ineligible to stay in the United States, the Fourth Circuit said Wednesday, noting that the agency should have given the case a “hybrid review” for both underlying facts and applicable legal standards.

  • February 22, 2017

    Wash. Justices Rule Against Tribe In Land Row With Couple

    The Washington Supreme Court has upheld the conclusion that a husband and wife own a disputed strip of land rather than the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, finding that the tribe’s sovereign immunity is not a barrier to the case, which was sparked by the placement of a fence.

  • February 22, 2017

    9th Circ. OKs Dreamworks’ Win In ‘Turbo’ Profits Suit

    The Ninth Circuit refused to revive a securities class action against DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. alleging the animation studio misled investors about the profit potential of the 2013 cartoon flick “Turbo,” finding that the investors failed to show they were fraudulently deceived.

  • February 22, 2017

    Tribes Tell 8th Circ. Sanctions Unwarranted In Pipeline Row

    Officials for the Three Affiliated Tribes asked the Eighth Circuit on Tuesday not to sanction them for bringing a second appeal in Paradigm Energy Partners LLC’s lawsuit seeking to block them from interfering with the construction of a pair of pipelines underneath a lake on their land in North Dakota, saying their request for a review is not frivilous.

  • February 22, 2017

    Kansas Top Court Rejects Pizza Hut Franchisee's Tax Appeal

    A $42.5 million dispute between a retired Pizza Hut franchisee and the Kansas Department of Revenue will make its way back to a tax appeals board after the Kansas Supreme Court rejected petitions to review the case.

  • February 22, 2017

    High Court Shouldn't Hear $7B Visa, MC Deal, Retailers Say

    A pair of merchant trade groups asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to refuse to hear the appeal of retailers seeking to reinstate a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard over interchange fees that was shot down by the Second Circuit, calling the deal an “enormously unpopular and worthless mandatory settlement.”  

  • February 22, 2017

    Conn. Ponzi Schemer Still Must Pay $370M, 2nd Circ. Says

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday refused to quash an order that convicted Ponzi schemer Francisco Illarramendi pay $370.4 million in restitution for a scam described as the largest Ponzi scheme in Connecticut's history, saying a delay of over 10 months didn't amount to an abuse of the district court's discretion.

  • February 22, 2017

    Arbitrator Wrongly Gave FAU Prof Tenure, Court Says

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday ruled that an arbitrator exceeded his authority when he awarded a Florida Atlantic University professor tenure after the school had initially denied it.

  • February 22, 2017

    Ind. Med Mal Suit Revived Despite Adverse Advisory Ruling

    Despite an adverse advisory ruling from a state medical malpractice review panel, an Indiana appeals court on Wednesday revived a suit accusing a health clinic of failing to conduct a timely cesarean section, saying the parents did indeed present evidence to the panel supporting an alternate liability theory.

  • February 22, 2017

    10th Circ. Says Congress Diminished Tribes' Reservation

    In a precedential ruling Wednesday, the Tenth Circuit held that Congress diminished the boundaries of a Wyoming reservation shared by two Native American tribes in 1905, despite the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's determination to the contrary.

  • February 22, 2017

    Atty Advice To DREAMer On Deportation Adequate, Court Says

    The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday found that defense attorneys for a so-called DREAMer rightly advised that his guilty plea for having sex with a minor could potentially result in deportation, when in fact it immediately triggered his removal.

  • February 22, 2017

    NLRB Asks 5th Circ. To OK Chipotle Break Petition Ruling

    The National Labor Relations Board urged the Fifth Circuit last week to affirm its ruling that Chipotle Services LLC illegally fired an employee for refusing to stop circulating a petition demanding fair break time, calling this “textbook” protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act.

  • February 22, 2017

    11th Circ. Affirms Wells Fargo Property Interest In Nadel Case

    The Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday said Wells Fargo did not lose its interest as a secured creditor in two properties in the wake of hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel's $168 million Ponzi scheme, saying a creditor’s property rights are granted under state law and a federal court can’t invalidate them for failure to submit a proof of claim.

  • February 22, 2017

    Avis Renter Says She Shares ACE Fraud Claim With Class

    An English consumer who attempted to lead a class action accusing Avis and subsidiary Budget Rent-A-Car of fraudulently offering supplemental insurance in their rental car contracts has asked the 11th Circuit to recertify her class.

  • February 22, 2017

    Fla. Dealt Blow In Water Rights Tussle, But Options Remain

    Florida suffered a major setback last week from a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed special master in its long-running dispute with Georgia over water rights, but experts say it's not the end of the road for the state, which still has options both in court and in Congress to cap Georgia’s water usage and divert more freshwater to Apalachicola Bay to revive the fishing industry there.

  • February 22, 2017

    Ex-Rite Aid Counsel Says Indemnity Clock Didn't Expire

    The former general counsel of retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid Corp. told the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday that his appeals of criminal convictions related to a $1.6 billion accounting scandal should extend the time during which he can seek repayment of his legal costs from the company.

  • February 22, 2017

    Texas Court Says UT Southwestern Doctors Can't Be Sued

    A Texas appeals court has thrown out claims that a group of doctors mistreated a 16-year-old with a brain tumor, holding the doctors established the claims should have been brought against their employer, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

  • February 22, 2017

    AIG Unit's Policy Covers Yacht Sinking, 11th Circ. Told

    The owner of a yacht told the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday that a federal judge was right to find that not leaks but bilge-pump failure sunk a vessel called the It's All Good that was covered by an American International Group Inc. unit.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Calif. Court Gets Automatic Funding Disclosure Right

    Matthew D. Harrison

    Detractors of litigation funding have strained to characterize a recent decision from a California federal court as significant headway in their crusade against the litigation funding industry. However, in truth, this is a victory for both the industry and those in need of capital to bring meritorious claims against wrongdoers in an often prohibitively expensive legal system, say Matthew Harrison and Priya G. Pai of Bentham IMF.

  • Fed. Circ. Provides Cautionary Tale On Markush Claiming

    Tom Irving

    A lesson for practitioners from the Federal Circuit's recent decision in Shire v. Watson is to use the Markush style of claim drafting with caution, such as only when truly necessary, for example, to avoid prior art, say attorneys with Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • Consensus Returns On Corporate Insurance Transfers In M&A

    Michael H. Ginsberg

    The California Supreme Court recently reversed its 2003 decision in Henkel v. Hartford, where it previously held that a no-assignment clause will bar the transfer of insurance coverage rights to a successor entity. The clear majority trend among courts across the country is to uphold the ability of parties to transfer coverage in corporate transactions and prevent the forfeiture of historical insurance assets, say Michael Ginsberg ... (continued)

  • Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

    Brett Moore

    The Butte County, California, sheriff recently ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding the Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in its emergency spillway. Although other avenues may exist to pursue liability against the agencies involved in management of the facilities, those agencies might avoid state tort liability on preemption grounds, says Brett Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • A Reprieve From The Deluge Of Hail Litigation In Texas

    James W. Holbrook

    The Texas Fourth Court of Appeals' ruling in Garcia v. State Farm is a definitive answer to one question commonly presented in hail disputes, holding that an insurer's payment of an appraisal award generally insulates the insurer from liability. This raises some ethical concerns, as hail lawyers continue to sign up insureds on a 40 percent contingency fee basis while knowing that their clients' disputes will likely be resolved by s... (continued)

  • Examining The Meaning Of ‘Sexual Abuse Of A Minor’

    Michael Carlin

    In Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, the U.S. Supreme Court will need to decide whether, and to what extent, courts must follow the procedures the court set forth in Taylor v. U.S. in cases considering allegations of “sexual abuse of a minor.” The court could apply the rule of lenity to the statute at issue, as Judge Jeffrey Sutton urged in dissent in the Sixth Circuit ruling, says Michael Carlin of the Law Office of Michael Carlin PLLC.

  • Civil Litigation Outlook For 2017

    Reid Schar

    Several areas of civil litigation appear poised for growth this year, including securities class action activity, which could outpace even the significant 2016 levels, and trade secret litigation, which could see further growth in the coming year under the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Meanwhile, as companies increasingly face the specter of data breaches, several developments in 2017 could bring greater clarity to this area of the law... (continued)

  • Del. High Court's Volcano Ruling Confirms Corwin's Potency

    Gail Weinstein

    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent decision in Volcano Stockholders Litigation is consistent with the Delaware courts’ continued expansive interpretation of the seminal Corwin v. KKR Financial decision, which has resulted in a strong trend of early dismissal of post-closing damages actions challenging noncontroller M&A, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • Van Patten V. Vertical Fitness Is No TCPA Killer

    David Martinez

    As Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation continues to grow at a staggering rate, the Spokeo defense remains an intriguing, if unsettled, means of attacking TCPA claims in federal court. Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness might not be the TCPA killer defendants have hoped for, but it is at the very least a welcome refuge for companies under siege, say Michael Reif and David Martinez of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • US Patent Practice Drifting Toward Approach Prevalent Abroad

    Gurneet Singh

    Post-Alice cases on technical problems and technical solutions show that a problem-solution standard similar to the one adopted in Europe, Australia, China and Japan is seeing express endorsement by U.S. courts adjudicating Section 101 challenges, say Gurneet Singh and Harold Laidlaw of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.