Appellate

  • December 15, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Says PTAB Erred In Axing Hospital Bed Patent

    The Federal Circuit on Friday reversed and vacated different portions of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision that upheld as invalid the asserted claims of a hospital bed patent, finding that the board erred in its logic and by not adequately explaining itself.

  • December 15, 2017

    DC Circ. Gives Reporters Another Shot In FBI Fake News Row

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday revived the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press' and the Associated Press' bid to learn more about the FBI's alleged practice of impersonating journalists and crafting fake news articles to catch suspected criminals, ruling that the federal government hadn't provided enough information about what it had done to locate relevant records. 

  • December 15, 2017

    Entergy Doesn’t Owe ‘Bandwidth Payments,’ D.C. Circ. Told

    The Arkansas Public Service Commission urged a D.C. Circuit panel in oral arguments Friday to upend a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision holding an Entergy unit to millions of dollars in “bandwidth payments.”

  • December 15, 2017

    2nd Circ. Gets Kozinski Sex Probe Amid New Reports

    Federal court leaders moved quickly Friday to answer accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior by U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, sending a misconduct investigation to an oversight council at the Second Circuit amid new reports that brought the total number of public accusers to 15.

  • December 15, 2017

    Top Product Liability Cases Of 2017

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn a California high court's ruling that 600 nonresidents could pursue claims against Bristol-Myers Squibb over a blood thinner drug heads this year's list of top product liability cases, along with a bankruptcy ruling exposing General Motors to millions of claims not related to its infamous ignition switch.

  • December 15, 2017

    RI Justices OK Doc’s Trial Win In C-Section Injury Suit

    The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a jury verdict clearing a doctor of medical malpractice in connection with an injury a woman suffered during an emergency Cesarean section, saying conflicting expert witness testimony was not enough to warrant a new trial.

  • December 15, 2017

    NJ Justices Won't Mull 'Exotic Dancers As Employees' Ruling

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has refused to second-guess a state appellate opinion issued this year that a now-defunct strip club owed money to state funds meant for employees who lose their jobs or become disabled because exotic dancers there were employees, not independent contractors.

  • December 15, 2017

    DC Circ. Tosses Challenge To FCC Order On Roaming Rates

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday dismissed telecom provider NTCH's request for review of an order from the Federal Communications Commission governing disputes over voice and data “roaming” rates, saying dismissal is warranted since NTCH failed to seek review from the agency before rolling the challenge into the court.

  • December 15, 2017

    11th Circ. Revives Ex-Detective's Discrimination Fight

    The majority of an Eleventh Circuit panel on Friday revived a former Union City, Georgia, police detective’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her race, gender and a disability when she was fired, saying a jury should decide the case after hearing all the evidence.

  • December 15, 2017

    FBI Agent's Ex-Wife Won't Get 1st Circ. Redo Of Privacy Row

    The First Circuit on Thursday stood by its refusal to revive a lawsuit in which the ex-wife of an FBI agent accused the federal government of negligently supervising his use of the bureau's surveillance equipment, which she said he used to keep track of her during their marriage.

  • December 15, 2017

    Texas Justices Pass On Bid To Ax New Trial Against Attys

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to disturb a lower court's decision ordering a new trial and giving a Dallas real estate brokerage a chance to pursue punitive damages against lawyers it says botched a chance to limit liability in a real estate fraud case, leading to a nearly $9 million judgment.

  • December 15, 2017

    11th Circ. Gives Rick Ross Suit Another Day For Hustlin’

    Rick Ross can renew his long-running copyright infringement case against LMFAO over their song “Party Rock Anthem,” which he says rips off his own "Hustlin’," as an Eleventh Circuit panel on Friday reversed a lower court’s ruling that registration mistakes the rapper made invalidated his song’s copyright.

  • December 15, 2017

    Domestic Assault Was Crime Of Violence, 8th Circ. Says

    A panel of Eighth Circuit judges on Friday upheld a Board of Immigration Appeal’s decision enforcing a removal petition against a man who entered the United States illegally, upholding precedent finding that domestic violence is a crime of violence punishable by removal.

  • December 15, 2017

    6th Circ. Asked To Ax Tesla Info Grab In Direct Sales Row

    Three Michigan auto dealers made moves Friday to get the Sixth Circuit to let them off the hook of having to give Tesla information about their lobbying efforts supporting a state ban on car manufacturers selling vehicles directly to consumers.

  • December 15, 2017

    Plane Crash Insurance Fight In Wrong Court, 10th Circ. Says

    Alabama-based airplane engine maker Continental Motors Inc. cannot be sued in Colorado federal court just because an airplane repair business subscribed to its online service manual program, the Tenth Circuit ruled Friday, affirming a lower court’s decision that Continental’s limited contacts with Colorado simply weren’t enough to establish jurisdiction.

  • December 15, 2017

    Md. Court Affirms Probation For Doc Who Sold Rxs At Bar

    A physician who sold painkiller prescriptions to patients at a restaurant and bar had his two-year probation for unprofessional conduct upheld by a Maryland appeals court Wednesday after it found that the evidence supported the state board’s disciplinary decision.

  • December 15, 2017

    Texas Justices Keep Noble On The Hook For $63M Indemnity

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to revisit its decision that Noble Energy Inc. has to indemnify ConocoPhillips in connection with $63 million in environmental cleanup costs despite arguments that Noble’s predecessor wasn’t properly told about the indemnity agreement.

  • December 15, 2017

    Del. High Court Affirms $2M Legal Fees To Ex-Optimis CFO

    A three-justice panel of the Delaware Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling granting a $2 million judgment for attorneys’ fees in favor of the former chief financial officer of physical therapy firm OptimisCorp after a fight over control of the company.

  • December 15, 2017

    Artificial Knee Co. Can't Trim $16M Injury Damages Further

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Friday rejected a bid by an artificial-knee product manufacturer and a marketing firm to further reduce a $16 million damages award to a patient who reinjured her knee during a promotional video for the product.

  • December 15, 2017

    Dell Ruling Bridges Philosophical Gap In Del. Appraisal Law

    With its reversal of the Chancery Court's appraisal of Dell's $25 billion take-private deal, the Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday closed a rare gulf in philosophies between the two courts and set a cardinal benchmark for appraisal litigation, experts say.

Expert Analysis

  • Alternative Fees: My Experience At Bartlit Beck

    J.B. Heaton

    Bartlit Beck was a wonderful place to work for 18 years, and the lawyers there are not only excellent attorneys but also great people. That said, and stating my biases upfront, it is possible for me to look analytically at the Bartlit Beck fee model and make some observations on the pros and cons of one version of alternative fees, says J.B. Heaton, founder of investment analytics company Conjecture LLC.

  • Will New Jersey’s Bet On Sports Gambling Pay Off?

    David Apfel

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Christie v. NCAA, considering New Jersey's bid to permit sports gambling at the state's casinos and race tracks. There appears to be a very real possibility that the Supreme Court will find some of the state's Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional, say David Apfel and Brian Burgess of Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • Opinion

    Jurors Should Have An Active Voice In Trials

    Judge Amos Mazzant III

    We tell jurors how important they are to the successful implementation of our judicial system, but oftentimes we don’t treat them with the reverence they deserve. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, Lisa Blue of Baron and Blue, and Robert Hirschhorn of Cathy E. Bennett & Associates advocate three jury system improvements that will give jurors an active voice and role in our civil and criminal jury trials.

  • New Wine In Old Bottles: RCRA's Anti-Duplication Clause

    Anthony Cavender

    Last month, the Ninth Circuit became the latest federal appellate court to consider the implications of the anti-duplication provision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This is an important decision because it further clarifies the limiting scope of this provision, which is unique to RCRA, say Anthony Cavender and Amy Pierce of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Opinion

    Senators Must Work Harder To Properly Judge Our Judges

    Todd Cox

    On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed L. Steven Grasz to a seat on the Eighth Circuit despite a “unanimously not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association — a rating that has been awarded just twice before. This sounds damning, and it is, but it’s even worse when you understand how the ABA conducts its assessments, says Todd Cox, director of policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

  • Why Information Governance Is More Important Than Ever

    Linda Sharp

    It used to be that hiring a good law firm was the single most important thing a company could do when facing litigation. You could now make the case that an organization’s most powerful asset in prosecuting or defending a claim is its information, says Linda Sharp, associate general counsel of ZL Technologies and chair of the ACC Information Governance Committee.

  • New Obstacles For VPPA Plaintiffs At 9th Circ.

    Joshua Jessen

    Although the lure of hefty statutory damages under the Video Privacy Protection Act means that VPPA litigation will almost certainly continue, the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Eichenberger v. ESPN is another setback for plaintiffs attempting to map this pre-internet law onto modern platforms that serve video content, say attorneys with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Is Behind The Automation Curve

    Michael Moradzadeh

    In its new report on the effects of automation in the workplace, McKinsey Global Institute identifies lawyers as less susceptible to the sort of automation that could put one-third of American workers out of a career by 2030. This may seem reassuring, but it doesn't mean automation won't disrupt our bottom line, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • Weighing Wedding Cake Questions At The High Court

    Joel Kurtzberg

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. While there are many ways the court could slice this case, it seems likely the vote will be 5-4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy casting the deciding vote, says Joel Kurtzberg of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP.

  • 4th Circ. Deals Blow To Securities Fraud Plaintiffs

    Colby Smith

    By cabining material misrepresentation and scienter within their respective domains, the Fourth Circuit in Maguire Financial v. PowerSecure highlighted the onerous bar securities fraud plaintiffs must meet for their claims to survive dismissal, say attorneys with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.