California

  • March 24, 2017

    8 Officers Plead Not Guilty In ‘Fat Leonard’ Bribery Scheme

    Eight of the nine current and former senior U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officers charged two weeks ago as part of an ongoing bribery scandal related to lucrative Navy port services deals involving a contractor known as "Fat Leonard" have entered not guilty pleas in California federal court.

  • March 24, 2017

    Yamaha Beats Bid To Revive Motor Defect Action At 9th Circ.

    Owners of Yamaha outboard motors who claim a defect caused dangerous corrosion had their putative class action sunk by the Ninth Circuit on Friday when a panel found they couldn’t show how the alleged defect led to an unreasonable safety hazard.

  • March 24, 2017

    Aykroyd's Booze Brand Survey Was 'Unrealistic,' Jury Hears

    Tequila company Element Spirits on Friday defended itself against claims it ripped off Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka’s unique skull-shaped bottle, calling an expert to testify in the California federal jury trial that a survey showing consumers confused the two brands was “unrealistic.”

  • March 24, 2017

    Homeowner Wins $1.3M Against Ameriprise In Bad Faith Case

    A California state jury on Thursday awarded a homeowner more than $1.3 million in his dispute with an Ameriprise insurer over vandalism coverage, finding that the insurance company had failed to pay policy benefits and engaged in bad faith conduct.

  • March 24, 2017

    9th Circ. Nixes Ruling That 'Red Gold' TM Is Generic

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday revived a California jeweler’s trademark lawsuit against Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Inc. over the term “red gold,” tossing out a trial judge’s decision that the phrase is generic.

  • March 24, 2017

    UC Berkeley Star Professor Groped Assistant, Suit Says

    A former research assistant has hit a renowned 84-year-old American philosopher and the regents of the University of California with a wrongful termination suit in California court, alleging the school cut the 24-year-old assistant’s pay after she reported that the professor groped and sexually harassed her for months.

  • March 24, 2017

    Instacart Delivers $4.6M To Escape Labor Suit

    The grocery delivery service Instacart has reached a $4.63 million settlement resolving proposed class action claims that the tech company misclassified its shoppers as independent contractors when they were actually employees so the company didn’t have to pay minimum wages or overtime, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior court.

  • March 24, 2017

    Seals' 'Threatened' Status Properly Nixed, 9th Circ. Hears

    The state of Alaska, oil and gas industry groups, regional communities and Native corporations urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to uphold a federal judge's ruling undoing the U.S. government's decision to list the Arctic ringed seal as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

  • March 24, 2017

    ADT Agrees To Pay $16M To End Alarm Hackability Suits

    ADT LLC has agreed to pay $16 million to end five separate proposed class actions alleging the home security company deceived consumers about the efficiency of its devices and their vulnerability to hacking, according to documents filed in California federal court on Thursday,

  • March 24, 2017

    Guilty Pleas Kick Off Calif. Court Clerk Bribery Ring Case

    Three participants in a court records rigging ring that affected more than 1,000 cases in Orange County, California, pled guilty Thursday to a racketeering charge, the first of 10 plea hearings in a sprawling scheme that allegedly got drunken drivers and others off the hook in exchange for bribes.

  • March 24, 2017

    Enviros Granted New Life In Calif. Asphalt Plant Dispute

    A California appeals court on Thursday reversed the dismissal of one of an environmental group’s suits aimed to prevent asphalt production at an aggregate operation site in Mendocino County, California, saying there is established precedent allowing California Environmental Quality Act claims against air quality management districts such as the one challenged in the suit.

  • March 24, 2017

    $4M Deal OK'd In PayPal Funds-Hold Saga

    A federal judge in California gave final approval Friday to a $4 million settlement of class claims that PayPal Inc. improperly placed holds on account funds, bringing a close to litigation that saw a previous proposal rejected.

  • March 24, 2017

    Janssen Beats Untimely Calif. Appeal Over Risperdal Death

    A mother whose son died during a clinical study of Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ antipsychotic medication Risperdal waited too long to appeal certain claims that had been dismissed in her wrongful death suit against the company — which on different claims won her $5.6 million — a California appeals court said Thursday.

  • March 24, 2017

    Calif. Judges’ Recession Raises 'Absurd,' Appeals Court Told

    A California deputy attorney general argued to a state appellate panel that a lower court misinterpreted a state law regarding salary increases for state judicial officers, resulting in the “absurd consequence” of finding them entitled to a pay raise during the state’s fiscal crisis.

  • March 24, 2017

    Bankrupt Studio Gets Nod For $4M Deal With Ex-Execs

    A California bankruptcy judge Thursday approved a $4 million settlement between Oscar-winning special effects studio Rhythm & Hues Studios Inc. and its former directors and executives in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  • March 24, 2017

    Tech Startup Alteryx Raises $126M In IPO

    Venture-backed analytics provider Alteryx Inc. announced that it has raised $126 million after pricing an initial public offering on Thursday at $14 per share, making it the latest technology startup to join an increasingly receptive IPO pipeline.

  • March 24, 2017

    Cisco Says 'Barred' IP Rival Can't Bring Sales Antitrust Suit

    Cisco Systems Inc. asked a California federal judge Thursday to toss rival Arista Networks Inc.’s antitrust suit alleging it interfered with sales of Ethernet switches, arguing Arista lacks standing to bring the suit because the U.S. International Trade Commission had found that the switches infringe Cisco's patents.

  • March 24, 2017

    Loop, Attys Face $3.5M Fee Bid In 'Nightmare' IP Suit

    Almawave S.p.A. asked a California federal judge Thursday to force Loop AI Labs Inc. and its lawyer to pony up $3.5 million in attorneys’ fees — and a $250 still-unpaid sanction over spilled coffee in a deposition — in a contentious trade secrets dispute the company called a “nightmare.”

  • March 24, 2017

    Nephew’s Google Job Prompts Recusal In Confidentiality Row

    A California judge recused himself Friday from presiding over an anonymous Google employee's putative class action alleging the tech giant’s confidentiality policies violate whistleblower rights and state labor statutes, saying that his nephew works for Google Brain and could financially benefit from the case.

  • March 24, 2017

    NCAA Says O'Bannon 'Win' Not Enough For $42M Attys' Fee

    The NCAA asked the Ninth Circuit to deny a $42 million attorneys' fee request in the long-running litigation over rules barring student-athletes from being paid for the use of their names, images and likenesses, arguing Thursday that the win was only partial and doesn’t warrant such a large award.

Expert Analysis

  • Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

    Jim W. Rubin

    A review of President Donald Trump's recent budget proposal suggests that none of his goals for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be well-served. In fact, the EPA, states, tribes and other federal agencies would all face serious issues in protecting human health and the environment, says Jim Rubin of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • How Past And Present Aerial Photography Can Make The Case

    David Ruiz

    Many cases hinge on visual evidence. And aerial photography can play a key role, showing how geographic features or buildings looked in the past or have changed over time. Legal teams should be aware of the aerial photography resources available and the impact technological advances in the field may have on helping prove their case, says David Ruiz of Quantum Spatial Inc.

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.

  • Something In The Water: Product Claims Get Creative

    Alexis Kellert

    Two plaintiffs recently filed a complaint in the Northern District of California against the Craft Brew Alliance, alleging the company engaged in deceptive advertising to mislead consumers into purchasing beer based on a perception that the products are brewed in Hawaii. The defense bar may have to increase its own creativity to fend off such lawsuits, says Alexis Kellert of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Why Calif. May Be The New Frontier For Autonomous Vehicles

    Linda Pfatteicher

    This month, the California Department of Motor Vehicles released new draft regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. California's announced commitment to advancing innovation is especially important now that states like Michigan and Florida are challenging its forerunner role in testing autonomous vehicles, say attorneys with Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Law Schools And Law Firms: Seeking Common Ground

    Randy Gordon

    What we don’t know is whether the teaching and practice of law are undergoing massive structural changes or we’re still digging out from the worst economic collapse since the Depression. But what we do know is that the missions of the most forward-looking law schools and law firms are converging in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, says Randy Gordon, a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and executive professor of law at Te... (continued)

  • D&O Insurance And The Conduct Exclusion

    Kevin M. LaCroix

    Most directors and officers insurance policies have conduct exclusions precluding coverage for fraudulent, criminal or willful misconduct, but mere allegations are insufficient to trigger this exclusion. A California state appeals court's recent decision in Heart Tronics v. Axis Insurance provides interesting insight into the operation of such an exclusion, says Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec.

  • Int’l Travelers, Beware Digital Device Searches At Border

    Behnam Dayanim

    In light of the recent executive order on terrorism and immigration, travelers, including attorneys who may be carrying sensitive privileged information, should be increasingly aware of their rights — or lack thereof — at the border, say Behnam Dayanim and Ashley Pyon of Paul Hastings LLP.