California

  • February 16, 2018

    Actress Deschanel's Countersuit Axed As Case Nears Trial

    A California judge granted Seven Summits a quick win Thursday in a countersuit brought by actress Zooey Deschanel against the entertainment management company as a contract dispute over commissions heads to a March trial, finding that it didn’t cause the “New Girl” star to switch talent agencies.

  • February 16, 2018

    'Star Wars' Card Game Isn't A Trademark, App Co. Says

    Facing a trademark lawsuit from Walt Disney Co.’s Lucasfilm Ltd., a British gamemaker said Thursday that the studio cannot claim trademark rights to a fictional card game featured in “Star Wars.”

  • February 16, 2018

    Santa Monica Seeks To Toss Airbnb, HomeAway Rental Suit

    The city of Santa Monica asked a California federal judge to toss a suit by home-sharing websites Airbnb and HomeAway challenging an ordinance that requires landlords renting rooms through their sites to first get a license, arguing the legislation is essential to helping the city counter a mounting housing crisis.

  • February 15, 2018

    O'Bannon Meets 'Game Of Thrones' In 9th Circ. NCAA Row

    The NCAA urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to reject a $42 million fee award to attorneys for student-athletes who successfully fought rules barring them from exploiting their publicity rights, arguing the students didn’t win their whole case and the lower court erroneously used an “all-or-nothing, winner-takes-all, 'Game of Thrones' approach” to fees.

  • February 15, 2018

    Disney, Others Beat ‘Mickey’ Singer Toni Basil’s TM Claims

    A California federal judge on Thursday granted a bid by Disney, Kohl’s and Forever 21 to dismiss a trademark infringement claim brought by Toni Basil, the singer of 1981’s one-hit wonder song “Mickey,” that accused all three companies of using her image and voice to advertise their own products.

  • February 15, 2018

    Cisco’s 'Insane' IP Defense Fails In Arista Antitrust Row

    A California federal judge on Wednesday agreed to strike most of Cisco defenses against an antitrust suit brought by Arista over the sales of Ethernet switches, including a hotly contested infringement defense, which Arista’s counsel called “breathtakingly broad, unprecedented and insane.”

  • February 15, 2018

    Playwright's Suit Over Zorro IP Sparks Public Domain Duel

    A playwright suing a company that has licensed rights to the character Zorro for decades asked a California federal judge Thursday to declare that his musical about the fictional hero doesn’t infringe on any copyrights because it's based on a story in the public domain.

  • February 15, 2018

    Uber Drivers Win Class Cert. In Fair-Share Pay Suit

    A California federal judge on Wednesday certified a nationwide class of Uber drivers alleging the company’s upfront pricing model denies them their fair share of riders’ payments, a week after he described the suit as a “classic case of a class action” based on a form contract.

  • February 15, 2018

    DOE Must Publish Energy-Saver Rules Adopted Under Obama

    The U.S. Department of Energy must publish in the Federal Register a set of energy conservation standards for household and industrial appliances that had been finalized during the last months of the Obama administration, a California federal judge said Friday, handing a win to various states and environmental groups in litigation against the federal agency.

  • February 15, 2018

    Swarmify Says CloudFlare Stole Stream Tech After Deal Talks

    Technology startup Swarmify asked a California federal judge on Thursday to block CloudFlare from offering a streaming content service and to order the takedown of two blog posts explaining how it works, saying CloudFlare created the technology with trade secrets stolen during the companies' now-stalled acquisition talks.

  • February 15, 2018

    Calif. Court Revives Insurance Row Over Bingo Device Fire

    A California appeals court found Wednesday that a lower court wrongly dismissed a bingo device supplier’s suit against its insurer stemming from a London fire started by a battery in a device, saying there is a potential for coverage in the future.

  • February 15, 2018

    Northrop Grumman Gets Ex-Workers' ERISA Suit Trimmed

    A California federal judge on Thursday trimmed most of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims brought by ex-workers against Northrop Grumman Corp. over allegedly excessive pension fund fees, agreeing with Northrop that it didn't have a fiduciary duty as it wasn't named in the fund's governing agreements.

  • February 15, 2018

    Playboy May Amend Centerfold Copyright Suit, Judge Rules

    Playboy Entertainment Group Inc. will have to rewrite its copyright infringement suit against the owner of online news site BoingBoing if it intends to keep the suit alive, a California federal judge ruled Wednesday in a case over a link to every centerfold the men’s magazine published.

  • February 15, 2018

    WB Music Hits Streaming Co. With Infringement Claim

    WB Music Corp. accused FutureToday Inc., which distributes video channels through smart TV platforms, of infringing its copyrights through audio channels that play songs from various genres in a suit filed in California federal court Wednesday.

  • February 15, 2018

    Uber Accused Of Forum-Shopping In $19M Ad Contract Case

    Uber Technologies Inc. on Thursday asked a California federal judge to nix mobile advertiser Fetch Media Ltd.’s contract suit alleging that the ride-hailing giant owes $19 million in unpaid bills, saying an existing state court suit covers the same ground, but Fetch countered by saying that Uber is forum-shopping.

  • February 15, 2018

    Jury Awards Ex-UCLA Doctor $13M In Gender, Age Bias Trial

    A Los Angeles jury on Thursday awarded $13 million to a former UCLA oncologist who claims she was forced to take a job elsewhere after complaining about disparate treatment because of her gender, though it found in favor of the school on an age discrimination claim.  

  • February 15, 2018

    Kanye West, Lloyd's End $10M Row Over Canceled Shows

    Pop star Kanye West’s touring company and syndicates of Lloyd’s of London on Wednesday resolved their California federal court dispute over $10 million worth of coverage for shows he canceled after reportedly having a mental breakdown last year.

  • February 15, 2018

    Cos. Denied Rehearing In $1B Lead Paint Cleanup Suit

    A California appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments by Sherwin-Williams Co. and other paint companies that a decision that trimmed a $1.15 billion lead contamination judgment didn't go far enough, saying there was ample evidence the companies had promoted the use of lead paint despite knowing the health dangers.

  • February 15, 2018

    Mitsubishi Inks $33M Deal In Sprawling Cathode-Ray MDL

    Mitsubishi Electric Corp. on Wednesday settled with a class of indirect buyers of cathode ray tubes for $33 million in California federal court, bringing total settlements in multidistrict litigation over an alleged price-fixing conspiracy involving electronics companies to $820 million.

  • February 15, 2018

    T. Rex Heir Drops Copyright Suit Over 'Baby Driver'

    The son of T. Rex rocker Marc Bolan on Wednesday voluntarily dropped a lawsuit alleging Sony Pictures Entertainment and other film distributors featured one of the band's songs without permission in its Academy Award-nominated film "Baby Driver."

Expert Analysis

  • Tips For Drafting Contractual Nonreliance Clauses

    Amy Park

    Contractual nonreliance provisions, sometimes called “big boy” letters, have received their fair share of attention, but little attention has been paid to the effect forum selection and choice-of-law issues have on such provisions. The choice of where to litigate and which law will govern can significantly impact, if not conclusively determine, the outcome of a dispute, say Amy Park and Niels Melius of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Duncan Reviews 'Justice And Empathy'

    Judge Allyson Duncan

    In "Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal," the late Yale Law School professor Robert Burt makes a compelling case for the undeniable role of the courts in protecting the vulnerable and oppressed​. But the question of how the judiciary might conform to Burt’s expectations raises practical problems​, says U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. ​

  • Emerging Trends In FCA Enforcement: 2018 Outlook

    Vince Farhat

    Two new policies from the U.S. Department of Justice, along with ongoing developments concerning the elements of scienter and materiality stemming from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Escobar, have the potential to significantly change the landscape of False Claims Act enforcement in the year ahead, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • 'Throw' Your Mini-Opening To Get The Best Jury Possible

    Christina Marinakis

    In the hopes of piquing the interest of jurors and minimizing hardship requests, more and more judges are encouraging parties to make “mini-openings” prior to voir dire. You can use this as an opportunity to identify your worst jurors and get them removed from the panel — by previewing your case weaknesses and withholding your strengths, says Christina Marinakis of Litigation Insights.

  • Eminent Domain In The Wake Of Natural Disasters

    Briggs Stahl

    When states and municipalities rebuild permanent infrastructure following disasters, they may be able to reduce the damages caused by eminent domain by planning carefully. In particular, examining preventative solutions allows more time for planning and designing projects to reduce future damages to owners, says Briggs Stahl of RGL Forensics.

  • Your Case Was Remanded By The MDL Court — Now What?

    Brandon Cox

    Multidistrict litigation is an ever-expanding driver of product liability litigation, but when the MDL process runs its course there is often still a trial to be had, and there are strategic and practical decisions to consider once a case has been remanded. Brandon Cox and Charissa Walker of Tucker Ellis LLP offer tips on how to navigate the remand process.

  • Google Bias Suit Presents Critical Juncture In Labor Law

    Eve Wagner

    Two ex-Google employees recently accused the company of singling out conservative white men and terminating their employment after they shared their political views with colleagues. The question for the trier of fact will be whether their speech is protected under California law or constituted discrimination or other wrongful conduct in violation of Google’s policies, says Eve Wagner of Sauer & Wagner LLP.

  • The Art Of The Litigation Funding Deal

    Julia Gewolb

    As litigation funding becomes more widespread, greater complexity and variability in funding deals are to be expected. All claimants should consider certain key questions on the economics of single-case funding when considering or comparing funding terms, says Julia Gewolb of Bentham IMF.

  • Auto-Renewal Cases — They Just Keep Coming

    Stephanie Sheridan

    In light of increased recent scrutiny from the California Legislature, local and federal governments, and the plaintiffs bar, retailers offering subscriptions and other auto-renewal programs should closely review their advertisements, sign-up procedures and confirmation materials to make sure they are protected from litigation, say Stephanie Sheridan and Meegan Brooks of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • Smart Contracts Need Smart Corporate Lawyers

    Matthew O’Toole

    Given the operational and security risks involved, and the substantial digital asset values transacted, the rise of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts will create new opportunities and responsibilities for transactional lawyers, say attorneys with Potter Anderson Corroon LLP.