Appellate

  • June 01, 2020

    Judge Defends Refusal To 'Rubber Stamp' DOJ's Flynn Move

    A D.C. federal judge on Monday defended his decision to probe the government's abrupt request to abandon former national security adviser Michael Flynn's criminal case, telling the D.C. Circuit he has appropriately decided to seek outside input and isn't bound by any court rule or judicial precedent "to serve as a mere rubber stamp."

  • June 01, 2020

    Rhode Island High Court Upholds Medical Pot Patient's Firing

    Rhode Island's high court on Friday affirmed a decision finding that W.B. Mason did not violate employment laws when managers asked a supply driver who used medical marijuana to undergo a drug test and fired him after he refused.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Reject Democratic Donors' Pro-Clinton Bias Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider reviving a suit by Democratic donors alleging the Democratic National Committee and its then-head, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, rigged the 2016 presidential primary contest in favor of Hillary Clinton.

  • June 01, 2020

    DOJ Tries Again To Nix Ruling On $360M Sabre-Farelogix Deal

    The U.S. Department of Justice is continuing to press the Third Circuit to undo a lower court rejection of its challenge to Sabre's planned $360 million Farelogix purchase, blasting the airline booking firms' contention that it improperly coordinated with U.K. antitrust enforcers to stop the deal.

  • June 01, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Temporarily Shuts Doors Amid DC Protests

    The Federal Circuit's clerk's office on Monday sent home staff and temporarily suspended its limited on-site operations for the day on the recommendation of authorities, amid protests over police killings that led to buildings near the court being set on fire Sunday night.

  • June 01, 2020

    9th Circ. Revives Post-Sale Claims In VW Emissions Suit

    The Ninth Circuit told Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and other automakers Monday that they must face claims by two counties over the post-sale modification of "defeat devices" intended to fool emissions testing, saying the Clean Air Act only preempts the counties' claims over new vehicles.

  • June 01, 2020

    JPMorgan Ducks Ponzi Scheme Claims At 11th Circ.

    The Eleventh Circuit ruled Monday that the receiver for two entities used to swindle investors in a Ponzi scheme did not have standing to bring claims that JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, where the companies had bank accounts, aided and abetted the scheme.

  • June 01, 2020

    Schiff Hardin Didn't Breach Contract With Former Partner

    Schiff Hardin LLP didn't breach an express or implied contract with a former partner by refusing to pay him more for the years he was receiving disability payments following a cancer diagnosis, an Illinois appellate court has said, affirming an arbitration award in favor of the firm.

  • June 01, 2020

    5th Circ. Told Texas Power Grid Law Is Unconstitutional

    A new Texas law that only allows incumbent transmission companies to build new power lines is an example of "blatant discrimination by statute" and should be struck down as unconstitutional, an attorney for a NextEra Energy Inc. unit told the Fifth Circuit on Monday.

  • June 01, 2020

    Tufts Must Face Suit Over Patient's Infection Death

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Monday revived a suit accusing Tufts Medical Center and others of causing a patient's infection death from contaminated medication, saying there is a factual dispute as to whether a doctor inspected the drug packaging for cracks.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Torture Ruling Unlikely To Spur 'Sea Change'

    Justice Clarence Thomas warned that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Monday expanding immigrants' access to the courts will usher in a "sea change in immigration law," but attorneys say that fears of an expansive reach are likely overblown.

  • June 01, 2020

    Ga. Justices Reinstate Doc's Win In Hunter's Paralysis Suit

    The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday reinstated a defense verdict in a suit accusing a doctor of prescribing too much medication to a patient who later fainted, fell out of a deer hunting stand and became paralyzed, saying there was evidence to warrant jury instructions on risk assumption.

  • June 01, 2020

    Facebook Asks Texas High Court To End Sex Trafficking Suits

    Facebook is asking the Texas Supreme Court to dismiss three lawsuits that accuse the company of providing an unrestricted platform for predators to exploit, extort and recruit children into the sex trade, arguing it can't be held liable for what third parties post on its website.

  • June 01, 2020

    Supreme Court Won't Hear Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up two appeals stemming from dismissed multidistrict litigation brought by military families over drinking water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina.

  • June 01, 2020

    Calif. Appeals Court Revives Anheuser-Busch Pricing Suit

    A California appeals court on Friday revived a bid for class certification from a group of convenience store owners suing Anheuser-Busch LLC over an alleged beer-pricing scheme, ruling that the trial court's basis for denying certification cannot be upheld due to a recent decision by the state's Supreme Court.

  • June 01, 2020

    2nd Circ. Side-Eyes Vehicle Emissions Penalty Rollback

    A Second Circuit panel appeared skeptical Monday about whether the Trump administration was within its rights to implement a nearly 61% rollback of penalties for violations of motor vehicle average fuel economy standards.

  • June 01, 2020

    Comcast Tells 9th Circ. Privacy Suit Belongs In Arbitration

    Comcast told the Ninth Circuit on Monday that a subscriber's proposed class action accusing it of violating privacy laws by collecting personal information for advertising purposes belongs in arbitration, arguing that the California Supreme Court's McGill decision barring class waivers doesn't apply.

  • June 01, 2020

    Research Firm Says Survey Pitches Don't Break TCPA Ad Ban

    A market research firm and its former parent asked the Third Circuit for en banc rehearing of a divided panel decision that said unwanted faxes seeking individuals' participation in market surveys violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • June 01, 2020

    'Strange' Times For Mass. Judges As Virus Redefines Court

    As attorneys, firms, law schools and students adjust to their new normal, the judiciary is also trying to figure out what that will look like once the courts ramp back up.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Told PTAB Findings Can't Erase Infringement Rulings

    Chrimar Systems Inc. is pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its appeal over whether Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidations can override district courts' infringement judgments, telling the high court that "patent-specific carve-outs are a reason for granting cert."

  • June 01, 2020

    Texas Panel Says Contract Talks Aren't Protected Free Speech

    Investment company United Development Funding LP can't escape a Texas developer's $10 million business interference lawsuit under a state free speech protection law because communications about the developer's contracts don't address a public concern, a Texas appellate panel ruled.

  • June 01, 2020

    Texas Can't Reverse $28.8M Jury Verdict Over Highway Project

    The state of Texas lost a bid to undo a $28.8 million jury award in a lawsuit brought against it by a developer who said the Grand Parkway toll road project and the related condemnation of 40 acres tanked the value of the site for a proposed residential development.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Won't Take AT&T, Comcast Arbitration Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court won't take up AT&T and Comcast's efforts to force two separate consumer disputes into arbitration, according to orders released Monday.

  • June 01, 2020

    Justices Told Deal In The Works To End Oil Rig Race Bias Suit

    A company and the black workers it allegedly discriminated against by making them work on a hot oil rig while their white colleagues enjoyed air conditioning asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold off considering whether to review the case due to a pending settlement.

  • June 01, 2020

    Supreme Court Allows $3B Madoff Clawback Ruling To Stand

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a Second Circuit ruling that the trustee for Bernie Madoff's fraudulent investment firm can claw back billions in Ponzi scheme proceeds transferred from foreign Madoff feeder funds to other foreign parties.

Expert Analysis

  • Patent Owners Should Mind Assignee Rights Restrictions

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    Federal courts' reliance on the Federal Circuit Lone Star v. United Microelectronics decision, which closely scrutinized contractual restrictions in patent assignments, makes it crucial for patent owners to take particular care when limiting an assignee's ability to enforce the patent or transfer the rights, say John Haynes and Lindsay Church at Alston & Bird.

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Texas Ruling May Weaken Anti-Washout Clauses In Oil Leases

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    The Texas Supreme Court's recent opinion in Yowell v. Granite Operating Co. is the latest indication that the rule against perpetuities presents a unique challenge for overriding royalty interest owners who wish to utilize anti-washout provisions to carry an interest forward to new oil and gas leases, says Michael Reer at Harris Finley.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

  • 4th Circ. Seems Leery Of Divestiture Order In Doormaker Case

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    The Fourth Circuit's questions at oral arguments in the Steves and Sons v. Jeld-Wen antitrust case indicate that the district court's unprecedented order requiring Jeld-Wen to divest part of its business as an equitable remedy seems like the most likely basis for reversal, say Lauren Weinstein and Lauren Dayton at MoloLamken.

  • Ohio Tax Talk: Unemployment Ruling May Offer M&A Savings

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    The Ohio Supreme Court's recent decision in Delphi Automotive v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services sets an acquirer-friendly precedent for unemployment tax rates in mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations, which could be especially important in the wake of pandemic-related layoffs, say Jeremy Hayden and Christopher Tassone of Frost Brown.

  • Perspectives

    Illinois Must Do More To Protect Consumers In Debt

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    A recent Illinois Supreme Court order limiting debt collectors' ability to freeze personal bank accounts during the pandemic is progress, but it does not solve the underlying issue that debt courts are rigged against low-income people, says Ashlee Highland at CARPLS Legal Aid.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • How Anti-Terrorism Act Extension Affects Mainstream Cos.

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    Expansion of the Anti-Terrorism Act to include secondary aiding and abetting claims, in conjunction with a stream of pro-plaintiff legislation, is increasing both liability and loss-of-reputation risk for private companies and banks operating in troubled foreign regions, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • The Death Of The Combination Patent Claim

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    Recent Federal Circuit cases appear to suggest that if your patent claim to a combination of otherwise known elements does not include a specific technical improvement, then the claim is not patent-eligible — meaning a bedrock patent principle has been overruled implicitly, says Howard Skaist at Berkeley Law & Technology Group.

  • Limiting Employer Liability For Secondhand Virus Exposure

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    While the law on secondhand exposure to workplace hazards like COVID-19 varies from state to state, employers can make educated guesses about the scope of liability and the steps needed to protect workers and limit claims from third parties, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • Calif. Justices' Ruling Marks Turning Point For Jury Trial Right

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    The California Supreme Court’s holding that unfair competition and false advertising claims don’t need to be tried by a jury in Nationwide Biweekly v. Superior Court creates a framework for analyzing causes of action under other state laws that could steer courts to similar conclusions, says Patrick Hammon at McManis Faulkner.

  • New Trend In IPR Institution Appealability Demands Scrutiny

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    While a recent trend of federal courts holding that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions instituting inter partes reviews are not appealable requires close following, there are two remedies practitioners can seek apart from appeal, say Brett Cooper and Kevin Schubert at McKool Smith.

  • Navigating TM Profits Remedy After High Court Decision

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent Romag v. Fossil decision didn't articulate a specific test to determine whether a trademark profits award is appropriate, which will likely have ripple effects on the varying circuit court standards, and litigators will need to keep several considerations in mind, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

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