Appellate

  • October 16, 2017

    Feds, Tribe Urge Justices To Reject Review Of Water Ruling

    The federal government and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a petition by two California water agencies seeking to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling extending the tribe’s water rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

  • October 16, 2017

    Calif. County Must Revise Enviro Report On 340-Home Project

    Orange County has to revise its environmental impact report on a proposed 340-home residential project next to a state park, a California appeals court said in an opinion filed Friday, granting an environmental group’s bid to halt the project after finding the report failed to adequately identify the development’s potential impacts on the surrounding area.

  • October 16, 2017

    What’s At Stake In The AmEx Merchant Rules Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to take up a case over American Express Co.’s policy of prohibiting merchants from steering customers to other credit cards gives the high court a rare opportunity to provide clarity on the rule-of-reason. Experts tell Law360 that while most antitrust cases taken up by the justices deal with what kind of analysis needs to be made, in this case they could touch on how that analysis should be performed.

  • October 16, 2017

    SEC Asks Supreme Court To Weigh In On In-House Judges

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has joined those already urging the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve whether the agency's administrative law judges function as "inferior officers" who need to be appointed in accordance with the Constitution's appointments clause, rather than hired like other federal employees.

  • October 16, 2017

    Union Lobs Counterclaims In Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Row

    The NFL players union won’t wait for the Fifth Circuit to rectify the “procedural limbo” it said the appeals court left it in to try to free Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott from a six-game suspension, urging the New York federal judge overseeing the NFL’s adjoining suit to grant it an emergency order blocking his suspension Monday.

  • October 16, 2017

    HCA Healthcare Must Face Calif. Doctor’s Retaliation Suit

    A California appellate panel on Friday greenlighted a suit accusing an HCA Healthcare hospital of terminating a doctor’s contract because he refused to discharge patients early, saying the case was not subject to California's law barring lawsuits that infringe free speech rights.

  • October 16, 2017

    Gorsuch Suggests Nixing Chevron Doctrine In Contract Cases

    Justice Neil Gorsuch continued his onslaught against the legal doctrine of "Chevron deference" Monday with a statement in a case involving regulations for digital highway billboards, suggesting courts shouldn't defer to a federal agency's view of an ambiguous contract.

  • October 16, 2017

    High Court Rejects Trio Of Employment Cases

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected three separate petitions that raised employment law questions, including whether claims brought under California’s Private Attorneys General Act can be waived in employment arbitration deals and how courts should assess certain claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • October 16, 2017

    Celanese's $2.4M Coverage Award Nixed By Mass. Court

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Monday vacated a decision ordering OneBeacon to repay Celanese Corp. for about $2.4 million the chemical company had paid to defend asbestos and other personal injury claims, finding that Celanese lost its right to reimbursement when it refused to let the insurer take control of its defense.

  • October 16, 2017

    Travel Agents Appeal To 9th Circ. In Airline Price-Fix Suit

    Travel agents suing American Airlines Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Airlines Inc. and a global airfare publisher have asked the Ninth Circuit to revive their suit alleging the airlines conspired to fix prices on multicity flights, arguing that new evidence substantiated their conspiracy claims but were ignored by the lower court.

  • October 16, 2017

    Leidos Settles Fraud Suit Ahead Of High Court Arguments

    Government contractor Leidos Inc. and a proposed class of investors who accused it of fraud have settled their proposed class action just a month before they were set to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court about a Second Circuit decision that brought the plaintiffs' case back to life.

  • October 16, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Finds Mail-Tracking Patents Invalid Under Alice

    The Federal Circuit ruled Monday that several Secured Mail Solutions LLC patents are invalid under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice test, upholding a lower court’s decision in an infringement case against Universal Wilde Inc.

  • October 16, 2017

    9th Circ. Urged To Punt MetLife Disclosure Issue To State

    A proposed class of consumers told the Ninth Circuit on Monday that the California Supreme Court should weigh in on whether MetLife and other insurers are exempt from disclosing compound interest charges on policy loans, arguing that the state law at issue is unclear and prior case law doesn’t provide much guidance on the issue.

  • October 16, 2017

    Mortgage Underwriters OT-Exempt, Trade Groups Tell Justices

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association and other amici on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a Ninth Circuit decision finding mortgage underwriters were entitled to overtime, saying the conclusion departs from the long-standing application of U.S. Department of Labor rules.

  • October 16, 2017

    Texas Cities Denounce Anti-Sanctuary City Law At 5th Circ.

    In three separate briefs filed with the Fifth Circuit Friday, some of Texas’ largest cities voiced their opposition to a state statute that bars so-called sanctuary city policies, attacking it as an unconstitutional restriction of free speech and a violation of due process and the Fourth Amendment.

  • October 16, 2017

    Pa. Med Board Erred In Nixing License Reinstatement: Court

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Monday overturned a state medical board's rejection of a physician assistant's bid to reinstate his license, saying the man had successfully completed a drug treatment program that effectively vacated his criminal drug conviction.

  • October 16, 2017

    Justices Urged To Strike Down Law Barring Tribal Casino Suit

    A Michigan man has pressed the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a D.C. Circuit decision backing a law that killed off his legal challenge to a tribal casino project, saying that Congress can't pass a law that violates the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary.

  • October 16, 2017

    9th Circ. Says Housing Loan Is Business Debt In Man's Ch. 7

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday found a $500,000 mortgage provided by an employer to induce a man to relocate to a new job is not consumer debt for Chapter 7 purposes.

  • October 16, 2017

    Ex-Pa. Rep. Staffer's Malicious Prosecution Suit Axed

    The Third Circuit agreed on Monday that repeated findings of probable cause against an ex-Pennsylvania legislative staffer negated his claim that he was maliciously prosecuted by the state’s former attorney general for his alleged role in a scandal over the use of taxpayer money to purchase campaign-related technology.

  • October 16, 2017

    High Court Won't Hear Immigration Case Over Sex Offense

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the government's appeal of a ruling that nixed a deportation order against a Salvadoran man convicted of a sex offense involving a minor, preserving a Fourth Circuit decision in his favor.

Expert Analysis

  • Aqua Products: Watershed Decision Or Barely A Ripple?

    Naveen Modi

    A deeply fractured en banc Federal Circuit in Aqua Products v. Matal has shifted the burden of persuasion onto petitioners to establish the unpatentability of amended claims proffered by patent owners during inter partes review proceedings. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may attempt to promulgate regulations reimposing the burden of persuasion on patent owners, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Questioning Appellate Time Limits At The High Court

    Eric Miller

    Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago questions whether the time limit on a district court’s authority to extend the deadline for filing a notice of appeal is jurisdictional. Based on the questions at argument before the U.S. Supreme Court last week, the court appears likely to adhere to the principle articulated in some of its recent cases, says Eric Miller of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Why The Supreme Court Could Rule ALJs Unconstitutional

    David Perlman

    Recent federal appeals court decisions have questioned the constitutionality of the use of administrative law judges by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to address the SEC's use of ALJs, but FERC-specific issues may not be resolved without further litigation, say David Perlman and Britt Steckman of Bracewell LLP.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Default Dates Of 1st Exposure Can Lead To Conflict

    Jim Dorion

    Troubling issues can arise when an umbrella or excess insurer refuses to accept claims of primary policy exhaustion because allocation of loss is based on a default date of first exposure. A Connecticut appellate court's decision in Vanderbilt v. Hartford earlier this year shows how practicality and fairness weigh into resolution of DOFE coverage issues, say Jim Dorion of Willies Towers Watson PLC and Stephen Hoke of Hoke LLC.

  • Deciding The Forum For 'Waters Of The US' Suits

    Joel Beauvais

    Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Defense. During argument, the balance of questions seemed to favor the industry and state petitioners arguing in favor of district court jurisdiction for suits challenging the Clean Water Rule, says Joel Beauvais of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Sometimes It Pays To Litigate Against The CFPB

    Ryan Scarborough

    Companies' reluctance to litigate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims has allowed the bureau to establish a value for its claims based on what it can extract from companies seeking peace rather than what it can prove in a neutral federal forum. Several recent examples demonstrate that when a company has sound defenses, litigating can dramatically improve outcomes compared to settlement, say attorneys with Williams & Connolly LLP.

  • New Jersey Whistleblower Protections: More Than Skin-Deep

    Matthew Stiff

    The Third Circuit recently reiterated its expansive interpretation of New Jersey state whistleblower protections when it revived a patent lawyer’s lawsuit against his former employer. Steven Trzaska’s victory should provide whistleblowers with greater assurance that they can investigate and oppose employer misconduct without fear of retaliation, says Matthew Stiff of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • 4 Ways To Stay Ahead Of Overtime Issues

    Todd Shadle

    As was demonstrated by the Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Allen v. City of Chicago, in order to decrease exposure to Fair Labor Standards Act violations it is important for employers to have overtime and overtime-reporting policies in place, as well as training on those policies and measures to ensure that they are being followed, says Todd Shadle of Godwin Bowman & Martinez PC.