Massachusetts

  • February 21, 2018

    Pa. Man Gets 1 Year For Aiding Tobacco Tax Evasion

    A Pennsylvania distributor was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars in Massachusetts federal court Wednesday after pleading guilty to helping a Bay State wholesaler avoid paying more than $9.6 million in taxes on massive shipments of tobacco products.

  • February 21, 2018

    Conagra Looks To Bury ‘Natural’ Labeling Suit At 1st Circ.

    Conagra Brands Inc. asked the First Circuit on Tuesday to uphold the dismissal of a proposed class action alleging its Wesson brand cooking oils are misrepresented as "natural," arguing the labeling is in fact consistent with decades-old federal policy about the use of the term.

  • February 21, 2018

    Mass. US Atty Hails Values Over Washington’s ‘Latest Memo’

    Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling used his ceremonial oath of office on Wednesday to distance himself slightly from the White House and Justice Department that backed his nomination last year.

  • February 21, 2018

    1st Circ. Affirms Fidelity's Win In Workers' ERISA Suit

    A First Circuit panel on Wednesday upheld a Massachusetts federal judge’s decision to grant Fidelity Management Trust Company an early win in a proposed class action that accused the company of violating Employee Retirement Income Security Act duties by mismanaging an employee benefit pension fund, saying the workers’ arguments make “little sense.”

  • February 21, 2018

    Mass. Court Says Med Mal Suit Properly Nixed As Untimely

    A Massachusetts appellate court ruled Wednesday that a lower court was correct to toss a medical malpractice suit accusing a doctor of botching a woman’s colon removal surgery, finding that the patient was made aware of her injuries more than three years before filing suit.

  • February 21, 2018

    Ex-Boston Guitarist Asks 1st Circ. For Redo In Bandmate Row

    A former guitarist for the band Boston urged the First Circuit on Tuesday to revive his breach of contract and abuse of process allegations against the band’s founder, as well as his bid for hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and attorneys' fees, in their protracted dispute over use of the band's name, among other things.

  • February 21, 2018

    Energy Firm Claims Boston Sales Rep. Stole 'Hot Prospects'

    A Connecticut-based energy consulting firm sued a former Boston sales associate who allegedly made off with handwritten lists of the company’s current clients and “hot prospects,” all so-called trade secrets, after his abrupt resignation last month.

  • February 21, 2018

    Mass. AG Says Parts Of Sick-Time Law Apply To Railroads

    The Massachusetts attorney general told a federal judge Tuesday that certain sections of a state law providing earned sick-time for employees aren’t preempted by the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and that enforcing them against railroads won’t interfere with interstate commerce.

  • February 20, 2018

    Logistics Co. Must Face At Least 1 Claim In Lobster Theft Suit

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Tuesday rejected a logistics company’s bid to duck a claim involving the theft of a truck containing lobster worth $318,000, but said she'd consider arguments in favor of nixing two others.

  • February 20, 2018

    State Securities Cops Filling In For Feds On Fiduciary Beat

    A high-profile complaint filed by Massachusetts' top securities cop against Scottrade for allegedly violating conflict-of-interest laws is a sign that state regulators will be stepping in to fill a perceived void in federal policing of retirement account advisers, legal experts said Tuesday.

  • February 20, 2018

    Judge Transfers Storage War Over Search Engine Optimization

    A federal judge in Massachusetts on Tuesday kept alive, but transferred to Texas, a small storage facility’s claim that misleading website URLs undercut state and federal antitrust and trademark laws for an edge in Google search results.

  • February 20, 2018

    States Seeing Rash Of Bills To Tax Carbon Emissions

    Taxing carbon products and emissions is a long-cherished goal of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and he has proposals to do so again this year. This time, however, he is far from alone as 10 states have released bills to combat climate change and raise revenue by using the tax system.

  • February 20, 2018

    2nd Circ. Ruling Ends Exxon Free Speech Claims, Judge Told

    The Second Circuit’s recent decision that the First Amendment does not shield social welfare organizations from disclosing their donors should also undermine Exxon Mobil Corp.’s free speech claims against state climate change probes, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office told a federal judge Friday.

  • February 20, 2018

    Mass. Rep Touts Bill To Bar NDAs, Forced Arbitration

     A Massachusetts legislator is pushing a bill to ban agreements that prevent victims of harassment or discrimination from speaking out about their allegations and end the process of forced arbitration to settle claims.

  • February 20, 2018

    Mass. Is Stalling Pipeline Permit, Enbridge Unit Tells DC Circ.

    An Enbridge Inc. unit told the D.C. Circuit on Friday that Massachusetts' environmental regulator missed the deadline for acting on its application for an air permit for a proposed natural gas compression station in Weymouth, which is part of its controversial Atlantic Bridge pipeline project.

  • February 16, 2018

    Pharma Co. Chiasma Can't Escape Investor Suit, Judge Rules

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Thursday ruled that biopharmaceutical company Chiasma Inc. must face a proposed class action alleging investors in its 2015 initial public offering were misled about the prospects for regulatory approval of its product candidate Mycapssa, an oral treatment for a rare hormonal disorder known as acromegaly.

  • February 16, 2018

    Swindled Mass. Investors Blame Canadian Portfolio Managers

    An attorney for 16 wealthy investors conned by an admitted securities fraudster and his sham hedge fund asked a Massachusetts federal judge on Friday to let them continue to pursue claims against Canadian portfolio managers who handled their money on the fraudster’s behalf.

  • February 16, 2018

    Boston Grocers Seek Conditional Cert. In Antitrust MDL

    Two Village Market companies have asked a Minnesota federal court to conditionally certify a class of 51 grocers in the Boston area in antitrust multidistrict litigation claiming that Supervalu and C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. agreed not to compete with each other for customers in certain states.

  • February 16, 2018

    Industrial, Marine Laborers Seek Conditional Cert. In OT Suit

    A former laborer for companies that provide services to industrial and marine contractors asked a Massachusetts federal court Friday for conditional certification of a collective class in litigation alleging the companies have failed to properly pay overtime to laborers, many of whom are recent immigrants to the U.S.

  • February 16, 2018

    Womble Bond Snags 3 Pepper Hamilton Gov't Contracts Attys

    Womble Bond Dickinson LLP has added three attorneys from Pepper Hamilton LLP who have worked together throughout their careers and have experience in-house at General Dynamics and Micron Technology to its government contracts team.

Expert Analysis

  • Massachusetts Focuses On The Elements Of Spoliation

    Alexander Zodikoff

    The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that a finding of spoliation requires both the negligent and intentional loss or destruction of evidence, and awareness at the time that the evidence could help resolve a dispute. This strict interpretation of the doctrine of spoliation follows a trend in Massachusetts litigation, says Alexander Zodikoff of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP. 

  • Register Your California Cannabis Trademarks Now

    Joshua Cohen

    Any cannabis business that is holding its breath waiting for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to start registering cannabis-related trademarks should give up. But those located in states that have legalized recreational and/or medicinal cannabis should immediately seek state trademark registration where available, says Joshua Cohen, leader of Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP's intellectual property group.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    After the recent submission of three bids in response to Massachusetts electric distribution companies' request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, the stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • When Title VII Gender And Sexual Orientation Claims Overlap

    Daniel Pasternak

    Until the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to take up the issue of Title VII and sexual orientation discrimination, employers should take note that decisions like the First Circuit’s recent ruling in Franchina v. Providence Fire Department demonstrate that the issues of sex and sexual orientation are intrinsically intertwined, says Daniel Pasternak of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.

  • 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. ​

  • '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.