Way smoothed for disability claims

Labor and employment lawyers nationwide are scrambling to prepare their clients to comply with pending changes to the Americans With Disabilities Act that will broaden the law's scope and make it easier for workers to bring claims against employers.

Defense Launches Aggressive Attack on U.S. Case Against Traders

Defense lawyers for three men accused of trading on inside information stolen by two disgraced Ropes & Gray attorneys launched an aggressive attack on the government's case Wednesday, giving opening statements that sounded like closing arguments.

Judge says Rothstein deposition decision not his to make

Bankruptcy attorneys and federal prosecutors appear set for another clash in the case of Ponzi king Scott Rothstein, now that a federal judge has said he lacks the authority to compel Rothstein to appear for questioning by attorneys for his defunct fir...

Federal appeals court hears arguments in health care reform challenge

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday heard oral arguments [court schedule, PDF] on the constitutionality of the health care reform law [HR 3590 text; JURIST news archive] in two ca...

Delaware governor signs same-sex civil unions bill

[JURIST] Delaware Governor Jack Markell [official website] on Wednesday signed into law a bill [SB 30 text] allowing same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive] within the state. According to the legislation, individuals entering into a civil union "shall enjoy all the same rights, benefits, protections, and shall be subject to all the same responsibilities, as married persons under Delaware law." The bill also provides that "the rights of parties to a civil union, with respect to a child of whom...

Rambus Loses Crucial Ruling at Federal Circuit; O'Melveny and Weil Convince Court That Rambus Improperly Destroyed Evidence

The Federal Circuit has dealt Rambus a major setback, ruling in two cases that the technology licensing company improperly destroyed millions of pages of documents in advance of litigation, and sending the cases back to the lower courts.

Intellectual Ventures Investors Revealed in Patent Spat With Chip-Maker Xilinx

A federal judge this week ordered patent holding company Intellectual Ventures to produce a list of about 60 of its major investors in connection with a suit filed by chip maker Xilinx. Appearing on the list are a host of Internet and technology giants.

Judge Restricts Calls, Texts of 'Overly Involved' Mother

A divorced mother must limit the number of phone calls and texts she sends to her daughter while the teen visits her father and must refrain from scheduling any activities for her daughter during that time, a New York state judge has ruled.

Minnesota legislature approves ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The Minnesota Legislature [official website] on Saturday approved adding a constitutional amendment [HF 1613, text] to ban same-sex marriage to the November 2012 ballot. The Minnesota House of Representatives [official website] voted 70-62 to ...

Attorney Advertising Rules Finally Adopted

Nearly five years after the courts first sought tough new restrictions on attorney advertising in New York, a stripped-down version of the proposal that survived court scrutiny has been adopted.

Jobs can be denied after bankruptcy, appellate court rules

The 11th Circuit has joined two other circuits in ruling that private employers are well within their rights to deny jobs to applicants if a background check uncovers a bankruptcy filing.

Gibson Dunn Wins Federal Circuit Ruling on Scope of California Unfair Competition Law

The Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of Allergan in a suit over eyelash enhancers, finding that California's far-reaching unfair competition law does not limit claims of economic losses to parties with direct business dealings.

Vermont passes single-payer health care law

[JURIST] Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin [official website] signed a health care reform law [H 202 text, PDF] on Friday that promises [press release] to make a state single-payer system. The law, designed to reform Vermont's entire health care system, will regulate health insurance premiums and health care provider payments, putting providers on a budget and rewarding them for efficiency, rather than a "fee-for-service" structure.As provided in Sec. 4 of this act, upon receipt by the state of necessary waivers from...

Obama administration: Indiana ban on funds for abortion services violates federal law

[JURIST] The Obama administration took a stand Wednesday against a controversial Indiana law [HB 1210] that prevents health care providers with abortion [JURIST news archive] services from receiving Medicaid funds. Donald Berwick, administrator of the ...

BankAtlantic expands bid to sanction trial attorneys

Florida-based BankAtlantic Bancorp has expanded on its request for sanctions against shareholder attorneys for allegedly including false statements in a securities class action.

Blackwater guards challenge reinstatement of manslaughter case

[JURIST] Four former security guards for Blackwater [JURIST news archive], now known as Xe Services [corporate website], on Monday filed a petition [text, PDF] challenging an appeals court ruling that reinstated a manslaughter case against them. The su...

Fourth Circuit questions authority to hear health care law challenge

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Monday ordered [text, PDF] parties to file briefs discussing whether the challenge to the health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive] is barred by a federal law that p...

Attorneys, Others Found Guilty in Tax Shelter Case

Former Jenkens & Gilchrist partners Paul Daugerdas and Donna Guerin have been found guilty by a federal jury on multiple counts for their role in a massive, illegal tax shelter scheme. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 14.

UN rights chief calls for full disclosure on Bin Laden killing

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] on Thursday insisted on "a full disclosure of the accurate facts" surrounding the killing of al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] leader Osama Bin Laden [WP obituary; JURIST news archive]. The White House has altered the official account [press briefing] of the killing since US President Barack Obama [official profile] first announced [statement] that a small team of US military personnel attacked a compound in which Bin Laden had been...

3rd Circuit Prevents Chevron From Taking Kohn's Deposition

A federal appeals court delivered a surprising twist in the epic series of battles between Chevron and Ecuador residents -- who won a $9 billion judgment against the company for polluting their home -- when it reversed a lower court order that gave Che...

N.J. State Bar Again Seeks to Abridge Legal Malpractice Limitations Period

A New Jersey State Bar-backed bill in the Legislature would reduce the statute of limitations period in malpractice actions against licensed professionals, including attorneys, from six years to two years. The bill also seeks to eliminate fee shifting ...

Judge Junks Most of Privacy Suit Against Facebook

A California judge has thrown out most of the claims against Facebook in a privacy suit claiming it shared personal information with advertisers without users' consent. However, the judge gave plaintiffs a chance to refile five of the eight dismissed c...

US urges China to release Tiananmen Square protesters

[JURIST] The US State Department (DOS) [official website] urged the Chinese government on Friday to release protesters [press release] arrested for the peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square [BBC backgrounder] in June 1989. Friday marked the twenty-seco...

Investors win again at the high court — but don't call it a trend

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that investors need not prove at the class certification stage that a company's deceptive conduct caused their economic losses. The ruling was the fourth win for investors in securities cases in the last two terms, but t...

GC Madariaga Sues UBP for Promised Post-Madoff Wages

A Union Bancaire Privee general counsel who was fired in January has taken the Swiss bank to court for breach of oral contract and fraud, citing her efforts on behalf of clients swindled by Thomas Petters and Bernard Madoff.

Military Equipment Execs Go on Trial Over 'Pay-to-Play' Allegations

The U.S. government's closely watched foreign bribery sting case that nabbed 22 arms and military equipment industry executives and employees began Tuesday in Washington, where a prosecutor described to jurors an allegedly corrupt deal to sell $15 mill...

Recommind Intends to Flex Predictive Coding Muscles

Recommind, an e-discovery software company, is seeking to license its current and anticipated predictive coding patents ahead of filing for an initial public offering. The company intends to litigate if licensing negotiations with competitors fail. The...

US Army charges sixth soldier in Afghanistan civilian deaths

[JURIST] US Army prosecutors charged a sixth soldier on Tuesday for his involvement in a murder plot that led to the deaths of three Afghan civilians. Staff Sgt. David Bram of Joint Base Lewis-McChord [official website] is charged [Reuters report] with...

Rhode Island House approves civil union bill

[JURIST] The Rhode Island House of Representatives [official website] approved a civil union bill [Bill 2011-H6103aa, PDF] Thursday by a vote of 62 to 11 [press release]. The bill was voted out of committee [JURIST report] earlier this week and is mode...

Ruling limits number of Toyota claims that can be tried under California law

A federal judge has dealt a major blow to the lead plaintiffs attorneys in the multidistrict litigation against Toyota over sudden acceleration claims, dramatically reducing the size of a potential class action filed on behalf of consumers.

Claim Proceeds Against Suffolk Over 2-Year Impoundment of Ferrari

A man whose Ferrari has been impounded since his May 2009 arrest can proceed with a $2 million suit against Suffolk County, N.Y., which offered "one erroneous legal principle after another" in a hearing over its retention of the vehicle, a federal judg...

Federal Judge Deals Blow to Picard in $6.8 Billion JPMorgan Suit

In a ruling explaining her reasoning for allowing JPMorgan to move Madoff trustee Irving Picard's $6.8 billion case against it out of bankruptcy court and into federal district court, a federal judge seemed skeptical of many of Picard's claims against ...

Q1 Uptick in The Quarterly Corporate Fraud Index

Despite increased legislative attention on the need to halt Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, kickbacks and the like, a new report suggests that corporate fraud is still very much on the rise.

In battle of the dolls, Bratz maker floats $130 million legal bill

Bratz doll manufacturer MGA Entertainment has revealed for the first time the attorney fees it wants from its adversary, Mattel: $129,688,073. MGA is also seeking $177 million in punitive damages and nearly $4.3 million in restitution.

Whistleblower sues university

A former administrator at a Georgia university is suing the school, claiming he was fired when he raised concerns about a superior's hiring of Patton Boggs to lobby Congress for earmarks without getting permission from the state or seeking competitive ...

Report: Demand for Legal Services Rising Slowly

Demand for legal services rose 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to a new report. The increase marks the second straight quarter of growth.

Former S&C Partner Gets Settlement in BDO Malpractice Case

On the eve of retrial of a case that produced the largest auditing malpractice verdict ever, BDO USA has agreed to a confidential settlement with Banco Espirito Santo, which had accused BDO of negligent audits of its affiliate E.S. Bankest.

Ethics Ruling Costs Attorney/Business Partner Millions

After nearly 10 years of litigation, a California appeals court has handed down the latest ruling in the story of attorney Thomas Fair -- a cautionary tale for lawyers who choose to go into business with clients.

Civilian appeals conviction by US military court

[JURIST] An Iraqi-Canadian civilian on Wednesday appealed his conviction by a US military court. Alaa "Alex" Mohammad Ali [JURIST news archive], a military contractor who was convicted by a US military court [JURIST report] in Iraq in 2008, argued that his conviction was unconstitutional [AP report]. The case was the first in which a civilian was charged and convicted by the military since a 2006 amendment [S 2766 materials] to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) [text] granted the...

A Look Back at the Law Firms That Backed Edwards in 2008

With allegations of improperly used campaign donations at the heart of the criminal indictment handed down against John Edwards on Friday, The Am Law Daily examines some of the biggest legal donors to Edwards' 2008 presidential run.

Democrats May Push to Confirm Appeals Court Nominee Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu's bid for a federal judgeship may be headed for a crucial Senate vote this week, in what would be the biggest fight yet over any of President Barack Obama's nominees for the lower federal courts.

DOJ files brief in Florida health care appeal

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Wednesday urged the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] to overturn a ruling [brief, PDF] declaring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR...

For Third Time, Justices Take Up H&R Block Class Action

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed for the third time to hear an appeal in a nearly 20-year-old class action against H&R Block over the way it administered its now-defunct "Rapid Refund" program.

Florida Supreme Court to review attorneys' free speech during litigation

The Florida Supreme Court was asked last week to reconsider the absolute privilege of unfettered free speech that lawyers enjoy in litigation in a case where an Akerman Senterfitt lawyer accused a litigant of soliciting prostitutes for prospective busi...

Two more Somali pirates plead guilty in US court

[JURIST] Two Somali men pleaded guilty [press release] Monday to charges of piracy for their role in hijacking a yacht, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The guilty pleas by Jilani Abdiali and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf join those entered Fr...

ACLU files lawsuit challenging Georgia immigration law

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) [official websites] and a coalition of other civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Thursday challenging a Georgia immigration law [HB 87 text] similar to Arizona law already being challenged in federal court. The groups filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia [official website] to block the law they characterized as a "show-me-your-papers" scheme since it will...

Medical device maker sues FDA for rescinding approval of knee implant

Bankrupt medical device maker ReGen Biologics has sued the Food and Drug Administration, claiming that the agency overstepped its authority when it reclassified the company's knee implant and forced it off the market.

First Lawsuit Filed Seeking Release of Osama Photos

Less than two weeks after Osama bin Laden's death, the first Freedom of Information Act suit has been filed, seeking photos and video from the raid on his Pakistan compound. Who actually has control over the photos remains a major question.

New Names Emerge in Search for Ninth Circuit Opening

With law professor Goodwin Liu out of the running for a seat on the 9th Circuit, a new round of speculation and jockeying is under way. Among the names being floated are six lawyers and judges from California, according to a source familiar with the pr...

Madoff payroll manager pleads guilty to involvement in Ponzi fraud

[JURIST] Eric Lipkin, payroll manager for Bernard L Madoff [JURIST news archive] Investment Securities LLC, pleaded guilty on Monday to six criminal counts [charges, PDF] in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]...

European 'Community' Does Not Qualify as Foreign State, Judge Rules

Claims by the European Community that R.J. Reynolds Nabisco was complicit with black market cigarette importers and money launderers in Europe have been dismissed by a judge who found that the European Community, which has been subsumed into the Europe...

Smoker wins nearly $1 million award from R.J Reynolds

An 82-year-old smoker has won nearly $1 million against R.J. Reynolds after developing laryngeal cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The jury reduced an award of $3.3 million based on a finding that Julie Reese was 70 percent at fault.

News In Brief

Abbe Lowell has returned to Chadbourne & Parke to head its white-collar defense and special litigation and investigations unit, which he led from 2003 to 2007. He has had the equivalent position at McDermott Will & Emery since leaving Chadbourne.

Wisconsin judge invalidates union bargaining law

[JURIST] Dane County Circuit Court [official website] Judge Maryann Sumi on Thursday voided [opinion, PDF; findings of fact, PDF] the Budget Repair Bill [Senate Bill 11 text, PDF], Wisconsin's controversial measure limiting the collective bargaining ri...

Susman Godfrey Wins Defense Verdict for Rawlings in Wage and Hour Class Action

In one of the few wage-and-hour class actions to be tested at trial, jurors in a Kentucky state court sided with The Rawlings Co. and denied a class of current and former medical claims auditors $12 million in overtime pay and penalties.

Lehman Work Continues to Pay Off for Firms, Vendors

A steady stream of legal assignments related to the ongoing bankruptcy of now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers has at least 12 firms reaping the rewards, including companies providing e-discovery services and contract attorneys.

Federal appeals court rules New York City can prohibit school worship service

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the New York City Department of Education [official website] can enforce a rule prohibiting outside groups from using school facilities for after-school worship services. The challenge was brought by the Bronx Household of Faith [church website], which was denied use of school facilities after applying through the city's procedures. New York schools allow the facilities to be used for "social, civic and recreational...

Justices Order Another Look at Hazleton Immigration Measures

Ten days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Legal Arizona Workers Act -- which penalizes employers who knowingly hire unauthorized foreign workers -- the justices on Monday ordered the 3rd Circuit to reconsider a decision that struck down similar ...

'Painful But Unavoidable:' Courts Trim Jobs

New York court administrators laid off 367 non-judicial employees Wednesday to comply with state budget cuts ordered by the governor and Legislature. The layoffs are expected to cause "inevitable" delays in court functions.

LinkedIn GC Worth a Cool $27 Million

Looking for a good reason to move in-house? Look no further than Erika Rottenberg, GC for LinkedIn. Rottenberg took a chance on the social networking startup three years ago, and is now sitting on shares and options worth about $27 million.

Assessing the Legal Limits of Editorial Discretion

By definition, editors edit. But can an editor or publisher go too far? Chadbourne's Lawrence Savell discusses the evolving area of media law where the exercise of editorial discretion exposes an editor or publisher to legal liability to a displeased a...

Judge Puts Brakes on State's Cap-and-Trade Scheme

Siding with environmentalists, a San Francisco judge on Friday said state air regulators can't proceed with plans for a cap-and-trade scheme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

No Advice, Please: Minnesota University GC Embroiled in Research Dispute

University of Minnesota GC Mark Rotenberg is catching fallout over his apparent attempts to limit attacks on the school's research program after the suicide of a participant in a clinical trial conducted at the university.

Supreme Court rules witness tampering law requires likelihood of communication

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] in Fowler v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder] that under a federal witness tampering statute [18 USC 1512(a)(1)(C) text] the government must sh...

South Dakota abortion waiting period challenged

[JURIST] Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy websites] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Friday challenging a South Dakota law [HB 1217 materials] requiring women to seek counseling at a pregnancy center and wait t...

France lower house approves ban on hydraulic fracturing

[JURIST] France's lower house, the National Assembly [official website, in French], approved a bill [TA Bill No. 658, materials, in French] on Wednesday to prohibit the drilling of gas and oil through hydraulic fracturing [EPA backgrounder] and to repe...

Health case turns eyes to Atlanta

An 11th Circuit panel hears arguments today over the constitutionality of the 2010 federal health care system overhaul. The court is going to break with its rules and release an audio recording of the proceedings shortly after their completion.

Lost Generation of Lawyers Is Now Forgotten Generation

What happened to the young lawyers whose careers were wiped out by the recession? They're still there, pressing their noses against the thick law firm windows. One 2009 graduate tells The Careerist that of 30 laid-off lawyers he knows, only two have go...

Afghan Guantanamo detainee, suspected terrorist dies in apparent suicide

[JURIST] An Afghan Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee believed to be an al Qaeda leader, was found dead in his cell in what appears to be a suicide [press release], the US Southern Command [official website] announced Wednesday. Guards found...

News In Brief

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Sheila L. Birnbaum has been tapped by the U.S. Justice Department to run the fund that will compensate workers claiming illness as a result of their work in the wreckage of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Former Baker & McKenzie Head an Early Favorite to Helm International Monetary Fund

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has a lot going for her as a possible successor to former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The first woman to head Baker & McKenzie, Lagarde pulls no punches, carries considerable clout in international financ...

Reduced sentence sought for Scott Rothstein

A federal prosecutor asked Wednesday for a reduced prison sentence for convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein based on his cooperation with authorities, but did not suggest by how much Rothstein's 50-year term should be reduced.

Something for Everyone: 'CIGNA Corp. v. Amara'

Chadbourne's Edward P. Smith examines the U.S. Supreme Court's CIGNA Corp. v. Amara decision, which both clarified and muddied the ERISA issue of the remedies available in the event of a conflict between the terms of a plan document and the information...

Reasonable Minds Can Disagree: SEC, Justice Part Ways on Rockwell Payments

When it comes to pursuing bribery cases, the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC are usually in synch. But, in ordering that Rockwell Automation pay $2.76 million for FCPA violations, the SEC has diverged from the DOJ.

ACLU files class action suit against Indiana immigration law

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed [press release] a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] challenging a controversia...

Copyright Suits Can't Keep Potential Blockbusters out of Theaters

Copyright infringement suits hang over two highly anticipated blockbuster sequels -- "The Hangover Part II" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" -- set for release over the Memorial Day weekend.

Medical Malpractice Case Nets $58 Million Verdict

In what could be the highest medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut history, a jury returned a $58 million verdict against a gynecologist for breaching the standard of care by not starting a Caesarean section delivery in time.

Medical Marijuana Providers Sue U.S. Government Over Raids

Two medical marijuana providers in Montana have accused the U.S. government of civil rights violations in what may be the first lawsuit of its kind in response to a federal crackdown on pot operations across the nation.

Suits expected for immigration law

Georgia immigration lawyers are preparing to file a constitutional challenge in federal court before key parts of a new law -- including a requirement that employers check whether their workers are in the country legally -- go into effect.

Lawyer in Mortgage Fraud Is Sentenced to 5 Years

A federal judge has sentenced a New York attorney to five years in prison for taking part in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that cheated banks out of $23 million, saying that "some of the poorest people in the community" were "swindled by this fraud."

Suit Challenges N.Y. Prohibition of Non-Lawyer Firm Ownership

Lawsuits filed by Jacoby & Meyers challenging three states' prohibitions on non-lawyers owning interests in law firms have added fuel to the debate over how to protect the interests of clients should U.S. law firms ever be allowed to accept outside inv...

Diversity Increases Among High Court Practitioners

The demographics of the Supreme Court bar are changing, with last month's announcement that Indian-born Sri Srinivasan was taking the reins of O'Melveny & Myers' prestigious appellate practice just the latest sign that diversity is blossoming among hig...

Firm's New Recruiting Program Will Let 3Ls Work Remotely

Nashville-based Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis will officially launch its new approach to recruiting on July 5, when it will open the application process for 3L students seeking one of 10 six-week positions as apprentices who will work remotely -- while...

They Want Theirs: Tech Employees File Suit in Wake of Antitrust Pact

The Justice Department said "game over" last year to several high-tech companies engaged in anti-competitive hiring. Now, employees hurt by those practices are seeking restitution for lost compensation and want the companies to pay up.

Arizona to ask Supreme Court to lift injunction on controversial immigration law

[JURIST] Arizona state officials said Monday the state will go directly to the US Supreme Court [official website] to lift the injunction preventing the state from enforcing its controversial immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive]. Ar...

FBI data shows overall decrease in crime from 2009 to 2010

[JURIST] Violent crime is down 5.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to preliminary data released Monday but the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website]. The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December 2010 [text] a...

'Therasense' a strong candidate for high court review, patent lawyers say

Patent lawyers say this week's en banc Federal Circuit ruling tightening the standards for the inequitable conduct defense is likely to result in a rash of summary judgment motions in pending cases and to curtail defense-side misconduct claims in the l...

U.S. Wins Convictions in Inside Trading Case

Devastating wiretap evidence and the testimony of cooperating witnesses led a New York jury Wednesday to convict Raj Rajaratnam on all counts in the Galleon Group hedge fund insider trading scandal. Rajaratnam faces a prison term of 15 1/2 to 19 1/2 ye...

Teen's murder conviction tossed

A unanimous Georgia Supreme Court has tossed the murder conviction of a teenage girl, saying that evidence of what prosecutors called a "gothic lifestyle" was irrelevant to whether the girl shot her mother in the head in 2005.

US investigating Google allegations of China hacking

[JURIST] US authorities announced Thursday that they are investigating claims by Google that hundreds of personal Gmail accounts were breached by hackers in China. Google disclosed [Guardian report] on Wednesday that hundreds of users, including US government and military officials and political activists, were targets of a "phishing" scam originating in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Google alleges that the hacking scheme may have been authorized by the Chinese government. Christopher Painter [official website], coordinator for cyber issues for...

Orrick moves to withdraw from Bratz doll case over unpaid fees

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, which helped win an $88.5 million jury verdict for MGA in a dispute over the Bratz doll line, has asked for permission to fire its client in a related dispute on the ground that the company owes more than $1.2 million in...

Supreme Court to rule on claim against private prison contractors

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Minneci v. Pollard [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to decide whether to allow a cause of action against private contractors running a federal prison. The i...

California submits plan to reduce prison population to meet court order

[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] submitted a plan [press release; materials] Tuesday to reduce the state's prison population by over 30,000 inmates to satisfy a court order [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] to reduce prison overc...

"Yoe Mama' Indeed! Jenner Wins Affirmance of $102 Million Verdict for Ventas; Sixth Circuit Lets Company Pursue Punitives Against Rival HCP

The 6th Circuit on Tuesday upheld a $102 million jury verdict in favor of property company Ventas in a tortious interference suit against rival health care real estate company HCP -- and the court is giving Ventas a shot at punitive damages.

Appeals Court: No Dancing Allowed at Jefferson Memorial

In a decision upholding the dismissal of a suit alleging government suppression of First Amendment rights, the D.C. Circuit has ruled that expressive dancing is prohibited inside the Jefferson Memorial.

The Garner Transcripts: That v. Which, and Other Supreme Court Writing Tips

Legal writing guru Bryan Garner caused a sensation several years ago by posting videos of his interviews with eight Supreme Court justices discussing their views on writing and advocacy. Now he's making the full transcripts of those interviews available.

Law Professor Questions Constitutionality of Bill to Extend Mueller's Term

A Virginia law school professor told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the method that senators are considering to extend the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller III could invite litigation.

Justices Won't Review Ruling on Punitives in Failure-to-Warn Case

A plaintiff who developed a severe reaction to the drug Motrin can pursue a punitive damages claim against Johnson & Johnson and one of its subsidiaries after the California Supreme Court declined last week to review the case.

Sullivan & Cromwell Makes Rare London Lateral Hire

Sullivan & Cromwell has made a rare lateral hire in London, bringing in white-collar crime expert Louise Delahunty from U.K. firm Simmons & Simmons. Hers is the latest move in a series of lateral hires as firms prepare for the implementation of the new...

Fee-Shift Clause Found To Be Triggered Where Suit Spurred Corrective Action

Putting some gloss on the definition of "prevailing party," a New Jersey appeals court has held that fees may be awarded under a fee-shifting agreement if litigation that settled before trial produces a positive result.

Judge inclined to toss some Toyota shareholder claims

A federal judge said Monday that she was inclined to dismiss some of the claims filed by shareholders who allege that Toyota's sudden acceleration problems caused a drop in the stock price, but offered no final ruling on Toyota's motion to dismiss.

Restrictive Rules Announced for Federal Courts Camera Experiment

The upcoming experiment with camera coverage of federal district courts, which begins July 18 at 14 courts around the U.S., will be governed by a restrictive set of rules announced Wednesday by a committee of the Judicial Conference.

No clear answers in health care suit

The three-judge 11th Circuit panel hearing arguments Wednesday in a suit over the constitutionality of the 2010 federal heath care overhaul seemed to take pains to show they were open-minded on the case, grilling each side of the matter evenly.

Legal Misconduct Accusations Fly In Suit Against Muslim Civil Liberties Group

A fraud suit against the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations is fast becoming more about the credentials and political leanings of the attorneys involved than about the underlying case.

Clash over Court renovation

A dispute has erupted between the company doing the $75 million renovation on the U.S. Supreme Court building and the agency overseeing the project. The clash centers on claims that the Court's insistence on quiet during the project has caused millions...

Federal judge rules accused Arizona shooter not competent to stand trial

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled Wednesday that accused Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is not competent to stand trial due to mental illness. Judge Larry Burns for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] made the ruling...

News In Brief

A man accused of setting up a media office to provide cover for al-Qaida operations and serving as a communications conduit for the group expects to be flown to New York within months to stand trial over al-Qaida's global efforts to kill Americans.

Foes renew push to ban enforcement of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

As political and military leaders continue the process of dismantling "don't ask, don't tell," the Log Cabin Republicans have unleashed a new legal tactic -- essentially asking the 9th Circuit to short-circuit the briefing and argument schedule in the ...

Marc Greenberg on the Issues Companies Face With Social Media

Marc Greenberg,co-director of the Golden Gate University School of Law IP Law Program, recently spoke to LTN magazine's editor-in-chief, Monica Bay, about some key social media issues for corporations, including how copyrighted material can be quickly ...

Supreme Court rules against Microsoft in patent infringement case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] against Microsoft [corporate website] Thursday in Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership [docket], holding that a patent will be invalidated only if the challenging party meets the "clear and convincing evidence" standard. The Supreme Court affirmed a US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] ruling, which held [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that a challenger to a patent claim must prove invalidity by clear and...

Boxer has more questions for ABA about law school transparency

Sen. Barbara Boxer is apparently unconvinced the ABA is pushing enough for transparency about law students' job prospects. On Friday, she asked the ABA to widen the scope of pending reforms to the way law schools report job placement and salary data.

Federal Judge OKs Antitrust Claims Against Huggies' Parent Company

Kimberly-Clark must answer claims it tried to monopolize the market for disposable baby diapers and training pants now that a federal judge has refused to dismiss allegations it dominated the market by fraudulently procuring patents and waging "sham" p...

Panel Upholds Officials' Right to Block School Newspaper

School officials had the right to block the publication of a student-run high school newspaper containing an explicit cartoon about a sex education class, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Delaware's Laster Slashes Plaintiffs Fee Request by 95 Percent in Sauer-Danfoss Case

In litigation over an abandoned tender offer for shares of Sauer-Danfoss, Delaware Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster found that the plaintiffs lawyers did so little of value that he slashed their fee request from $790,000 to just $75,000.

Legal Hiring Picks Up

Legal employment finally took a turn for the better in April. Will the news again be good when the May jobs numbers come out? Various reports in the past week that point to greater opportunities for lawyers indicate that the upward trend might continue.

Partial Dismissal Granted in Bias Suit Against Foley & Lardner

A Michigan federal judge has dismissed eight of nine counts in a discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit filed against Foley & Lardner by a white male founding partner of the firm's Detroit office.

Citing Second Circuit Rajaratnam Ruling, Judge in Packaged Ice Antitrust MDL Orders DOJ to Release Tapes

The SEC's fight to use wiretap evidence in its civil case against Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam has come back to haunt defendants in a very different case: a purported antitrust class suit against packaged ice makers.

Defense Lawyers Claim Judge Hid Family Ties in $322 Million Verdict Against Union Carbide and Chevron Phillips Chemical

Two weeks after a Mississippi jury awarded an asbestos plaintiff $322 million, lawyers for Union Carbide claim that the presiding judge's father previously filed two cases against companies using Union Carbide asbestos while the judge was practicing la...

Supreme Court says 'cocaine base' has broad definition

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website, JURIST news archive] Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] in DePierre v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder] that the harsher sentences under a federal anti-drug statute for "cocaine base" applied to more than just "crack cocaine," but to all forms of cocaine in its basic form. All the justices joined in the opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejecting an argument that the term "cocaine base" in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 (ADAA) [21...

Sixth Circuit hears arguments in challenge to health care law individual mandate

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] Wednesday heard oral arguments over a challenge to the individual mandate of the health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive]. The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) [advocacy w...

Supreme Court rules seriousness of drug offense determined at time of conviction

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] on Monday in McNeill v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a federal sentencing court must determine whether "an offense under State law" is a "serious drug offense" under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) [18 USC 924] by consulting the "maximum term of imprisonment" applicable to a defendant's prior state drug offense at the time of the defendant's conviction for that offense....

Pfizer Moves to Settle HRT Cases

In the five years since Philadelphia's first hormone replacement therapy case went to trial, a jury has awarded punitive damages as high as $75 million, and more than 1,000 cases have been tossed and then revived. Now settlement is the name of the game.

Morgan Lewis Stands by IMF Report on Strauss-Kahn

Amid Dominique Strauss-Kahn's release on bail, attention continues to focus on an earlier incident of allegedly improper conduct by the then-head of the International Monetary Fund -- and a report compiled by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in connection with ...

Court Upends $1.75M Award, Finding Plaintiff Lawyer's Remarks Prejudicial

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered a new damages trial after deciding that a plaintiffs attorney crossed the line by telling jurors they would be "ignoring the law" and should be reported to the judge if they objected to a $1 million-plus award.

With Glut of Vacant Jobs, SEC Turns to Headhunter for Help

Legal jobs with the federal government are few and far between these days, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has multiple attorney openings, from entry-level positions up to a chief counsel spot. And, in an unusual move for a federal agency, t...

3rd DCA rules against Citibank

A Florida appeals court has ruled that Citibank violated a condominium association's procedural due process rights because it failed to properly notify the association's attorneys of a hearing to cancel a foreclosure sale.