National News

Courts & Litigation

Legal Experts Discuss Aftermath of Wal-Mart v. Dukes

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

One of these days San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer says he’s going to write down every proposition that the U.S. Supreme Court’s class-action ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes is cited for and read them out loud. And his audience is going to laugh, the judge said.

Mesh Defendant Seeks Expert’s Disqualification

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

C.R. Bard Inc., a manufacturer of transvaginal mesh facing close to 10,000 cases in federal court, has moved to disqualify one of the plaintiffs’ experts.

Dismissal of Toyota Airbag Case Affirmed

By Laura Castro |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a district court's ruling to dismiss a product defect and negligence suit against Toyota Motor Corp., saying a widower couldn’t prove that manufacturing or design defects in the side-curtain air bags of his wife’s 2010 Highlander caused her death in a crash.

Winning 2014

Victories Against the Odds

The National Law Journal presents five lawyers and their teams who faced tough odds at trial and prevailed by using creative litigation strategies, sharp trial techniques and plenty of legal brainpower.

Elizabeth Pipkin of McManis Faulkner.

A Battle Waged Against Government Secrecy

By Sheri Qualters |

Elizabeth Pipkin's perseverance and tenacity got a Muslim scholar removed from the no-fly list.

Marvin Putnam of O'Melveny & Myers.

A Case of Delicate Maneuvering

By Sheri Qualters |

Lawyer won a media-frenzied trial without tarnishing a pop icon's image.

<b>MIDNIGHT JUSTICE:</b> The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21, 1992, issued many orders throughout the night in the appeal of inmate Robert Alton Harris. Activists in 1990 protest the planned execution.

Predawn Justice at High Court

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5 a.m. order in a Texas voting rights case was rare, but not unprecedented. And it was rare only because of a little-known effort by the court in the 1990s to curtail postmidnight motions and orders.

Mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer.

Feds Pay Up For Failed Forfeiture

By Jenna Greene |

A recent fight over a 3,200-year-old Egyptian mummy mask with questionable provenance shows the hazards of government overreach when seizing disputed assets.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable cases.

Jamie Levitt of Morrison & Foerster.

Methodical Precision — Swiftly and Efficiently

By Sheri Qualters |

Morrison's Levitt took on opponents in ResCap's monumental bankruptcy and orchestrated a tidy win.

Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn.

Turning Point Was the 'Turncoats'

By Carlyn Kolker |

Skills sharpened as a prosecutor helped Mastro secure a win for Chevron.

Patrick Gibbs of Latham & Watkins.

His Confidence In the Client Won the Day

By Andrew Ramonas |

Patrick Gibbs and his Latham & Watkins team prevailed in a major SEC insider-trading trial.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

OSHA's Dust Rule Upheld in D.C. Circuit

By Jenna Greene |

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration scored a win before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which upheld an agency rule covering combustible dust on Friday.

James

Busiest Judges Are Presiding Over Thousands of Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

The busiest federal judges in the country are overseeing multidistrict litigation, prisoner petitions and patent cases, according to a report released Thursday.

Actos.

Judge Strikes Takeda Report in Actos Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge has struck a report Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. filed with the court indicating it was on track to restore evidence in an Actos case that resulted in a $9 billion verdict.

Appeals Court Upholds $5M Verdict Against GE Healthcare

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld a $5 million verdict issued in a mass tort in which plaintiffs alleged that GE Healthcare Inc. failed to warn that a gadolinium-based contrast agent used in MRIs can cause the growth of painful excess fibrous tissue in patients with failing kidneys.

Judge Dismisses Class Action Complaint Against Electronic Arts Inc.

By Lisa Hoffman |

Electronic Arts Inc. engaged in benign “corporate optimism,” not securities fraud, when it touted to in-vestors its ultimately buggy Battlefield 4 video game, a California federal judge ruled in zapping a pro-posed class action that alleged the company had engaged in stock manipulation.

Redbox Prevails in Video Privacy Protection Act Appeal

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal appellate court ruled Thursday that self-service movie kiosk company Redbox did not violate the Video Privacy Protection Act by giving an outside customer-service vendor access to its customer database.

Tamara Lusardi.

‘Groundbreaking’ Ruling for Transgender Disabled Vet

By Jenna Greene |

The Department of the Army discriminated against a civilian worker who was transitioning from male to female, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Thursday. The Transgender Law Center, which represented Tamara Lusardi, called the decision “groundbreaking in its conclusion."

Experts Fret Cyber Risk to Electronic Health Records

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A cybersecurity framework for medical devices and health-care technology needs to be developed in a partnership between the government, manufacturers and health-care providers, officials from across the public and private sectors during a workshop con-vened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Class Action Seeks Overtime Pay for Mandatory Exercise

By Lisa Hoffman |

In a twist on the axiom that it pays to exercise, a production worker has filed a proposed class action that faults Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama for not paying workers enough for mandatory stretching and exercise sessions.

Group Challenges Settlement in Vitamin Water Case

By Lisa Hoffman |

Blasting a proposed settlement that would give the plaintiffs’ attorneys $1.2 million and consumers only injunctive relief, the watchdog group Truth in Advertising Inc. has filed a motion to oppose the deal cut with The Coca-Cola. Co. over alleged false advertising of its Glaceau Vitaminwater products.

$18 Million Punitives Award Upheld in Asbestos Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

A divided California appeals court has upheld a punitive damages award for a homebuilder who claimed he contracted mesothelioma from breathing in dust that contained asbestos fibers.

Ortho Evra contraceptive patch.

State Design-Defect Rule Clashed With Federal Regulation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

In a case of first impression, a federal judge has ruled that Georgia plaintiffs cannot sue over design defects in drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Actos.

Plaintiffs: Takeda’s Claim It Found Evidence a ‘Whitewash’

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Plaintiffs lawyers fighting Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. over the drugmaker’s spoliation of evidence have denounced as a “whitewash” its recent claim that it is on track to restore the evidence.

Motion Opposes Certification of Mouthwash Class

By Laura Castro |

Chattanooga-based Chattem Inc. is asking a Florida federal judge not to certify a proposed class of consumers accusing the consumer health-products company of falsely claiming its ACT mouthwash rebuilds tooth enamel.

Confidential Settlement Reached in Mesh Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The federal judge presiding over multidistrict litigation in which more than 60,000 women allege they were injured by transvaginal mesh has approved a confidential settlement fund to resolve some of the claims against American Medical Systems Inc.

Dreamfields Pasta.

Injunctive Relief in Pasta Class Action Valued at $15M

By Lisa Hoffman |

A New Jersey federal judge has deemed done a reported $23 million settlement of a proposed class action alleging the manufacturer of Dreamfields Pasta falsely advertised the product as healthier than ordinary pasta because it contained fewer “digestible” carbohydrates.

U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Virgin Islands Sues Buchanan Ingersoll Over Tax Issues

By Jenna Greene |

The U.S. Virgin Islands is suing Buchanan Ingersoll over allegations the law firm gave wrong advice about whether a bond issue would be tax-exempt.

State’s Billboard Regulations Violate First Amendment

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal appellate court has revived a First Amendment challenge to Massachusetts billboard regulations that give one state official broad power to reject proposed billboards and cancel a billboard owner’s license.

Teachers Going to Trial on Retirement-Fund Claims

By Amanda Bronstad |

West Virginia’s public school teachers are going to trial over losses to their retirement plans after a judge refused to toss out a class action filed on their behalf.

Mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer.

Feds Lose Fight Over Ancient Mummy Mask

By Jenna Greene |

A fight over a 3,200-year-old Egyptian artifact with questionable provenance came to a close last week when the federal government paid $425,000 in attorney fees and costs to Dentons and Husch Blackwell for their work on behalf of Saint Louis Art Museum, which owns the disputed Mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer.

Demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court to bring attention to reconsideration of the Citizens United v. FEC decision.  February 23, 2012.

Study: Campaign Spending Skews Justice Against Defendants

By Marcia Coyle |

Skyrocketing spending on television advertising in state supreme court elections has rendered justices less likely to vote in favor of criminal defendants, a new study found.

Supreme Court of Nevada.

Class Analysis Not Needed in Construction-Defect Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled it neither arbitrary nor capricious for a trial judge to decline to perform a class-action analysis in a lawsuit filed by a homeowners’ association against a general contactor over alleged defects.

Perdue Chicken-Conditions Class Action Withdrawn

By Lisa Hoffman |

Three years of class litigation challenging Perdue Farms Inc.’s assertion that it humanely raises chickens sold under one of its brands has ended with terse statements that the poultry company will no longer make that claim.

Dollar General Settles Credit-Check Claims for $4M

By Lisa Hoffman |

Failing to notify more than 100,000 job applicants that they would be subjected to background checks will cost discount retailer Dollar General Corp. $4 million to settle a proposed class action alleging the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Justices Will Rule on Police Scrutiny of Hotel Registries

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a city ordinance authorizing police to search hotel and motel guest registries violates the Fourth Amendment.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg Explains Saturday Surprise on Texas Voting Law

By Tony Mauro |

"Tremendous time pressure" is the reason behind the U.S. Supreme Court's recent spate of unexplained emergency orders, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Sunday night.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg Explains Saturday Surprise on Texas Voting Law

By Tony Mauro |

"Tremendous time pressure" is the reason behind the U.S. Supreme Court's recent spate of unexplained emergency orders, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Sunday night.

Luke Bierman.

Elon School of Law Placing Practical Training ‘On Steroids’

By Amanda Bronstad |

Elon University School of Law is launching a J.D. program next year that offers full-time residencies led by faculty and allows students to graduate in less than three years at less cost.

Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, and Scalia joined in dissent Tuesday over the court's denial to review a sentencing dispute from the D.C. Circuit.

Why Did the Supreme Court Sidestep Sentencing Dispute?

By Tony Mauro |

When the U.S. Supreme Court ­refused to add a Washington drug case to its docket, it drew wide criticism for missing an opportunity to resolve a long­running dispute over judicial discretion in ­sentencing.

<b>IN TEXAS:</b> The cleanup commenced at the apartment where the first U.S. victim lived. A Dallas nurse has retained a lawyer.

Hospitals Sweat Potential Ebola Liability

By Amanda Bronstad and Andrew Ramonas |

As public health authorities moved to calm fears about the risk from Ebola, lawyers last week urged health care and other clients to take precautions against spreading the potentially fatal disease — and to mitigate attendant lawsuits.

<b>PASSIONS FLARE:</b> Among the disputes before courts are voting restrictions in various states.

Triage at Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

Whether it's a coincidence or a product of an overheated political environment, the U.S. Supreme Court has been a magnet for a remarkable string of highly charged emergency requests during the past two weeks.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable cases.

<b>COOPERATE:</b> Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in July publicly credited GE Capital Retail Bank, now known as Synchrony Bank, for self-reporting violations.

Agency Sets High Expectations
For Cooperation

By Jenna Greene |

For lawyers defending companies under scrutiny by federal agencies, the real question is whether to self-report wrongdoing.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

<b>CHANGE DEMANDED:</b> Demonstrators gather outside the Department of Justice in Washington during a rally in support of Michael Brown, fatally shot by a police officer on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.

DOJ Is Facing Tough Task in Ferguson Probe

By Lisa M. Noller and Daniel Werly |

The Civil Rights Division's investigation into Michael Brown's death could help improve race relations.

Jeffrey Fisher.

The Never-Ending Search of Digital Data

By JaneAnne Murray |

Once the government seizes tablets or smartphones, can it use the stored information forever?

Iced Tea Empire Valued at $2B in Partnership Dispute

By Julie Triedman |

The co-founders of the AriZona brand wage an epic legal battle about how much the company was worth.

Lawsuit Over Ford Explorer Exhaust Systems Proceeds

By Laura Castro |

A Florida federal judge has rejected Ford Motor Co.’s motion to dismiss a proposed class action involving the exhaust systems in its Explorer models.

Judge Unseals Evidence in Garlock Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

After a protracted fight, a federal judge has ruled on Thursday that all of the evidence that led him to find misrepresentations by plaintiffs in an asbestos-related bankruptcy must be unsealed.

Drugmakers Lose Request for Protective Order in Records Spat

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Three drugmakers facing a lawsuit from the city of Chicago alleging they illegally marketed painkillers have lost their motion for a protective order against USA Today’s Illinois Freedom of Information Act requests.

N.Y. Modeling Agency Sued Over Pay

By Lisa Hoffman |

A company that bills itself as the premiere New York City source of clothing fit models has been slapped with a proposed class and collective action that alleges it unlawfully underpays its models and operates as an unlicensed employment agency.

Judge Rules Against Federal Venue For Class Action Against Energy Co.

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A class action against a Texas-based energy supplier will proceed in New York state court, not New York federal court, after a federal judge ruled the controversy is a local one over which federal jurisdiction doesn’t apply.

Appeals Panel Scolds Lower Court Over Discovery

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Circuit Court for the Eleventh Circuit has criticized a lower court for requiring pre-discovery case management before it has ruled on the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff’s complaint.

Actos.

Drugmaker Recovers Emails After Spoliation Ruling

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. and five other related corporations report that they have recovered 61,000 emails and attachments after a Louisiana federal judge found that the Takeda was liable for spoliation of evidence in litigation over diabetes drug Actos.

Marathon Helper Alleges Labor Violations

By Lisa Hoffman |

The for-profit company that stages Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons and Half Marathons in scores of U.S. cities each year unlawfully exploits thousands of “volunteers,” who think they are helping charities but actually are providing Competitor Group Inc. with free labor, a proposed class action alleges.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

Accused Marathon Bomber Loses Jury, Evidence Challenges

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge on Friday denied accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s motion to dismiss his case and suppress evidence collected during the first two months after the bombings.

Insurer Loses Fight Over Therapy Coverage

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a health insurer can’t exclude coverage for speech, occupational and physical therapies.

Michael Millikin.

Embattled Millikin Steps Down as GM’s General Counsel

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co. general counsel Michael Millikin, who has faced criticism and congressional inquiries over his handling of an ignition-switch defect, has announced plans to retire in early 2015.

Class Certified in Alleged Plot to Fix Air Freight Prices

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has certified a class of tens of thousands of direct purchasers of air freight shipping services suing more than two dozen airlines in an alleged global price-fixing conspiracy.

Judge: Deal Didn’t Resolve Tribe’s Claims Against Glaxo

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge has ruled that GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s $3 billion settlement of misbranding charges involving its diabetes drug Avandia and other pharmaceuticals did not resolve claims the Cherokee Nation filed in its Oklahoma tribal court.

Class Certified in Suit Over Jeep Liberty Windows

By Lisa Hoffman |

Because a lead plaintiff sold her vehicle before joining a putative class action against Chrysler Group LLC, a California federal judge sanctioned the woman for effectively destroying evidence and refused to certify a class of Maryland Jeep Liberty owners she had intended to represent.

Dispute Narrows Over ‘Misrepresentation’ Evidence in Asbestos Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The dispute over unsealing evidence of alleged misrepresentations by plaintiffs in an asbestos-related bankruptcy has apparently narrowed.

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

Sixth Circuit Pares Back Corporate Liability Precedent

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has pared back its precedent allowing the knowledge of a corporate officer to be imputed to a corporation in a securities fraud case even if that officer did not issue statements that were false or misleading to investors.

Arizona Agrees to Prison Health Care Reform

By Lisa Hoffman |

The Arizona Department of Corrections has agreed to make substantial changes in the health care it provides its 33,000 prisoners, signing off on a class-action settlement that will require the state to improve treatment of the mentally ill be-hind bars and those in solitary confinement, among other reforms.

General Motors Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

GM Hit With Recall Class Actions for 30 Million Consumers

By Amanda Bronstad |

Plaintiffs lawyers leading the fight against General Motors Co. over its ignition-switch recalls have filed two consolidated class actions on behalf of 30 million consumers across the country.

William Jay of Goodwin Procter

Key Patent Dispute Divides Supreme Court Justices

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared torn on a contentious patent litigation issue: whether a trial court's factual findings about a patent claim deserve deference from the federal court that reviews such disputes on appeal.

Kannon Shanmugam of Williams & Connolly.

Supreme Court Rejects SG's Plan for Argument Time in Securities Case

By Tony Mauro |

Parties in U.S. Supreme Court litigation usually vie to have the federal government argue on their side. But in a case set for argument next month, the petitioner asked the court not to give the solicitor general’s office any of its half hour, and the court agreed.

Oyez Project Dives Deep Into the Fourth Amendment

By Marcia Coyle |

Justice Elena Kagan has called the Fourth Amendment "a growth industry" for the the U.S. Supreme Court. Now the Oyez Project, long a purveyor of high court information, has taken a "deep dive" into how the Roberts Court has managed that "industry."

Judge Approves Home-Attendant Wage-and-Hour Class

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

More than 1,000 New York attendants who work 24-hour shifts caring for elderly and disabled clients in their homes have been approved to proceed with their wage-and-hour class action.

SLAPP Ruling Upheld in Consumer-Protection Lawsuit

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A drug company cannot seek a court-issued declaration that it did not violate California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act by advertising its dietary supplement Amberen as a natural remedy to relieve menopausal symptoms, the California Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.

Bid Fails to Force Asbestos Insurer Into Arbitration

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A London insurer will not be compelled into arbitration to determine what coverage it might owe in the bankruptcy of one of the major suppliers of asbestos-based products, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled.

Party’tizers Three Bean Dippin’ Chips.

Snack Company in Class Action Attacks Plaintiffs Attorney

By Lisa Hoffman |

A putative class action accusing a snack food company of unlawfully labeling a product as “natural” has triggered a blast by the defense at the office of plaintiffs’ lawyer Howard Rubinstein, describing him as an ethically challenged attorney who was disbarred in Texas for stealing money.

Peruvian Crash Claims Survive Key Jurisdictional Ruling

By Amanda Bronstad |

A state appeals court, hearing tort claims arising from a fatal helicopter crash in Peru, has ruled for the first time that judges in Oregon can use the doctrine of forum non conveniens to decline jurisdiction in a case.

Philippines Broadcaster Prevails in Battle With Pirate

By Sheri Qualters |

Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp. has secured a $10 million federal consent judgment against a copyright and trademark infringer as an early victory in a broader court campaign against Internet pirates.

Dentist office.  Photo: Gunay Mutlu/iStockphoto.com.

High Court Drills Dental Examiners Board

By Marcia Coyle |

In a case that could affect thousands of state licensing boards, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday wrestled with whether a panel that drove nondentists offering teeth-whitening services out of the market violated federal antitrust laws.

Republican River

Justices Wade Into Kansas-Nebraska Water Dispute

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday tried, with limited success, to untangle a long-running dispute between Kansas and Nebraska over the use—and alleged overuse—of water from the Republican River.

Judge Rejects Avis Wage-and-Hour Deal as Too Vague

By Lisa Hoffman |

A proposed class settlement between Avis Budget Car Rental LLC and its shift operations managers would allocate nearly 40 percent of the $760,000 compensation fund to plaintiffs’ attorneys, but the amount class members would receive was unclear, a Florida judge said in refusing to approve the deal.

Judge Boots Privacy Class Action Against Cartoon Network

By Lisa Hoffman |

That’s all, folks: A Georgia federal judge has booted a proposed class action against The Cartoon Network Inc. that alleged privacy violations, ruling the personal information disclosed was too general to identify individuals.

Judge Blocks Discovery in Tainted-Steroid Litigation

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A judge has stayed litigation against a pharmacy that produced contaminated steroid drugs that caused a multistate breakout of meningitis.

AstraZeneca Prevails on Nexium Claims, Wins Costs

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Consolidated federal litigation over Nexium is dead after a California federal judge entered judgment in favor of AstraZeneca Pharmacueticals L.P. and McKesson Corp.

Gender Bias Action Against Merck Moves Ahead

By Laura Castro |

A New Jersey federal judge has denied a motion by Merck & Co. Inc. to dismiss a $250 million gender bias class action by female employees of the pharmaceutical giant who claim they were frozen out of hiring and advancement opportunities.

Philadelphia City Hall.

Suit Challenges Philadelphia’s Forfeiture Procedures

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The city of Philadelphia’s asset forfeiture procedures in criminal cases are being challenged as unconstitutional in a proposed class action.

Two Cases Filed Against Nursing Home Owners

By Amanda Bronstad |

California’s Garcia, Artigliere & Medby, which specializes in elder abuse litigation, filed two class actions last week against the owners of skilled nursing facilities.

Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, NJ.

After Hearing 'Only Crickets,' Court Tosses Sandy Cases

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A New Jersey federal judge has dismissed three Hurricane Sandy cases as a sanction for the plaintiffs for failing to prosecute their claims.

Boston Scientific Headed for Trial on Mesh Liability

By Amanda Bronstad |

On the heels of losing a $73.4 million verdict in Texas state court, Boston Scientific Corp. is headed to trial next month in two federal courts over its pelvic mesh devices.

Parties Blocked from Vermont Food Labeling Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A federal judge has rejected a bid by Vermont Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Food Safety to intervene in a lawsuit brought by several food industry associations to stop enforcement of a state law that will require labels to identify ingredients that have been genetically engineered.

Embattled Investigations Firm Faces Class Action

By Lisa Hoffman |

Embattled government contractor U.S. Investigations Services, LLC, already under fire for its background investigations of alleged secrets-leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, is now facing a proposed class action asserting it violated federal law when it laid off 1,200 workers in Pennsylvania.

Plaintiffs in Dialysis Suits Argue for Massachusetts Law

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A group of 127 dialysis plaintiffs from Mississippi alleging injury from products made by Fresenius Medical Care North America argue that Mississippi law should not apply to their cases because they filed their lawsuits in Massachusetts.

Samuel Mullet stands in front of his Bergholz, Ohio, home, on October 10, 2011.

Feds Ask Full Sixth Circuit to Review Amish Beard-Cutting Case

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to review a divided panel decision reversing the convictions of 16 members of the Ohio Amish community who engaged in a series of hair-shearing and beard-cutting assaults against followers of the faith three years ago.

<b>ABORTION:</b>  The Supreme Court was asked to intervene in a dispute over restrictions on abortion clinics in Texas.

Term Off to a Rollicking Start

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's opening week was like no other, a roller coaster of buried big news, mishaps and oral arguments that touched on the length of beards and the meaning of work.

A nurse delivers a whooping cough vaccination to a student.

Vaccine Cases Fill This Court's Docket

By Jenna Greene |

As the antivaccination movement grows—and with it, outbreaks of diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles—the eight special masters at the so-called vaccine court within the U.S. Court of Federal Claims are under increasing pressure.

Civil Actions

The following cases were recently filed in the local district courts. This information is provided by the district courts’ official online bulletin boards.

DC Circuit

D.C. Circuit Readies For NSA Case

By Zoe Tillman |

When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit convenes Nov. 4 to hear a challenge to government surveillance, lawyers will make their case to one judge — Senior Judge David Sentelle — who has grappled in recent years with the intersection of individual privacy rights and technology.

<b>DANGER:</b> Graffiti marks a neighborhood controlled by the Mara-18 gang in Ilopango, El Salvador. One of the pro bono program’s clients fled north after the gang menaced her and her 7-year-old son.

Adult Asylum-Seekers Need Lawyers, Too

By Katelyn Polantz |

Since last summer, four times as many families have crossed the border than during the previous fiscal year. Akin Gump and other large firms have stepped in to help.

Huntsville Unit in Texas.

Panel Declines to Combine Suits Targeting Texas Prisons

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal panel has refused to coordinate lawsuits filed on behalf of inmates in Texas state prisons who died or suffered heat strokes from soaring temperatures during the summers of 2011 and 2012.

Minn. Judge Blocks Deal Between Target, Pharmacies

By Lisa Hoffman |

A proposed $183,000 class action settlement between Target Corp. and hundreds of pharmacies over alleged robo-texts has been blocked by a Minnesota federal judge who said the deal could result in much of the award reverting to the company.

Exotic Dancers Reach Deal in Suit Over Wages

By Lisa Hoffman |

Exotic dancers at two New York City “gentlemen’s clubs” will get a cut of a proposed $4.3 million settlement of their class action claims that they were unlawfully underpaid and forced to share their tips with DJs and others.