• March 21, 2018

    High Court Criminal Tax Ruling Leaves Some Leeway For Feds

    A commanding majority on the U.S. Supreme Court bench refused to grant federal prosecutors a wider berth in trying allegedly criminal tax behavior, but the court’s interpretation of a tax felony statute may still be vague enough to lead to convictions for lesser violations.

  • March 21, 2018

    Enerplus Lacks Standing In $3M Royalty Row, 8th Circ. Told

    A Three Affiliated Tribes member and his counsel told the Eighth Circuit on Tuesday that oil and gas exploration company Enerplus Resources Corp. didn’t have standing to bring its suit against them to recover $2.96 million in mistaken royalty overpayments it made to the member and his former and current attorneys.

  • March 21, 2018

    Trump Rips DOJ For Not Asking Justices To Hear DACA Case

    President Donald Trump slammed the U.S. Department of Justice on Twitter on Wednesday for failing to prod the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal of rulings that allowed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals participants to obtain driver’s licenses in Arizona.

  • March 21, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Reverses UnitedHealth Unit $12.3M Patent Loss

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday tossed a $12.3 million jury verdict against a UnitedHealth unit accused of infringing a patent for measuring doctors’ efficiency, saying that the lower court erred in its construction of one of the key claims in the case.

  • March 21, 2018

    ACLU, Professors, Others Defend DACA Injunction At 9th Circ.

    The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, history professors and others on Tuesday urged the Ninth Circuit not to reverse a California federal court's order temporarily barring the Trump administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

  • March 21, 2018

    Benefits Start When Judges Take Office, Calif. Panel Says

    Superior court judges elected in 2012 were not grandfathered into older and more favorable retirement benefits, a California appeals court affirmed Tuesday, since they took office after the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 went into effect.

  • March 21, 2018

    5th Circ. Affirms Corps' Win In Mitigation Credits Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of an environmental restoration company’s lawsuit alleging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally planned its own rehabilitation project instead of buying mitigation credits from the company.

  • March 21, 2018

    Attys In Chipotle OT Suit Want Contempt Finding Stayed

    Attorneys who were held in contempt for filing an overtime pay suit against Chipotle based on a rule a Texas federal judge had blocked asked the judge Tuesday to stay the contempt order while they appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

  • March 21, 2018

    9th Circ. Nixes Trusts' ERISA Suit Over Unpaid Contributions

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday refused to revive several employee benefit trust funds’ ERISA claims against two officers of a glass and glazing company in their suit seeking unpaid contributions allegedly owed under labor agreements governing benefit plans they managed for the company.

  • March 21, 2018

    Tesla, Ariz. Utility Deal Won't End Solar Antitrust Debate

    Tuesday's settlement of an antitrust suit brought by a Tesla Inc. unit over an Arizona public utility's rooftop solar fees leaves unanswered whether such fees unlawfully impede solar development to benefit incumbent utilities, as well as the scope of public utilities' immunity from antitrust suits, a question the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to consider.

  • March 21, 2018

    2nd Circ. Upholds FedEx Win In Textbook Copying Suit

    A Second Circuit panel on Wednesday upheld a win for FedEx in a copyright infringement suit brought by an educational materials maker who sought to force the store to pay royalties each time a teacher copied its textbooks without permission, agreeing with a lower court that the company’s licensing agreement didn’t include such requirements.

  • March 21, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Says No Fees For PTAB Indefiniteness Finding

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday upheld a decision denying attorneys’ fees to Brainlab Inc. after it prevailed in a patent case, finding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s conclusion that the plaintiff’s patent was indefinite doesn’t mean the infringement case was weak.

  • March 21, 2018

    How They Won It: Jones Day, Orrick Kill Heller Clawback

    Knowing the California Supreme Court’s decision would have broad ramifications for the legal industry, attorneys for Jones Day and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP beat a clawback bid by the bankruptcy trustee of Heller Ehrman by arguing a core principle: A defunct law firm doesn’t have a property interest in hourly matters continued by a dissolved firm’s former partners.

  • March 21, 2018

    Feds, Tribe Urge DC Circ. Not To Rethink Casino Ruling

    The federal government and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians each urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday not to reconsider its decision to affirm a lower court ruling tossing a challenge to the tribe's proposed California casino, saying a nonprofit group hadn’t shown there was any need for an en banc rehearing.

  • March 21, 2018

    Atty Sanctions Affirmed In Duplicate Wrongful Death Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday declined to nix sanctions against attorneys involved in a wrongful death suit, ruling that the trial court was not wrong to infer that attorneys for the dead man’s wife conspired with attorneys for the trucking company accused of being responsible for his death to conceal a settlement agreement from the man’s girlfriend and her children.

  • March 21, 2018

    Law Schools Ask 2nd Circ. To Affirm $50M Antitrust Suit Win

    Ten law schools urged the Second Circuit on Wednesday to uphold a lower court’s dismissal of federal antitrust and racketeering claims from a bar exam preparation company’s $50 million suit alleging they conspired to stifle competition for classes targeting foreign Master of Laws graduates, saying the claims weren’t factually supported.

  • March 21, 2018

    NC Panel Says School Board Immune From Negligence Claims

    A North Carolina appeals court has ruled that a state board designated to hear negligence cases involving school buses does not have jurisdiction over claims made against school board officials by a man whose child was struck and killed while catching her bus.

  • March 21, 2018

    Atty's Widow Says Mass. Court Buoys Her $3M GSK Verdict

    The widow of a Reed Smith LLP attorney who committed suicide after taking a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Paxil told the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday that a decision last week by Massachusetts’ top appellate court torpedoes the company’s appeal of her $3 million jury verdict.

  • March 21, 2018

    Justices Wary Of Weakening Tribal Immunity In Property Row

    Various members of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday conceded that a Washington couple made an "extremely strong argument" that Native American tribes shouldn't be immune from lawsuits over contested real estate, yet a procedural quirk in the case gave them pause.

  • March 21, 2018

    Consumer Groups Ask 9th Circ. To Rehear Hyundai MDL Deal

    Global automakers and tort reform and consumer advocates have urged the Ninth Circuit to rethink its recent rejection of a $200 million settlement in multidistrict litigation over Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Kia Motors Corp. vehicle fuel efficiency, saying the ruling has potentially devastating consequences by forcing courts to weigh state law variations in nationwide deals.

Expert Analysis

  • How To Interpret A Contract? Ask Those Who’d Sign It

    Omri Ben-Shahar

    Surveys are an accepted method of evaluating consumer perceptions in a wide range of cases. However, when it comes to contracts, it is often the judge or jury who must interpret the text. We suggest surveying consumers to determine which meaning of a disputed term is embraced by a clear majority, say professors at the University of Chicago and consultants at Analysis Group.

  • Limitations Of Exclusivity Defense In Workers’ Comp Cases

    Pierre Grosdidier

    The Corpus Christi Court of Appeals' recent decision in Halferty v. Flextronics America is important because it confirms that the higher participants in the usual construction contractual chain cannot merely push workers’ compensation requirements down to the lowest-tier subcontractors and still enjoy the exclusivity defense, says Pierre Grosdidier of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Chief Innovation Officer — The New Star On Legal Teams

    Mark Williamson

    Over the past few years, forward-thinking law firms have expanded their talent pools to include a chief innovation officer, whose responsibilities include spearheading the implementation of technology. It is a smart move, says ​​​​​​​Mark Williamson, co-founder and chief technology officer at Hanzo Archives Ltd.

  • Betting On Change: States Plan For Sports Gambling Decision

    Aaron Swerdlow

    If New Jersey wins its sports betting case at the U.S. Supreme Court, expect many states to implement new legislation legalizing sports betting and industry regulation. If New Jersey does not win, it will anger many state legislators that were preparing to implement their own legislation, says Aaron Swerdlow of Gerard Fox Law PC.

  • A Closer Look At Long-Awaited DC Circ. Robocall Ruling

    Marc Martin

    While the D.C. Circuit's decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission didn't define "autodialer," it clarified what it's not. How the FCC may further clarify the definition remains to be seen, but the ruling should provide guidance on Telephone Consumer Protection Act compliance, say attorneys with Perkins Coie.

  • For Fate Of IPR Use, We Can Look To Dr. Seuss

    Travis Jensen

    In 2011, I used Dr. Seuss’ classic story “The Sneetches” to explain to a group of Stanford students the creation of the inter partes review regime. With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to issue its Oil States ruling any day, it is an ideal time to revisit the Sneetches analogy, says Travis Jensen of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Examining The Enforceability Of Physician Noncompetes

    Mark Wiletsky

    Depending on the circumstances, physician noncompetes can be enforceable, but with its recent decision in Crocker v. Greater Colorado Anesthesia, the Colorado Court of Appeals added a new wrinkle when dealing with these types of agreements, says Mark Wiletsky of Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Eligibility Rulings May Lead To Shift In Patent Prosecution

    Daniel Venglarik

    Three Federal Circuit decisions on subject matter eligibility conflict with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office guidance. A recently filed petition for rehearing en banc, if granted, may afford the full court an opportunity to clarify the role of factual evidence in eligibility determinations, say Daniel Venglarik and Neil Ferrari of Munck Wilson Mandala LLP.

  • Opinion

    National Lawyers Need National Licensing For National Courts

    EJ Hurst II

    Just last month, a number of legal groups asked the Northern District of California to strike its rule requiring that, before seeking federal court admission, attorneys first be licensed by the state of California. It is irrational to exclude seasoned federal practitioners from general admission due to state bar approval while allowing raw state lawyers who have never been inside a federal courtroom, says attorney EJ Hurst.

  • Are Orders Denying Class Cert. Appealable In PAGA Cases?

    Felix Shafir

    For decades, plaintiffs who brought class actions in California could immediately appeal orders denying class certification under the “death knell” doctrine. But the growing number of representative claims under the Private Attorneys General Act have led to a recent reassessment of this decades-old rule in cases where plaintiffs allege both class and PAGA representative claims, say Felix Shafir and John Querio of Horvitz & Levy LLP.