Courts Litigation

Uber Pays $20M to Settle Claims it Took Drivers for a Ride

By C. Ryan Barber |

Uber on Thursday agreed to pay $20 million to resolve federal allegations that the online ride-hailing service duped drivers about vehicle financing and inflated how much money they could earn at the company. Uber did not admit or deny wrongdoing in the Federal Trade Commission case.

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Nonlawyer Judges? SCOTUS Doesn't Seem to Mind

By Tony Mauro |

A judge who is in a position to throw someone in jail has to be a lawyer, right? Well no, and the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed this anomaly of American justice to persist.

Noel J. Francisco of Jones Day

Jones Day Partner May Be Next for Trump Administration Post

By Tony Mauro |

Appellate litigator Noel Francisco is departing Jones Day amid rumors that he could soon be tapped for a role in the solicitor general's office.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2014)

Garland's Back on the DC Circuit Bench as a Former SCOTUS Nominee

By C. Ryan Barber |

Nearly a year after his ill-fated Supreme Court nomination was announced, Merrick Garland returned to a Washington federal appeals bench Wednesday without any public fanfare—no ceremonial welcome back or condolences from lawyers.

Donald Trump, left, and John Roberts Jr., right.

The 'Nightmare for Conservatives' Who Will Swear In Trump

By Marcia Coyle |

"Nightmare." "Absolute disaster." "Looked like a dummy." President-elect Donald Trump has lobbed these insults and more at Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.—personal attacks about him, and positions he took in ruling on signature Obama administration cases. On Friday, Roberts will deliver the oath of office to Trump in front of an expected crowd of hundreds of thousands of spectators on the National Mall. Here's a look back at some of Trump's comments about Roberts.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson of Delaware

Clement, Joseffer to Battle Over Biologic Drug Injunction

By Scott Graham |

The two attorneys are representing Sanofi and Amgen in an appeal involving patents for a LDL cholesterol drug.

Harold Kim of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform

Tort Reformers Target Missouri Laws That They Claim Led to Gargantuan Verdicts

By Amanda Bronstad |

Missouri is now the No. 1 target of tort reformers, who this month outlined the most ambitious effort in the country at dismantling laws they claim have led to gargantuan verdicts, including a trio of double-digit awards last year against Johnson & Johnson over its baby powder.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court Will Choose Forum for Water-Rule Fight

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide where a major challenge over an Obama administration clean-water rule should be waged—in a federal appellate court or the federal district courts. The justices agreed to hear claims from national companies, 29 states and agriculture-related groups that argued the litigation should take place in federal district courts and not in a federal appellate court.

National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

Justices Will Decide Legality of Class Action Bans in Employment Contracts

By Marcia Coyle |

An unusual confluence of petitions from employers, employees and the government successfully urged the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether workplace arbitration agreements banning class actions violate federal labor laws. The justices agreed on Friday to take up the dispute.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building

US Appeals Court Dodges Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

By C. Ryan Barber |

A federal appeals court on Friday dodged a question that has divided two other circuits: Does a whistleblower need to bring a tip directly to regulators to be protected under the Dodd-Frank Act?

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Court Turns Down Obamacare Enrollees' Move to Join Health Care Suit

By Mike Scarcella |

A federal appeals court on Thursday refused to allow two participants in the Affordable Care Act the chance to intervene in a case to defend cost-sharing insurance provisions that U.S. House Republicans challenged as unlawful.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black following his death on February 13, 2016.

How a New Supreme Court Justice Could Hit the Ground Running—or Not

By Tony Mauro |

By tradition, Donald Trump's nominee wouldn't vote on cases argued before their tenure began—but that's not an ironclad rule, court experts say.

Demonstrators celebrate the court's ruling for the ACA in King v. Burwell. June 25, 2015.

Federal Court Keeps Insurance Carrier's ACA Claim Alive

By Allison Bell |

A federal judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims does not think she can give immediate help to an Oregon-based health insurer that's seeking more than $21 million in payments from a troubled Affordable Care Act program, but she does think she can rule on whether the program owes the insurer money.

CFPB director Richard Cordray.

'John Doe' Company Fights to Remain Anonymous in CFPB Investigation

By C. Ryan Barber |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is facing a new test to the scope of the agency's power, as a "John Doe" company heads to court to block the public disclosure of its name while fighting an investigation into its core business practices.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.. September 2015. Photo by Mike Scarcella/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Big Law Associate Takes on Supreme Court Veteran Over NCAA Race-Bias Claims

By Marcia Coyle |

A Morrison & Foerster associate who recently completed a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship will argue Wednesday against former solicitor general Seth Waxman in a major race discrimination case that involves the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Darrell Issa

New Names Surface for PTO Director

By Scott Graham |

The list includes a former chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit who once called the office a "death squad" for property rights.

Jerrold Ganzfried.

Leaving Big Law, a Holland & Knight Appellate Lawyer Flies Solo

By Marcia Coyle |

After spending the last nearly 30 years in Big Law and six years before that in the U.S. solicitor general's office, appellate lawyer Jerrold Ganzfried is going solo with little concern about the weather ahead.

Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Reaches $35M Racial-Bias Settlement With Advisors

By Janet Levaux |

A $35.5 million settlement between Wells Fargo & Co. and a group of African-American brokers is set to go before a Chicago federal judge on Jan. 24. The plaintiffs alleged in the complaint, filed in 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, that Wells Fargo "substantially" underpaid African-American financial advisors in management and executive positions.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (2009)

The Gaps That Led Chief Justice Roberts to Miss a Stock Conflict

By Tony Mauro |

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. realized he needed to step aside from ruling on Life Technologies v. Promega nearly a month after oral argument. Here's why conflict checks at the nation's highest court are an imperfect process.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson of Delaware

Judge Kicks FDA-Approved Drug Off the Market in Patent Dispute

By Scott Graham |

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson included a 30-day stay on her order to give affected parties a change to seek an expedited review.

Paul Smith.

Jenner's Paul Smith on Leaving Big Law, and What's Next

By Marcia Coyle |

Jenner & Block's Paul Smith said he had been thinking for some time about teaching in a more serious way and writing about his more than 30 years as an appellate lawyer. That opportunity has arrived—and after the election, he said, "it felt like the right thing to do." Smith talks with the NLJ's Marcia Coyle on the decision to leave Big Law, and what's next.

Thomas Perez.

Tom Perez Touts 'Historic' Fiduciary Rule in Exit Memo

By Melanie Waddell |

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on Thursday touted in an exit memo workplace policies put into place during his tenure, including the fiduciary and overtime pay rules—both of which are under assault—and urged the incoming Trump administration and new Congress to support other initiatives championed by the Obama administration.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building

Securities Defense Bar Praises Trump SEC Pick

By Christine Simmons |

In the hours after Donald Trump tapped Sullivan & Cromwell dealmaker Jay Clayton to lead the SEC, securities litigators and others said he could usher in a new era for the agency.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Wednesday included photos of a waterfall and a

SEC Should Have Gone 'Chasing Waterfalls,' D.C. Judge Says

By C. Ryan Barber |

The R&B trio TLC warned against "chasing waterfalls" in the group's hit 1990s song. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a Washington judge says, took too literally that "immortal admonition." U.S District Judge James Boasberg's ruling, in a dispute over the distribution of settlement funds, features, yes, a waterfall. He instructed the agency to go talk with the IRS before presenting the plan to the court again.

Roman Martinez of Latham & Watkins. (August 29, 2013.)

An Assistant SG Rejoins Latham After Three-Year Stint

By Marcia Coyle |

Latham & Watkins' Supreme Court and appellate practice will welcome back Roman Martinez, a former associate there who spent the last three years as an assistant to the solicitor general at the U.S. Justice Department. Martinez, a Latham associate from 2010 to 2013, rejoins as a partner in the appellate practice.

DC Circuit Now Has Two Ill-Fated Supreme Court Nominees

By Marcia Coyle |

If there is one judge who might understand Merrick Garland's disappointment, at the expiration of his U.S. Supreme Court nomination on Tuesday, it is perhaps one of his colleagues on the federal appeals bench in Washington: Senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Wachtell's George Conway a Potential Trump Pick for Solicitor General


Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz litigation partner George T. Conway III is being considered to serve as U.S. solicitor general in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, according to media reports. Conway's represented major corporate clients at Wachtell, where he's been a partner since 1994, and argued one case in the Supreme Court. On his thinking about presidential power: "In a case involving his private conduct, a president should be treated like any private citizen," Conway wrote in a 1994 op-ed challenging Bill Clinton's push to evade litigation of sexual misconduct claims. "The rule of law requires no more—and no less." Conway is married to Kellyanne Conway, who's set to become counselor to Donald Trump.

A conflict is brewing between Richard Cordray, left, and Donald Trump over the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Exploding Coffee Machines, CFPB Tested and a DOJ Lawyer's Mea Culpa: Regulatory 2016

By C. Ryan Barber |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faced a new test after a major appeals court ruling struck down the Obama agency's power scheme. A dispute over an exploding coffee machine revealed tension over the scope of product-safety fines. And a top Justice Department lawyer offered an apology to prosecutors after some choice words about lack of oversight in some U.S. attorney offices. Here's a roundup of some of the top regulatory and compliance stories of 2016.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Sotomayor's Pro Bono Call, Posner's Digs and Banter on the Bench: Supreme Court 2016

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February was one of the biggest stories this year about the U.S. Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor urged mandatory pro bono for all lawyers. Richard Posner railed on "stupid" decisions by Chief Justice Roberts. And the court's microphones picked up banter on the bench. Here's a look at some of our most-read stories about the high court.

An amicus brief from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press featured a collection of historic and contemporary booking photos.

Historic Mug Shots Line New Supreme Court Brief as Court Weighs Privacy Dispute

By C. Ryan Barber |

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh a dispute over mug shots, a new amicus brief, backing the Detroit Free Press in its suit, presents a collection of historic and contemporary booking photos. The brief, filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, included the photos to argue that the images have a historical value, building an understanding of the context behind arrests, and should be widely available to the public. A federal appeals court ruling in July cited the privacy interests of defendants in concluding that the U.S. government does not have an obligation under public-records laws to release mug shots.

Crowell & Moring offices in Washington, D.C.

Wiley Rein Practice Leader Decamps for Crowell & Moring

By Brian Baxter |

Laura Foggan, a longtime litigator at Wiley Rein and leader of the firm’s insurance appellate group, has joined Crowell & Moring as a partner in Washington, D.C. Foggan’s hire comes a few weeks after Crowell & Moring confirmed its discussions with New York’s Herrick, Feinstein about a potential merger.

L. Lin Wood

$750M Suit Filed Against CBS Over JonBenet Ramsey Broadcast

By R. Robin McDonald |

A four-hour retrospective on the unsolved slaying of the 6-year-old beauty princess is the basis of a defamation suit filed Wednesday against CBS by the victim's surviving brother.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Opening a Door to Malpractice Suits Against the Veterans Administration

By Jamie Schuman |

When veteran Richard Milbauer sued the government for medical negligence, a federal court ruled it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. That decision could leave all veterans without a way to obtain judicial review of their malpractice claims against Veterans Administration hospitals, a petition for certiorari in Milbauer v. United States warns. Reed Smith filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of two law school clinics: the Antonin Scalia Law School Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic and the Baylor Law School Veterans' Assistance Clinic.

Federal Trade Commission

LabMD Presses Challenge to Scope of FTC's Cyber Authority

By C. Ryan Barber |

Setting the stage for a fresh test of the Federal Trade Commission's power to police online security, a now-defunct medical laboratory on Tuesday urged a U.S. appeals court to overturn an agency ruling that blamed lax data-protection practices for the exposure of nearly 10,000 patients’ personal information.

Lawyers Behaving Badly 2016: Deposition Edition

By Ross Todd |

Whether it's hurling insults — or coffee — there's just something about depositions that drives lawyers and litigants to cross the line.

These Are Some of the Best Laugh Lines at the Supreme Court This Year

By Marcia Coyle |

In 2016, the court, as several justices said, was a "grayer place" partly because of the absence of the quickest quipper on the bench, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But there were some notable moments. Here are some of the highlights.

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

SEC Accuses California Lawyer in Scheme to Defraud Foreign Investors

By C. Ryan Barber |

Securities regulators accused a Newport Beach, California, lawyer on Tuesday of fueling a luxury lifestyle through a scheme that allegedly bilked millions of dollars from foreign investors who wanted to speed up their immigration to the United States.

CFPB director Richard Cordray on Capitol Hill in September.

Justice Department Faults Ruling that Threatens CFPB Power Scheme

By C. Ryan Barber |

Obama administration lawyers on Thursday urged a Washington federal appeals court to revisit a dispute over the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that a panel of judges improperly assessed the extent to which the agency leadership intrudes on presidential power.

Apple Accuses Nokia, Acacia of Antitrust Conspiracy

By Scott Graham |

Apple claims Nokia is using nonpracticing entities to harass the company with exorbitant patent royalty claims.

Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Trump Organization's Labor Deals Could Mitigate Conflicts Exposure at NLRB


President-elect Donald Trump, amid calls to confront and minimize potential conflicts of interest involving his many business deals, on Wednesday moved to untangle a pair of labor disputes that threatened to raise ethical questions at the National Labor Relations Board.

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

The SEC Whistleblower Program's Biggest Year—By the Numbers

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower program reached a milestone on Aug. 30. Five years after the program was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the second-largest bounty in the whistleblower office's history pushed the awards total past the $100 million mark—and the SEC was ready to celebrate. That amount only tells part of the story. Here's a deeper look into the numbers behind the program's big year.

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Trump's Threat to ACA Spurs Exchange Users to Seek Role in Suit


Two Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy users, represented by Mayer Brown, are trying to get an official role in a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's operation of the subsidy program. The ACA exchange participants said they fear the incoming Trump administration will not adequately represent their interest in protecting cost-sharing provisions of the health care law.

10 Airplane Horror Stories That Spawned Damage Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

'Tis the season for cramped airplanes – and lawsuits. Luggage falling on heads and hot tea spilling in laps &ndash are just some of the routine incidents on today's flights that sometimes end up in injury suits.

2016-2017 ABA president Linda Klein.

ABA Accuses Government of Reneging on Law School Loan Forgiveness

By Ross Todd |

A new suit claims the Department of Education is pulling the rug out from under public interest lawyers who were told they qualified for federal loan forgiveness.

Matthew Solomon.

Cleary Snags SEC Litigation Chief Matthew Solomon in DC

By Scott Flaherty |

Solomon spent more than three years as chief litigation counsel in the SEC's Enforcement Division.

The Top 50 Recoveries

The 2016 Elite Trial Lawyers annual includes two components: reports on the 35 firms recognized as finalists in nine categories; and, here, 50 firms with the largest total recoveries over a 12-month period, compiled by ALM’s VerdictSearch, an affiliate of The National Law Journal.

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

'Zombie' Whistleblower, Denied Award for Tip, Takes SEC to Court

By C. Ryan Barber |

They are called "zombie" whistleblowers—tipsters who came forward to federal regulators before the Wall Street reform laws of 2010 and then return to try to reap the benefits of a bounty program created by the postcrisis reforms. Those award applications have been dead on arrival, the tips deemed to have come too early to be eligible for an award under rules set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Dodd-Frank Act. But that hasn't stopped those whistleblowers from pressing their claims—beyond the SEC—for an award.

Chief judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Chief Justice Roberts Shuts Down Bid to Force Garland Vote

By Marcia Coyle |

A long-shot effort to force U.S. Senate action on the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland failed Monday at the hands of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Roberts, who, without comment, denied a New Mexico lawyer's emergency application for an injunction in Michel v. McConnell.

The 2016 Elite Trial Lawyers

Welcome to The National Law Journal's third annual Elite Trial Lawyers report, in which we highlight 35 law firms that did some of the most creative and significant work on the plaintiffs side over the past three to five years.


Special Litigation


Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, walks to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)'s office at the Russell Senate Office Building on March 17, 2016.

Lawyer Turns to Supreme Court to Force Garland Vote

By Marcia Coyle |

President Barack Obama may be giving up on U.S. Senate confirmation of Chief Judge Merrick Garland, his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, but a New Mexico lawyer is making one last appeal—this time to the high court itself. Steven Michel of Santa Fe on Thursday filed an emergency application for an injunction that would require Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the Garland nomination before Obama's term ends on Jan. 20.

U.S. Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

D.C. Circuit Refuses to Block Labor Dept.'s New Retirement-Savings Rules

By Melanie Waddell and Mike Scarcella |

The D.C. Circuit on Thursday refused to block Obama administration regulations that were adopted to minimize conflicts of interest in the retirement-investment industry, a significant setback for financial planners, insurance agents and other advisers who said the rule will disrupt the marketplace.

Ashley Madison website.

In Ashley Madison Data-Breach Settlement, FTC Asserts Role as Cyber Cop

By C. Ryan Barber and Mark Hamblett |, a website built to help cheating lovers meet their match, has agreed to settle claims that lax cybersecurity was responsible for a data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of customers last year.

Nancy Erika Smith of Smith Mullin.

Lessons from a Prudential Whistleblower's Lawyers

By C. Ryan Barber |

Catching up with Nancy Erika Smith and her husband Neil, who run the New Jersey whistleblower firm Smith Mullin, about the latest whistleblower scandal to hit Prudential Financial Inc.

Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, speaking during a Federalist Society event on the topic of federal criminial law, held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

DOJ's Criminal Division Chief Apologizes to Prosecutors for Her Criticism

By C. Ryan Barber |

Leslie Caldwell, the head of the U.S. Justice Department's Criminal Division, has apologized for remarks she gave last week in which she said some U.S. attorney offices lack the oversight and experience to properly vet cases. "I did not have prepared remarks for the event, and I certainly should have," Caldwell wrote to prosecutors. Caldwell ended on: "I love the Department of Justice and deeply respect our values, the work we do, and the way we do it."

U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C.

Texas AFL-CIO Fears Trump Abandoning Obama's Overtime-Pay Rule

By Rebekah Mintzer |

The Texas AFL-CIO wants to intervene as a defendant in the challenge over the U.S. Labor Department's overtime-pay rule, fearing that federal agencies under Donald Trump will not adequately defend the Obama administration regulations.

Donald Trump.

Who Will Head the PTO Under Trump?

By Scott Graham |

The president-elect will meet with tech leaders this week, but some anticipate he'll look to pharma for an IP chief who supports strong patent rights.

Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit Gives PTO Pushback on AIA Procedures

By Scott Graham |

Judge Jimmie Reyna and other judges sounded inclined Friday to relax the rules for revising patent claims during inter partes review.

Winston & Strawn's Washington, D.C. offices on K Street.

How a Problem Client Stuck Two Am Law 100 Firms With His Unpaid Bills

By Jenna Greene |

Hold on. You can’t even get a smartphone without a credit check. How did two of the biggest, most sophisticated law firms in the nation do $800,000 worth of work without ensuring that they were actually going to get paid? Blame “a very convincing fraudster,” said Thomas Buchanan, the managing partner and head of litigation for Winston & Strawn’s D.C. office.

Judge Thomas Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Third Circuit Rejects Sealing of Settlement in Quest Diagnostics Qui Tam Case

By Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that an agreement detailing the division of proceeds between two claimants who brought qui tam suits against Quest Diagnostics International should not have been placed under seal.

Mark Perry of Gibson Dunn

Appeals Court Casts Doubts on Smartflash's Patent Win Over Apple


Two judges signaled the patents claim ineligible subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

Kelly M. Dermody, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

'He Said What?' Bar Leaders Urge Clients, Judges to Stand Against Bias

By Ross Todd |

Lieff Cabraser partner Kelly Dermody joined U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers and Facebook litigation chief Paul Grewal Tuesday to share tips for young, female and minority attorneys.

Five Employment Visa Issues to Watch In a Trump Presidency

By Rebekah Mintzer |

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to reform immigration; here's how some employment visa programs could change under his administration.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

In Latest Patent Case, Supreme Court Asks How Much Is Enough for Induced Infringement

By Scott Graham |

Justice Stephen Breyer seemed persuaded on Tuesday that supplying a single component of a product for overseas assembly isn't enough to trigger extraterritorial application of U.S. patent laws.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Berkeley, MIT Clash Over Right to Profit From Gene-Editing Bonanza

By Nate Robson |

With billions of dollars in licensing fees at stake, a panel of PTO judges seemed unlikely to hand either side a decisive win.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

The Mystery of the Lingering SCOTUS Cases

By Tony Mauro |

Nearly 11 months ago on Jan. 15, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in eight new cases. When January 15 of 2017 rolls around, three of those cases will still be pending on the docket without having been argued before the court. The court in effect confirmed that unusual circumstance on Monday when it issued its calendar for the argument cycle that begins Jan. 9 and ends Jan. 18. The three long-lingering cases were nowhere to be found on the calendar: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, Murr v. Wisconsin and Microsoft v. Baker.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Whistleblowers Win Key Ruling as Justices Reject Insurer's Case

By Mike Scarcella |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a big win to whistleblowers, ruling that a violation of the federal False Claims Act's secrecy requirement doesn’t automatically mean a complaint should be dismissed. The unanimous ruling, delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy, upheld a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apple Loses to Samsung in Supreme Court Design Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

The unanimous decision by Justice Sonia Sotomayor wipes out Apple's $399 million in design patent damages and sends the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Class Action Firm Lobs RICO Suit at Serial Objectors

By Amanda Bronstad |

Chicago’s Edelson PC claims that lawyers in Texas, California and Illinois have conspired as part of a racketeering enterprise to extort payments in class actions.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court Dives into Patent Exhaustion with Printer Cartridges

By Scott Graham |

The case hinges on Lexmark International's use of patent law to bar recycling and reselling of its used printer cartridges.

Demonstrators in favor of the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act (2015)

Aetna, at Antitrust Trial Opening, Defends Withdrawal From Health Care Markets

By C. Ryan Barber |

Fighting to save its proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana Inc., Aetna Inc. raised questions Monday about the future of the Affordable Care Act under a GOP-controlled Congress and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, as the trial over the insurers' proposed merger began in a Washington federal court.

Winning Litigators: High Stakes, Significant Victories

The lawyers in our 2016 special report all have something in common — they score big wins in court. But how do these battle-tested litigators make their clients happy?

Pay Equity: Employers Must Be Vigilant

By Lauri Damrell and Jessica Perry |

It's now more critical than ever that companies take a close look at their pay practices.

The Joint-Employment Challenge

By Jeff Rosin |

With careful attention, franchisors and franchisees can address the joint-employment inquiry.

Does 'Sex' in Title IX Include Gender Identity?

By Elise Bloom and Andrew Smith |

The U.S. Supreme Court tackles this issue in 2017 and its approach could have broad implications.

Labor & Employment: Pay Equity, Franchises and Discrimination

Worried about whether your pay practices meet federal pay-equity standards? You should be. Plus more in this week's special section.

John Minor Wisdom U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit building, New Orleans, LA.

Fifth Circuit Scraps $340M EDTX Antitrust Verdict

By Scott Graham |

In a win for Becton Dickinson and its lawyers at Paul Weiss, a unanimous panel held that patent infringement can't give rise to antitrust liability.

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. October 9, 2016.

Justices Will Decide Religious Health Systems' Pension Dispute

By Marcia Coyle |

After a lull in adding new cases to the term, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear arguments in seven challenges, including a trio of cases from religious-affiliated, nonprofit health care systems that are seeking exemptions from federal law for their pension plans.

Mug Shots Are Not Secret Records, Detroit Paper Tells Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

The Detroit Free Press is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a court decision that restricts public access to the mug shots of federal criminal defendants. Booking photos provide an "important window" into the government's exercise of its police powers, the media outlet said in its petition in Detroit Free Press v. U.S. Department of Justice.

Johnson & Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Johnson & Johnson Hit With $1 Billion Verdict in Hip Implant Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

The award for six plaintiffs included $1 billion in punitive damages and $40 million in compensatory damages. J&J's Skadden Arps defense team pledged to appeal.

Federal Trade Commission

Engineer's Suit Over FTC's 'Robocall' Contest Is Blocked in Appeals Court

By Marcia Coyle |

When the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 announced a competition for "innovative solutions" to block automated sales calls, David Frankel thought he had a winning submission. He didn't. Blocking so-called "robocalls" can be tough and frustrating for the average person. Blocking a lawsuit over an agency's competition seemed a relatively easy task for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, D.C.

This Other Big CFPB Case Tests the Scope of Agency's Investigative Power

By C. Ryan Barber |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau isn't exactly riding high right now. A federal appeals court struck down the constitutionality of the agency's single-director structure. Republicans in Congress want to fundamentally revamp the agency. And the incoming Trump administration isn't expected to openly greet Richard Cordray, the CFPB director. Here's one more headache: a Washington appeals court will in the coming months decide just how far the agency’s investigative power reaches.

Johnson & Johnson's baby powder.

Court Urged to Weigh Financiers' Roles When Picking Lead Counsel in Talc MDL

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson has asked a federal judge to order plaintiffs' attorneys applying for lead roles in the multidistrict litigation over its talcum powder products to disclose whether they are backed by third-party financiers.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)

Democratic Lawmakers Urge DC Circuit to Keep CFPB's Single-Director Structure

By C. Ryan Barber |

A group of 21 current and former Democratic lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the House and Senate minority leaders, are backing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it fights a court ruling that said the agency's single-director structure is unconstitutional.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)

21 Democratic Lawmakers Urge DC Circuit to Keep CFPB's Single-Director Structure

By C. Ryan Barber |

A group of 21 current and former Democratic lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the House and Senate minority leaders, are backing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it fights a court ruling that said the agency's single-director structure is unconstitutional.

Michael Jacobs, Morrison Foerster partner.

Nervy Suit Slams Boston Scientific for 'Blatant Disregard' of Competitor's Patent

By Scott Graham |

A small medical device company in Redwood City is taking on Boston Scientific Corp. for allegedly infringing its patents on electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to treat chronic pain.

Uber Taps Cuatrecasas for Landmark EU Regulatory Case

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Uber Technologies Inc. said Monday that Cuatrecasas attorney Cani Fernandez will represent the company before the European Court of Justice in a landmark case determining how the ride-hailing service will be regulated in the EU.

Judge Amos Mazzant

Blocking OT Rules, Obama Appointee Mazzant Showed He's Not in Lockstep With White House

By Miriam Rozen |

Even a labor lawyer who typically represents employers expressed surprise about the pre-Thanksgiving ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.

Ahilan Arulanantham, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, ACLU Southern California Offices

MacArthur 'Genius' Set to Argue Immigration Case Before Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

ACLU attorney Ahilan Arulanantham will step to the lectern this week in a case that tests the due process rights of immigrants in detention.

U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C.

Kansas Judge Refuses to Block DOL's Fiduciary Rule

By Melanie Waddell |

A Kansas federal judge on Monday rejected the insurer Market Synergy Group Inc.'s request for a preliminary injunction to block the U.S. Labor Department's fiduciary rule—the second legal victory for regulations aimed at mitigating conflicts of interest in the retirement advice market.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas

Texas Federal Judge Halts Obama Administration's New Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

A Texas federal judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the Obama administration's proposed regulatory revisions that would have doubled for most employees the salary threshold for overtime pay.


Landmark Settlement Reached in Mo. Case Over Negligent Entrustment of Gun

By Andrew Denney |

A Missouri gun dealer has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a wrongful-death suit brought by the mother of a mentally ill woman who purchased a gun from the dealer and who was tried for using it to kill her father. The settlement is the largest since the 2005 enactment of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a federal law that shields manufacturers and dealers from liability when their products were used in crimes, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White

Outgoing SEC Chief Warns that Weakening Securities Rules Would be 'Serious Mistake'

By Rebekah Mintzer |

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, who announced this week she will resign at the end of President Barack Obama's second term, warned in a speech Friday the agency must not retreat from tougher regulation and enforcement.

Tamika Montgomery-Reeves.

Chancery Court Approves Dissolution of Deadlocked LLC

By Tom McParland |

The Delaware Court of Chancery has approved the judicial dissolution of a Delaware limited liability company that had become deadlocked in the midst of out-of-state litigation over a venture with a private equity firm.

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

Could Donald Trump's SEC Soften Enforcement of Severance Agreements?

By C. Ryan Barber |

Critics of the SEC's whistleblower program said recent settlements against companies over their severance agreements marked an agency that had stretched too far in its interpretation of Dodd-Frank's protections for tipsters. Now, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office and shape the SEC, lawyers in the whistleblower field are watching to see whether the commission continues to take a stand against restrictive severance agreements or turns down the heat.

Williams & Connolly attorney David Kendall, left, sits behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a House hearing of the Select Committee on Benghazi, on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Hillary Clinton's Legal Woes Press On Post-Election

By Zoe Tillman |

Clinton may have lost the presidential race but lawsuits and investigations still cast a shadow.

U.S. Supreme Court

FAA Tells Justices to Pass on Flight-Sharing Startup's Case

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court should decline to take up a pioneering flight-sharing startup's battle with federal regulators, the Obama administration told the justices on Monday.

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

SEC Chief Says Fintech May Need New Regulation

By Melanie Waddell |

New regulations may be needed to keep up with the "speed and impact" of financial technology developments, SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said Monday.

SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins.

In Trump's Search for Market Cops, Paul Atkins' Network Plays Prominent

By C. Ryan Barber |

A week after defeating Hillary Clinton, President-elect Donald Trump is just beginning to fill top posts in his administration. As lawyers buzz over potential picks for financial regulatory agencies, the agency best-suited to fulfill his call to "dismantle" financial regulations, some names potentially in the mix revolve in the orbit of his transition team's top adviser on financial regulation—Paul Atkins.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Federal Claims Court Rejects Insurer's $75M ACA 'Risk Corridor' Suit

By Allison Bell |

Federal regulators may not owe a failed Chicago-based health insurer more than $75 million in damages under an Affordable Care Act program set up to help minimize the financial risk of participation in the new public exchanges.

International Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Rare ITC Hearing Will Shape Clean Energy Industry

By Scott Graham |

The International Trade Commission will consider whether to block imports of a material used in lithium-ion batteries for violating a domestic company's patent.

Pelvic mesh

Pelvic Mesh Maker Denied Access to Records of Litigation Funding Intermediary

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has rejected efforts by a major defendant in the nationwide transvaginal mesh litigation aimed at preserving electronic records of a company that had acted as a "middleman" between potential patients and third-party litigation funders.

Gonzalo Curiel.

Campaign Statements Tentatively Allowed Into Trump University Fraud Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has tentatively denied President-elect Donald Trump's motion to bar plaintiffs lawyers from using statements he made during his presidential campaign at a trial later this month in a fraud case brought by former Trump University students.

Former SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins.

Ex-SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins, No Fan of Dodd-Frank, Leads Trump's Financial-Agency Review

By C. Ryan Barber |

After promising during the campaign to "get rid of Dodd-Frank," President-elect Donald Trump has named Paul Atkins, a fellow critic of the post-financial crisis law, to lead his transition's review of independent financial agencies. His past statements and votes provide some picture of his approach to financial regulation and how he might seek to shape the SEC.

Device Maker Gains Defense Verdict in Hip Implant Case

By Max Mitchell |

After several high-profile plaintiff's victories in hip implant cases, a Missouri jury has cleared a hip device manufacturer of allegations that its metal-on-metal device was defective.

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. October 9, 2016.

Election Day Finds Supreme Court Divided Over Banking Case

By Tony Mauro |

The justices appeared split 4-4 in a case that illustrates how the election's outcome could affect the future direction of the court.

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas Takes Union Dispute to DC Circuit

By C. Ryan Barber |

Lawyers for Trump International Hotel Las Vegas are asking a federal appeals court in Washington to reverse a finding that the company violated labor laws by refusing to bargain with a union that represents 500 employees.

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. October 9, 2016.

Religious Health Care Systems Push Back Against Pension Suits in Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

Three religious-affiliated, nonprofit health care systems are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step into a multimillion-dollar battle with two plaintiffs firms that claim the pension plans of the medical networks are not exempt from federal law.

Stephen Breyer.

Five Supreme Court Takeaways on Cheerleader Uniforms, Laches for Patents

By Scott Graham |

The justices at times seemed disinterested in this week's hearings on intellectual property.

Judger S. Jay Plager, U.S. Court of Appeals for the U.S. Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit Softens Stance on Patent Eligibility

By Scott Graham |

For the fourth time this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rescued software patents that a district found ineligible for patenting.

Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (October 1, 2012)

Justices Urged to Take Hard Line on Whistleblowers' Leaks

By Marcia Coyle |

A major insurer of damage from Hurricane Katrina urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to dismiss lawsuits by whistleblowers who violate a nondisclosure requirement in the federal law that targets fraud against the government.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Building.

Federal Guidance Warns Against 'No Poaching' and 'Wage Fixing' Pacts

By Rebekah Mintzer |

The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice have issued guidance signaling their interest in further cracking down on companies that make agreements with others that keep employees' wages down or limit their mobility.

Patricia K. Gillette.

Professional Services Firms Increasingly a Target of Pay Equity Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

Lawyers, accountants and software engineers—they might have jobs that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but for many women that’s not enough.