Courts & Litigation

Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J.

$5.7M Verdict Against Pelvic Mesh Maker in Test Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson lost a $5.7 million verdict on Thursday in the first test case over one of its newest pelvic mesh slings, which is among dozens of similar devices named in thousands of lawsuits across the country.

Daily Document: Appeals Court Strikes Gag Order in Case Against Coal Executive

A federal appeals court strikes down gag and sealing orders that restricted public access to information in the criminal case against former coal executive Donald Blankenship.

Daily Document: Federal Judge Shields Docs in WikiLeaks Investigation

FBI and DOJ Criminal Division records related to the ongoing WikiLeaks investigation were properly shielded from the public, a federal district judge ruled on Wednesday. The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued for the records.

Sidney Kanazawa.

Law Firms Fight Over Barbri Fees at the Ninth Circuit

By Amanda Bronstad |

Eight years after reaching a $49 million settlement in a closely watched antitrust case over the Barbri bar-review course, McGuireWoods was in court again on Wednesday in a spat over legal fees in the case.

Orrin Hatch

Health Reform Arguments Spill Over On to Capitol Hill

By Mike Sacks |

Oral arguments on a key challenge to the President Obama's health care law had barely ended on Wednesday before congressional Democrats rallied to praise U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's defense of the law and Republicans vowed to replace the program should the Supreme Court find in favor of the challengers.

Michael Carvin, of Jones Day, addressing the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, D.C., on the day he argued for the plaintiffs in <i>King v. Burwell</i>, regarding the government's Affordable Care Act subsidies.

Key Moments During Health Care Arguments

By Tony Mauro |

Liberal justices hammered Jones Day partner Michael Carvin early and often, but the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative members were generally quieter as the court heard arguments Wednesday in the landmark case King v. Burwell. Here are some of the key comments and exchanges that shed light on the justices' thinking.

Robert Weiner of Arnold & Porter

What Leading Lawyers Made of High Court Action

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

Lawyers on all sides of the contentious debate over King v. Burwell attended the arguments Wednesday. Here are some first-blush reactions to what they saw and heard.

Elena Kagan.

Kagan Law Clerks Play Cameo Role in 'King v. Burwell'

By Tony Mauro |

During Wednesday's otherwise dry oral argument in King v. Burwell, Justice Elena Kagan added some pizzazz with a hypothetical that brought the technical issues to life.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, D.C., on the day of arguments in <i>King v. Burwell</i>, regarding the government's Affordable Care Act subsidies.  March 4, 2015.

Roberts, Kennedy May Control Future of Health Care Reform

By Marcia Coyle |

The future of the nation’s health insurance law appeared Wednesday to rest with Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Daily Document: Justice Department Brief Challenges Texas Voter ID Law

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday filed papers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit urging the court to find the Texas voter ID law discriminatory against minorities.

Case Tests Warrantless Inspection of Hotel Registries

By Marcia Coyle |

During arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday over warrantless searches of hotel guest registries, motel and hotel owners’ privacy interests clashed with law enforcement's interest in deterring crime.

A Supreme Court Victory for Internet Retailers

By Tony Mauro |

With hints of future battles over state taxation of Internet sales, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a technical victory to retailers trying to stave off the tax collector.

Louis Bograd, Chief Litigation Counsel for the Center for Constitutional Litigation. HANDOUT.

Parties in Pharmaceutical Case Squabble Over Brief

By Tony Mauro |

A dispute has broken out between parties in a pharmaceutical case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, with one side accusing the other of filing an amicus curiae brief that violates court rules.

(l-r) Bancroft's Paul Clement and Wilmer's Seth Waxman

Justices Question Constitutionality of Redistricting Panels

By Tony Mauro |

Arizona voters' efforts to make congressional redistricting less partisan appeared to be in jeopardy Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the arrangement.

Jeffrey Fisher.

Supreme Court Wrestles with Scope of Confrontation Right

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struggled with the right of a criminal defendant to confront witnesses against him in a child abuse case in which teachers testified in lieu of the very young accuser.

Tillman Breckenridge of Reed Smith.

Brief of the Week: Indigent Plaintiffs Seek Privacy

By Tony Mauro |

The federal judiciary is rarely accused of being too transparent. But a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court argues that federal courts routinely violate the privacy of indigent plaintiffs by making their personal information public.

<b>Lost Case:</b> A federal judge rejected the EEOC’s challenge to CVS Pharmacy’s severance policy.

Steep Drop in EEOC Lawsuits

By Jenna Greene |

Judging by the numbers, it might look as if the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has gone soft.

A man walks past health insurer Anthem's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Hackers broke into the company's database storing information for about 80 million people in an attack bound to stoke fears many Americans have about the privacy of their most sensitive information. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Data-Breach Suits Make Headway

By Amanda Bronstad |

Despite the increasing instances of large cyberattacks affecting millions of people, lawsuits filed over the breaches have struggled right out of the starting gate.

<b>SALLY JEWELL:</b> Two Native American nations want to depose the Interior Secretary in a lawsuit, but the government insists they lack the “extraordinary circumstances” that would justify their demand.

The Uphill Fight to Force a Cabinet Member to Testify

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Department of Justice is fighting to keep Interior Secretary Sally Jewell from having to answer questions about the government's alleged mismanagement of Native American assets since the early 20th century.

Jodi Westbrook Flowers of Motley Rice.

Motley Rice

By Lisa Hoffman |
Erika Kelton of Phillips & Cohen

Phillips & Cohen

By Mike Sacks |
Steve Berman of Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

By Katelyn Polantz |
Mark Lanier, founder of the Lanier Law Firm.

The Lanier Law Firm

By Amanda Bronstad |
PHL 2015

Benchmarks and Billions: The Plaintiffs' Hot List

This week we toast the nation's plaintiffs bar, singling out firms that scored at least one significant win between Feb. 1, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015 — meaning that they prevailed in a bench or jury trial in which a lot of money or a principle was on the line or the outcome set an important benchmark.

Max Berger of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann.

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann

By Sheri Qualters |
Tara Sutton, left, and Craig Wildfang, right, of Robins Kaplan..

Robins Kaplan

By Laura Castro |
Stuart Grant, co-managing partner of Grant & EIsenhofer.

Grant & Eisenhofer

By Sheri Qualters |
Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld.

Hausfeld

By Sheri Qualters |
Kit Pierson of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

By Zoe Tillman |
Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

By Lisa Hoffman |
Christopher Keller of Labaton Sucharow.

Labaton Sucharow

By Andrew Ramonas |
Sherrie Savett of Berger & Montague

Berger & Montague

By Sheri Qualters |
Jayne Rowse, back-standing, and partner April DeBoer, center-seated, with their family.

Couples Make Case for Same-Sex Marriage With Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

Couples challenging same-sex marriage bans in four states on Friday triggered the next round in the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark legal battle over marriage equality.

FTC Cracks Down on Online Reviews

By Jenna Greene |

A company that touted its online reviews without mentioning that it gave customers who wrote them a discount settled deceptive advertising charges with the Federal Trade Commission on Friday.

Daily Document: Seattle Police Challenge Use-of-Force Restrictions

The Seattle Police Department's "use of force policy is not only impractical, it is life-threatening," a group of officers contend in their opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Samuel Alito, left, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right.

Justices Sink Fraud Case Against Fisherman

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling against the federal prosecution of a Florida fisherman under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was hailed Wednesday as a blow against overcriminalization and zealous federal prosecutions.

In Religion Bias Case, Justices Question Pro-Employer Rule

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared reluctant to give employers greater protection from lawsuits by employees and job applicants who claim discrimination based on their religious beliefs.

New canopies bearing the Macy's logo hang at their State Street store in the former Marshall Field's building in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006. Federated Department Stores is converting more than 400 department stores across the nation to Macy's today, including Filene's in Massachusetts and the 154-year-old Marshall Field's store on Chicago's State Street.

Macy’s Fights for Old Retailer Names

By Amanda Bronstad |

In its rapid expansion across the country, Macy’s Inc. rebranded some of the nation’s most recognizable names in department stores, such as Marshall Field’s and Filene’s. Now the retail chain has filed suits staking a claim to those names.

Supreme Court Takes Dim View of Bankruptcy Fee Fight

By Tony Mauro |

A law firm's efforts to win a fee award for the cost of defending an earlier bankruptcy fee application went before a generally unsympathetic U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Document: Mark Cuban's Amicus Brief in Second Circuit Insider Trading Case

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Wednesday filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to turn down the government's request to revive insider-trading charges against two hedge fund portfolio managers.

Judge Refuses to Muzzle Medical Journal in Defamation Case

By Sheri Qualters |

Citing the First Amendment, a Boston federal judge has refused to stop the American Diabetes Association from publishing an “expression of concern” in its scientific journal about four scholarly articles.

Court May Broaden Employee Protection in Retirement Plans

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sympathetic on Tuesday to the need for long-term monitoring of 401(k) plans, and for letting participants sue when they suspect providers are making poor investment decisions.

Justices in a Muddle Over Felons' Firearm Rights

By Marcia Coyle |

Federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms. But arguments on Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court over how a felon should dispose of his gun collection appeared to leave the justices either frustrated or bewildered.

Washington Football Team Asks to Keep Information Secret in Trademark Fight

The professional football team in Washington filed court papers on Monday seeking to keep information about its business practices under seal in a trademark fight over its name.

For Goodyear, Self-Reporting Yields Lighter FCPA Fine

By Jenna Greene |

More than two years after Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. self-reported its wrongdoing to securities regulators, the company has agreed to pay $16 million to settle foreign-bribery charges.

(l-r) Sidley Austin’s Mark Haddad and Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler

Justices Struggle With a Different Sort of Marriage Right

By Marcia Coyle |

The scope of the right to marry appeared to divide the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday—not in the familiar context of same-sex marriage, but in the long struggle of an American citizen to bring her Afghan husband to the United States.

Class Decertified in Federal Lawsuit Targeting Aphrodisiac

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has decertified a class of California consumers who alleged they were misled into believing that taking the herbal supplement Cobra Sexual Energy would boost their virility.

The French Quarter in New Orleans, La.

Court Passes Up Circuit Split Over Tour Guide Licensing

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court justices say they look for clear splits between federal appeals courts before they grant review of petitions before them. But on Monday, in a case involving New Orleans tour guides, the justices passed up just such a split.

Thousands of Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits in Settlement Talks

By Amanda Bronstad |

Medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc. is in talks to settle thousands of lawsuits filed by women over its pelvic mesh products.

Lawyers for Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley on Thursday responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s threat to sanction him for a petition he filed in a patent case.

Five Questions Concerning the Curious Case of Howard Shipley

By Tony Mauro |

The unusual U.S. Supreme Court disciplinary case of Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley took a dramatic turn last week with a forceful response—written by veteran advocate Paul Clement—to the court’s “show cause” order.

<b>ELEVATED PERCH:</b>

Life in the Limelight For 'R.B.G.'

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is learning an unwritten rule of high-profile life in the digital age: if you speak publicly often enough, you will eventually say something that makes trouble, ethical or otherwise.

Kelly Irvin suffered brain injuries following a 2012 accident in Missouri. Her lawyers say an ignition switch defect caused her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt to lose power and prevented the airbags from deploying.

A Plan Emerges For GM Test Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

Since announcing its recalls, GM has made strategic moves to avoid a trial over the ignition-switch lawsuits. But about 950 people are taking their chances in court.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

In The Matter of Discipline of Howard Neil Shipley

Lawyers for Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley on Thursday pushed back against the U.S. Supreme Court's threat to sanction him for a jargon-filled petition he filed in a patent case.

A ship floats amongst a sea of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

BP Faces $13.7 Billion Fine for Gross Negligence

By Amanda Bronstad |

BP PLC could face up to $13.7 billion in civil penalties under the U.S. Clean Water Act for its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Thursday.

Oscar statuettes are displayed during an unveiling of the 50 Oscar statuettes to be awarded at the 76th Academy Awards ceremony January 23, 2004 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois.

Protecting a Little Fellow Named Oscar

By Amanda Bronstad |

It’s that time of year again: The red carpet rolls out in Hollywood, celebrities dress in their finest attire—and intellectual property lawyers scour the country to protect the Oscars brand.

Michael Carvin, left, and Donald Verrilli Jr., right.

The Sides of March: Carvin and Verrilli to Square Off on Obamacare

By Tony Mauro |

At the U.S. Supreme Court, the arrival of March means it’s time to take up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Michael Carvin, left, and Donald Verrilli Jr., right.

The Sides of March: Carvin and Verrilli to Square Off on Obamacare

By Tony Mauro |

At the U.S. Supreme Court, the arrival of March means it’s time to take up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Children: Next Step in Confrontation-Clause Revolution?

By Marcia Coyle |

In a series of Sixth Amendment rulings during the past decade, Justice Antonin Scalia has led an often-divided court in reinvigorating a criminal defendant's right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." But what if the witness is 3 years old?

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on stage during a talk with law dean William Treanor for the Annual Dean's Lecture at Georgetown University Law Center.  February 4, 2015.

Life in the Limelight for 'Notorious R.B.G.'

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is learning an unwritten rule of high-profile life in the digital age: if you speak publicly often enough, you will eventually say something that makes trouble, ethical or otherwise.

Loretta Lynch.

Lynch, Responding to Republicans, Defends DOJ's Immigration Memo

By Mike Sacks |

Loretta Lynch punted to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Justice Department when asked in her latest questionnaire for her views on the Obama administration’s immigration plans. Here's a look at Lynch's responses to questions on immigration policy, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, campaign finance, voting rights and prosecutorial misconduct.

<b>HUMAN ELEMENT:</b> Mexican citizens get help filing immigration enforcement deferments in Texas. A federal judge in that state blocked the Obama administration’s stays of deportation proceedings.

Order Blocking Deportation Policy Starts Legal Maneuvering

By Marcia Coyle |

In a U.S. Supreme Court term remarkable for the number and variety of emergency requests by states and groups seeking to delay federal court orders, one more is likely in the near future, thanks to a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas.

Edith Matthai, of Robie & Matthai in Los Angeles, represented Squire Patton Boggs in responding to two disqualification motions in a high profile case between the sugar and high fructose corn syrup industries.

Squire Patton Boggs Ousted from Corn Syrup Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge in California has agreed to disqualify Squire Patton Boggs from a high-stakes case between the sugar and high-fructose corn syrup industries due to conflicts that arose from the law firm’s merger last year.

Best Buy Co. Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |

Handling the legal side of the nat­ion's largest electronics retailer is a big job, especially if you're also cutting departmental costs, implementing an innovative compliance program and focusing on diversity and pro bono work.

Polaris Industries Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |

The legal department at Polaris Industries Inc. keeps pace with the fast-moving snowmobile manufacturer by relying on a core group of outside counsel and individualized billing arrangements.

Tennant Co.

By Sheri Qualters |

Tennant Co.'s sweeping compliance approach is about much more than keeping the global cleaning equipment, products and coatings company out of U.S. regulatory and litigation messes.

Ecolab Inc.

By Lisa Hoffman |

Ecolab Inc. general counsel James Seifert credits a Minnesota core value of community service for spurring him and his department to contribute their skills to help the state's homeless youths.

UnitedHealth Group Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |

UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s pro bono program is expansive. It serves a range of groups, including children, veterans, seniors and nonprofit organizations, and it does so in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable cases.

Generics and Biosimilars Catch the FDA's Eye

These drug regulation issues that garnered attention last year and will remain relevant in 2015 even as the FDA transitions to new leadership.

<b>WOMEN EN MASS:</b> Lawyer Lisa Blue Baron at the group’s conference.

In Mass Torts — Move Over, Mister

By Amanda Bronstad |

More female attorneys are taking on leadership roles in mass tort litigation, in part due to the encouragement of judges who appoint the committees that lead the litigation, many of which involve products made exclusively for women, such as birth control and pelvic mesh devices.

<b>OBJECTORS:</b> Religious groups argue the mandate imposes an unconscionable burden.

Contraception, Round Two

By Marcia Coyle |

Challenges by religious nonprofits to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and more are expected as federal appellate courts soon will rule on a wave of pending cases.

Credit: cunfek/iStockphoto.com

Generics' Immunity from Lawsuits In Jeopardy

By Jason M. Reefer and Matthew R. Wendler |

A proposal by the Food and Drug Administration would expose drugmakers to personal-injury liability.

How Fattening is That Burger? Check the Menu

By Nathan A. Beaver and Anna S. Ross |

The FDA will require chain restaurants this year to display calorie totals and provide nutrition details.

Dr. Robert Califf is expected by some to become the new leader of the FDA.

Changes Ahead as FDA Awaits New Leadership

By Lisa Hoffman |

The creation of a new food-safety agency and increased testing oversight are possibilities.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

Judge: ABA Needn’t Track Disabled Law Students

By Karen Sloan |

A federal judge in Illinois has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an attorney who claimed the American Bar Association’s failure to collect and disseminate data about law students with disabilities violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Robert Povilat, left, and Milton Persinger, comfort each other after hearing that for a second day, the Mobile County Probate office won't issue marriage licenses on Tuesday Feb. 10, 2015 in Mobile, Ala.

Federal Court Orders Alabama Judge to Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses

By Marcia Coyle |

An Alabama federal judge on Thursday, attempting to end days of confusion over whether the state's probate judges were required to issue same-sex marriage licenses, ordered a Mobile County judge to move forward with the licenses.

Snow-covered vehicles in the North End neighborhood of Boston this year.

Shovels, Not Gavels, in Snowy Boston

By Sheri Qualters |

Suffice it to say that the snow in Boston has lost its appeal. The three-week onslaught has hampered road and transit travel, forced court closures and tested law firms’ ability to keep their businesses running.

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

New Wave of Health Care Lawsuits Reaches High Court

Challenges by religious nonprofits to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and more are expected as federal appellate courts soon will rule on a wave of pending cases.

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

New Wave of Health Care Lawsuits Reaches High Court

Challenges by religious nonprofits to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and more are expected as federal appellate courts soon will rule on a wave of pending cases.

An MQ-9 Reaper takes off on a mission in Afghanistan.

Four Senators File Brief Challenging DOJ’s Drone Law Secrecy

By Mike Sacks |

A bipartisan group of four U.S. senators filed an amicus brief on Wednesday in support of a New York Times suit to obtain legal memos justifying the Obama administration’s targeted killing of designated terrorists. The signatories on the brief were Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

The inside of the United States Supreme Court.

After Long Drought, State Amici Return to Argue in High Court

By Tony Mauro |

When Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister rose to argue in a preemption case before the U.S. Supreme Court last month, it marked the first time that a state was allowed to appear as amicus curiae before the court since 2008.

Brief of the Week: Government Stance in Immigration Case Erodes Marital Unity

By Jamie Schuman |

When U.S. citizen Fauzia Din tried to get a visa for her Afghan husband, consular officers said no and gave little reason why. They cited an Immigration and Nationality Act provision that excludes aliens for a variety of terrorism-related grounds.

Robert Bauer.

Bob Bauer’s Advice on Campaign Finance Reform: Aim Low, or Prepare to Get Sued

By Jenna Greene |

Former White House counsel Robert Bauer on Wednesday urged the Federal Election Commission to aim low in crafting new rules for campaign contributions in the wake of a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down certain donation limits.

Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez

Hospital's Acquisition Scotched by Ninth Circuit

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a key victory in the Federal Trade Commission’s most litigated case challenging a hospital chain’s acquisition of a physician group.

Brendon Cooke of Mobile, Ala., right, and other gay marriage supporters rally in front of Mobile County Probate Court n Mobile, Ala., as dozens of people waited inside to apply for marriage licenses on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Mobile County probate judge Don Davis refused to issue licenses.

Meet the Federal Judge Who Struck Alabama's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By Marcia Coyle |

If he were alive today, one of the most important federal judges during the civil rights era might offer some wisdom to the federal judge who struck down Alabama's bans on same-sex marriage and is now at the center of Alabama's resistance to her ruling.

(l-r) Nannina Angioni, Katherine

Three Women Leave LA Boutique to Open Firm

By Amanda Bronstand |

A new firm run by three women attorneys formerly at prominent litigation boutique Brown, White & Newhouse has launched in the Los Angeles area.

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

SEC Squeezes $500K from Execs Despite No Misconduct

By Jenna Greene |

Invoking its rarely used clawback authority, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday settled charges with two former Silicon Valley chief financial officers, who agreed to return nearly a half-million dollars in bonuses and stock-sale profits they received while their software company committed accounting fraud.

Phyllis Campbell, left, a marriage clerk at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, gives Alexandrea Davenport, bottom right, and her partner, Meredith Bagley, copies of an order from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Couples who attempted to receive a same-sex marriage license were turned down because of an order from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore late Sunday night.

Clash Over Alabama Gay Marriage Licenses Heads to Court

By Zoe Tillman |

Setting up a clash between state and federal courts in Alabama, same-sex marriage advocates are fighting in federal district court to force a county judge to issue marriage licenses.

<b>STUCK:</b> A measles epidemic called attention to permissive waiver rules.

States Scramble to Tighten Vaccine Laws

By Amanda Bronstad |

Legislatures push to restrict exemptions, but opponents argue that personal freedoms are jeopardized.

Brand Owners Need to Be Reliable Victims

By David R. Cooper and Richard J. Nelson |

That means conducting ethical investigations of alleged counterfeits and cooperating with authorities.

The European Court of Justice

European Court Weighs Standard for Essential Patents

By Daniel Hoppe-Jänisch |

Suggestion for balancing property rights versus competition approximates the U.S. system.

<b>PARTISANS:</b> The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Affordable Care Act on March 4.

ACA Battle Lines Are Drawn

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

Like armies mustering their best weapons, supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act once again have turned out at the U.S. Supreme Court to battle over a critical element of that health insurance law.

Functional Patent Claims May Face More Vigorous Review

By Douglas R. Nemec, Robert S. Magee and William J. Casey |

An inventor seeking a patent must distinctly claim his or her invention, and those claims define and communicate to the public the boundaries of the invention over which a patent holder is granted exclusivity.

IP bug 2015

IP: Reliable Victimhood, and Who Owns "Je Suis Charlie"?

The responsibility of brand owners to remain resolutely above-board and cooperate with legal authorities when going after counterfeiters, the wisdom and legality of attempting to trademark slogans, and more in this week's special report.

Credit:

How to Separate Strong Patent Claims From Chaff

By Kenneth E. Levitt |

A quick and relatively inexpensive portal procedure to examine the merits of nonpracticing-entity claims.

(Clockwise, from top left) Mark Sargent, Lawrence Mitchell, Ronald Murphy, John Dwyer, John Patrick Shannon, Donald Marvin Jones, Barry Freundel, and John Attanasio.

This is Not the Attention Law Schools Want

By Zoe Tillman |

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law this week found itself on a list no law school wants to be on. Differing in size, location and prominence, these schools weathered the unwanted public attention that comes after a professor or administrator gets tied up in a sex scandal.

Andrew Ceresney.

'Big Four' China Affiliates Settle SEC Charges

By Jenna Greene |

Four China-based accounting firms affiliated with the "Big Four" on Friday agreed to pay $500,000 each to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that they refused to turn over documents in multiple fraud investigations.

Anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., organized on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. January 22, 2008

Right to Life Denied Peek at Family Planning Documents

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal appeals court has rejected an antiabortion group’s demand under the Freedom of Information Act to documents involving a federal grant to a Planned Parenthood agency.