Courts Litigation

<b>NO. 1:</b> Covington & Burling, which moved in December to a new office in downtown Washington, grew its head count by 3% to 454 lawyers. Several former DOJ attorneys have returned to the firm.

Mergers Shake Up List of Largest D.C. Law Offices

By Katelyn Polantz |

Covington & Burling, at the top of The National Law Journal's list of Wash­ington's largest firms for the second consecutive year, added about 15 total lawyers last year in a time when elite firms, especially ones that focus on litigation, find the most ability to expand in Washington.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Ex-Prosecutor Loses Fight Against Reporter Over Leak Source

By Happy Carlock |

A federal appeals court on Friday sided with a former Detroit Free Press reporter who refused to testify about his source or sources for an article about a federal prosecutor who faced an ethics investigation. A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld David Ashenfelter's Fifth Amendment privilege not to reveal the source of information in the article for fear of potential prosecution.

Catherine Carroll. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Supreme Court Names Wilmer Partner to Argue in Civil Rights Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court has appointed D.C. appellate expert Catherine Carroll to argue in favor of a position that the Obama administration has disavowed in a civil rights case the justices will hear in the fall. The court's action, while unusual, puts Carroll in the company of a select group of lawyers, most of them former law clerks, who get a prized opportunity to argue at the high court by appointment rather than through a client.

Cert Petition: Justice Dept. Takes Insider-Trading Case to High Court

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday filed a cert petition in United States v. Newman that asks the high court to reverse a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that restrains the ability of the government to bring insider-trading cases.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at an event sponsored by Duke University in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2015. Photo: Jay Mallin

Ginsburg Reflects on Gay Marriage, Death Penalty Rulings

By Tony Mauro |

"In this case, it was more powerful to have a single opinion" favoring same-sex marriage, while all four dissenters wrote separately, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Wednesday evening before an audience of Duke University students and alumni.

Rows of Jeep Grand Cherokees are lined up outside the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.

Plaintiffs Lawyers Plan Their Moves After Fiat Chrysler Fine

By Amanda Bronstad |

The $105 million fine against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for its handling of 23 safety recalls may bolster existing lawsuits against the company, but it’s unlikely to spur the kind of massive legal onslaught that accompanied General Motors Co.’s ignition-switch issues, say lawyers.

Former UVA Students Sue Rolling Stone for Defamation

Three former University of Virginia students filed a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone over the magazine's now-retracted article, "A Rape on Campus."

The Fallout From the Supreme Court's Sign Ordinance Ruling

By Tony Mauro |

For years, many of the lawyers who litigate over government regulation of signs would tell you that almost all sign ordinances are at least a little bit unconstitutional, imposing rules that would not fly for other forms of speech.

The Seattle Gay Pride Festival, on its 40th Anniversary, features a diverse set of marchers. A variety of scout troops and members march in the parade with pride, celebrating diversity.

A Three-Decade Battle to Change the Boy Scouts

By Marcia Coyle |

The Boy Scouts of America announcement this week that it would end its ban on openly gay adult leaders came 15 years after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on First Amendment ground, and nearly 30 years after legal battles over the restriction began.

Angel Dillard, of Valley Center, Kan., walks with her attorney, Don McKinney, of Wichita, Kan., left, and an unidentified man as she arrives at the U.S. Federal District Courthouse, in Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

Appeals Court Revives Abortion-Doctor Threat Case

By Mike Sacks |

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a U.S. Justice Department civil enforcement against a Nebraska woman accused of threatening a doctor who planned to open an abortion clinic in Wichita following the killing of Dr. George Tiller in 2009.

Georgia Case Revisits Race Bias in Jury Selection

By Tony Mauro |

Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights, admits he was surprised when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of his client Timothy Foster, a Georgia death row inmate who claims that all black potential jurors were systematically excluded from his trial jury in 1987.

City Hall, Ferguson, Missouri.

Appeals Court Revives Excessive-Force Claims Against Ferguson Officers

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived excessive-force claims against police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, accused of beating a man while he was "subdued and compliant" in jail. The court affirmed the dismissal of claims against the city of Ferguson.

Zimmer Hit with $9M Verdict in Hip Implant Litigation

By Amanda Bronstad |

In the first setback for Zimmer Holdings Inc. in defending hip implant suits, a Los Angeles jury has awarded $9.1 million to a man who claimed the company failed to warn about its product’s defects.

Demonstrators celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments after the court announced its opinion in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.  June 26, 2015.

How the Supreme Court's Gay-Marriage Ruling Is Playing in Trial Courts

By Zoe Tillman |

In the month since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark same-sex marriage ruling, federal and state judges are citing the decision in an array of cases, including some that don't involve same-sex couples.

<b>WARNING:</b> Cellphone owners advised to take “simple precautions” when using devices.

Pocket Dialing Is Risky Business

By Zoe Tillman |

Butt-dialers beware: A federal appeals court says you have no privacy expectation in your unknowingly placed call.

<b>HELD:</b> Albert Woodfox has been held in solitary confinement for his role in the 1972 murder of a prison guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola. He was serving time for robbery.

Solitary-Confinement Challenges Head to Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

Legal challenges to solitary-confinement policies are working their way through the federal courts to the U.S. Supreme Court faster than one justice in particular may have anticipated.

<b>TARNISHED:</b> Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch in the movie version of the first book.

Atticus' Teachable Moment

By Karen Sloan |

Atticus Finch — unimpeachable lawyer and civil rights champion, or unapologetic racist? Readers have struggled to reconcile these two versions of fiction's most iconic attorney since the July 14 publication of Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman," set some 20 years after the events of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Emmet Sullivan.

Judge Laments 'Monumental' Failure After $380M Goes Unspent in Class Action

By Zoe Tillman |

More than half of a $680 million settlement fund for Native American farmers and ranchers who suffered discrimination in federal loan programs remains unspent—a failure of "monumental" proportions, a federal district judge in Washington said on Friday.

Walt Disney Corp. office and studio complex in Burbank, Calif.

European Suit Against Film Studios Part of Aggressive Effort

By Amanda Bronstad |

The European Commission’s decision to file antitrust claims against six major U.S. film studios on Thursday is an aggressive approach at dismantling how Hollywood does business. Even so, it comes as little surprise to antitrust experts given the regulatory agency’s push to unify consumer access to digital products in the European Union.

Brett Kavanaugh.

D.C. Circuit Revives Constitutional Challenge to CFPB

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal appeals court on Friday revived constitutional challenges to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—a centerpiece of the Obama administration's financial reform efforts—and to the recess appointment of the bureau's director, Richard Cordray.

A mature Bald Eagle perched on a branch.

$6,500 Penalty for Eagle Killing Reversed by Appeals Court

By Happy Carlock |

A $6,500 monetary penalty that was imposed on a Nebraska man who fatally shot a bald eagle and a rough-legged hawk was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that said the value of the birds had been improperly determined.

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, of Little Sisters of the Poor, speaks to members of the media after attending a hearing in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, Colo., Monday, Dec. 8, 2014.

Contraceptive-Coverage Mandate Foes Flock to Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

In a scenario reminiscent of same-sex marriage challenges last fall, the U.S. Supreme Court now has five petitions for review from religious nonprofits challenging the government's means of accommodating their objections to contraceptive health insurance. And some heavy-hitting lawyers are on board.

Aereo's tiny antennas.

Supreme Court Reform Group Urges 'Blind Trusts' for Justices

By Tony Mauro |

The recent release of the annual financial disclosure forms submitted by U.S. Supreme Court justices has renewed the debate over when justices should recuse in pending cases and how they should avoid conflicts of interest.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Wednesday led a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing titled

Cruz Urges Restraints on Supreme Court's 'Lawlessness'

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions on same-sex marriage and health care served as the catalysts for a Republican presidential candidate's Senate hearing Wednesday on retention elections, term limits and other means to rein in what he labeled the justices' "lawlessness."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Challenges to Solitary Confinement Headed to Justices

By Marcia Coyle |

Legal challenges to solitary-confinement policies are working their way through the federal courts to the U.S. Supreme Court faster than one justice in particular may have anticipated.

DOJ Brings Hate Crimes Charges in Charleston Church Shooting

Dylann Roof, the man accused in the killing of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, was charged Wednesday with federal hate crimes in a 33-count indictment. DOJ has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

University of Illinois College of Law.

New Trial Ordered in Alleged Stalking at Illinois Law

By Karen Sloan |

A former student at the University of Illinois College of Law will get another chance to prove in court that he did not stalk a classmate and should be allowed back on campus.

John Burris.  November 5, 2010.

Black Lawyers Group Wants Members to Take On Brutality Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

Members of the National Bar Association called on black lawyers to advocate for victims and protesters of police brutality by representing them in civil cases and pushing for reforms of the criminal justice system.

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich waves as he departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on corruption charges, on March 15, 2012.

Appeals Court Overturns Rod Blagojevich Convictions on Some Charges

By Zoe Tillman |

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is entitled to a new trial on charges that he offered to appoint presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett to President Obama's old U.S. Senate seat in exchange for a favor from Obama, then the president-elect, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Rudy Telscher

Attorney Fee Awards Surge After High Court Patent Decision

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court has been arming district court judges with the law they need to weed out bad patent lawsuits, patent litigator Rudy Telscher believes. And one recently won weapon—attorney fee awards—is the result of Telscher's own high court victory.

Court Rejects Privacy Claim Over Pocket-Dialed Call

By Zoe Tillman |

A cellphone user who unknowingly places a call doesn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in conversations exposed to the person on the other end of the line, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday.

Demonstrators in prayer outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, during arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Eighth Circuit OKs New Challenge to Contraception Mandate

By Marcia Coyle |

A Missouri legislator's legal battle to obtain contraceptive-free health insurance may move forward in federal court, a federal appellate panel ruled on Monday.

Pamela Meanes.

Police Brutality Cases Shape National Bar Association Agenda

By Amanda Bronstad |

A string of police brutality incidents across the country dominated the past year’s headlines. But it also refocused the agenda of the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest bar association for black lawyers. Pamela Meanes, the group’s president sat down with the The National Law Journal at its annual conference in Los Angeles this week to talk about the legal challenges facing victims of police brutality. A partner at Thompson Coburn in St. Louis, Meanes also discussed diversity efforts on the bench and at law firms.

'BYOD' Means Problems in Discovery

By Chris DiMarco |

Use of personal devices risks comingling of private and corporate data.

<b>ADVOCATE:</b> “This was a case about people coming before the court asking to be treated by the ­government as equal,” Mary Bonauto of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders said.

Q&A: Mary Bonauto Reflects on High Court's Gay-Marriage Ruling

By Marcia Coyle |

Bonauto spoke with the NLJ about her first-time experience in the Supreme Court and her post-marriage-equality plans.

An Antitrust Litigation 'Explosion'

By Sheri Qualters |

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis erected a roadblock against pharmaceutical companies paying competitors to delay bringing generics to market, appeals courts are extending the ruling beyond cash deals.

Lawyers, Light Years Behind

By Geoffrey A. Vance |

They still haven't gotten the message about tech-assisted review.

Lawyers Are Turning to Big Data Analysis

By Ed Silverstein |

Volume, complexity of data collections create challenges for companies facing litigation.

<b>COMMUTATION:</b> President Obama at a federal prison in Oklahoma last week, the first such visit by a U.S. chief executive. Days earlier, he commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders.

Sentencing Reform Has Its Moment

By Mike Sacks |

The bipartisan push for criminal justice reform, backed by a coalition of law and advocacy groups that span the ideological spectrum, gained momentum last week from the White House and unlikely allies in the Republican-controlled Congress.

Paul Smith.

Judge Slashes Fees for Lawyers in West Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Case

By Zoe Tillman |

Lawyers who successfully challenged West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage will receive less than a third of the legal fees they sought from the state. U.S. District Chief Judge Robert Chambers on Thursday rejected the state's arguments that it should not have to pay any fees, but he found the hours and rates the plaintiffs' lawyers claimed were unreasonable.

Health, safety and environment workers contracted by BP clean up oil on a beach in Port Fourchon, La., May 23, 2010.

BP Loses Appeal to Get Spill Claimants’ Confidential Info

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court has struck down BP’s effort at gaining access to confidential information about pending claims to its $9.9 billion oil spill settlement in its ongoing attempt to root out fraud.

A man walks past a Lumber Liquidators store, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Lumber Liquidators Mired in Shareholder Lawsuits

By Amanda Bronstad |

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc., whose stock has plummeted since a “60 Minutes” exposé revealed that its hardwood laminate flooring products contained illegal levels of formaldehyde, is fending off a raft of shareholder lawsuits filed against its top executives, many of whom have abruptly left the company.

Mass High Court Clarifies Grounds for Fee Sanctions

By Sheri Qualters |

Massachusetts' highest court ruled Wednesday that a state judge abused his discretion by ordering an attorney-fee sanction in a business case because the award was “not necessary to ensure the fair administration of justice.”

Standard bearers carry Liberty University banners into Williams Stadium for commencement ceremonies at the school in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Liberty University, Facing Kidnapping Claims, Loses Insurance Coverage Case

By Happy Carlock |

Liberty University's insurance carrier has no duty to defend the school against kidnapping allegations, a federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled, overturning a lower-court decision.

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

What the Supreme Court’s 2014 Term Means for Business

By Steffen N. Johnson |

June 29 marked the end of a blockbuster term for the U.S. Supreme Court. The court's October 2014 term will long be remembered for high-profile decisions on health care and same-sex marriage. But 2014-15 also brought decisions on a host of vital issues affecting business. Winston & Strawn's Steffen N. Johnson looks at some of the court's "greatest hits" for business in 2014-15—ten cases expected to have a significant effect on the legal environment in which those who do business in the United States operate.

Demonstrators in favor of the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments after the court announced its opinion in the subsidies case <i>King v. Burwell</i>, ruling in favor of the government. June 25, 2015.

Column: Misconstruing This Term’s Decisions as Liberal

By Erwin Chemerinsky |

A closer examination of the cases shows a much more complicated story, including the liberal justices being in the majority in decisions that should be of great concern to progressives.

Demonstrator outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments before the court announced its opinion in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v Hodges.  June 26, 2015.

Suit Against Wal-Mart Follows Marriage-Equality Ruling

By Sheri Qualters |

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. faces the first purported class action demanding equal employment benefits for people in same-sex marriages since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized those marriages across the country last month.

Mary Bonauto addresses the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court announced its opinion in the same-sex marriage case <i>Obergefell v Hodges</i>, making gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

Marriage Equality Advocate Seeks to Build on High Court Win

By Marcia Coyle |

As the aftermath of such U.S. Supreme Court rulings as the 1954 school desegregation and 2008 Second Amendment cases show, landmark decisions rarely mark the end of litigation.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

King & Spalding Strikes Back at Bid to Pierce GM Privilege

By Amanda Bronstad |

King & Spalding has fired back in court against allegations that it helped client General Motors Co. conceal an ignition-switch defect for years.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day the Court issued its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case.  June 30, 2014.

Tenth Circuit Rejects Contraceptive Insurance Challenge

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday joined four other federal appellate courts in rejecting religious nonprofits’ arguments that the federal accommodation of their objections to providing contraceptive health insurance violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Stephen Breyer.

Supreme Court Rejects Plea to Strike Down Death Penalty

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday night turned away a full-scale challenge to capital punishment in the case of a convicted murderer in Missouri set for execution at 6 p.m. Lawyers for the Missouri man, David Zink, invoked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's recent death penalty dissent in seeking review of the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Obama Commutes Sentences for 46 Drug Offenders

By Mike Sacks |

President Barack Obama on Monday commuted prison sentences for 46 people serving time for nonviolent, largely cocaine-related drug offenses.

Jay Bybee.

Judge Bybee Recusal at Center of Doctor's Suit Against Hospital

By Zoe Tillman |

Judge Jay Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recused in 2011 from a dispute between a doctor and the hospital where he used to practice. That recusal is at the heart of a civil lawsuit that accuses the hospital's parent company of rigging the judge assignment system in the Ninth Circuit. The hospital calls the claims unfounded and has urged a judge to dismiss the suit.

Fired Prof’s Lawsuit Against University of DC Law Survives

By Karen Sloan |

A professor at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law who was denied tenure then fired in 2013 may move forward with his breach-of-contract claim against the university, a federal judge has ruled.

Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz Dishes on Ginsburg, Scalia, Other Justices

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the “prim demeanor … of a legal librarian.” And if you watch Justice Antonin Scalia eat lunch in June, you can tell whether he is on the winning or losing side of the big cases of the term.

Joel Sanders' defense attorney Andrew Frisch, left, questions Thomas Mullikin, a former key financial manager at Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the stand, right, at The Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, on June 11, 2015.

Dewey Case Comes Into Focus

By Julie Triedman |

With testimony from roughly a third of the expected 79 prosecution witnesses in the criminal trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf's former three top executives now complete, the basic contours of the New York County District Attorney's case have come into sharper focus.

<b>HOME:</b> Covington is

Eric Holder Jr.'s Next Challenges

By Katelyn Polantz |

Eric Holder Jr.'s next two years at Covington & Burling, the firm where he worked before becoming U.S. attorney general, may be a smooth transition for one of the Obama administration's most high-profile officials turning to private practice in corporate law.

<b>PROTEST:</b> Demonstrators rally against the Redskins’ name before a game between the Washington team and the San Francisco 49ers. A judge last week upheld the cancellation of “Redskins” marks.

NFL Team's Trademark Suit Spiked

By Zoe Tillman |

The Washington Redskins football team vowed to fight a federal district judge's order last week canceling the team's trademark registrations as likely disparaging to Native Americans.

U.S. Supreme Court

Bragging Rights Go To Wilmer

By Tony Mauro |

Amid intense competition for a persistently small number of cases, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr reached the top of the heap among law firms arguing the most cases at the U.S. Supreme Court in the term just ended.

Seventh Circuit Affirms Non-Prison Sentence for Beanie Babies Creator

A federal appeals court Friday upheld the non-prison sentence imposed on H. Ty Warner, the billionaire creator of the Beanie Babies plush animals, for a tax-evasion scheme that involved hidden assets in a Swiss bank account. Prosecutors had argued the sentence of probation and community service was too lenient.

Ted Olson leaves the U.S. Supreme Court after arguments in the same-sex marriage cases in April.

Ted Olson Critiques Cruz, Scalia

By Mike Sacks |

Prominent conservative lawyer Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher went on the record this week to ridicule Sen. Ted Cruz's call for a constitutional amendment to subject U.S. Supreme Court justices to retention elections. Olson's comment comes days after he flatly said Justice Antonin Scalia was "wrong" in saying the court's gay-marriage ruling poses a "threat to American democracy."

Court Strikes State’s Limit on Classifying Contractors

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge held Wednesday that federal law pre-empts a Massachusetts state law limiting classification of independent contractors to those whose work differs from the company's usual line of business.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, during arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

It's Round Two for ACA's Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

By Marcia Coyle |

Two private religious universities and a seminary launched the next wave of Affordable Care Act cases in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, in a challenge stemming from the law's contraceptive insurance requirement.

Justices' Business Docket Heating Up Next Term

By Marcia Coyle |

From the business community's perspective, its biggest concerns did not make the U.S. Supreme Court's hot list last term. But the new term looks promising, according to some business leaders.

A Mixed Term for Business at the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court term that just wrapped up should put an end to the perennial debate over whether the Roberts Court is biased toward business, Mayer Brown partner Lauren Goldman said. "The results from the perspective of business were decidedly mixed," Goldman said. "This term definitely disproves that the Robert Court is reflexively pro-business."

Peter Stris of Stris & Maher.

LA Boutique Building a Reputation Before High Court

By Marcia Coyle |

By the end of the U.S. Supreme Court term in June, Peter Stris of the Los Angeles boutique firm Stris & Maher already had two arguments lined up for the next term and a third in which he is working closely with Vermont officials—an enviable situation for any high court advocate.

Judge Upholds Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademarks

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal district judge in Virginia on Wednesday rejected the Washington Redskins' challenge to the cancellation of the team's trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans.

Harvard Law School, left, and UNC School of Law, right.

Harvard, UNC Want Student-Admissions Suits Put on Hold

By Marcia Coyle |

Harvard University and the University of North Carolina have asked two federal district courts to delay litigation charging them with illegal race-based admissions policies until the U.S. Supreme Court rules next term in a similar case. Lawyers for the universities on Monday filed motions to halt the proceedings because, they argued, the "primary issue" before the high court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is at the "epicenter" of the lawsuits filed against them by Students for Fair Admissions.

Airlines Face Antitrust Class Actions Over Price-Fixing Claims

By Zoe Tillman |

As the U.S. Department of Justice investigates whether airlines conspired to keep ticket prices high, consumers are already going to court, filing class actions in federal district courts across the country.

Stock traders bid on GM shares at the New York Stock Exchange during the GM initial public offering, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 in New York.

One Down, GM Aims at Three More Defect Securities Actions

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co. is banking that a recent ruling in Delaware could wipe out shareholder lawsuits filed over last year’s ignition-switch recalls.

Congressman Frank Wolf (R - VA), left, greets Attorney General Eric Holder, right, before the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee.  March 16, 2010.

Holder to 'Cool Off' for 19 Months at Covington: What That Means

By Katelyn Polantz |

It'll be two months until Eric Holder Jr. starts to work again full-time at Covington & Burling, and another 19 months before he's clear of the two-year window he must wait before interacting again with his former colleagues at the U.S. Justice Department. But the period itself isn't the biggest challenge for former lawyers, some say: It is, broadly put, harder to get up to speed with a practice.

Jack Weiss.

LSU Law Dean Steps Aside, Citing Faculty Dissent

By Karen Sloan |

Jack Weiss, dean and chancellor of the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, has announced plans to step down effective on Aug. 1. He has led the law school since 2007, but cited clashes with the faculty as his reason for vacating the post.

Two young boys hang out on a street corner in Camp Chavez in the Carrefour neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  January 12, 2015.

Defamation Trial Opens Over Haiti Sex Abuse Claims

By Sheri Qualters |

Trial opens today in Maine federal court against a man who claimed in Internet postings and blast emails that a missionary sexually abused Haitian children and that a U.S. nonprofit enabled him.

U.S. Supreme Court.  June 29, 2015.

High Court's Fault Lines Crisscross

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

The 10th term of the Roberts Court made history by recognizing same-sex couples' right to marry. But that and other surprising liberal victories revealed deep divisions among the justices — not just between the left and right sides of the bench, but often within the court's conservative wing.

<b>MILITARY MONDAYS:</b> A veteran confers with counselors at a Starbucks in Virginia.

Law Clinics Answer the Call

By Karen Sloan |

The number of law school clinics and pro bono projects addressing veterans' unmet legal needs has exploded.

Veteran Conley Monk, left, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Yale graduate Jennifer McTiernan.

Yale Helps PTSD Sufferers

Students in Yale Law School's then-new Veterans Benefits Clinic were conducting client intake in 2010 when they met a Vietnam War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who had left the military with an "other-than-honorable" discharge. Since then, Yale students have encountered enough Vietnam vets with PTSD to warrant a closer look at the problem.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. at the downtown Washington office of Covington & Burling on June 30, 2015.

Holder's Return to Covington Was Six Years in the Making

By Katelyn Polantz |

Covington & Burling celebrates a homecoming this week as Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black attorney general, rejoins the firm as a white-collar partner. Covington plans to announce the news Monday, and his official start date will be in September. "This is home for me," Holder told The National Law Journal.

U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, Jr. testifies before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing entitled,

Q&A: Eric Holder Jr. Goes 'Home' to Covington, Reflects on Tenure

By Tony Mauro and Katelyn Polantz |

Eric Holder Jr. has returned home to Covington & Burling after more than six years as U.S. attorney general, and he said it is the "last stop" in his legal career. He even ruled out a U.S. Supreme Court appointment, if he is asked. Holder spoke also about the opportunities he will have at Covington, in addition to his practice, to advocate for his long-running causes—including improving race relations and access to justice.

Hip-Device Plaintiffs Hope for Better Luck in LA Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

Plaintiffs lawyers suing hip-implant manufacturer Zimmer Holdings Inc. hope the third time’s the charm as they prepare for another trial next week.

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

BP Reaches Record $18.7B Deal With Feds, States Over Oil Spill

By Zoe Tillman |

BP PLC has agreed to pay more than $18.7 billion to resolve civil claims with the federal government and five Gulf states related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Amtrak.  Union Station, Washington, D.C.  May 13, 2015.

Railroads Challenge New Massachusetts Sick-Leave Law

By Sheri Qualters |

Amtrak and other rail carriers sued Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in Boston federal court on Wednesday, arguing that federal railroad and other laws pre-empt the state’s new sick-leave requirement.

Judge May Trim Damages in ‘Blurred Lines’ Infringement

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has tentatively upheld a nearly $7.4 million jury verdict in the copyright battle over the hit song “Blurred Lines” but plans to reduce the damages amount.

Teresa Manning.

Second Jury Sides With Iowa Law on Political-Bias Claims

By Karen Sloan |

For the second time, a federal jury in Iowa has rejected claims that officials at the University of Iowa College of Law discriminated against a former part-time legal writing instructor because of her conservative views.

Michael Carvin, of Jones Day, addressing the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day he argued for the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, regarding the government's Affordable Care Act subsidies.  March 4, 2015.

What’s Next for the Supreme Court?

By Marcia Coyle |

Raising the stakes in the new term beginning in October, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday added a potential union-breaking challenge to its docket along with important securities and redistricting cases.

Bert Rein of Wiley Rein, who represented Abigail Fisher (right) in Fisher v University of Texas, addresses the media after arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2012.

University of Texas Affirmative Action Policy Returns to Supreme Court's Docket

By Tony Mauro |

It is once more into the breach for Bert Rein of Wiley Rein as the U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to review for a second time the race-conscious aspects of University of Texas admission policies that Rein claims violate the Constitution.

Anti-death penalty activists hold a four day liquid-only fast and vigil to mark the anniversaries of the 1972 <i>Furman</i> and 1976 <i>Gregg</i> Supreme Court decisions involving the death penalty. The vigil, organized by the Abolitionist Action Committee, coincided with court's last public session of the current term when the opinion in <i>Glossip v. Gross</i> was expected to be announced. June 29, 2015.

Positions Harden on High Court over Capital Punishment

By Marcia Coyle |

Twenty-five years have passed since two justices who were unalterably opposed to the death penalty sat on the U.S. Supreme Court together. On Monday, Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated they were ready to step into the shoes of the late William Brennan Jr. and Thurgood Marshall in a controversy over a lethal-injection drug.

Supreme Court Tells EPA To Consider Costs of Pollution Regulations

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fared well before the U.S. Supreme Court in recent Clean Air Act cases. But the streak ended Monday when the justices ruled that the EPA must consider the cost to industry in regulating mercury emissions from factories and coal plants.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments before the court announced its opinion in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v Hodges.  June 26, 2015.

Marriage Ruling Historic, But Not Final Word on Gay Rights

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision recognizing same-sex couples' fundamental right to marriage was a major leap, but not the final legal step in ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, legal scholars and other observers said.

U.S. Department of Justice.

Nevada Judge Rebuked for Blocking D.C.-Based DOJ Lawyers

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that U.S. District Judge Robert Jones needed a better reason to deny admission to out-of-state Justice Department lawyers than a general concern about government lawyers' ethics.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) holds part of a Takata airbag during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

Plaintiffs Prefer to Keep Air Bags Litigation in Court

By Amanda Bronstad |

Talk of a compensation fund for victims of Takata Corp.’s faulty air bags might not carry the same allure as General Motors Co.’s plan to address ignition-switch defects, plaintiffs lawyers said.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justices Rule for Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission

By Mike Sacks and Marcia Coyle |

Arizona voters' attempt to blunt the highly partisan nature of drawing congressional district lines by creating an independent commission for the task does not violate the federal Constitution, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Anti-death penalty protest at the Supreme Court on Monday, June 29.

Challenge to Lethal-Injection Procedure Fails in Supreme Court

By Zoe Tillman and Marcia Coyle |

Oklahoma can move forward with its controversial lethal-injection drug, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday. Justice Samuel Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said prisoners who challenged the use of the drug failed to identify an alternative method of execution available to state officials that involved a lower risk of pain. The majority also upheld a district judge's finding that the prisoners failed to show the state's use of the drug at issue, midazolam, involved "a substantial risk of severe pain."

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court Won't Hear Two Public Corruption Cases

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it will not review the public corruption convictions of former U.S. Rep. Richard Renzi of Arizona and Fraser Verrusio, a former congressional staffer implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Abigail Fisher, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, walks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case. October 10, 2012.

Justices Take UT Affirmative Action Case for Second Time

By Tony Mauro |

Revisiting affirmative action, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take a second look at the constitutionality of the admissions policy of the University of Texas. Without comment, the court granted review in Fisher v. University of Texas, a sequel to its 2013 decision with the same name.

Harry Lee of Steptoe & Johnson.

Steptoe & Johnson

By Lisa Hoffman |

At Steptoe & Johnson LLP's Wash­ington office, stability is such that insurance litigation partners often have represented a large insurer far longer than any of the carrier's employees have worked there.

Craig Hoover of Hogan Lovells.

Hogan Lovells

By Marcia Coyle |

Whether a class action seeking $1 billion in damages was at stake, or a cybercrime that placed millions of credit card numbers at risk, Hogan Lovells' cross-team approach successfully navigated client storms for a banner year in 2014.

Kevyn Orr of Jones Day.

Jones Day

By Tony Mauro |
John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

By Amanda Bronstad |

After a judge tossed out a bellwether case in 2013, lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom moved for the dismissal of 650 additional lawsuits that linked osteoporosis drug Fosamax to femoral fractures.

Robert Beury, chief legal officer of Cogent Communications.

Cogent Communications Holdings Inc.

By Jenna Greene |

When the Federal Communications Commission in 2014 wavered on new net-neutrality rules and Comcast Corp. attempted to merge with Time Warner Cable Inc., Cogent's in-house lawyers sprang into action.

F. Joseph Warin of Gibson Dunn.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

By Zoe Tillman |