Courts & Litigation

Loretta Lynch, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to replace Eric Holder Jr. as the next U.S. Attorney General.  January 28, 2015.

Challenges For Lynch at Main Justice

By Mike Sacks |

Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to serve as attorney general, will take control of the U.S. Department of Justice on April 27 amid escalating tension between law enforcement and black communities across the country.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

<b>D-DAY:</b> Marriage-equality advocates and foes will argue for 150 minutes on April 28.

Same-Sex Marriage On Trial

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

For 150 minutes on April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear history-­making arguments over the hotly contested issue of same-sex marriage, which made its way to the justices with remarkable speed. Here are five things to watch as Supreme Court hears arguments in historic cases.

Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts gestures as he speaks during The Cable Show 2013 convention in Washington, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. The nation's largest cable TV provider, Comcast Corp., unveiled a new, compact set-top box that does away with the hard drive and saves your TV shows online.

Comcast Pulls Plug On Deal

By Jenna Greene |

Facing stiff regulatory resistance, Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. on April 24 abandoned their $45 billion merger more than a year after the deal was announced.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

Ad Spending Up, Defense Bar Irked

By Amanda Bronstad |

Attorneys representing the makers of medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs are turning to the courts to combat what they claim are questionable lawsuits driven by an influx of aggressive advertising.

Facebook's campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA.

Nasdaq Pays $26.5M to Settle Facebook IPO Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC has agreed to pay $26.5 million to settle claims that its negligence and misstatements about its technical capabilities contributed to shareholder losses on the day of Facebook Inc.’s 2012 initial public offering.

David Petraeus.

Petraeus Avoids Prison, But Judge Boosts Fine to $100K

By Zoe Tillman |

David Petraeus, the former CIA director who resigned amid a sex scandal, won’t serve jail time for sharing classified information with his former mistress and biographer. But he will have to pay a $100,000 fine, more than the $40,000 his lawyers and federal prosecutors sought.

Loretta Lynch, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to replace Eric Holder Jr. as the next U.S. Attorney General.  January 28, 2015.

After Long Delay, Loretta Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General

By Mike Sacks |

The Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Loretta Lynch to be the U.S. attorney general, the first African-American woman to hold the post. Lynch takes over the department at a time of growing tension between law enforcement and black communities across the country. Republican leaders in the Senate say Lynch has a "mess" to clean up at the department.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Building.

Company That Tracks Consumers in Stores Settles FTC Charges

By Jenna Greene |

A company whose technology allows retailers to track customer movements through their stores agreed on Thursday to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misled consumers about privacy choices. The case prompted sharp dissents from the agency's two Republican commissioners.

Patrick Leahy, left, and Rand Paul, right.

Twitter and Sens. Leahy, Paul Honored as 'Constitutional Champions'

By Tony Mauro |

Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, received awards Wednesday night as "constitutional champions" for their efforts to reform the criminal justice system, including their opposition to mandatory minimum sentences.

Raisins drying in California.

Scalia Compares Raisin Marketing Scheme to 'Central Planning'

By Marcia Coyle |

The future of a Depression-era government program designed to stabilize the price of raisins—and perhaps scores of other marketing programs with similar goals—appeared in serious doubt Wednesday during arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ninth Circuit Strikes Barry Bonds' Obstruction Conviction

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday vacated former baseball star Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction and sentence. The court said Bonds cannot be retried again on that count.

A Supreme Court Win for Plaintiffs Suing the United States

By Tony Mauro |

By loosening the deadlines for litigation against the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a significant 5-4 win to plaintiffs including veterans and their families who bring tort claims against the United States.

Telling a Harasser to Back Off is Protected Conduct, Court Says

By Jenna Greene |

Workers who resist the sexual advances of a harasser are entitled to protection under anti-retaliation laws, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in a ruling that sets up a circuit split.

Participants in the 5th annual LGBT Noise March for Marriage march through Dublin city centre to the Department of Justice, Stephen's Green.

Brief Sees No Global 'Tidal Wave' Toward Marriage Equality

By Marcia Coyle |

If the justices uphold state bans on same-sex marriage, they can take comfort in standing with most of the rest of the world, one group of international law scholars argues.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building.

Compliance Officer Gets $1M Whistleblower Award

By Jenna Greene |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday awarded an internal compliance officer more than $1 million for helping the agency bring an enforcement action against the whistleblower's company.

In Dirty Diaper-Pail Fight, Munchkin Loses Appeal

By Amanda Bronstad |

It stinks to be No. 2—that’s why two leading diaper pail makers have spent years wrangling in court over who’s No. 1 at keeping odor out. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday struck down Munchkin Inc.’s attempts to revive a $13.5 million false advertising verdict against Playtex Products LLC, maker of the Diaper Genie.

Bath salts.

Justices Dive into Dispute Over 'Bath Salts' Prosecution

By Tony Mauro |

How much knowledge must a defendant have about an illegal drug to be found guilty for selling it? That was the question the U.S. Supreme Court struggled with for an hour on Tuesday, and no clear answer seemed to carry the day.

Court Sets Limits on Dog Sniffs During Traffic Stops

By Marcia Coyle |

Police violate the Fourth Amendment if they extend a lawful traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff for drugs without reasonable suspicion that drugs are present, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

Raisins drying on a late summer day in September, in Tulare County, California.

Brief of the Week: Patent Bar Joins Raisin Growers in Takings Case

By Jamie Schuman |

The Federal Circuit Bar Association often weighs in on patent cases, so it may seem strange that the group would care about the plight of disgruntled raisin farmers.

Equal Justice Center founder and executive director Bryan Stevenson

Justices Refuse to Examine Overrides of Jury Sentences in Death Cases

By Marcia Coyle |

For the second time in less than two years, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to examine Alabama’s practice of allowing trial judges in capital murder cases to override jury verdicts of life without parole and instead impose death sentences.

Financial-Services Lawyers Cheer Quicken Loans’ Lawsuit

By Sheri Qualters |

A legal challenge by Quicken Loans Inc. to the U.S. government’s aggressive scrutiny of its Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans reflects widespread industry unease with government investigation of lenders, financial-services lawyers said.

High Court Rejects Human Rights Claims Against Chiquita

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put an end to litigation against Chiquita Brands International that sought damages for its role in funding a U.S.-designated terrorist group accused of killing more than 4,000 people in Colombia.

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on stage during a talk with Law Dean William Treanor for the Annual Dean's Lecture at Georgetown University Law Center in February.

Traditional Marriage Group Calls on Ginsburg to Recuse

By Tony Mauro |

A leading group that opposes same-sex marriage is urging U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from the landmark cases that could decide whether such marriages must be permitted under the Constitution.

José Isasi II of Jones Day.

Jones Day

By Mike Sacks |

Jones Day partner José Isasi had just returned to Chicago when a National Law Journal reporter contacted him about the Chicago Liti­gation Departments of the Year report. The night before, Isasi had been in Indianapolis watching Duke University, his undergraduate alma mater, win its fifth collegiate men's ­basketball national championship amid a sea of University of Wisconsin fans inside the arena.

(l-r) Steve D’Amore, Dan Webb, and Gordon Dobie of Winston & Strawn.

Winston & Strawn

By Sheri Qualters |

Winston & Strawn secured a wide range of high-impact wins during 2014, demonstrating the ability to take down foes at trial — and before a fight goes that far.

A well drilling rig works in the eastern plains of Colorado to reach the Niobrara Shale formation.

The Tricky Case for Causation in Fracking Litigation

By Theodore E. Tsekerides and Yvette W. Lowney |

Some courts have been more lenient than others in weighing evidence of harm.

Neal Katyal.

Suit Seeks Docs on SG Apology

By Tony Mauro |

The video is grainy, the message is short, but the words were clear: then-acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal expressed regret for his predecessors' use of racist language in decades-old U.S. Supreme Court briefs filed in Native American cases.

Matthew Kutcher of Latham & Watkins.

Latham & Watkins

By Katelyn Polantz |

Latham & Watkins' loss of litigation partner Zachary Fardon, who took the job as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in late 2013, could have weakened the practice group in Chicago. Instead, the firm's litigators experienced a blockbuster year following their colleague's departure.

Labor Board Shields Online Rants

By Jenna Greene |

To some, a recent labor board ruling about social media marks the end of workplace civility. To others, it's a boost to protected speech.

Lazar Raynal of McDermott Will & Emery.

McDermott Will & Emery

By Laura Castro |

From nationwide class actions to bet-the-company lawsuits, the litigators at Chicago-based McDer­mott Will & Emery earned big wins for their clients throughout 2014.

David Graham of Sidley Austin.

Sidley Austin

By Lisa Hoffman |

Taking on massive class actions with potentially major implications, Sidley Austin's Chicago litigation group used its legal heft last year to score victories in banking, securities and antitrust challenges.

Gerald Maatman of Seyfarth Shaw.

Seyfarth Shaw

By Ginny LaRoe |

For any lawyer, engineering a complete turnaround for a key client facing a nationwide class action would make a banner year. But in 2014, Seyfarth Shaw labor and employment partner Gerald Maatman Jr. also struck lethal blows to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's biggest discrimination suits, getting clients out from under cases that put their reputations and market shares at risk.

John Shugrue of Reed Smith.

Reed Smith

By Sheri Qualters |

When clients need to collect from insurers, Reed Smith lawyers — simply put — make that happen.

Russell Levine of Kirkland & Ellis.

Kirkland & Ellis

By Zoe Tillman |

As Kirkland & Ellis revved up its defense against patent infringement claims facing client Porsche Cars North America Inc. and other car companies, its attorneys spotted a potential fatal flaw early on: statements made by the inventor about what the technology in dispute did — and did not — do.

Nevada Judge: FBI Ruse Violated Fourth Amendment

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon in Nevada ruled on Friday that an FBI ruse in Las Vegas violated the Fourth Amendment. "This case tests the boundaries of how far the government can go when creating a subterfuge to access a suspect’s premises," the judge wrote.

Barbara Grieco, left, and Taylor Meehan, right.

When Associates Leave Their Jobs to Clerk at the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

Sometime this summer, four associates will leave the Bancroft law firm. But they haven't been wooed away by a competitor. Instead, they will head to clerkships—three at the U.S. Supreme Court, and the fourth at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. More and more, the revolving door between the court and law firms is spinning in the other direction.

Chart: GM Compensation Fund

As of April 10, nearly 1,700 claims against GM for deaths and injuries remain under review or lack documentation—about 40 percent of all those filed with the fund. Only 241 were found eligible for compensation, while 1,318 were deemed ineligible.

Kenneth Feinberg.

GM Fund Closes, Suits Still Pile Up

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than 200 people who were injured or died in accidents attributed to an ignition switch defect have filed new lawsuits this year against General Motors Co., having found little recourse in a victim compensation fund administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg.

Complaint: Capitol Hill Gyrocopter Pilot Charged

Douglas Hughes, the gyrocopter pilot who landed his craft on Capitol Hill grounds on Wednesday, was charged in Washington federal district with violating national defense airspace and operating an unregistered aircraft.

Case Tests Whether Patent Rights Survive First Sale

By Sheri Qualters |

A patent attorney spoke with The National Law Journal about what’s at stake in the Federal Circuit’s impending en banc hearing in Lexmark International v. Impression Products, testing a patent owner’s right to control a patented item after selling it.

Samuel Alito.

Religious Nonprofits Win Relief From Alito Over Contraception Mandate

By Marcia Coyle |

A group of Pennsylvania religious nonprofits, challenging contraceptive insurance under the federal health care law, won temporary relief from an appellate court ruling after action by Justice Samuel Alito Jr. on April 15.

Judge Cuts Legal Fees in Alaska Same-Sex Marriage Case

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday awarded $127,000 to the solo practitioners and small-firm attorneys who successfully challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The amount was more than $100,000 less than the lawyers requested.

A 2005 Chevy Cobalt

GM Shielded from Ignition Suits, Judge Rules

By Amanda Bronstad |

A bankruptcy judge has barred many of the claims brought against General Motors Co. over its ignition-switch defect. Wednesday's ruling, by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber of the Southern District of New York, means that GM isn't liable for its actions prior to its 2009 exit from bankruptcy that dealt with the ignition-switch defect.

Docket Chat: Same-Sex Marriage, Lethal Injection Dominate April Calendar

By Tony Mauro |

The landmark same-sex marriage cases set for argument April 28 are the biggest—but not the only significant—cases that will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in the next two weeks, the final argument cycle of the current term.

Chart: Amicus Briefs from Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage

In all, same-sex marriage opponents filed 64 amicus briefs. Combined with the 73 briefs in support and five expressing support for neither party, the justices—more likely their clerks—face a heavy lift reading 142 amicus briefs.

Demonstrations against same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case challenging California's Prop 8 legislation.

Same-Sex Marriage Foes Send High Court 64 Amicus Briefs

By Marcia Coyle |

From the personal to the legal to the religious, opponents of same-sex marriage offer the U.S. Supreme Court a potpourri of arguments in support of their belief that the court should uphold state bans.

Aaron Hernandez, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, right.

In Massachusetts, Two Verdicts But Only One on Camera

By Zoe Tillman |

Two verdicts in Massachusetts courts—one state, one federal—highlight the stark divide over cameras in the courts. The public saw former NFL player Aaron Hernandez's reaction to Wednesday's guilty verdict in real time. Just an hour away in Boston, the only images of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were courtroom sketches.

Ron Johnson.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson Loses Suit Over Health Care Law

By Mike Sacks |

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, cannot sue to keep himself and his staff off Obamacare's insurance exchanges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on Tuesday.

D.C. Circuit Warns Against Overuse of Acronyms—Again

By Zoe Tillman |

The overuse of acronyms has long frustrated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (or, we should say, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.) On Tuesday, the court clerk’s office sent a letter to lawyers in a campaign finance case warning them to limit acronyms and "avoid using acronyms that are not widely known."

‘Misconduct’ Might Merit Attorney Fees, Circuit Rules

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal judge abused her discretion in denying attorney fees to a patent litigant after finding “an egregious pattern of misconduct” by the other side, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Second Podcast Examines Murder Case Explored by ‘Serial’

By Karen Sloan |

Millions of listeners couldn't get enough of "Serial" — the "This American Life" spinoff podcast that for three months chronicled the case against Adnan Syed, convicted in the 1999 murder his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Now a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law is taking up the case in a follow-up podcast.

<b>PROTEST:</b> It’s become difficult for corporate firms to defend bans.

Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

By Katelyn Polantz |

The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.

<b>PROTEST:</b> It’s become difficult for corporate firms to defend bans.

Michigan Firm Stays Out of Gay Marriage Case

By Katelyn Polantz |

The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.

Shane Brun of Goodwin Procter.

Shane Brun

By Lisa Hoffman |

It was patent litigator and outside-counsel Shane Brun's knack for translating complex information into plain English that helped seal a crucial courtroom win, according to the legal team at Seattle technology firm F5 Networks Inc.

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center,  a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, in Karnes City, Texas, on September 10, 2014.

A Setback For Obama Critics

By Marcia Coyle |

As the U.S. Department of Justice readies its defense of President Barack Obama's immigration executive action in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, its arguments have drawn an unexpected boost from a panel of that same court.

Brian McManus of Latham & Watkins.

Brian McManus

By Lisa Hoffman |

Guidant Financial Group Inc. counts on outside tax attorney Brian McManus to steer the company and its clients away from some of the potential perils of "ROBS," a financing method that has nothing to do with stickups.

Ryan McBrayer of Perkins Coie.

Ryan McBrayer

By Lisa Hoffman |

Perkins Coie partner Ryan McBrayer had the good fortune to work on-site at T-Mobile US Inc. just when the company's patent litigation docket exploded by more than 500 percent.

Steve Camahort of Shearman & Sterling. 

Steve Camahort

By Lisa Hoffman |

Shearman & Sterling partner Steve Camahort believes that the foundation to success as outside counsel is to view every request from a client as one of immediate importance.

<b>ATTENTION:</b> The study defined big cases, in part, according to attention paid by The New York Times and other news organizations, citations as precedent and the number of amicus briefs filed.

The Justices Save the Big Rulings Until the End. Here's Why.

By Tony Mauro |

June is known as the month for weddings — and for blockbuster U.S. Supreme Court decisions. This June will be no exception, with the strong likelihood that landmark cases dealing with same-sex marriage and other hot topics will be decided then.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore's Richard Hall.

Richard Hall

By Lisa Hoffman |

Weyerhaeuser Co. doesn't engage in many mergers and acquisitions, but when it does, the transactions can entail "first-ever" or rare maneuvers that require lawyers especially skilled in the arcane field.

Steve Rummage of Davis Wright Tremaine.

Steve Rummage

By Lisa Hoffman |

A string of dismissals, outstanding client service and insightful advice from a strategic mind have kept Microsoft Corp. well satisfied with the work of Davis Wright Tremaine partner Steve Rummage.

Courts Enforcing Broad Whistleblower Protections

By Jay P. Holland |

Amendments to False Claims Act expanded remedies for retaliation against contractors and others.

DC Moves: Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

By Katelyn Polantz |

A roundup of Washington, D.C. lateral moves and promotions.

<b>SCALE BACK:</b> Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, is a strident proponent for the limited role of government. His new book “Our Lost Constitution” was published in April.

Sen. Mike Lee on 2016, Loretta Lynch and What-Ifs

By Mike Sacks |

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah sits down with the NLJ for a wide-ranging interview about his new book, "Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document," the Republican presidential candidates, Lynch's nomination for AG and his relationship with Justice Samuel Alito Jr.

Text-Message Antitrust Case Fails for Lack of 'Smoking Gun'

By Amanda Bronstad |

In 2010, Circuit Judge Richard Posner refused to dismiss antitrust litigation filed over the price of text messages. On Thursday, he struck down the same lawsuit.

Edward Panelli.

Retired Judge Fights Subpoena in Suit Against Girardi Keese

By Amanda Bronstad |

A retired California Supreme Court judge is fighting a subpoena that would force him to explain how he calculated payments to dozens of women who claim their former attorneys at Girardi Keese cheated them out of settlement funds.

University of San Diego School of Law.

Law Prof’s Blog Post Was Not Defamatory, Court Rules

By Karen Sloan |

A San Diego law professor did not defame the plaintiff in a disability-benefits lawsuit when he blogged about her case in 2012, a California appellate court has ruled.

Victims near the finish line moments after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev Guilty on All Counts in Boston Marathon Bombing

By Sheri Qualters |

A jury in Boston federal district court found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty Wednesday for his role in carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing attack that killed three people and injured hundreds of more. Prosecutors are pursuing a death sentence.

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center,  a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, in Karnes City, Texas, on September 10, 2014.

Fifth Circuit Bolsters Obama Case for Immigration Order

By Marcia Coyle |

As the U.S. Department of Justice readies its defense of President Barack Obama's immigration executive order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, its arguments have drawn an unexpected boost from a panel of that same court.

Richard H. Chambers United States Court of Appeals Building in Pasadena, California.

Ex-Nixon Peabody Partner’s Prison Term Upheld by Ninth Circuit

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court has affirmed a former Nixon Peabody partner’s prison term of seven years, clarifying for the first time that lawyers convicted of covering up their clients’ crimes could face additional enhancements to their sentences.

(Clockwise, from top left) Richard Blumenthal, Chris Coons, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Mazie Hirono.

Congressional Democrats Take Immigration Support to Fifth Circuit

By Mike Sacks |

Four U.S. senators and 181 members of Congress, all Democrats, filed briefs Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit supporting President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. Paul Hastings represents the senators, and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr lawyers are on the team for the House Democrats.

Eighth Circuit: Larry Flynt v. George Lombardi

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Tuesday revived publisher Larry Flynt's motion to intervene in two cases brought by Missouri death row prisoners challenging the state's execution protocol. Flynt moved to unseal court records and docket entries.

WASTE: The delayed opening of the nuclear storage site at Yucca Mountain, above, is costing the feds millions of dollars.

Judgment Fund: Energy Department Pays Out the Most — Again

As in years past, the Energy Depart­ment spent the most on lawsuits in 2014, paying $929 million in taxpayer money.

Why the Supreme Court Saves the 'Best' Decisions for Last

By Tony Mauro |

With Monday’s release of orders, the U.S. Supreme Court now shifts gear into the calm before the storm of its annual push to hear a final round of arguments and issue its most controversial opinions before the end of June.

Central bank of Iran (Markazi), Tehran, Iran.

Justices Seek S.G.'s View of Iran Central Bank Appeal

By Marcia Coyle |

As Iran's nuclear negotiations continue to dominate headlines, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday showed interest in another enduring dispute between Iran and this country.

2014 Election voting poll in Baltimore, MD.

Court Won't Review N.C. Vote Restrictions, But More to Come

By Marcia Coyle |

For the second time in two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear arguments over a voter ID law. But no one expects those denials to be the justices' final word on the controversial laws.

CHART: Judgment Fund Payments in 2014 for Cabinet-Level Agencies

For every Judgment Fund payment that can be detailed, many more remain untraceable. The Commerce Department last year spent $45 million to settle an administrative "miscellany" tort claim. A Freedom of Information Act request by the NLJ about the payment is pending.

Sigram Schindler

Foley Client: My Bad on The Brief!

By Tony Mauro |

German business executive Sigram Schindler promises he will never write a U.S. Supreme Court brief again. Schindler is the Foley & Lardner client who insisted last year that partner Howard Shipley file a petition with the Supreme Court almost exactly as he, Schindler, had written it.

John Adkisson of Fish & Richardson

John Adkisson

By Sheri Qualters |

Fish & Richardson partner John Adkisson has helped protect 3M Co.'s core technology since 2001, handling high-stakes patent litigation involving ubiquitous products like Post-it notes and reflective sheeting used in road signs.

Kevin Fee of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Judgment Fund: Feds Paid $87M in Patent Cases

By Jenna Greene |

The U.S. government paid more than $87 million to settle patent infringement suits last year — a sharp uptick after a decade of mostly negligible payments in a handful of cases.

Government Negligence: Five Cases

For every dry legal dispute over proper methods of cost accounting or overtime pay, there are the cases in the Judgment Fund where government workers — through negligence or carelessness &mdash; made errors with terrible consequences.

<b>BUILDING A CASE:</b> A “60 Minutes” segment on March 1 reported allegedly unsafe levels of ­formaldehyde in laminated flooring manufactured in China and sold by Lumber Liquidators Inc.

'60 Minutes' Exposé Spurs Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than 75 class actions have been filed against Lumber Liquidators Inc., claiming that it mislabeled laminated wood flooring that emits dangerously high levels of formaldehyde gas.

<b>MARY BONAUTO:</b> Earlier, she won marriage equality in Massachusetts.

Two High-Stakes High Court Debuts

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

Lawyers in first outings before Supreme Court will argue landmark marriage cases.

<b>SETTLE:</b> Interior Secretary Sally Jewell signs a $554 million payout to the Navajo Nation.

Feds' Spend on Lawsuits Up

By Jenna Greene |

The federal government paid more than $3 billion last year to resolve lawsuits, almost twice as much as it did the year before, according to an analysis by The National Law Journal of hundreds of payment records.

<b>TARGET:</b> The Associated Press seeks access to emails Hillary Clinton wrote as secretary of state. “Its opinions matter,” one advocate said of the D.C. federal trial court’s FOIA jurisprudence.

D.C. Federal Judges Play Outsized Role Nationally in FOIA Actions

By Zoe Tillman |

Federal district judges in Washington are the gatekeepers of government records in high demand. The CIA torture report. Prosecution memos about multibillion-dollar deals with big banks. And, now, Hillary Clinton's emails.

Eric Ruzicka of Dorsey & Whitney

Eric Ruzicka

By Sheri Qualters |

Dorsey & Whitney's Eric Ruzicka had a big role to assume when he became Pro Bono Partner last year after a colleague's retirement, but he's kept the program and the firm's legacy pro bono projects thriving with U.S. Bancorp.

Jerry W. Blackwell of Blackwell Burke.

Jerry Blackwell

By Sheri Qualters |

Jerry Blackwell of Minneapolis-based Blackwell Burke is the trial lawyer General Mills Inc. counts on for all types of products liability and business litigation facing the food giant.

Charles D. Segelbaum, left, and Eric J. Snustad, right, of Fredrikson & Byron.

Eric Snustad and Charles Segelbaum

By Sheri Qualters |

Fredrikson & Byron partners Eric Snustad and Charles Segelbaum are part of a behind-the-scenes intellectual property crew that helps Tennant Co. push forward into new markets.

Elliot Kaplan of Robins Kaplan

Elliot Kaplan

By Sheri Qualters |

Robins Kaplan handles most of Best Buy Co. Inc.'s commercial litigation, and Minneapolis partner Elliot Kaplan is a central force in that relationship.

Twin Cities 2015 bug

Counsel to Counsel in the Twin Cities

The National Law Journal this week highlights lawyers who serve as outside counsel to some of the top in-house legal teams at companies based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Chart: Freedom of Information Act Suits: 2004 — 2014

More lawsuits are filed in Washington over access to federal records than in any district court in the country. Nearly half of the 462 cases filed in 2014 under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were brought in Washington, according to a review of court filings by The National Law Journal.

Robert Menendez.

Ted Stevens Case Looms Over Menendez Indictment

By Mike Sacks |

With the indictment this week of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.'s tenure heading the Justice Department will be bookended by two high-profile public corruption cases against U.S. senators.

Charging Documents in Murder of DLA Piper Associate

DC police on Wednesday arrested 21-year-old Jamrya Gallmon in the death of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt. Gallmon was arrested on a charge of first-degree felony murder while armed. Police released charging documents on Thursday.

Lumber Liquidators.

After '60 Minutes’ Segment, Lumber Liquidators Walloped with Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than 75 class actions have been filed against Lumber Liquidators Inc. claiming that it mislabeled laminated wood flooring that emits dangerously high levels of formaldehyde gas.

Lawyers Resist Plan to Trim Length of Appeals Briefs

By Tony Mauro |

Forcing lawyers to write shorter briefs is not the solution to the problems federal appeals court judges have with outsized filings, an advisory panel was told on Wednesday.

Amicus Briefs Make the Case for Marriage Equality

By Marcia Coyle |

There are briefs by first responders, 303 former and sitting Republican government officials and activists, major churches and a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia who argues that "originalism" supports the right to same-sex marriage.

Chart: Pro Same-Sex Marriage Amicus Briefs

The signatures of many of the best of the Supreme Court bar, including former solicitors general of both parties, add heft to some of the 73 amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court urging marriage equality.

International Trade Agency Wants First Dibs in Microsoft Dispute

By Jenna Greene |

In a rare district court amicus brief, the U.S. International Trade Commission came down squarely against a novel bid by Microsoft Corp. to circumvent the agency and the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection in a dispute over the importation of cellphones.