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Appellate

  • September 20, 2018

    NY Court Tosses Gas Blast Suit Against National Grid Unit

    A New York appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a suit accusing a National Grid PLC subsidiary of being responsible for a gas explosion during Superstorm Sandy, saying the company established that it wasn't negligent in the installation or maintenance of the disturbed gas service line.

  • September 20, 2018

    4th Circ. Ruling Dooms Ky. Coal Ash Suit, 6th Circ. Hears

    Kentucky Utilities Co. told the Sixth Circuit that a recent ruling from the Fourth Circuit that certain coal ash ponds were not point sources subject to the Clean Water Act bolstered a push to have the court uphold the dismissal of environmental groups’ suit over alleged coal ash pollution.

  • September 20, 2018

    Nursing Home Takes Death Suit To Texas Justices

    A Texas nursing home is taking its fight over a man’s death to the state Supreme Court, saying Thursday that the suit has moved forward only because an appeals court allowed the late patient’s daughter to use an impermissibly flawed expert report.

  • September 20, 2018

    Del. Justices Uphold Duty Waiver In $43M LLC Sale

    Citing a fatal lack of specifics, Delaware’s Supreme Court declined Thursday to overturn the dismissal of a suit alleging unfair dealing in the $43 million sale of a limited liability company serving disabled children, despite facts “arguably” supporting impropriety claims.

  • September 19, 2018

    11th Circ. Revives Suits Over Financed Life Insurance Policies

    The Eleventh Circuit revived parts of dueling suits launched by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and Imperial Premium Finance LLC over Imperial’s acquisition of Sun Life insurance policies, ruling Tuesday that Sun Life’s fraud claims and Imperial’s breach of contract claim could proceed.

  • September 19, 2018

    Court Should Decide Class Arbitrability Questions: 11th Circ.

    The Eleventh Circuit ruled Wednesday that class arbitrability should be decided by a court if an arbitration clause is silent on the issue, but sent a dispute over class arbitrability between consumers and prison contractor JPay Inc. to an arbitrator after determining that the terms of service agreement clearly states that was the parties' preference.

  • September 19, 2018

    DC Circ. Orders Redo For 'Big Short' Adviser’s SEC Hearing

    The D.C. Circuit on Wednesday remanded the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against an investment adviser featured in the book "The Big Short” for a new hearing before a different administrative law judge or the commission, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Lucia ruling.

  • September 19, 2018

    11th Circ. Puts A Lid On Appeal In Starbucks Hot Coffee Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a jury verdict clearing Starbucks Corp. of allegations that a barista negligently served coffee that gave a customer severe burns, rejecting arguments that the jury should have heard about other customer complaints regarding Starbucks' lids.

  • September 19, 2018

    ADEA Requires Back Pay, Fourth Circuit Finds In EEOC Case

    The Fourth Circuit held Wednesday that employers who flout the Age Discrimination in Employment Act are required to provide monetary relief to the workers they harm, reversing a Maryland federal judge’s characterization of the relief as voluntary in a long-running case against Baltimore County.

  • September 19, 2018

    La. Panel Revives Suit Over LSU Med School Prof'’s Firing

    A Louisiana appeals court on Wednesday revived a suit accusing Louisiana State University Medical Center of wrongfully terminating a tenured medical school professor, saying a dispute exists over whether the professor’s threat to resign can be considered a verbal resignation.

  • September 19, 2018

    Kavanaugh Assault Hearing Could Devolve Into Chaos

    The Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on the sexual misconduct allegations against D.C. Circuit Judge and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will have the trappings of a trial but lack a court proceeding's rules.

  • September 19, 2018

    Gorsuch Was The Least Responsive Nominee In Decades

    New research has concluded that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was less responsive to questions during his confirmation hearings than any justice since 1968 and departed significantly from the so-called Ginsburg Rule, with the study's authors saying Judge Brett Kavanaugh is likely in the same vein.

  • September 19, 2018

    Glassdoor Fights Order To Hand Over Reviewers' Identities

    Counsel for Glassdoor Inc. told the Texas Supreme Court in oral arguments Wednesday that a state free speech law should defeat a trial court's order that the company hand over the identities of two individuals who posted anonymous negative reviews of an online lingerie retailer.

  • September 19, 2018

    Alaska Natives Back Feds In Row Over Hovercraft Ban

    Alaska Native tribes and groups have urged the U.S. Supreme Court haveto uphold the National Park Service’s right to apply its hovercraft ban on an Alaska river, saying that taking away the federal government’s power to regulate certain waters in the state could destroy Alaska Natives' traditional subsistence fishing.

  • September 19, 2018

    First Amendment Protects 'Patent Troll' Moniker, ACLU Says

    Calling a company a "patent troll" isn't defamatory, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have argued in an amicus brief filed with the New Hampshire Supreme Court, saying it's a form of rhetorical hyperbole.

  • September 19, 2018

    NJ High Court Disbars Mass. Atty For Pocketing Funds

    New Jersey's highest court has disbarred a Massachusetts-based attorney for pocketing $16,250 that was meant for a man who the lawyer has claimed was his business partner and then spending the entire amount in less than two months on his own personal expenses.

  • September 19, 2018

    No Need To Reconsider Immunity At PTAB, Fed. Circ. Hears

    Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and other generic-drug companies challenging Allergan PLC patents for dry-eye medication Restasis urged the full Federal Circuit on Tuesday not to reconsider an earlier decision that tribal sovereign immunity doesn’t apply in reviews at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

  • September 19, 2018

    Texas Employer Beats Suit From Worker Who Suffered Stroke

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday tossed a suit accusing a company of failing to provide an employee with medical care after he exhibited stroke symptoms at work, saying the employee did not present evidence that the company owed a legal duty to provide him medical care.

  • September 19, 2018

    Mortgage Lenders Seek Appeal Over Venue In Lehman Fight

    Dozens of mortgage loan originators targeted by Lehman Brothers for $1.2 billion in settlement indemnification claims stemming from purchases of shoddy loans asked Tuesday for leave to appeal a decision keeping the adversary suits in New York bankruptcy court, arguing the jurisdictional issue “remains unresolved in the Second Circuit.”

  • September 19, 2018

    Cheniere Tells Texas Judges To Allow Foreclosure In LNG Row

    Cheniere Energy Inc. had the contractual right to initiate foreclosure proceedings against a business partner's subsidiary after it failed to pay back a $46 million loan, and a trial court wrongly enjoined it from doing so, a Texas appellate court was told in oral arguments in Houston on Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Why The 3rd Circ. Allowed Removal In Encompass

    Brittany Wakim

    The Third Circuit recently ruled in Encompass v. Stone Mansions that a defendant can remove a case to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction before the plaintiff formally serves the forum state defendant. This may be the first appellate decision on this issue, says Brittany Wakim of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • The Courts’ Take On Obama-Era Regs: You Are Erased

    Andrew Oringer

    It is at this point axiomatic that the Trump administration is intent on reversing significant portions of the Obama administration's regulatory activity. Interestingly, it seems that courts may pose another major risk to the survival of some Obama-era initiatives, say Andrew Oringer and Samuel Scarritt-Selman of Dechert LLP.

  • Fed. Circ. Redefines 'Real Party In Interest' In USPTO Reviews

    Craig Countryman

    The Federal Circuit’s decision in Applications in Internet Time v. RPX expansively interprets the term “real party in interest” and creates new hurdles for companies that ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to institute an inter partes or post-grant review, says Craig Countryman of Fish & Richardson PC.

  • Past Due Rent May Not Support A Claim For Eviction

    Jason Hirsh

    Lawyers counseling clients with respect to commercial real estate should be alarmed by 1002 E. 87th Street v. Midway, in which the Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a buyer of real estate cannot sue for rent owed prior to the real estate acquisition and that a claim for past due rent is not assignable, say Jason Hirsh and Jamie Burns of Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC.

  • High Court Could Settle Preemption Questions For Banks

    Jesse Tyner Moore

    Courts are still defining the power of federal financial regulators to exempt federally regulated institutions from state laws. The U.S. Supreme Court could help clarify important constitutional issues if it reviews Lusnak v. Bank of America, which is being appealed from the Ninth Circuit, says Jesse Tyner Moore of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • New Oversight Powers For NY Special Needs Justice Center

    John Dow

    The New York high court recently issued a decision in Anonymous v. Molik, answering several questions concerning the scope of charges that could be brought by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. As a result, the Justice Center can now target contractors, regulated providers and facility managers directly, says John Dow, assistant general counsel for The Arc New York.

  • Good Fortune Shipping And The Withdrawn Altera Opinion

    Patrick Smith

    In the weeks since the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit issued conflicting opinions in challenges to the validity of tax regulations, other developments have undercut the impact of the Ninth Circuit's Altera opinion. Meanwhile, the Good Fortune Shipping opinion's application of the reasoned decision-making standard provides a welcome addition to the body of case law, says Patrick Smith of Ivins Phillips & Barker Chtd.

  • A New Approach To Industry Custom Evidence In California

    Alan Lazarus

    In its ruling last week in Kim v. Toyota Motor Corp., the California Supreme Court broke with decades of precedent and allowed a manufacturer to use evidence of compliance with industry practice to show a design was not defective. This is a surprising but welcome statement of flexibility and realism in product liability cases, says Alan Lazarus of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

  • Equitable Mootness Is Alive And Well In Chapter 9

    Richard Cooper

    Last month's opinion in Bennett v. Jefferson County brings the Eleventh Circuit in line with other courts that have found that the equitable mootness doctrine should apply in Chapter 9. The decision may be particularly relevant in Puerto Rico's ongoing restructuring proceedings, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • Q&A

    Back To School: Widener's Rod Smolla Talks Free Speech

    Rodney Smolla

    In this new series featuring law school luminaries, Widener University Delaware Law School dean Rodney Smolla discusses teaching philosophies, his interest in First Amendment law, and arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia v. Black.