Courts & Litigation

Prosecutors' Efforts Boost Prisoner Exoneration Numbers

By Marcia Coyle |

Prosecutors' investigation of innocence claims boosted the number of prisoner exonerations to a record level in 2014, according to the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School.

Stakes Getting Smaller in Securities Class Actions

By Amanda Bronstad |

Securities class action filings rose slightly from 2013 to 2014, but the cases involved some of the smallest investor losses on record as companies in the S&P 500 index skirted much of the litigation, according to a report released Tuesday.

Justices Rebuke Sixth Circuit on Retiree Health Benefits

By Marcia Coyle |

Federal courts cannot presume from a collective bargaining agreement's silence that retiree health insurance benefits should continue for life, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Betsy Benjaminson.

Toyota Nears Settlement with Blogging Translator

By Amanda Bronstad |

Toyota Motor Corp. is in settlement talks with a former translator and self-described whistleblower who was sanctioned last month for posting on a blog internal documents related to its sudden acceleration defects.

This April 3, 2013 file photo shows Harvey Whittemore leaving the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, NV.

Harry Reid Fundraiser Loses Appeal Over Excessive Contributions

By Mike Sacks |

Prominent Nevada lawyer and lobbyist F. Harvey Whittemore on Monday lost his appeal in the Ninth Circuit over excessive campaign contributions made to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in 2007.

Oklahoma Asks Supreme Court to Delay Scheduled Executions

By Marcia Coyle |

Oklahoma's attorney general on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put on hold three scheduled executions until the justices rule in a challenge to the state's lethal-injection protocol or officials find alternative drugs to use.

The Container Store.

The Container Store Settles Zip Code Case

By Lalita Clozel |

The plaintiff in a putative class action suit accusing The Container Store Inc. of retaining the zip codes of credit card-paying customers has agreed to settle.

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Sex Enhancement Drug

By Laura Castro |

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase or use Happy Passengers, a product promoted as all natural and sold for sexual enhancement and sold online and in some retail stores.

Some Claims Tossed in ‘Natural’ Snack Food Case

By Lalita Clozel |

A Florida judge dealt a small victory on Jan. 20 to Shearer’s Food LLC in a putative class action alleging it misrepresented its line of rice crisps as natural products.

Suit Claims Pleasure from Socks Exaggerated

By Laura Castro |

A consumer of Kushyfoot socks, hosiery and tights with "massaging" soles has filed a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer, accusing it of falsely advertising the benefits of the products including in a commercial that features a woman experiencing "orgasmic" pleasure.

Sex Enhancer Manufacturer Sued Over Marketing

By Laura Castro |

San Francisco-based PharmaCare US Inc. has been hit with a putative class action that alleges the company falsely marketed its product IntenseX as having aphrodisiac properties that increase "sexual power and performance."

Agency Proposes New Standards to Reduce Salmonella

By Laura Castro |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has proposed new federal standards to reduce salmonella and campylobacter contamination in poultry products.

Top Tips to Avoid Mistakes and Costly Sanctions

By David Cohen |

Follow these 15 suggestions to stay out of trouble with electronic discovery.

Facebook's campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA.

How to Make Facebook a Discovery Tool

By Eric P. Conn and Emily T. Acosta |

Social media can provide helpful evidence in legal disputes, but there are pitfalls.

The Bund (Puxi Waitan) and Oriental Pearl Tower viewed from a skyscraper in Shanghai Pudong, China.

What Happens in China Stays in China

By Jared T. Nelson and Geoffrey A. Vance |

Rules against cross-border data transfers argue for doing discovery within the People's Republic.

Standard & Poors

S&P's Legal Woes Aren't Over Yet

By Jenna Greene and Scott Flaherty |

If Standard & Poor's Rating Services were to grade its own legal risk, it might give itself a BB: "Faces major ongoing uncertainties."

<b>THE STAKES:</b> As attorneys prepared for Supreme Court test, marriages began in Florida.

Who Will Argue Same-Sex Marriage Cases in High Court?

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

History-making arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage are still more than three months away, but the strategizing among lawyers has already begun.

The Constant Evolution of E-Discovery

The rules about electronic discovery — and the opportunities it presents to litigators — are continually evolving.

Scott Keller, former Chief Counsel to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and now Solicitor General of Texas.

Civil Rights Lawyers Optimistic

By Tony Mauro |

Oral arguments in a major ­housing discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 left some advocates more optimistic than they expected to be that a broad interpretation of the Fair Housing Act will survive.

Justices Agree to Review Lethal-Injection Protocol

By Tony Mauro |

In the wake of botched executions last year, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether new chemicals used in lethal injections amount to unconstitutional "cruel and unusual" punishment.

U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern Discrict of New York.

Plaintiffs Lawyers Urge Clients To File Claims With GM

By Amanda Bronstad |

Individuals who were injured or had loved ones killed allegedly because of a defect in the ignition switch of General Motors Co. vehicles must file claims through a victim-compensation fund before they can learn whether they have the option to sue.

Richard Posner.

Administrative Law Judges As Poultry Processing Workers

By Jenna Greene |

Comparing Social Security administrative law judges to "a worker on a poultry processing assembly line," a federal appeals court panel on Friday said overworked ALJs have no viable grievance under the Administrative Procedure Act.

FTC Stakes Claim As Data Security Cop

By Jenna Greene |

On the heels of an appellate win, the Federal Trade Commission on Friday reiterated its power to hold companies liable for data security breaches.

Vito Lo Grasso, aka Big Vito.

Former Wrestlers Sue Over Alleged ‘Egregious Treatment’

By Laura Castro |

Two former wrestlers have filed a class action in Pennsylvania federal court against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. for its alleged "egregious treatment."

Judge Weighs Dismissal of Class Action Over Mouth Wash Claims

By Laura Castro |

A federal judge is preparing to dismiss a proposed class action that accuses Chattem Inc. of falsely claiming its ACT mouthwash rebuilds tooth enamel because the claims in the case appear to fall "millions of dollars short" of a $5 million threshold required for jurisdiction.

Wa. State Judge Sues DISH Network Over Sales Scheme

By Lisa Hoffman |

A Washington state appeals court judge is the lead plaintiff in a proposed federal class action alleging DISH Network “willfully operates” a bait-and-switch sales scheme.

Feds Investigating Non-Sterile, Simulated Saline Injections

By Laura Castro |

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the infusions of non-sterile, simulated intravenous saline to patients in seven states, including some who were hospitalized and at least one person who died.

Split First Circuit Sustains Nexium Class Certification

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court has upheld certification of a class of consumers and insurance companies alleging that they were forced to pay higher prices for prescription heartburn drug Nexium in violation of state antitrust laws.

Michelle Lee.

'Trolls?' Patent Director Says the Term Isn't Helpful

By Jenna Greene |

Outlining her vision for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Deputy Director Michelle Lee—whose nomination to head the agency is pending before the Senate—on Thursday said the agency should be "agnostic" about how patent applicants want to use their inventions.

Boston Marathon bomb victims memorial on Boylston St. near the intersection of Dalton St.  April 17, 2013.

Judge Seals Defense Motion to Move Boston Bombing Trial

By Sheri Qualters |

Attorneys for accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drew upon juror questionnaires Thursday in support of his third motion to move his trial, which carries the possibility of the death penalty.

Wells Fargo is Sued Over Property Seizure in Washington State

By Lalita Clozel |

A Washington state couple sued Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. of changing the locks and seizing property in their house without prior notice, and before they were officially foreclosed.

Pet Store Chain Reaches $475K Class Settlement with Consumers

By Lalita Clozel |

A California judge has approved the terms of a $475,000 class action settlement with a chain of pet stores accused of printing credit card expiration dates on receipts.

The Turtles.

Judge Largely Sides Against Sirius XM in Copyright Suit

By Laura Castro |

Sirius XM Holdings Inc.'s has failed to show why summary judgment should not be entered in favor of former members of the 1960s band The Turtles as to liability in the $100 million class action copyright fight over pre-1972 recordings, a New York federal judge has ruled.

Omega Seamaster.

Court Sides with Costco in ‘Gray Market’ Fight With Omega

By Amanda Bronstad |

In a closely watched case about the copyright rights of foreign companies, a federal appeals court has struck down Swiss watchmaker Omega S.A.’s attempt to use U.S. copyright law to block Costco Wholesale Corp.’s sale of its luxury watches.

Scott Keller, former Chief Counsel to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and now Solicitor General of Texas.

Justices Appear Wary of Weakening Fair Housing Act

By Tony Mauro |

Oral arguments in a major housing discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday left some advocates more optimistic than they expected to be that a broad interpretation of the Fair Housing Act will survive.

Oct. 3, 2007 - Rancho Santa Margarita, California, U.S. - Former air marshal RobertT Maclean was fired for blowing the whistle on a TSA cost cutting plan to cut air marshals on the type of long distance flights targeted on 9/11.

High Court Bolsters Whistleblower Protection

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday strengthened legal protections for government whistleblowers in a decision involving a fired federal air marshal.

CVS Sued Over Claims for Vision Supplement

By Lalita Clozel |

Two California residents filed a putative class action against CVS Health Inc., accusing the company of misleading buyers as to the contents of a formula said to promote ocular health.

Wage-And-Hour Class Action Targets Hooters Restaurant

By Lalita Clozel |

One current and one former waitress at an Alabama Hooters restaurant have filed a collective action complaint accusing the business of unpaid compensation.

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Targeting Scandal-Linked Supplement

By Lalita Clozel |

A federal judge in Illinois dismissed a complaint against Star Scientific Inc., the dietary supplement company whose founder was at the center of a corruption trial against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

Coal mine

To This Litigant, Judicial Campaign Finance Case is Personal

By Marcia Coyle |

To understand the potential for corruption or the appearance of corruption from big money in judicial elections, consider the experience of Hugh Caperton.

Southwest ‘Early Bird’ Class Action Trimmed Back

By Laura Castro |

A California federal district court has substantially reduced the number of claims against Southwest Airlines in a proposed class action alleging the airline's "Early Bird" boarding program is fraudulent.

Daniel Schaffzin.

Law Students Combat Urban Blight in Memphis

By Karen Sloan |

Memphis has been fighting urban blight for years, and now students from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law are joining the battle.

Andrew Ceresney.

Credit Rating Agency S&P Settles Fraud Charges for $77M

By Jenna Greene |

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Wednesday agreed to pay $77 million to settle fraud charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state regulators that it misled investors by issuing inflated ratings.

Clarence Thomas.

Appeals Court Slapped Over Lengthy ‘Unpublished’ Ruling

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday sharply criticized a federal appeals court for issuing a lengthy opinion that was nonetheless unpublished, which he called a "disturbing aspect" of the case before the high court.

Fundraising Rule for Judicial Candidates Divides Justices

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's long-running divide over limits on money in elections played out again on Tuesday in a constitutional challenge to a Florida rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting contributions.

Fundraising Rule for Judicial Candidates Divides Justices

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's long-running divide over limits on money in elections played out again on Tuesday in a constitutional challenge to a Florida rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting contributions.

Death Row Prisoner May Fire Lawyers Who Missed Deadline

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that lower federal courts were wrong to deny a Missouri death row inmate's request for new lawyers after his court-appointed lawyers missed a critical filing deadline.

'Clean Sweep' for Bearded Muslim Inmate Before Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

A Muslim prison inmate from Arkansas on Tuesday won a unanimous victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that a prison regulation barring him from wearing a half-inch beard for religious reasons violated federal law.

Home Depot Data-Breach Case Split Between Consumers, Banks

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge in Atlanta has divided the litigation over last year’s data breach at The Home Depot Inc. into two tracks: consumers and financial institutions.

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

States Fight Fee Requests in Same-Sex Marriage Cases

By Zoe Tillman |

State and local officials in South Carolina and West Virginia are opposing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fee requests filed by plaintiffs who successfully challenged same-sex marriage bans.

Wal-Mart Sued over Listeria Outbreak

By Laura Castro |

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has become the second national retailer to be sued over a recent, multi-state Listeria outbreak caused by consumers eating caramel apples contaminated with the bacteria.

Suit Over Homeopathic Labeling Proceeds

By Laura Castro |

A California federal judge has denied Hyland's Inc. motion for summary judgment in a class action alleging the company misrepresents that its homeopathic products fight colds and influenza quickly and effectively.

Garlock Sealing Plans Deal with Asbestos Claimants

By Lalita Clozel |

Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, the gasket maker embroiled in a contentious bankruptcy case, has offered to settle with future asbestos claimants for $357.5 million.

RICO Claims Against Citibank Dismissed

By Lalita Clozel |

A federal judge in California has dismissed Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims leveled against Citibank NA and its mortgage servicing arm, accused of racking up unnecessary charges on defaulting borrowers.

Courtney Fuller, corporate counsel of Guidant Financial Group Inc.

Guidant Financial Group Inc.

By Andrew Ramonas |

Providing advice on corporate compliance is an inside — and outside — job for the lawyers at Guidant Financial Group Inc.

The SEC's On a Long Winning Streak

By Jenna Greene |

As criticism mounts that its in-house forum is unfair, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission won every administrative case last year, according to an analysis by The National Law Journal.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

Ted Stevens.

Discipline Voided for Prosecutors

By Zoe Tillman |

Top U.S. Department of Justice lawyers violated agency policy in disciplining two prosecutors for ethics breaches in the botched case against the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a federal board ruled this month.

INADMISSIBLE: Sanctions Threat Looms in the High Court

Foley & Lardner is preparing "a thorough response" to the U.S. Supreme Court's unusual show-cause order last month that could result in sanctions against Foley partner Howard Shipley, the firm's general counsel says. Plus more in this week's column.

The English rock band Bad Company in 1976.

VOIR DIRE: Rock 'n' Rolled Out

Classic rock and the law combined when an attorney filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful arrest. Plus: crime as art project in this week's column.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable cases.

Bob Dzielak, general counsel of Expedia.

Expedia Inc.

By Sheri Qualters |

Expedia Inc.'s legal department has struck the right combination of in-house expertise and outside talent to help make the Internet travel company a top competitor in a fast-paced industry.

David Howard, deputy general counsel of Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corp.

By Sheri Qualters |

The innovative approach that Microsoft Corp.'s legal department takes when working with outside counsel and its success in promoting diversity, juggling massive deals, handling litigation and assisting in product development place it in the top spot among Seattle's in-house legal departments.

<b>PRECEDENT:</b> Crowds gathered when the Supreme Court took up California’s marriage ban in 2013. Now the court is preparing to decide the constitutionality of such prohibitions nationwide.

Justices Take Up Marriage Challenges

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into a historic legal, political and social debate on Jan. 16 when it agreed to decide whether states can prohibit same-sex marriages without violating the federal Constitution.

Here's the D.C. Circuit Today on Employee Accessories

By Jenna Greene |

Style gurus and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agree: accessories matter. On Friday, the court put a lid on the National Labor Relation Board, ruling that a company policy limiting the kinds of baseball hats that workers can wear doesn’t necessarily violate labor laws. At least not with the right accessories.

Anton Valukas.

Plaintiffs Denied Peek at GM Lawyers’ Investigation Notes

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co. does not have to turn over the notes of attorneys who interviewed witnesses for an internal report about the automaker’s failure to identify an ignition-switch defect, a federal judge has ruled.

For SEC, a Week of Big Cases in a Small Forum

By Jenna Greene |

It was a busy week at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced three significant new enforcement actions that yielded more than $28 million in penalties. What’s notable is that all three suits were filed administratively, not in U.S. district courts

In This Facebook Threats Case, No Wait for Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

For the second time, a federal appeals court has decided not to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the First Amendment invalidates a federal law that could make it a crime to post threatening statements on Facebook.

Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor Leads Dissent in Oklahoma Death Case

By Tony Mauro |

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent Thursday night in an Oklahoma death case was the clearest sign yet that she and three other justices have become increasingly uneasy about the new and sometimes untested drugs being used to carry out lethal injections.

Pa. Inmate Sues Over Denial of Eye Surgery

By Lisa Hoffman |

A Pennsylvania inmate has lodged a proposed class action alleging the state prison system is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying eye surgery for inmates who have at least “one good eye.”

J.Crew.

J.Crew Sued Over Alleged Violations of Credit Transactions Act

By Laura Castro |

A consumer has filed a putative class action against J. Crew Group Inc. in New Jersey federal court, claiming the clothing apparel company repeatedly and improperly issued sales receipts that display more than five digits of credit card numbers, violating a law meant to protect customers from identity theft.

PetSmart Reaches Settlement With Former Employees Over Wages

By Laura Castro |

PetSmart Inc. has reached a proposed $1 million settlement with a class of 1,100 former employees who received severance wages in the form a money network paycard, according to a motion filed Jan. 12 in California federal court.

Class Certification Rejected in Suit Over Pharmacy Benefits

By Lalita Clozel |

The sole plaintiff in the last thread of a consolidated suit against pharmacy benefit management company Express Scripts, Inc., lost his motion for class certification.

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

BP Catches a Break on Deepwater Horizon Spill Liability

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge on Thursday concluded that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ended up leaving some 3.19 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010—far less than previously estimated.

California Judges Clear Major Hurdle in Salary Lawsuit

By Amanda Bronstad |

A Los Angeles judge on Thursday certified a class of more than 3,000 active and retired California state judges who allege they were illegally deprived of salary increases in the years following the 2008 recession.

BMW 650i Coupé.

BMW Fights to Keep Class Action in Federal Court

By Lalita Clozel |

BMW of North America, LLC, is striving to keep a putative class action over defective battery claims in New Jersey federal court.

FDA Investigates Source of Listeria Strains

By Laura Castro |

Test results on two strains of Listeria bacteria found at a California apple processing facility are believed to be the same strains associated with the recent outbreak involving pre-packaged caramel apples that caused 32 people in the United States to become sick and at least three to die, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed.

New Settlement Over ‘Occupy Oakland’ Arrests Gets OK

By Lisa Hoffman |

A federal judge has tentatively approved a class action settlement between 350 Occupy Oakland demonstrators and the police over mass arrests at a demonstration in 2012.

Wal-Mart Sued Over Baking-Soda Ads

By Lisa Hoffman |

Alleging Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has engaged in a scheme to defraud online shoppers, a New Jersey consumer is taking the company to court for an alleged bait-and-switch involving baking soda.

Challenges Mount to California Measure Protecting Hens

By Amanda Bronstad |

They might have egg on their face, but lawyers challenging a California law that mandates living conditions for hens are asking a federal appeals court to strike down the measure.

Cellphone Companies Score High Court Win on Towers

By Marcia Coyle |

The federal Telecommunications Act requires local governments that deny applications for construction of cellphone towers to give companies written reasons at the same time as notice of the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

Cellphone Companies Score High Court Win on Towers

By Marcia Coyle |

The federal Telecommunications Act requires local governments that deny applications for construction of cellphone towers to give companies written reasons at the same time as notice of the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

Cornelia Kennedy.

The Moot Court That Ended A Supreme Court Tradition

By Marcia Coyle |

An unusual law school moot court during the late 1970s triggered the beginning of the end of a venerable U.S. Supreme Court tradition. As events would prove, the change came in the nick of time.

Stephen Mazza.

Circuit: Law School Can Expel Student With Criminal Past

By Karen Sloan |

A former University of Kansas School of Law student who was expelled for failing to disclose criminal convictions on his application has hit another legal roadblock.

Foley Promises 'Thorough Response' to Supreme Court's Sanction Threat

By Tony Mauro |

Foley & Lardner is preparing "a thorough response" to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unusual show-cause order last month that could result in sanctions against Foley partner Howard Shipley, the firm’s general counsel says.

$177M Spa Chain Settlement Entitles Class to Massages

By Lisa Hoffman |

Tens of thousands of California customers of the Massage Envy Franchising chain of spas will have the opportunity to claim unused sessions for which they had prepaid, under a tentative class action settlement slated to go before a judge later this month, according to federal court documents.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

No Delay in Tsarnaev Trial After Paris Terror Attacks

By Mike Scarcella |

Citing the French terror attacks, lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Tuesday asked a Boston federal judge to suspend jury selection for at least one month. The judge denied the request.

Coal mine.

EEOC, Employers Battle in High Court Over Conciliation

By Marcia Coyle |

Lawyers for the Obama administration and an Illinois mining company clashed sharply before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday over whether federal courts should review employer claims that the federal officials failed to conciliate job bias charges as required by law.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

A Win at the Supreme Court for Consumers in Home Mortgage Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of consumers Tuesday, interpreting a federal law to allow homeowners up to three years to give notice to their banks that they want to rescind their mortgage loans.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

A Win at the Supreme Court for Consumers in Home Mortgage Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of consumers Tuesday, interpreting a federal law to allow homeowners up to three years to give notice to their banks that they want to rescind their mortgage loans.

Demonstrations outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the first day of arguments in cases involving the Affordable Care Act.  March 26, 2012.

Brief of the Week: The Affordable Care Act and 'Executive Lawmaking'

By Jamie Schuman |

When South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman was researching his first book on the Affordable Care Act, he flagged all of the times he thought the Obama administration overstepped its authority in implementing the statute. King v. Burwell, the latest conservative challenge to the health care law, gave Blackman a chance to use that material.

FILE- Work continuing at the crash site of the train derailment and fire in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013. An unattended train carrying oil from the Bakken region came loose and derailed, sending tank cars into the center of the town, where they exploded. Forty-seven people were killed and much of the town was destroyed.

Illinois Venue Meant $200M Settlement in Fiery Train Wreck

By Amanda Bronstad |

Bankrupt railroad operator Montreal Maine and Atlantic Canada Co. and others tied to a 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, have agreed to pay $200 million to compensate victims, including 48 people who died. The settlement, announced on Friday, could grow to as much as $500 million if additional defendants come on board.

Judge Refers Hygiene Wipes Class Action to State Court

By Lisa Hoffman |

Procter & Gamble Co. has failed to dispose of a proposed class action alleging the company misrepresents its hygiene wipes as flushable, courtesy of a California federal judge who gave the plaintiffs alternative routes to press their case.

Olive Oil Class Action Survives Motion to Dismiss

By Lisa Hoffman |

A proposed class action alleging that two popular brands of olive oils are deceptively marketed and labeled as “extra virgin” and “imported from Italy” has survived a motion to toss the case.

Judge Refuses to Block Next Month’s Pelvic Mesh Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by C.R. Bard Inc. to halt a bellwether trial due to comments he made in court that were published in an online news article.

Good News Community Church sign

Supreme Court Looks for Direction in Sign Ordinance Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's first oral argument of 2015 on Monday was a tricky First Amendment dispute over the ability of government to regulate the size and duration of roadside signs.

Court Coy on Marriage; Rebuffs Political Money Appeals

By Marcia Coyle |

Following a monthlong holiday break, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday added no new cases to the term's argument docket and continued the suspense as to whether it will take up the constitutional question of same-sex marriages.

Court Coy on Marriage; Rebuffs Political Money Appeals

By Marcia Coyle |

Following a monthlong holiday break, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday added no new cases to the term's argument docket and continued the suspense as to whether it will take up the constitutional question of same-sex marriages.

Eighth Circuit Again Rejects Fired Hamline Prof’s Suit

By Karen Sloan |

A federal appeals court for the second time has affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit brought against Hamline University and its former law dean by a professor who was fired after being found guilty of failing to file state tax returns.

Nordstrom's Appeal Opposed in ‘Made in the USA’ Case

By Laura Castro |

The plaintiff in a proposed class action accusing Nordstrom Inc. and a luxury denim maker of falsely marketing jeans as “Made in the USA" is urging a California federal court to deny the defendants' request for an interlocutory appeal in the case.