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Appellate

  • November 13, 2018

    Justices To Consider FCC Deference In Junk Fax Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider how much deference to give the Federal Communications Commission’s view of what counts as an “advertisement” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, in a dispute that could impact the judiciary’s power to interpret agency rules.

  • November 9, 2018

    9th Circ. Ends Oft-Heated Trade Secrets Suit Against Ex-CEO

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Friday affirmed a district judge’s decision to toss an artificial intelligence startup’s contentiously fought trade secrets case against its former CEO that escalated to an attorney spilling — or perhaps throwing — an iced coffee, saying the judge didn’t abuse his discretion.

  • November 9, 2018

    Wisc. Agency Appeals In Trans State Workers' Coverage Suit

    A Wisconsin agency has appealed to the Seventh Circuit a ruling blocking the state from excluding gender-confirming medical care from state employees' health coverage and entering jury awards in favor of two transgender workers at the University of Wisconsin who were denied such care.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fed. Circ.'s Bond Ruling Likely To Affect State-Level Contracts

    The Federal Circuit’s ruling that federal law required a government contractor to provide bonds prior to starting two U.S. Army construction projects will likely have nationwide ramifications, as each state’s courts consider how similar statutes apply to state contracts, lawyers said.

  • November 9, 2018

    8th Circ. Says Gov't Exempt From Army Priest Sex Abuse Suit

    The dismissal of a sexual abuse lawsuit against a U.S. Army hospital was upheld by the Eighth Circuit on Friday after it determined that the federal government is immune to claims that the hospital should have known of a priest’s history of sexual abuse allegations.

  • November 9, 2018

    Oil Group Says 5th Circ. Ruling May Prompt Forum Shopping

    A Fifth Circuit decision that found Devon Energy Production Co. LP’s alleged breach of implied duty to market could support class certification would upend the legal landscape in oil and gas law, the Texas Oil and Gas Association has said in an amicus brief filed in Devon's en banc bid.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Says Inventors Can Challenge IP They've Created

    Inventors who reassign their rights in a patent may still subsequently challenge the validity of the intellectual property’s claims in reviews before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit held Friday in a case involving a Cisco patent covering Ethernet switch products.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fla. Court Says Doctor Must Face Patient Privacy Suit

    A Florida appeals court on Friday revived a suit brought by a former prison guard accusing a doctor of releasing his medical records to state prison officials in an employment matter without his consent, saying it should be up to a jury to decide a factual dispute.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fla. Court Breaks Fishermen Class In Tampa Bay Pollution Suit

    A Florida appeals court on Friday reversed class certification for a group of commercial fishermen suing Mosaic Fertilizer LLC for allegedly polluting Tampa Bay, ruling that the fishermen had failed to show a reasonable methodology for proving classwide claims.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Hands GE Another Win Over Jet Engine Patents

    The Federal Circuit on Friday affirmed Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions that invalidated claims in three United Technologies Corp. patents covering aircraft engines, handing another win to General Electric Co. in the rivals’ patent fight.

  • November 9, 2018

    Vocational Students Not Workers Under FLSA, 10th Circ. Says

    The Tenth Circuit ruled Friday that massage therapy students at a for-profit vocational school don’t qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, nixing their proposed class action over allegedly unpaid minimum wages for massages they performed as part of the training curriculum.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Tells PTAB To Look At NuVasive Patent Again

    The Federal Circuit on Friday tossed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision invalidating a NuVasive patent covering a procedure for spinal surgery as obvious, finding that the board had interpreted a term too broadly and sending the case back for reconsideration.

  • November 9, 2018

    DOJ Weighs In At 7th Circ. On Comcast Ad Sales Row

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday at the Seventh Circuit chimed in on a suit alleging that Comcast Corp. illegally monopolized the market for local television advertising, warning that refusing to deal with a competitor is an antitrust violation only in limited circumstances.

  • November 9, 2018

    MTC Urges Supreme Court To Take Ala. Railroad Tax Case

    The Multistate Tax Commission on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a more than decadelong dispute between a transportation company and the Alabama Department of Revenue by taking a case involving an exemption for water carriers from sales and use tax on fuel.

  • November 9, 2018

    Insurer Must Defend Shooter's Estate, Pa. Justices Told

    A man who was injured in a scuffle as he walked in on a murder-suicide is urging Pennsylvania's highest court to uphold a decision finding that Erie Insurance Exchange was responsible for the cost of defending the gunman's estate in a lawsuit over the incident.

  • November 9, 2018

    Justices Urged To Review Checked-Bag Fee Collusion Claims

    A group of airline passengers has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review claims that Delta Air Lines Inc. and AirTran Airways Inc. colluded to tack on fees for first-checked bags, after the allegations were rejected by the Eleventh Circuit.

  • November 9, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Affirms IRS Denial Of $20M Interest For Ford

    Ford Motor Co. once again lost out on a bid for more than $20 million in interest on a tax overpayment when the Federal Circuit agreed with a lower court Friday that a higher interest rate on tax underpayments by a foreign subsidiary cannot apply to the overpayment.

  • November 9, 2018

    6th Circ. Clears McDonald's Staffing Co. Of Hispanic Bias

    The Sixth Circuit ruled Friday that a trial court correctly nixed a suit brought by two Hispanic employees of a McDonald’s staffing provider alleging they were illegally forced to perform menial tasks that non-Hispanic workers didn’t have to do and were illegally reprimanded for speaking Spanish in the workplace.

  • November 9, 2018

    Newly Blue Texas Appeals Courts Could Benefit Plaintiffs

    The election of more than two dozen Democratic judges to Texas' Republican-dominated intermediate courts of appeal in the midterm elections could mean litigants will see more deference to trial court judgments and more consumer-friendly rulings, experts say.

  • November 9, 2018

    New York City Asks 2nd Circ. To Revive Climate Suit

    New York City on Thursday asked the Second Circuit to revive its suit seeking to hold Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and other oil giants accountable for the cost of climate change-related infrastructure damage.

Expert Analysis

  • Larger Issues Possibly At Stake In High Court Medicare Case

    Keith Bradley

    The U.S. Supreme Court's eventual decision in Azar v. Allina Health Services will be important for all hospitals or care providers that participate in Medicare. But it also has the potential — and risk — to become ensnared in much deeper issues about the foundations of administrative law, say Keith Bradley and Sven Collins of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Breaking The Rules: 3 Ways To 'Lead' A Direct Examination

    Matthew Menchel

    Trial lawyers are frequently taught that they should appear invisible during direct examination — that their job is merely to prompt the witness to start speaking. But the most powerful direct examinations are the ones in which the examiner, not the witness, is controlling the pace, say attorneys with Kobre & Kim LLP.

  • Oregon Med Mal Ruling May Affect Construction Cases

    Adele Ridenour

    In Ransom v. Radiology Specialists, the Oregon Supreme Court recently held that experts can be compelled to answer questions relevant to their direct involvement in a case. That means that in construction defect cases, contractors, architects and engineers can be asked for their present interpretation of plans or specifications, says Adele Ridenour of Ball Janik LLP.

  • 1st Circ. Weighs In On Uninjured Class Members Issue

    Alden Atkins

    In antitrust cases, plaintiffs and defendants often debate whether a class can be certified if it contains uninjured persons and, if so, how many is too many. The First Circuit's decision this month in Asacol highlights the uncertainty across circuits about where to draw the line, say Alden Atkins and Ryan Will of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • Deciding Class Action Removal Rights At High Court

    Archis Parasharami

    An overbroad interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Shamrock Oil & Gas v. Sheets has created a loophole for avoiding the Class Action Fairness Act to pursue interstate class actions in state court. However, in Home Depot USA v. Jackson, the court will address two questions that have the potential to close it, say Archis Parasharami and Daniel Jones of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Florida Supreme Court Aims To Expand Bad Faith Standards

    Rory Eric Jurman

    The Florida Supreme Court's recent decision in Geico v. Harvey is part of an ever-expanding trend to create a negligence standard against insurers, seemingly turning a blind eye to the myriad of sophisticated bad faith setup schemes, say Rory Jurman and Vanessa Alvarez of Fowler White Burnett PA.

  • The Changing Supreme Court Could Change IP Law

    William Atkins

    Only a small minority of the U.S. Supreme Court has been concerned with the “administrative threat” in intellectual property law, but that may grow with the addition of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, say ​​​​​​​William Atkins and Richard Kirkpatrick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Need Litigation Finance? Don't Skip These 5 Steps

    Molly Pease

    The process of applying for litigation financing isn’t difficult, but few do it right the first time. Following five steps in your application process will help make sure litigation funders are convinced of the value of your company's legal claims, says Molly Pease of Curiam Capital LLC.

  • 9th Circ. Decision Poses Employer Tip Credit Challenges

    Margaret Grover

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Marsh v. J. Alexander’s may significantly impair the ability of companies in the hospitality industry to pay a reduced wage to tipped employees. As a result, employers will need to be cautious when applying a tip credit toward minimum wages, says Margaret Grover of Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP.

  • 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.