Appellate

  • March 29, 2017

    7th Circ. Says Collector Misled Consumer About Old Debt

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a ruling that debt collector Portfolio Recovery Associates had run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in its efforts to recoup an old consumer debt, finding the letter it sent to the debtor failed to clearly communicate that the debt had expired. 

  • March 29, 2017

    UPMC Doc Must Face New Trial Over Botched Hysterectomy

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice suit filed in connection with a doctor's botched hysterectomy performed at a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital, saying certain allowed evidence may have improperly influenced the jury’s verdict in favor of the hospital.

  • March 29, 2017

    Atty Fights 5,000-Word Essay Sanction At 11th Circ.

    An attorney who was ordered to pay legal fees to Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and pen a 5,000-word essay on the consequences of disregarding court orders urged the Eleventh Circuit to undo that punishment, saying Wednesday it came without warning and without cause.

  • March 29, 2017

    DOL Fights Request To Halt Fiduciary Rule At 5th Circ.

    The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday urged the Fifth Circuit not to halt its fiduciary rule for retirement account advisers while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups attempt to revive their challenge of the rule, saying the “extraordinary relief” is not warranted.

  • March 29, 2017

    9th Circ. Upholds ID Theft And Re-Entry Conviction, Sentence

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a Mexican national’s conviction and 15-year sentence for aggravated identity theft and attempted illegal re-entry, ruling, among other things, that the district court didn’t err in deciding that the man had breached the terms of a plea agreement when he attempted to re-enter the U.S.

  • March 29, 2017

    Fla. House Narrowly Passes Judicial Term Limits Bill

    The Florida House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill Wednesday that would place an amendment on the ballot next year to limit state appellate and Supreme Court judges to two six-year terms.

  • March 29, 2017

    10th Circ. Says Congress Can Regulate Prairie Dog Hunting

    The Tenth Circuit on Wednesday ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, by way of Congress, has the right to prohibit Utah prairie dog hunting on nonfederal land in the state, reversing a lower court ruling that favored a challenge to the regulation from a property-owner rights group.

  • March 29, 2017

    Tribe Tells Calif. High Court Gov. Can't OK Off-Res Casino

    The United Auburn Indian Community has pressed California’s top court to hold that the state’s governor cannot give the thumbs-up to a tribe for off-reservation gambling because to do so exceeds the governor’s power under the state’s constitution and violates the separation of powers between government branches.

  • March 29, 2017

    2nd Circ. Judge To Lead Supreme Court Unclaimed Funds Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court appointed a high-ranking special master on Wednesday in a dispute between Delaware and several other states over more than $162 million in unclaimed MoneyGram funds. 

  • March 29, 2017

    Jury Instructions OK In Med Mal Verdict, Ark. Court Says

    An Arkansas appeals court on Wednesday upheld a jury verdict clearing an emergency room doctor in a medical malpractice and wrongful death case over an alleged failure to treat a man’s pneumonia, saying the trial judge did not err by giving the jury a single question to consider.

  • March 29, 2017

    FCC To Nix Federal Lifeline Approval Process, Pai Says

    The Federal Communications Commission will move to eliminate a streamlined federal approval process instituted by the last administration for companies seeking to provide new Lifeline broadband service for low-income households, and will not defend against a legal challenge to it, Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday.

  • March 29, 2017

    Justices Set Tough Standard For State Credit Card Fee Laws

    A Wednesday U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a New York law restricting credit card fee disclosures regulated retailers' speech puts similar statutes around the country on shaky ground.

  • March 29, 2017

    Ill. FCA Doesn’t Cover Tax Violation Claim, Appeals Court Says

    An Illinois appeals court on Wednesday rejected a suit alleging an online wine retailer violated the Illinois False Claims Act when it failed to collect local taxes on purchases made through its website, saying the customer who brought the suit failed to identify a false claim or representation made by the retailer.

  • March 29, 2017

    Gay Exec's 2nd Circ. Win Shows Title VII Clarity Needed

    The Second Circuit's decision Monday reviving a gay ad executive's discrimination suit against Omnicom Inc. added fuel to the ongoing debate about if and how Title VII applies to sexual orientation bias and put a new arrow in the plaintiffs bar's quiver, but experts say the ruling also highlights the need for definitive guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court or Congress.

  • March 29, 2017

    Ex-American Apparel CEO Can't Revive Firing Defamation Suit

    Hedge fund Standard General LP did not defame American Apparel Inc. founder Dov Charney in a press release about his firing, a California appeals court ruled on Tuesday, cementing the dismissal of Charney’s $30 million defamation suit under the state’s anti-SLAPP statute.

  • March 29, 2017

    Texas Court Upholds Atty Sanction Over Client's Racist Claim

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday upheld sanctions against a Dallas attorney and his client for allegedly bringing unsubstantiated claims that a supervisor at a nutritional supplement company sent a racist text message to the client.

  • March 29, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Rejects Inventor's Claim For Name On Fax Patents

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday ended a woman’s bid to have her name listed as an inventor on patents for putting faxes online, ruling that putting her name on the work wouldn’t benefit her and that her Georgia law claims were filed too late.

  • March 29, 2017

    Farmer Says $50M Milk Antitrust Deal Is Product Of Extortion

    A New York dairy farmer told the Second Circuit on Wednesday that the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative coerced farmers to accept a $50 million milk price-fixing antitrust settlement — including through threats of violence — to drum up support for the deal approved last year by a Vermont federal judge.

  • March 29, 2017

    FTC Tells DC Circ. To Undo Boehringer Doc Privilege Ruling

    The Federal Trade Commission urged the D.C. Circuit on Monday to reverse a lower court’s ruling that some financial documents subpoenaed in its Aggrenox pay-for-delay case against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals are protected by attorney-client privilege, arguing that they concern business, not legal, matters.

  • March 29, 2017

    UAW Tells Sens. To Vote 'No' On Gorsuch For Supreme Court

    The president of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America on Wednesday announced he has sent a letter to the U.S. Senate expressing strong opposition to Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, urging lawmakers to vote no on the nomination.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Advocate For An Agency: Ex-FERC GC Cynthia Marlette

    Cynthia Marlette.jpg

    Cynthia Marlette, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2009, reflects on how she addressed the job's many responsibilities, including advising the commission on laws and enforcement actions, developing policy, seeking consensus among commissioners, and overseeing defense of agency actions in court, as well as dealing with historic events like the California energy crisis.

  • The Issues Justices Are Focusing On In TC Heartland

    S. Gregory Herrman

    In a surprise to those expecting a unanimous reversal in TC Heartland, the U.S. Supreme Court justices asked tough questions to both sides on Monday, some even seeming to lean at least slightly toward affirming the Federal Circuit’s broad interpretation of patent venue. Only Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to be leaning significantly in favor of a reversal, says Gregory Herrman of Blank Rome LLP.

  • 'Comma Case' Takeaways That Go Beyond Grammar

    Julie Saker Schlegel

    While many commentators have viewed the First Circuit’s recent opinion in O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy as an ode to, in the court’s words, “the clarifying virtues of serial commas,” ultimately that is a mere subset of the three broader lessons presented by this case, says Julie Saker Schlegel of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: MDLs And The High Court

    Alan Rothman

    On the heels of last week’s confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, this month’s column by Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP explores the impact that various high court decisions have had on multidistrict litigation practice, and the statutory role that the Supreme Court plays with respect to the panel and MDLs.

  • Judge Gorsuch's Dubious Commitment To Legal Textualism

    Max Kennerly

    In practice, being an “originalist” or a “textualist” is a lot like being “gluten-free” except when it comes to pasta and bagels. Most “textualists” are happy to apply these concepts rigorously when it will produce the result they want — but they’ll relax or ignore them if it produces a politically inconvenient outcome. Judge Neil Gorsuch seems to fit this profile, says Max Kennerly of Kennerly Loutey LLC.

  • 5 Things To Expect If High Court Reverses TC Heartland

    Jenny Colgate

    If the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the Federal Circuit in the TC Heartland patent venue case, it will present a dramatic change for practitioners who were not litigating patent cases before 1988, say Jenny Colgate and Nechama Potasnick of Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck PC.

  • Hitting The Brakes On Structured Dismissals

    Ferve Ozturk.jpg

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Czyzewski v. Jevic that a bankruptcy court lacks the power to approve a priority-violating structured dismissal may give unsecured priority wage holders, and particularly judgment creditors, a seat at the negotiating table together with secured and unsecured creditors committees, says Ferve Ozturk of BakerHostetler.

  • Are Your In-House Lawyers Happy?

    Aric Press

    What is the mood of the nation’s in-house lawyers? Aric Press — a partner at Bernero & Press LLC and former editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer — shares the findings of a recent survey of more than 800 in-house counsel.

  • Opinion

    Copyright Clause Shows Fallacy Of Originalism

    Andrew W. Stroud

    The Copyright Clause demonstrates that the Constitution is a living document. Both Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have understood that its application extends well beyond anything the framers could have conceived in 1787. Imagine if you had asked a framer whether the fanciful design on a cheerleader uniform was a “writing,” says Andrew Stroud of Hanson Bridgett LLP.

  • Can A Patent Be Both Abstract And Not Abstract?

    Jason J. Keener

    Due to two recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions involving Trading Technologies, the Federal Circuit may soon need to weigh in on whether the PTAB or a district court can find a patent invalid for ineligible subject matter when a different court has already found the same patent contains patent-eligible subject matter, says Jason Keener, chairman of Fox Swibel Levin & Carroll LLP's intellectual property group.