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Appellate

  • September 17, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Backs Alice Invalidation Of Robotics Patents

    The Federal Circuit on Monday upheld a finding that parts of four robotics patents were invalid under the U.S. Supreme Court's Alice test, preserving a victory for Invensys Systems Inc. and other companies accused of infringement in the Eastern District of Texas.

  • September 17, 2018

    9th Circ. Revives ADA Suit, Says Worker's Injury Is Disability

    A Ninth Circuit panel revived a delivery employee's disability lawsuit against a food distribution company in Hawaii on Monday after unanimously concluding that a district court applied an outdated and restrictive view of what constitutes an injury. 

  • September 17, 2018

    Ex-UMass Student News Editor Must Face Defamation Suit

    The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled Monday that a former employee at University of Massachusetts’ Boston campus can sue a onetime student news editor for defamation, saying that publishing police blotter activity does not enjoy press protections.

  • September 17, 2018

    EPA Erred In Nixing Hardrock Mining Rule, Enviros Say

    Green groups on Friday asked the D.C. Circuit to invalidate the Trump administration's decision to kill an Obama-era rule that would have required hardrock mining facilities to prove they can pay for cleanup efforts, saying the agency improperly ignored the industry's effects on health and the environment.

  • September 17, 2018

    No Recouping Workers' Comp, Exxon Tells Texas Justices

    Counsel for ExxonMobil Corp. told the Texas Supreme Court in oral arguments Monday that under the terms of an agreement the energy giant had with The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, the insurer was required to waive its right to recoup from Exxon the workers' compensation money it paid to injured workers.

  • September 17, 2018

    Twitter Gender Bias Suit Delayed During Class Cert. Appeal

    A Twitter employee’s allegations that she was fired unjustly will be paused while an appellate court reconsiders class certification for her gender discrimination claim, a San Francisco judge said Monday, since her accusations of sexism and retaliation “are so intertwined.”

  • September 17, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Flips DuPont PTAB Loss, Axes Chemical Patent

    The Federal Circuit on Monday reversed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that DuPont didn’t prove a rival’s chemical patent was invalid, saying that since the claimed method overlapped with earlier techniques, the PTAB should have put the burden on the patent owner to show it was not obvious.

  • September 17, 2018

    Gleevec Buyers Say 1st Circ.'s Dismissal Misread Patent Law

    Buyers of the leukemia drug Gleevec urged a First Circuit panel on Friday to rehear its decision affirming the dismissal of a proposed class action accusing Novartis of using sham litigation to extend a monopoly over the medication, arguing the ruling went against “black-letter patent law.”

  • September 17, 2018

    Anadarko, Insurer Clash On Terms In $100M Deepwater Row

    Anadarko Petroleum Corp. told the Texas Supreme Court Monday that an excess insurer at Lloyd’s of London has effectively rewritten policy terms to avoid paying more than $100 million in Deepwater Horizon litigation defense costs, while the insurer says Anadarko is seeking a drastic expansion of coverage.

  • September 17, 2018

    FERC Pipeline Tax Policy Change Challenged At DC Circ.

    A pair of pipeline companies urged the D.C. Circuit on Friday to review a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission policy removing a tax perk for pipeline master limited partnerships, a companion to a rule directing gas pipeline operators to disclose the effect of recently enacted corporate tax cuts on their rates.

  • September 17, 2018

    Is Obesity An 'Impairment?' 9th Circ. Asks Wash. High Court

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday asked Washington’s highest court whether obesity can be considered an impairment under state anti-discrimination law, pausing a BNSF Railway Co. job applicant’s bid to revive a disability suit alleging he was discriminated against because of his weight.

  • September 17, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Affirms Wilson Win On Football Helmet Chin Straps

    The Federal Circuit on Monday affirmed a Texas federal judge's dismissal of a portion of a suit alleging Wilson Sporting Goods Co. infringed a pair of patents on football helmet straps held by SportStar Athletics Inc.

  • September 17, 2018

    NJ Court Sinks Attys' Fee Bid In Enviro Co. Row

    The New Jersey state appeals court has refused to grant attorneys’ fees to an environmental company who won a $91,000 arbitration award over a terminated business deal, ruling that the purchase agreement at the heart of the dispute didn’t guarantee attorneys’ fees to prevailing parties.

  • September 17, 2018

    4th Circ. Won't Stop $3.5B Pipeline Work Amid Permit Redo

    The Fourth Circuit on Monday denied a bid by a group of environmental activists to halt construction of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline while the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management revise approvals thrown out by the appeals court.

  • September 17, 2018

    Exelon Says 7th Circ. Ruling Dooms NY Nuke Subsidy Fight

    The Seventh Circuit's recent ruling that subsidies offered by Illinois to prop up struggling nuclear power plants are lawful backs the argument that New York's similar nuclear subsidy program passes legal muster, a lawyer for Exelon Corp. told the Second Circuit on Friday.

  • September 17, 2018

    Tribe Asks Full 9th Circ. To Mull Tech Effect In Bingo Ruling

    The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel asked the Ninth Circuit to rethink its ruling affirming a lower-court decision that shut down the tribe’s online bingo site, with the Iipay Nation seeking a rehearing en banc because it believes the decision did not adequately consider how tribes can use remote access technology under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

  • September 14, 2018

    What Attys Can Learn From Sotomayor's Chat With Kids

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stopped in Brooklyn on Friday to discuss her life story with children as part of her second book tour since taking her place on the nation’s highest court, giving them words of wisdom about the law and her time on the bench that attorneys might want to keep in mind as well.

  • September 14, 2018

    Split 9th Circ. Keeps Toss Of Northstar’s Schwab Fund Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Friday agreed with the district court’s dismissal of Northstar Financial Advisors Inc.’s putative class action against Charles Schwab Corp. but said that Northstar should have another crack at amending its complaint claiming Schwab stepped outside of its own guidelines to make risky bond-fund bets.

  • September 14, 2018

    Protect Litigant Privacy In E-Filing Access, 7th Circ. Urged

    The Seventh Circuit wrestled Friday over whether to reverse a lower court's order that forced Cook County’s court clerk to make electronically filed complaints "immediately and contemporaneously" available to reporters, asking how to define that phrase when the court operates on business hours and the federal appeals system works like Cook County’s with respect to processing documents.

  • September 14, 2018

    The Privacy Fight For Digital Data Warrants Is Just Starting

    Lower courts are already grappling with the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling in Carpenter v. U.S. telling authorities to get a warrant for cellphone location data, which privacy lawyers say is just the tip of the iceberg as disputes loom about other types of digital data that can reveal intimate details about someone's life.

Expert Analysis

  • Policing Bad Claims In Consolidated Litigation: Part 1

    Danielle Bagwell

    With the proliferation of consolidated litigation, courts have lamented the lack of scrutiny often given to individual cases in these proceedings. Recent federal court decisions demonstrate an increased willingness to police meritless claims by assessing whether counsel’s pre-suit investigation was adequate, say Danielle Bagwell and Anne Gruner of Duane Morris LLP.

  • 'High Availability' — A Key Term In Law Firm IT Strategy

    Jeff Norris

    While most law firm executives and partners may instinctively want to tune out terms like "high availability" and "disaster recovery" — concepts that IT managers usually worry about — there are five reasons you should lean in and wrestle with the vocabulary, say Jeff Norris of Managed Technology Services LLC and Greg Inge of information security consulting firm CQR.

  • 5th Circ.'s New Maritime Contract Test Takes Shape

    Hansford Wogan

    Recent cases demonstrate Louisiana courts' willingness to embrace the Fifth Circuit's simplified analysis of what constitutes a maritime contract in the context of insurance obligations. The courts are homing in on whether parties expected to use a vessel, and how significant the use is, says Hansford Wogan of Jones Walker LLP.

  • The 'Post-Fact' Jury In The 'Fake News' Era

    Ross Laguzza

    The "fake news" phenomenon is ever more prominent in the political arena — but not in the jury box. At a trial, jurors don’t have to rely on the media or any other source to tell them the facts and issues, since they have a front-row seat to the action, says Ross Laguzza, a consultant at R&D Strategic Solutions LLC.

  • DOJ's New Policy On FCA Dismissals Highlights Circuit Split

    Nicholas Peterson

    A January memo suggested the U.S. Department of Justice may now be more willing to dismiss False Claims Act qui tam actions over the objections of relators. Defendants should familiarize themselves with an outstanding circuit split over the extent of the government’s dismissal authority, say Nicholas Peterson and Madeline Cohen of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Lipez Reviews 'Last Great Colonial Lawyer'

    Judge Kermit Lipez

    In his new book, "The Last Great Colonial Lawyer: The Life and Legacy of Jeremiah Gridley," Charles McKirdy argues that Gridley — someone I had never heard of — was the last great colonial lawyer, and that his cases illuminate his times. The author largely substantiates both claims, says First Circuit Judge Kermit Lipez.

  • Wrongful Termination Claims And NLRB's Burden Of Proof

    Douglas Darch

    In Tschiggfrie Properties v. National Labor Relations Board, a three-member panel of the Eighth Circuit vacated the NLRB's decision involving an employee who was fired for abusing his employer's Wi-Fi and sleeping on the job. The ruling is a helpful reminder of the NLRB's burden of proof in a mixed-motive wrongful termination case, say Douglas Darch and Jenna Neumann of Baker McKenzie.

  • Internet Of Things Cos. Must Prepare For Law Enforcement

    Matthew Gardner

    As the internet of things device market develops, companies that proactively develop compliance strategies should be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that are sure to come as law enforcement changes the way it investigates cases, say attorneys at Wiley Rein LLP.

  • A Teachable Moment On Adequate Disclosures

    Marc Casarino

    Full and accurate disclosure of information by a corporation to its stockholders is a basic component of obtaining consent to mergers and other fundamental transactions. But the Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Morrison v. Berry is a stark reminder that implementing adequate disclosures is easier said than done, say Marc Casarino and Lori Smith of White and Williams LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Criticism Of Judicial Notice Trend Is Significant

    Kevin LaCroix

    The Ninth Circuit's opinion this week in Khoja v. Orexigen Therapeutics makes clear that the court is concerned about the doctrines of judicial notice and incorporation by reference being applied loosely in securities cases. This could result in fewer dismissals, or at least fewer dismissals with prejudice, at the motion to dismiss stage, says Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec.