Automotive

  • April 21, 2017

    Patent Atty Alleging Ford Kept Her Jobless Says Suit Has Legs

    An unemployed patent attorney told a Michigan federal court Thursday that there’s no reason to throw out her antitrust lawsuit against Ford for allegedly conspiring to keep her out of a job despite her submitting more than 600 applications to various other employers.

  • April 21, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Backs More Ford PTAB Wins On Hybrid Patents

    The Federal Circuit on Friday upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decisions that many claims of two Paice LLC patents on hybrid vehicle technology are invalid — another victory for Ford Motor Co., which has challenged many Paice patents it is accused of infringing.

  • April 21, 2017

    Driver Says Updated GM Ignition Switch Part Also Defective

    The customer at the center of an upcoming bellwether trial over ignition-switch defects urged a New York federal judge on Thursday to rule that his vehicle had a manufacturing defect, saying the company has admitted as much — and that its admissions apply to an updated part.

  • April 21, 2017

    9th Circ. Standing Ruling Saves Axed TCPA Suit, Judge Says

    A California federal judge Friday reversed his decision to toss a putative class action accusing a car dealership and its marketing partner of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by pestering consumers with automated calls, ruling that a recent Ninth Circuit ruling upended his determination that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing.

  • April 21, 2017

    Chrysler Wants Texas MDL For Dodge, Jeep Diesel Suits

    Fiat Chrysler has requested consumer suits alleging certain Jeep and Dodge diesel vehicles were sold with so-called defeat devices that masked their emissions levels be consolidated in multidistrict litigation with suits brought by Texas counties alleging violations of the Texas Clean Air Act.

  • April 21, 2017

    Trucking Cos. Score Quick Win In Contract Payments Suit

    A pair of trucking companies scored a quick win Thursday in an Illinois proposed class action alleging they stiffed individual truck owner-operators on contract payments, after a federal judge ruled the owner-operator’s lease agreement laid out clear time constraints for any payment disputes.

  • April 21, 2017

    Mass. Court Absolves Zurich In Crash Coverage Case

    The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled Friday that Zurich American Insurance Co. didn’t commit unfair settlement practices when it refused to settle with an injured vehicle passenger who continued to go after excess insurers.

  • April 21, 2017

    Volkswagen Ordered To Pay $2.8B In Criminal Fines

    A Michigan federal judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen AG to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for cheating emissions standards, six weeks after the German automaker formally pled guilty to three criminal charges stemming from the scandal.

  • April 20, 2017

    Wash. Jury Awards $82M Against Napa Over Asbestos Death

    A Washington state jury has awarded $81.5 million to a former frequent user of Napa-brand auto parts who died from asbestos-related mesothelioma that his widow blamed on the parts.

  • April 20, 2017

    Auto Parts Co., Class Near $3.3M Deal In Junk Fax Suit

    A building supply company at the head of a class action asked an Illinois federal court Thursday to approve a roughly $3.3 million settlement resolving its claims that LKQ Corp. sent unsolicited fax ads, saying the deal is a great result considering the uncertainty these sorts of claims face following a recent D.C. Circuit decision.

  • April 20, 2017

    Fiat Dealership Won’t Get New Price Bias Trial

    A California federal judge on Thursday rejected a San Jose dealership’s bid to retry a $1.7 million antitrust suit accusing Fiat Chrysler of offering better incentives to local rivals, ruling that it was up to the dealership to prove that the incentives were not universally available.

  • April 20, 2017

    No Lifetime Health Benefits For Meritor Retirees, 6th Circ. Says

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday reversed a win for Meritor Inc. retirees suing over the auto parts supplier’s unilateral reduction of health benefits and an increase in out-of-pocket expenses, finding that a collective bargaining agreement is unambiguous about not vesting benefits for life. 

  • April 20, 2017

    Tesla Issues Parking Brake Recall Affecting 53K Cars

    Tesla announced a recall Thursday affecting 53,000 vehicles after discovering a potential issue with the electric parking brake on certain Model S and Model X vehicles that might cause the brake to stick, according to a statement on its website.

  • April 20, 2017

    Nissan Settles InTouch False Ad Suit With Vouchers, Cash

    Nissan North America Inc. has agreed to settle with around 52,000 owners of 2014 Nissan Infiniti Q50s to end claims over alleged false advertising about the performance of its InTouch infotainment system, according to a settlement proposal filed in California federal court Wednesday.

  • April 20, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Toshiba, Atlantia, Bitauto Holdings

    Western Digital is considering a joint bid with Japanese investors for Toshiba's highly sought-after chip business, Italian infrastructure company Atlantia SpA hopes to raise up to €8 billion ($8.6 billion) to help finance a bid to take over Abertis Infraestructuras, and online car-financing platform Bitauto Holdings has raised about $1 billion from Tencent Holdings, Baidu and JD.com.

  • April 20, 2017

    High Court Reins In Judges On Misconduct Sanctions

    A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision Tuesday setting ​boundaries ​​​on litigation sanctions will discourage judges from handing down penalties that go beyond making victims whole to more severely punish attorneys and their clients who engage in discovery shenanigans or other misconduct, experts say.

  • April 20, 2017

    Uber Blasts Drivers' Bid To Revive Contract, False Ad Claims

    Uber told a New York federal judge Wednesday that a pair of drivers are repackaging allegations that Uber withheld full fares from them or falsely promised drivers would make a guaranteed income, saying the court should reject their attempt to dodge arbitration or revive their claims.

  • April 19, 2017

    Tesla, Ex-Driverless Program Chief Settle Trade Secrets Row

    Tesla Motors Inc. and Aurora Innovation, the new driverless car startup from a former Tesla Autopilot program director, on Wednesday announced a settlement ending a breach of contract lawsuit Tesla filed in California state court over alleged trade secret theft and poached employees.

  • April 19, 2017

    Tesla Owners Sue Over 'Half-Baked' Autopilot Software

    Tesla car owners filed a putative class action against the automaker in California federal court Wednesday for selling 2016-2017 models that allegedly contain inoperative standard safety features, as well as faulty enhanced autopilot software for which customers paid a premium.

  • April 19, 2017

    Fla. Senate Passes Uber, Lyft Regs, Sends Them To Gov.

    The Florida Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that enacts minimum insurance requirements and background screening standards for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft and preempts local governments from enacting their own regulations.

Expert Analysis

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: The Attorney-Client Team

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    A 1979 study of attorney-client interactions revealed startling information: Despite years of education and training to hone their legal expertise, attorneys were not acting as independent counselors but rather allowing their clients to control them. Our experience is that this trend has accelerated, say dispute resolution experts Robert Creo and Selina Shultz.

  • In Workplace Injuries, Don't Overlook 3rd-Party Liability

    Kendall Dunson

    Employers may be at fault when employees are injured, but many workplace injury cases are inextricably intertwined with product liability. A current case involving an auto parts manufacturing firm in Alabama shows how what may initially appear to be a workers’ compensation claim may actually turn out to be a case involving a dangerous product or piece of equipment, says Kendall Dunson of Beasley Allen.

  • Litigation Finance, Big Data And The Limits Of AI

    Christopher Bogart

    Theoretically, both better data and its better use should be able to improve results in litigation, and thus help litigation financiers allocate more capital to meritorious matters. However, while big data and artificial intelligence are intriguing additions to the litigation toolkit, they are far from turning litigation finance on its head, says Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital LLC.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This

    Peter J. Engstrom

    It's no longer enough for law firms simply to provide expert legal advice — we are expected to mirror clients' legal, ethics and social commitments and promises. For law firm GCs, the resulting job demands seem to grow exponentially, says Peter Engstrom, general counsel of Baker McKenzie.

  • An Earth Day Review Of 'Green Guide' False Advertising

    David Kluft

    To help prepare for the Earth Day barrage of environmental advertising claims, David Kluft of Foley Hoag LLP highlights several "Green Guide"-related matters before the Federal Trade Commission and National Advertising Division that can help marketers ensure their advertising is not deceptive.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: A Law Firm GC's Data Protection Duties

    Thomas W. White

    Increasingly, we see companies in all industries seeking to perform various levels of due diligence on our information security defenses. We received three times as many diligence requests from clients and prospective clients in 2016 as we did in 2015. Some clients even conduct their own penetration tests, says Thomas White, general counsel of WilmerHale.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: Evaluating Positional Conflicts

    Nicholas A. Gravante Jr.

    What happens when attorneys come to their general counsel’s office with knowledge of a potential positional conflict? While the inquiry will depend on the rules governing the particular jurisdiction, there are a few general questions to consider from both business and legal ethics perspectives, say general counsel Nicholas A. Gravante Jr. and deputy general counsel Ilana R. Miller of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

  • Series

    Counsel To Counsel: 5 Challenges For A Law Firm GC

    John Koski

    Regardless of where we live and practice, regardless of whether trade deals succeed or fail, and regardless of whether the movement of people or capital is easy or difficult, our clients will still have needs or problems far away from home, says John Koski, global chief legal officer at Dentons.

  • Lawyers In Flow: Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Case

    Jennifer Gibbs

    If Time Magazine is correct in that being a lawyer is one of the five worst high-paying jobs, it may be time for the legal profession to pull one from the playbook of musicians and professional athletes and seek to enter a state of “flow,” says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • The Evolving Legal Landscape For Connected Products

    Sheila Millar

    As the internet of things continues its rapid expansion into homes, cars and offices, manufacturers must understand how safety, compliance and customer satisfaction depend on the software used to make a product “connect.” But they must also consider rules and regulations affecting the product itself — from physical safety standards to limits on chemical ingredients, says Sheila Millar of Keller and Heckman LLP.