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Appellate

  • October 18, 2018

    Heritage Foundation Suspends Law Clerk Training Program

    The Heritage Foundation said Thursday that it was putting its training program for federal law clerks on hold, an announcement made in the wake of news articles disclosing that the conservative think tank told participants to keep the teachings of the donor-funded program a secret.

  • October 18, 2018

    Calif. Judges Want Clarification On High Court Recusal

    Counsel for a class of over 3,000 California state appellate judges in an appeal involving $36 million worth of back wage and pension payments have asked the state's Supreme Court justices to clarify their decision to recuse themselves from the suit, saying that all judges may have a financial stake in the case.

  • October 18, 2018

    Los Angeles Keeps Trial Win In Teen Pedestrian Death Suit

    A California state appeals court has affirmed a defense verdict in a suit accusing the city of Los Angeles of creating a dangerous condition at an intersection where a 17-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed, saying certain trial evidence was properly excluded.

  • October 18, 2018

    Vitamin Distributor Can't Dodge $9M Default: Ill. High Court

    An Illinois man doesn't have to prove a Chinese vitamin manufacturer folded or went bankrupt before he can go after a U.S. distributor to enforce a $9 million default judgment, the Illinois Supreme Court held Thursday.

  • October 18, 2018

    Ill. Justices Find Homeowners’ Faulty Insurance Suit Untimely

    The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a couple's complaint alleging a homeowners insurance agent is to blame for their policy not covering cyberbullying claims against their son, saying the action is time-barred because it was filed more than two years after the allegedly deficient policy was issued.

  • October 18, 2018

    Crash Victims Ask 8th Circ. To Cut Firm’s Fees In Toyota Row

    The victims of a fatal 2006 crash have urged the Eighth Circuit to uphold a ruling that cut the fee award allotted to one of their representatives, the Padden Law Firm PLLC, arguing that the lower court correctly reduced the award because Padden "did little or no substantive work."

  • October 18, 2018

    Full Fed. Circ. Urged To Eye Burden Shift In DuPont IP Row

    The full Federal Circuit should review an appellate panel’s “improper” use of a “procedural scheme” that led to the reversal of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s invalidation of a chemical patent, as the burden of proof should have stayed with petitioner DuPont, the BASF-affiliated owner of the patent argued Wednesday.

  • October 18, 2018

    Jailed Fla. Atty Turned Wannabe Drug Informant Disbarred

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday permanently disbarred a now-jailed criminal defense attorney who attempted to gain leniency on drunk driving charges by arranging to have a package containing heroin sent through the mail, in hopes of become a police informant.

  • October 18, 2018

    Ill. High Court Says Ameren Can Take Land For Power Line

    The Illinois Supreme Court sided Thursday with electric utility Ameren Corp. in its fight to take land from 35 property owners for a new power line, reversing a lower court’s ruling that a state eminent domain statute was unconstitutional.

  • October 18, 2018

    Toshiba Tells High Court Stock-Drop Suit Doesn't Belong In US

    Japan's Toshiba Corp. has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's revival of a proposed class action alleging misstatements made in the company’s home country caused the price of American depositary shares to fall, saying the supposed misconduct occurred entirely in the Asian country.

  • October 18, 2018

    Energy Co. Must Pay Long-Term Benefits To Fired VP: 5th Circ.

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Thursday found a federal district court erred when it ruled a former CETCO Energy Services Company employee couldn’t get certain incentive payments outlined in his contract, remanding the case to determine how much in long-term incentive benefits he is owed.

  • October 18, 2018

    Pharmacy's Damages Are Actually Reparable, Pa. Court Rules

    A Pittsburgh-area pharmacy services provider that lost two executives to a rival was rightly denied a preliminary injunction against its competitor because the “irreparable harm” it sought to stop could be quantified and covered by damages, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled Thursday.

  • October 18, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Tells PTAB To Consider Success Of Oil Invention

    The Federal Circuit on Thursday threw out the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decision that part of a LiquidPower Specialty Products Inc. patent related to the transport of crude oil was obvious, saying the board needs to consider evidence of the invention's success.

  • October 18, 2018

    Wash. Tells Justices Tribal Right Isn't Violated By Fuel Tax

    The Washington State Department of Licensing told the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling in favor of a tribal fuel distributor, saying a fuel tax does not violate the Yakama Nation’s right to travel on public highways and the company read a tribal treaty right too broadly while mischaracterizing state law.

  • October 18, 2018

    NY High Court Defers To DOL On Apprentice Wages

    New York’s high court on Thursday sided with the state’s Department of Labor in a suit over apprentice wages on public-work projects, ruling that the agency properly reasoned that apprentices not performing the tasks of their trade must be paid higher wages.

  • October 18, 2018

    Ark. Supreme Court Scraps Tort Reform Ballot Measure

    An Arkansas ballot issue aiming to institute sweeping tort reforms in personal injury lawsuits, including caps on certain damages and attorneys’ fees, will not be presented to voters next month after the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the measure was unconstitutional.

  • October 18, 2018

    Pa. Justices Ease Burden For Firefighter Cancer Claims

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has eased the burden on firefighters to move forward with workers’ compensation claims for cancer diagnoses they believe could be connected to their exposure to soot and other carcinogens.

  • October 18, 2018

    5th Circ. Passes Daewoo Iron Shipment Row To La. High Court

    A Fifth Circuit panel has asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to rule on whether a state law allowed Korean shipper Daewoo International Corp. to seize a contested iron shipment as it looked to compel America Metals Trading LLP into arbitration.

  • October 18, 2018

    $2.6M Atty Fee Cut Upheld In Tribal Land Buyback Suit

    The D.C. Circuit has upheld a $2.6 million attorneys' fee reduction against a lawyer who successfully represented tribes in a class action leading to a $1.9 billion land buyback program, finding the court did not abuse its discretion by electing a different fee calculation rate than the one proposed by the lawyer.

  • October 18, 2018

    Can We Have President Trump Arrested? NY Judges Wonder

    Five New York state appellate judges hearing President Donald Trump’s bid to have a defamation lawsuit dismissed zoomed in on the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause at argument on Thursday, going so far as to ask if the president could be jailed if he ignored a state court’s order.

Expert Analysis

  • A New Framework For 'Blocking Patents' And Obviousness?

    winston.jpg

    Secondary considerations can be a useful tool for patent owners attempting to overcome an obviousness challenge. However, the Federal Circuit's decision last month in Acorda v. Roxane leaves the treatment of secondary considerations in question when a so-called “blocking patent” may exist, say Daniel Winston and Bryana McGillycuddy of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Inside NonBelief Relief's Challenge To A Tax Filing Exemption

    Samuel Brunson

    Last week, nonprofit NonBelief Relief filed a lawsuit in a D.C. federal court challenging the IRS' mandatory exception from filing annual information returns given to churches — but not to other nonprofits — on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment's establishment clause. Professor Samuel Brunson of Loyola University Chicago School of Law takes a first look at the case.

  • Assignment Of Benefits Faces A New Hurdle In Florida

    Margo Meta

    A Florida state appeals court's decision last month in Restoration 1 v. Ark Royal weakens assignment-of-benefit claims, holding that an insurer may require all insureds and mortgagees to provide written consent prior to executing an assignment-of-benefits agreement, says Margo Meta of Ball Janik LLP.

  • Issues High Court Will Explore In Copyright Registration Case

    Irene Lee

    Soon the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, a case that could significantly affect how artists and companies strategize to protect copyrights, says Irene Lee of Russ August & Kabat.

  • Class Arbitration Goes To The Supreme Court

    Jay Bogan

    A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Varela v. Lamps Plus that the Federal Arbitration Act displaces contractual interpretation rules likely would vacate the Eleventh Circuit's recent JPay decision, says James Bogan of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • 6th Circ. Creates Deep Divide Over Reach Of CWA

    Anthony Cavender

    Despite the Clean Water Act's long history, recent decisions from the federal appellate courts — including two opinions from the Sixth Circuit last month — have raised new questions about several issues that once seemed settled, say Anthony Cavender and Amy Pierce of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • To What Extent Can CMS Informally Issue Interpretive Rules?

    Robert Wanerman

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review the D.C. Circuit's decision in Allina Health Services v. Azar, which has the potential to resolve the issue of whether or not the Medicare Act requires notice-and-comment rule-making in more situations than are required by the Administrative Procedure Act, says Robert Wanerman of Epstein Becker Green.

  • 9 FAQs About De Minimis Doctrine After Troester V. Starbucks

    Daniel Fears

    In Troester v. Starbucks, the California Supreme Court recently held that the federal de minimis doctrine does not apply to claims for unpaid wages under the California Labor Code. Attorneys with Payne & Fears LLP take a deeper dive into some lingering employer questions related to the ruling.

  • A Holistic Approach To Client Retention

    Dan Tacone

    In an era when law firms are fighting for business and clients can dictate the terms of the relationship, "value" has become a moving target. Firms that take a proactive approach by using strategies designed to articulate value over time will gain the competitive advantage, says Dan Tacone at Intapp Inc.

  • How High Court May Rule On The Bare-Metal Defense

    S. Christopher Collier

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed foundational tort principles at oral argument in Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. Devries, which concerns a defendant's liability under maritime law for products it did not make, sell or distribute. The court’s ruling will doubtless influence lower courts considering other bare-metal challenges, say S. Christopher Collier and Michael Arndt of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP.