Courts Litigation

Patricia K. Gillette.

Professional Services Firms Increasingly a Target of Pay Equity Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

Lawyers, accountants and software engineers—they might have jobs that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but for many women that’s not enough.

Uber sticker on a parked car on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Uber Loses Drive to Block NLRB's National Subpoenas

By Rebekah Mintzer |

A federal magistrate judge in California on Wednesday granted the National Labor Relations Board permission to issue nationwide subpoenas to investigate whether Uber drivers who brought complaints against the ride-hailing company are statutory employees with the ability to sue under the National Labor Relations Act.

Jane Norberg, chief of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, during a panel discussion at the Securities Enforcement Forum 2016 held at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.  October 13, 2016.

SEC Says Companies Should Take the Hint and Not Impede Whistleblowers

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on severance agreements that impede whistleblowers. Are companies taking the clue? "I'm hoping that companies are getting the message about this, and I think by taking some of these actions in quick succession, we are getting the message out there," Jane Norberg, head of the SEC's whistleblower office, said.

Airbnb Defends Arbitration in Push to Dismiss Discrimination Suit

By C. Ryan Barber |

Lawyers for Airbnb Inc. defended the home-sharing platform’s terms of service Wednesday in Washington federal district court, arguing that a user who brought a discrimination case against the company should be forced into arbitration to resolve the dispute.

U.S. Department of Labor

Thrivent Financial Fires Latest Salvo at Fiduciary Rule

By Melanie Waddell |

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans became the sixth plaintiff to sue the U.S. Labor Department over its fiduciary rule in a complaint that challenges the class action waiver requirement under the rule's best interest contract exemption.

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Justices Renew Interest in False Claims Act

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court, showing a healthy appetite for challenges to the federal law targeting fraud against the government, asked the Obama administration on Monday for its views on whether the justices should hear a False Claims Act case involving U.S. Bank and a federally-backed mortgage insurance program.

U.S. Department of Justice

Feds Accuse Aetna, Humana of Trying to 'Derail' Antitrust Challenge

By C. Ryan Barber |

U.S. Justice Department lawyers, repudiating the misconduct allegations that Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. raised in the government's blockbuster antitrust suit, accused attorneys for the health insurers of a "transparent" push to unravel the case before it’s ever presented to a judge.

Proponents of affirmative action stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case <i>Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin</i>, on December 9, 2015.

Harvard, Citing Justices' Affirmative-Action Ruling, Defends Admissions Policy

By Marcia Coyle |

Harvard's legal team, relying on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June for affirmative action, is urging a federal judge to dismiss two of six charges in a suit that accuses the university of discriminating against Asian-American student applicants.

kwik-fix super glue

Glue Maker Settles with FTC in Bind Over 'Made in USA' Claims

By C. Ryan Barber |

Chemence Inc., the maker of KwikFix glue, reached a proposed $220,000 settlement with regulators Thursday in which the company agreed to only advertise its product as "Made in the USA" if the final assembly and all significant processing of its products "occurs in the United States."

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. March 4, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Race Docket at High Court Runs Deep in New Term

By Marcia Coyle |

Race, never far from the U.S. Supreme Court docket, moved to the fore in the term's first week in two arguments that challenge its presence in the criminal justice system. The justices this term will grapple with race in criminal justice, electoral maps and lending discrimination.

Judge Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Pesticide Cases Directed to Northern District of Calif.

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judicial panel has ordered 40 lawsuits against Monsanto Co. over its RoundUp herbicide to be sent to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California.

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Kim Kardashian Robbery Makes Hypothetical in Opening SCOTUS Arguments

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's opening session Tuesday featured two hours of argument over the intent of jurors who gave inconsistent verdicts and what elements prosecutors must prove for bank fraud. The answers were as clear as the skies over the Caribbean as Hurricane Matthew spins up the coast. Not even hypotheticals involving such real-life characters as Kim Kardashian and Jesse James could clear the clouds in the courtroom.

Justices Hunt for Intent in Bank Fraud Law

By Marcia Coyle |

The harrowing robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris, Jesse James' historical bank heists and even notorious bank robber Willie Sutton played into U.S. Supreme Court arguments on Tuesday as the justices wrestled with the level of intent needed to prove federal bank fraud.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C. September 4, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

SEC Fines Casino-Gaming Company $500,000 in Second Whistleblower Retaliation Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

In its first stand-alone retalition case, SEC did not allege any misconduct by IGT except for firing the employee who brought claim alleging accounting model.

Chattanooga, United States - August 12, 2011: EpiPen is an Epinephrine auto-injector type syringe that is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions or anaphylaxis.

U.S. Senator Prods Mylan on EpiPen 'Pay for Delay' Concerns

By Ben Seal |

Sen. Patty Murray wants answers to questions about a settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, which applied to the FDA for a generic equivalent for the EpiPen.

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Climate Change Policy in Spotlight as Appeals Court Opens Review of Clean Power Plan

By Marcia Coyle |

Mammoth litigation over a pillar of the Obama administration’s climate-change policy goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today. And depending on your point of view, the so-called Clean Power Plan is either a “blunderbuss” and “power grab,” or a classic “exercise in cooperative federalism.”

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Warner Calls For SEC Probe Into Yahoo Breach

By C. Ryan Barber |

Senator Mark Warner is asking the SEC to investigate the Yahoo data breach, when executives learned of it and when they disclosed it to the public as required by securities laws.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

Worried About Auditors Getting Too Close to Clients? SEC Accountant Says Use "Common Sense"

By C. Ryan Barber |

A Securities and Exchange Commission accountant said Thursday that he does not expect regulators to issue guidance specifying when a relationship crosses the line and compromises the review of a company’s books.

Objectors Fault $324 M in Potential Fees in VW Emissions Accord

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than a dozen objectors have urged a federal judge to reject Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion emissions settlement next month—most of them criticizing a potential $324 million in fees lead plaintiffs attorneys said they might pursue.

State Farm corporate headquarters campus in Bloomington, Ill.

State Farm Must Face $7B RICO Class Action, Judge Rules

By Ben Hancock |

A federal judge in Illinois has certified a class of nearly 5 million policyholders in a case alleging that the insurance giant used campaign contributions to influence the state's Supreme Court.

SEC, in Morgan Stanley Case, Presses Broad Whistleblower Protections

By C. Ryan Barber |

Tipsters who only disclose corporate misconduct internally or to a federal agency other than the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are still entitled to broad anti-retaliation protections, a commission lawyer told a federal appeals court Wednesday.

Judge Patricia Millett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. (2014)

DC Circuit Judge Assails NLRB for 'Cavalier' Approach to Strikers' Abusive Conduct

By Marcia Coyle |

Judge Patricia Millett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit criticizes the National Labor Relations Board for its "too-often cavalier and enabling approach" to racially and sexually demeaning misconduct by employees on strike. "It is 2016, and 'boys will be boys' should be just as forbidden on the picket line as it is on the assembly line," Millett writes.

U.S. Supreme Court. is Challenged on Two Fronts in Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

The two cases that involve the online classifieds company feature very different legal questions. But they both carry potentially significant implications for internet content providers in particular and, more largely, for the digital economy.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building.

Ex-SEC Whistleblower Chief Lands at Phillips & Cohen

By Melanie Waddell |

Sean McKessy, the former head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower, has joined the whistleblower law firm Phillips & Cohen as a partner in its Washington office.

U.S. Supreme Court building. Asks Supreme Court to Block U.S. Senate Subpoena

By Marcia Coyle |, the nation's second-largest online classified ad website, on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a congressional subpoena that demands business information about how the company polices third-party content. Lawyers for Backpage, represented by Davis Wright Tremaine and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, contend the U.S. Senate subpoena, if enforced, chills First Amendment rights.

U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

Texas Judge Restricts Amicus Briefs in DOL 'Fiduciary Rule' Case

By Melanie Waddell |

The federal judge overseeing the case in Texas against the U.S. Labor Department's fiduciary rule on Wednesday denied considering all but two of the eight amicus briefs filed in the court, allowing only submissions from the Financial Planning Coalition and the American Association for Justice.

Commodities Agency Wants Greater Power to Protect Whistleblowers

By C. Ryan Barber |

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission wants the power to punish companies for retaliating against whistleblowers, a move that would align the agency's stance with the stronger position taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On Tuesday, citing the inconsistency between the agencies, the CFTC proposed discarding its earlier position to instead take a tougher approach toward retaliation.

Suit Dropped Over Alleged Stabbing by Uber Driver

By Zoe Tillman |

A District of Columbia man dismissed his case against the company Tuesday, reporting that the sides had reached a "mutual agreement."

U.S. Department of Justice

Aetna’s Retreat from ACA Markets Unlikely to Boost Antitrust Defense

By C. Ryan Barber |

Weeks before the U.S. Justice Department sued to block Aetna's multibillion-dollar acquisition of Humana, Aetna's chief executive had a stern warning to regulators: The company would leave Affordable Care Act exchanges if the deal is blocked. That happened this week. But the insurance giant's move might not help its defense in the blockbuster antitrust case in Washington, antitrust lawyers say.

All Simon Dawson,..Steve Cohen, stops and talks to the media in the congress centre

Billionaire Investor Steven Cohen Blocked from Managing Commodities Hedge Funds

By C. Ryan Barber |

Federal regulators have barred the billionaire investor Steven Cohen from managing commodity hedge funds until 2018, in a settlement that comes on the heels of a similar agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CCTV footage of Aaron Alexis in building 197 holding a Remington 870 shotgun. September 16, 2013.

Contractors Fight Liability for D.C. Navy Yard Shooting

By Zoe Tillman |

The desire to make someone answer — and pay — for mass killings has become a grim postscript in many recent tragedies. At a hearing Tuesday that referenced Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora and other mass shootings, a federal judge tackled the legal questions that make such suits an uphill climb.

Anthem-Cigna Deal Presents Judge a 'Bizarre Situation'

By C. Ryan Barber |

A Washington federal judge said Friday she hopes to rule by the end of January on Anthem Inc.'s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp., casting aside the health insurance companies' request for a decision by the end of the year. Both sides in the case have acknowledged contentiousness between Anthem and Cigna. "It is, as I said at the beginning, a bizarre situation that we're doing all of this for the benefit of a merger that may not be desired," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Friday.

United Healthcare Headquarters,

Health Insurers Lose Appeal in False-Claims Suit Over One-Sided Reviews

By Ben Hancock |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has revived a Southern California qui tam action that takes issue with one-sided billing reviews designed to catch errors that would entitle insurers to larger payments but not to detect misinformation favoring the government.

SEC Hits Company that Used Severance Agreements to Bar Whistleblower Awards

By C. Ryan Barber |

Federal securities regulators reach a $265,000 settlement with an Atlanta-based building products distributor that unlawfully required outgoing employees to waive their right to a whistleblower bounty.

Aetna world headquarters in downtown Hartford.

Judge Sets December Trial Date in Aetna-Humana Antitrust Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday set a December trial for Aetna Inc.'s proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana Inc., a scheduling decision that effectively denied the two insurance companies' requests for a resolution by the end of the year.

Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia..

Two D.C. Judges Will Split Health Insurance Antitrust Cases

By Mike Scarcella |

A federal district judge in Washington on Friday gave up presiding over both of the U.S. Justice Department's blockbuster health-insurance antitrust cases, pushing review of Anthem Inc.'s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. to another judge. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was randomly assigned to the case. Bates will preside over the Aetna-Humana deal.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Justice Dept. Spurns Health Insurers' 'Unreasonable' Push to Expedite Merger Cases

By C. Ryan Barber |

With the two largest acquisitions ever proposed in the health insurance industry hanging in the balance, federal antitrust enforcers cautioned against rushing the cases and proposed late Tuesday that the first trial begin no earlier than Feb. 17.