National News

Courts & Litigation

Keven Lippert, general counsel of ViaSat Inc.

ViaSat Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |
Karen Frederiksen, associate general counsel of The Walt Disney Co.

The Walt Disney Co.

By Sheri Qualters |
Laurence Midler, general counsel of CBRE Group Inc.

CBRE Group Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |
<b>TARGETED:</b> At issue were televisions, cellphones, videoplayers and other devices.

Important Victory for Google Inc.

By Jenna Greene |

Software makers led by Google Inc. scored a big win at the U.S. Inter­national Trade Commission in the form of a ruling that could shield their products in some instances from the agency's jurisdiction.

<b>TRADITIONALISTS:</b> Their advocates are waiting for the justices to

These Are The Lawyers Fighting Marriage Equality

By Marcia Coyle |

Religion, challenge drive gay marriage opponents.

<b>CLIENTS:</b> Undocumented children at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona. The Justice Department has found $1.8 million to provide them with lawyers.

Grants Pay Lawyers to Represent Undocumented Children

By Karen Sloan |

Crush of new arrivals has worsened an existing shortage of immigration attorneys.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

Michael Rowles, executive vice president and general counsel of Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |

Boston Scientific Wants Depos Quashed in Mesh Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Boston Scientific Corporation is seeking to quash the depositions of several of its employees and other corporate representatives.

Josephine Staton Tucker.

Do-Over on Page Limits in Class Action Over Defective Refrigerators

By Lisa Hoffman |

Plaintiffs lawyers who had prodded a California federal court judge to allow them double the number of pages to support a $33 million class action settlement managed to condense their points to the limit the none-too-pleased judge demanded.

Judge Rejects Sanctions in Restaurant Workers’ Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

It was an inadvertent mistake when a trash bag full of restaurant workers’ timecards was tossed, even though it occurred as a proposed collective and class action, brought by employees alleging they were unlawfully underpaid, was pending, a Wisconsin federal judge has found.

Starbucks.

After Deleting Coffee and Meal Charges, Judge OK's Fees

By Lisa Hoffman |

Satisfied that plaintiffs’ attorneys had scrubbed $404 in Starbucks purchases, meals and other charges from their request for litigation costs in a $350,000 class-action settlement, a California federal judge has signed off on the deal between Target Corp. and thousands of employees.

Discovery Motion Rejected In Diabetes Drug Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The federal judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation involving incretin-based therapies has denied a motion to compel discovery about the defendants’ analysis of a causal association between the drugs and pancreatic cancer.

Suit Filed Over Male Enhancement Product

By Lisa Hoffman |

Could Magna-Rx+ be the potency potion sought by men in a seemingly eternal quest to enhance their manliness? No, said Trevor Dixon, who spent $50 to try a bottle of it, found it worthless and has now commenced a proposed class action to consign it to the heap of alleged aphrodisiacs and enlargers that have enticed many through the ages but disappointed most.

Timothy Cook.

Apple’s Privacy Policy May Not Prove Unassailable

By Andrew Ramonas |

Apple Inc.’s new privacy policy won’t stop law enforcement officers determined to view encrypted data on iPhones and iPads, according to privacy attorneys. But it will impose additional burdens.

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010.

Court Divides Over Agency's Subpoena Power in Deepwater Probe

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court Thursday divided over the power of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to issue administrative subpoenas in the investigation of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The panel majority upheld enforcement of the subpoenas.

Drugmakers Fight Chicago Over Disclosure of Painkiller Info

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Two drugmakers say that the city of Chicago wants to release materials it gathered from its investigation of opioid painkillers in order to try its case in the media, not to comply with Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act.

Barrette vinyl rail.

Judge Certifies Class Over Allegedly Defective Vinyl Guardrails

By Lisa Hoffman |

Home Depot USA Inc. cannot sink a class action aimed at the company over allegations of defective outdoor railings simply by arguing it does not keep records of individual customers, a Kansas federal judge decided in certifying the class.

Food Industry Groups Try to Block Vermont Labeling Law

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Several food industry groups have moved for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of a Vermont law that will require food labeling to disclose ingredients that have been genetically engineered.

Attorney Thomas Stoever, right, speaks during a news conference as Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, hold hands and listen on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The Phillips, parents of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the July 20, 2012 Colorado theater shootings, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing four online retailers of improperly selling ammunition, tear gas, a high-capacity magazine and body armor used in the attack.

Brady Center Sues Online Ammo Retailers Tied to Theater Shooting

By Amanda Bronstad |

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has sued several online businesses for selling ammunition and other equipment to James Holmes, charged with fatally shooting 12 people and injuring dozens more at a Colorado movie theater.

Professor Stephen Burbank of the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Study: Supreme Court 'Antagonistic' to Private Enforcement of Federal Rights

By Marcia Coyle |

The playing field for private individuals seeking to enforce federal rights has tipped in favor of defendants primarily because of amendments to federal civil procedure rules and the ideology of U.S. Supreme Court justices interpreting them, according to a new study.

Entran 3 hose.

Notice of Goodyear Suit to Come Via Online Ad Blast

By Lisa Hoffman |

A Colorado federal judge has granted permission for notice of a proposed class action against Good-year Tire & Rubber Co. to be displayed in an online banner advertisement that may be seen by 41 mil-lion viewers.

Josephine Staton Tucker.

Request to Exceed Page Limit Draws Judge’s Displeasure

By Lisa Hoffman |

A California federal judge apparently was pushed 18 pages too far.

Target Moves to Toss Baby-Wipes Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

Target Corp. is asking a federal judge to toss a proposed class action alleging the company is fouling up sewers and septic systems by falsely claiming one of its brands of baby wipes is “flushable” and safe for disposal.

Appeals Court Sides With P&G on Fixodent Claims

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A plaintiff cannot show she suffered neurological injuries from using the denture adhesive Fixodent because her expert witnesses cannot testify reliably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled.

Kelsi Corkran.

Orrick Hires Five Former Supreme Court Clerks

By Marcia Coyle |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has lured three U.S. Supreme Court clerks fresh out of the marble palace and two more veteran high court clerks to a swiftly growing Supreme Court and appellate practice.

Andrew Ceresney.

SEC Plans to Play Insider-Trading Cases on Home Court

By Joel M. Cohen, Mary Kay Dunning and Darcy Harris |

Following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s back-to-back trial losses in two high-profile insider trading actions, the agency quickly has adopted a plan intended to improve its record: the “home court strategy.”

Kenneth Feinberg.

GM Seeks To Block Deposition of Former In-House Attorney

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co. is asking a federal judge overseeing more than 100 ignition-switch lawsuits to halt discovery in a Georgia case in which one of its former senior attorneys faces deposition as soon as November.

The arrival this summer of thousands of Central American immigrant children, like these housed at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona, exacerbated an existing shortage of lawyers to help process immigration cases for unaccompanied minors. Now the Department of Justice has come up with money to help.

Grant Pays Lawyers to Represent Undocumented Children

By Karen Sloan |

For unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States, having a lawyer can make the difference between winning permission to stay and deportation. That harsh reality was true even before the recent wave of Central American children began surrendering on the Southwest border. Now the Justice Department is addressing the problem.

A woman handing a prescription to a pharmacists

Pharmaceutical Companies Reply to Proposed Drug-Name Rule

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The comment period closed Monday regarding best practices for developing proprietary names for drugs to avoid medical errors, with a number of pharmaceutical companies weighing in with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Chantix Plaintiffs Expert Seeks Pfizer Documents

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A plaintiffs expert in the multidistrict litigation over the Chantix antismoking drug has moved to unseal court records in the advance of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration meeting next month to consider whether warnings about suicide risk are warranted.

Emailed Threats Conviction Reversed by Appeals Court

By Tony Mauro |

Not waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the same issue, a federal appeals court panel on Monday invoked the First Amendment in nullifying the conviction of a Utah man on charges of sending an interstate threat.

Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.

Shareholder Settlement OK’d in HP’s Abortive Mobile Plan

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., on Monday approved a $57 million class action settlement for shareholders of Hewlett-Packard Co. who sued after the company halted plans for a mobile operating system.

Cynthia Richman

<b>EMINEM:</b> Rappers' posturing, one attorney says,

Justices Get Schooled in Rap

By Tony Mauro |

A case on the high court's fall docket asks whether the online posting of threatening language like that found in rap lyrics violates a federal law against transmitting "any threat to injure the person of another" across state lines.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable decisions.

Mareesa Frederick

Daniel Graham

Christian Chu

Danielle Gray

Cate Edwards

Kelsi Brown Corkran

Reena Gambhir

Loren AliKhan

Daniel Marti

Lori Alvino McGill

Edward Kang

Dominic Perella

Melissa Patterson

Antony Kim

Archis Parasharami

Lindsay Harrison

Precious Murchison

Erin Murphy

Elizabeth Wydra

Pratik Shah

Gunjan Talati

Ana Reyes

Jeffrey Wall

Tejinder Singh

Jonathan Su

Andrew Sommer

Jeffrey Perry

Proponents of same-sex marriage rallied at the high court in 2013.

High Court to Consider Gay Marriage

By Tony Mauro and Scott Graham |

The U.S. Supreme Court last week placed the same-sex marriage cases from five states on the agenda for discussion during its private conference on Sept. 29.

Michelle Koplitz

Lawsuit: Court Reassigned Deaf Juror

By Zoe Tillman |

Michelle Koplitz, a deaf District of Columbia resident, was summoned for grand jury service earlier this year. The court wouldn't let her serve, she claims, because administrators wouldn't pay for a sign-language interpreter.

No Final Approval of Lowe’s Wage Settlement

By Lisa Hoffman |

A Florida federal judge has refused to sign off on a proposed $3.4 million collective settlement because the terms provide too little compensation for hundreds of human resources managers who alleged Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. unlawfully denied them overtime.

Suit Over Missing Sprouts on Sandwiches Settles

By Lisa Hoffman |

The absence of alfalfa sprouts may cost Jimmy John’s LLC as much as $725,000. That is the total the restaurant chain has agreed to put up to settle a class action brought by California plaintiff Heather Starks, who was aggrieved that the vegetarian sandwich she purchased in February 2012 did not contain alfalfa sprouts.

Pfizer World Headquarters in New York City.

Consumer Group Loses FOIA Fight with Drugmakers

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A consumer rights advocacy group has lost a Freedom of Information Act fight to access the compliance records Pfizer Inc. and Purdue Pharma LP filed with the government as part of their settlement of health care fraud cases.

Judge Sets Up Process for Fosamax Settlements

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV, who has been appointed as the master to administer a $27.7 million settlement fund over Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp.’s Fosamax, has set up the process for plaintiffs to appeal their settlement allocations.


Verdict Tossed in Grain Bin Explosion Suit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has struck down a $180 million verdict in favor of three workers injured by a grain bin that exploded at a flour mill.

Meal and Rest Ruling Stands Against Penske

By Lisa Hoffman |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has kept intact its delivery of a win to California workers who brought a class action over the denial of rest and meal breaks for Penske Logistics LLC truck drivers.

Food Industry Assails New Vermont Food Labeling Law

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Vermont’s recently enacted law requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled by food manufacturers has come under attack by a coalition of trade association groups for the food industry.

Law Firms Want Settlement Records Sealed in Asbestos Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of law firms representing plaintiffs claiming that exposure to Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC’s products caused their asbestos-related illnesses want medical records and information about their settlements sealed in Garlock’s bankruptcy.

Tenth Circuit Revives Failure-to-Warn Claim in Car Seat Case

By Lisa Hoffman |

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has reversed a district judge’s decision that spared car-seat manufacturer Evenflo Co. Inc., from a failure-to-warn claim, and sent the case back for a new trial to assess liability for permanent injuries suffered by a baby in a car crash.

Frank Underwood of House of Cards.

State Laws Criminalizing Campaign Lies Take Hit

By Tony Mauro |

September has not been a good month for state laws that make it a crime to lie about political candidates or ballot initiatives, with federal judges striking down such laws on First Amendment grounds in Minnesota and Ohio.

Tim Goss.

Boston Scientific Loses $73.4M Verdict in Mesh Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

A Dallas jury has awarded $73.4 million in the first trial to go against Boston Scientific Corp. over one of its pelvic mesh devices.

EastWest Bank.

Large Punitives Award Against Bank in Loan Foreclosure

By Amanda Bronstad |

A jury has awarded nearly $39 million, mostly in punitive damages, to a Cambodian immigrant couple who sued East West Bank for forcing the foreclosure of their commercial loan.

Linda Singer.

Chicago Fights Push to Disqualify Its Lawyer in Opioids Suit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The city of Chicago has come out swinging against Purdue Pharma L.P.’s motion to disqualify the city’s lead lawyer in a lawsuit over opioid painkillers.

Anheuser-Busch Fights Deceptive Advertising Suit Over Beck's Beer

By Lisa Hoffman |

In his courtroom, after close examination of bottles and cans of Beck’s Beer, and the cartons that held them, a federal judge said one thing was very clear: The labels declaring the brand was actually made in the USA were difficult to read.

Kellogg Company Dismissed From Consumers' Class Action

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Kellogg Company has gotten out of a class action alleging that consumers of Kashi Company’s “natural” food products were deceived because the products contain genetically modified organisms and synthetic ingredients like GMO soy, soy derivatives and corn derivatives.

Suit Against SkinMedica Remains Alive

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal judge has kept alive a proposed class action that alleges SkinMedica, Inc., failed to disclose that its skin-care creams, which contain human growth factors allegedly harvested from human foreskin tissue, could pose a cancer risk and lack federal government approval to be sold.

Demonstrations for and against same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case challenging California's Prop 8 legislation.  March 26, 2013.

Justices Set Date to Review Same-Sex Marriage Petitions

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday placed the same-sex marriage cases from five states on the agenda for discussion at its private conference Sept. 29.

Mark Rosenbaum.

Pro Bono Organization Expands Litigation, Lobby Efforts

By Amanda Bronstad |

The former legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California will lead an expansion of Public Counsel’s litigation and lobbying efforts across the country.

John Paul Schnapper-Casteras, lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

NAACP LDF Hires Sidley Lawyer for Supreme Court Advocacy

By Tony Mauro |

John Paul Schnapper-Casteras remembers hearing talk at the dinner table about the U.S. Supreme Court when he was growing up in Seattle. Now 31, Schnapper-Casteras has taken on a position in Washington where the court will be a major part of his workday conversation.

Apple Claims Trimmed in ‘Breaking Bad’ Subscriptions

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal judge provided a bit of both good and bad for the parties to a proposed class action alleging Apple Inc. cheated fans of the crime drama “Breaking Bad.”

Judge Limits Contact With Experts in Mesh Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal magistrate judge has set out the limits for ex parte contact by Cook Medical Inc. with plaintiffs’ treating physicians in litigation over transvaginal mesh surgically inserted into the bodies of women to treat pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Howard T. Markey National Courts Building/U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC.

First Biosimilar Drugs Challenge Unfolds in Federal Circuit

By Jenna Greene |

In the first appellate challenge to a new regulatory path for creating generic versions of biologic medicines derived from living organisms, advocates for Sandoz Inc. and Amgen Inc. on Wednesday faced tough questions from a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Opposition Filed in Drugmakers’ Bid to Shield Documents

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Several pharmaceutical companies are seeking to block USA Today’s Freedom of Information Act request for documents the drugmakers produced during the city of Chicago’s investigation into opioid painkillers.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

Professor Examines Nixon, Hoover Role in Fortas' Fall

By Marcia Coyle |

Nearly half a century after Abe Fortas left the U.S. Supreme Court, his resignation continues to intrigue scholars dissatisfied with the long-accepted narrative about his departure. They still probe what can be endless rabbit warrens or wind up at dead ends.

American Psychological Association headquarters.

Members' Claims Against Psychological Association Revived

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The American Psychological Association will still have to reckon with its past after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of two class actions involving a fee it charged to its members.

Feds Ordered to Pay Costs in Landmark EPA Case

By Tony Mauro |

Debate continues over which side really won the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on greenhouse gases issued on June 23. But court clerk Scott Harris has made his own judgment, of sorts; it was a half-win for each side.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, seen here in 2012 at her confirmation hearing, said Tuesday a former AUSA can proceed under a pseudonym in his suit against DOJ.

Ex-Prosecutor Allowed to Sue DOJ Under Pseudonym

By Zoe Tillman |

A former federal prosecutor can keep his real name secret in his suit against the U.S. Department of Justice over alleged discrimination, a judge in Washington ruled Tuesday.

Corn Refiners Seek to Disqualify Squire Patton Boggs

By Amanda Bronstad |

Corn refiners in a legal battle against the sugar industry have moved to disqualify opposing counsel, claiming the June 1 merger creating Squire Patton Boggs has created a conflict in the case.

Asbestos Plaintiff Should Have Subpoenaed V.A. Doctor

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A plaintiff with a history of smoking was not able to demonstrate that asbestos was a substantial contributing factor to his lung cancer because his treating physician from the Department of Veterans Affair did not provide a report detailing asbestos’ role in his cancer, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled.

Deceased Worker’s Testimony Barred in Asbestos Lawsuit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Testimony given in an asbestos products-liability lawsuit by a maintenance worker at a ketchup bottling plant is inadmissible in a workers’ compensation lawsuit, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled.

Judge Rejects Attack on General Mills Contamination Class

By Lisa Hoffman |

A neighborhood of Minnesota homeowners has staved off an attempt by General Mills Inc. to derail their proposed federal class action against the company for allegedly failing to prevent toxic vapors from seeping from a Superfund site into their residences.

Kuwait Towers, Kuwait.

Linguists Sue Contractor Over Working Conditions in Kuwait

By Lisa Hoffman |

Alleging their passports were illegally confiscated and they were forced to live in substandard conditions without needed medical care, translators and interpreters who worked with the U.S. military in Kuwait have asked a Virginia federal judge to certify their proposed class action against the contractor that hired them.

Judge Rejects Class in Chaplains’ Lawsuit Against Navy

By Lisa Hoffman |

A group of Protestant Navy chaplains, who allege the service has a culture of denominational favoritism that infringes their constitutional rights, was unable to persuade a federal judge to bless their bid for class certification.

Ethanol refinery.

Ethanol Plants Exempt from Stricter Controls

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plants producing fuel-grade ethanol are not subject to stricter controls under the Clean Air Act, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.

Appeals Court Upholds Adjusters' Class Certification

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the certification of a class composed of an estimated 800 Allstate Insurance Co. adjusters who allege they were forced to forgo overtime pay.