• March 12, 2018

    SEC Commissioner Blasts 'Fiction' About In-House Judge Bias

    One of the newest members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday defended the integrity of the agency’s in-house court, blasting what he called “fiction masquerading as data” right as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of the forum.

  • March 12, 2018

    Recent Patent-Eligibility Cases Leave Unanswered Questions

    In a series of recent decisions, the Federal Circuit has upheld patents and found that they do not claim patent-ineligible abstract ideas or laws of nature, but the rulings have left attorneys pining for more guidance about where the court will draw the line on patent eligibility in future cases.

  • March 12, 2018

    Ala. Justices Nix Doc's Trial Win In Stillborn Baby Suit

    The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday ordered a new trial in a wrongful death suit accusing a doctor of negligently treating a pregnant woman's viral infection that purportedly caused her baby's stillbirth, saying the trial judge had erred by refusing to issue certain jury instructions.

  • March 12, 2018

    Negligence Obvious In Elevator Injury Case, NJ Justices Told

    A New Jersey woman who sued after being struck by an elevator door in her Hackensack condominium community urged the state Supreme Court on Monday to revive her personal injury claims, telling the justices that the equipment’s alleged malfunction was evidence enough to support her negligence allegations against the condo association and others.

  • March 12, 2018

    Pa. Fee Claim Ruling Could Spur Deal-Making Between Firms

    Law firms taking over cases from prior counsel may see extra incentive to negotiate fee-sharing deals following a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that, for the first time in the state, gave the green light to non-contract-based claims from predecessor firms looking to get paid for work on old cases.

  • March 12, 2018

    SeaWorld Visitors Ask 9th Circ. To Flip Whale Abuse Suit

    SeaWorld visitors who say they wouldn’t have bought tickets to the park had they known how its whales are treated asked the Ninth Circuit on Monday to revive their proposed class action, saying a lower court misread the scope of several consumer protection laws when it nixed the case.

  • March 12, 2018

    9th Circ. Panel Wrestles With Email Scam Coverage Battle

    A Seattle-based seafood company urged a Ninth Circuit panel Monday to rule that Travelers must cover losses the company suffered when it was manipulated into wiring funds to a fraudster who posed as a vendor in emails, arguing its crime policy does not limit coverage to direct hacking incidents.

  • March 12, 2018

    NJ Justices Probe Hospital Privilege To Shield Care Report

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday challenged the argument from a woman suing a hospital for medical malpractice that the facility must turn over a portion of its self-critical analysis of her care after allegedly failing to report a “serious preventable adverse event” to her and state officials.

  • March 12, 2018

    7th Circ. Kicks Out Suit Over Wendy's Hacky Sack Promotion

    The Seventh Circuit said Friday that the holder of a Guinness record related to footbags — commonly known as hacky sacks — had no legitimate claim that he was harmed when Wendy’s International Inc. ran a meal promotion encouraging customers to beat Guinness World Records Ltd. footbag records.

  • March 12, 2018

    'Stairway' Jury Should Have Heard Tunes, 9th Circ. Told

    The man who unsuccessfully sued Led Zeppelin for allegedly stealing the iconic intro to its 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven" told a Ninth Circuit panel Monday that he was cheated out of a favorable verdict because the jury never got to hear and compare the original recordings of the songs.

  • March 12, 2018

    Ga. University Must Face Suit Over Concertgoer's Death

    A Georgia appeals court on Monday allowed to move forward a suit accusing Mercer University of being responsible for a woman’s slip-and-fall death at a concert hosted by the school, saying a factual dispute exists as to whether Mercer had knowledge of an allegedly hazardous stairway.

  • March 12, 2018

    DOJ Blasts Blagojevich's Second High Court Bid For Relief

    Federal prosecutors on Monday urged the nation’s high court to reject former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s second bid to either nix or shorten his 14-year prison sentence after being found guilty of public corruption, saying his latest attempt “greatly overstates” the extent to which federal case law conflicts on the legality of accepting campaign donations in exchange for official action.

  • March 12, 2018

    Mining Org Asks High Court To Hear Uranium Ban Challenge

    A mining group on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the U.S. Department of the Interior’s moratorium on uranium mining on more than 1 million acres around Grand Canyon National Park. 

  • March 12, 2018

    La. Wrong Venue For Food Co.'s $1M Coverage Spat: 5th Circ.

    The Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a Louisiana-based restaurant operator’s suit seeking about $1 million from its insurer to cover property damage on Friday, finding that a forum-selection clause in the insurance policy requires the litigation to be in New York rather than Louisiana.

  • March 12, 2018

    11th Circ. Affirms Delta, AirTran Win In Bag-Fee MDL

    In a one-sentence order Friday, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal judge's summary judgment for Delta Air Lines Inc. and AirTran Airways Inc. in passengers' long-running multidistrict litigation alleging the airlines colluded to institute a fee on first-checked bags.

  • March 12, 2018

    Google, Users Urge High Court Not To Review Privacy Deal

    Google and several users told the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday that it needn’t review a privacy case wherein class members stand to receive none of an $8.5 million settlement, saying the cy pres deal is appropriate because divvying up the fund among the class isn’t feasible.

  • March 12, 2018

    2nd Circ. Questions Case Against NY Nuke Subsidy Plan

    A Second Circuit panel appeared skeptical Monday that a New York state program propping up struggling nuclear power plants usurps federal jurisdiction over wholesale electricity markets, suggesting that the Federal Power Act gives states plenty of leeway to subsidize electricity generation within their borders.

  • March 12, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Rules Gilstrap Wrongly Freed Google From IP Suit

    The Federal Circuit on Monday gave new life to a patent lawsuit over Google LLC messaging services, finding that Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas needs to re-evaluate whether SimpleAir Inc. is suing the search engine giant over simply “slightly different shades of the same invention.”

  • March 12, 2018

    Fla. Gov. Appoints State Rep. To Judgeship

    Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Rep. Larry E. Metz, R-Yalaha, to a seat on the bench of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court, the governor announced Sunday.

  • March 12, 2018

    Texas Injury Ruling May Make It Easier To Use Video Evidence

    The Texas Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the admissibility of video evidence in a personal injury case will make it easier to get visual evidence before a jury, experts said, because the decision raises the bar for opposing parties who argue that such evidence is unfair to them.

Expert Analysis

  • 5th Circ. Adds To Split On Review Of Jury Instruction Errors

    Andrew Goldsmith

    Several circuits have taken different approaches on how to assess the prejudice caused by erroneous jury instructions on a criminal defendant’s principal trial theory when the defendant challenges the instructions for the first time on appeal. The latest decision is from the Fifth Circuit, in U.S. v. Fairley, says Andrew Goldsmith of Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick PLLC.

  • California's Evolving Standard On Expert Opinion Evidence

    Peter Choate

    A California appeals court's recent decision in Apple v. Superior Court explicitly holds that the Sargon standard applies when a party seeks to admit expert opinion evidence. Practitioners should seek to preserve this issue for appeal and urge the California Supreme Court to resolve it, say Peter Choate and William Dance of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Series

    EPA In The Trump Era: Making Sense Of Waters Of The US

    Larry Jensen

    In one of his first official acts, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind and replace the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule. Regardless of the outcome of Trump’s effort, the controversy over the meaning of the phrase “waters of the United States” is likely to continue for many years, says Larry Jensen, former EPA general counsel and shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Massachusetts Focuses On The Elements Of Spoliation

    Alexander Zodikoff

    The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that a finding of spoliation requires both the negligent and intentional loss or destruction of evidence, and awareness at the time that the evidence could help resolve a dispute. This strict interpretation of the doctrine of spoliation follows a trend in Massachusetts litigation, says Alexander Zodikoff of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP. 

  • Was Heir-Tracker Antitrust Indictment A Hair Too Late?

    Robert Connolly

    A Utah federal judge who dismissed the indictment against heir-locator Kemp & Associates as time-barred was grasping at straws to avoid application of the payments theory, say former federal prosecutors Robert Connolly and Karen Sharp.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle PC.

  • When Title VII Gender And Sexual Orientation Claims Overlap

    Daniel Pasternak

    Until the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to take up the issue of Title VII and sexual orientation discrimination, employers should take note that decisions like the First Circuit’s recent ruling in Franchina v. Providence Fire Department demonstrate that the issues of sex and sexual orientation are intrinsically intertwined, says Daniel Pasternak of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • Contesting FERC's Right To Impose Retroactive Surcharges

    David Perlman

    In Verso Corp. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the commission is arguing that it has broad authority to make regional transmission organizations impose surcharges on customers where necessary to pay refunds ordered under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act. The D.C. Circuit's decision in this dispute will have significant implications for FERC’s authority going forward, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • 2nd Circ. Courts Dive Into 'Class Arbitration' Questions

    Gilbert Samberg

    The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet addressed core issues that will ultimately determine the viability of a class arbitration award, nor have the various courts of appeal grappled with those issues. However, courts in the Second Circuit have recently begun to do so, says Gilbert Samberg of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.