Appellate

  • May 23, 2024

    Calif. High Court Deals Loss To Policyholder In COVID-19 Suit

    The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the coronavirus generally doesn't cause the kind of damage to property that would trigger coverage under an insurance policy, handing a win to a Chubb insurance company in one of the last major venues for pandemic coverage litigation.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC Top Court Finds Credit Union's Arbitration Add-On Is Valid

    The North Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday said a credit union can enforce an arbitration clause tacked on to a customer's contract at a later date, confirming a ruling by a lower appellate panel and requiring the customer suing the nonprofit over allegedly illegal overdraft fees to arbitrate her claims.

  • May 23, 2024

    Feds Ask 5th Circ. To Weigh Highway GHG Rule Vacatur

    The Biden administration has asked the Fifth Circuit to review a Texas district court's recent decision vacating a Federal Highway Administration rule that would've required states to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from federally funded highway projects.

  • May 23, 2024

    Dyson Says It Deserves Counterfeiters' Profits

    Dyson told the Seventh Circuit on Thursday that a district court's refusal to award it profits from several e-commerce shops that defaulted in a trademark counterfeiting lawsuit should be reversed because it essentially "punished" the company by requiring it to provide proof that defendants should have offered.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC Justices Back Manufacturer Tax Break For Contractor

    The North Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday backed a $130,000 tax break for an asphalt maker, upholding a lower court's decision that the company qualified for an exemption reserved for manufacturers even though it sold just a small portion of its product.

  • May 23, 2024

    USPTO Issues Guidance On New Fed. Circ. Design Patent Test

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued guidance laying out how to apply the Federal Circuit's Tuesday en banc decision, making the standard for obviousness in design patents more flexible.

  • May 23, 2024

    Old Case Can't Nix $181M AT&T, Nokia Verdict, Fed. Circ. Told

    Finesse Wireless LLC pushed back at the Federal Circuit against AT&T and Nokia's appeal of a more than $181 million verdict in Texas federal court for infringing Finesse's patents on reducing radio frequency interference, saying the companies' reliance on a 140-year-old Supreme Court case was misplaced.

  • May 23, 2024

    NJ Justices Toss Direct Appeals Over Hospital Contract Bid

    The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an independent state-owned teaching hospital's conduct cannot be challenged directly in the state's intermediate appellate court because it isn't considered an administrative agency, affirming the dismissal of two protests over the hospital's selection of a pharmacy vendor.

  • May 23, 2024

    Man Can't Enforce Fatal Car Crash Settlement, Ga. Panel Says

    The Georgia Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed a trial court's rejection of a motion to enforce a presuit settlement in a case accusing a driver of fatally striking a man who was standing next to his vehicle on a highway's emergency lane, finding no agreement ever formed.

  • May 23, 2024

    7th Circ. Unsure VIX-Fix Claims Were Wrongly Tossed

    The Seventh Circuit seemed unsure Thursday that two investment companies should be allowed to pursue volatility index manipulation claims against Barclays, Morgan & Stanley Co. and other financial institutions after a lower court found that one lacked standing and the other missed a statutory deadline.

  • May 23, 2024

    Spain Says Energy Treaty Withdrawal Irrelevant In $386M Suit

    Spain has told the D.C. Circuit that its announcement of withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty does not show it recognizes that it is still bound under the international agreement, contrary to what investors owed about $386 million argued earlier this week.

  • May 23, 2024

    Fed. Circ. Upends Inventors' Interference Win Over Time-Bar

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board wrongly chose inventors tied to Cook Medical, rather than ones tied to Medtronic, when determining who should prevail in an interference proceeding over catheters, the Federal Circuit held Thursday.

  • May 23, 2024

    2nd Circ. Revives Insurer's $2.5M Suit Over Valuation Software

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived an insurer's indemnification bid against software company Audatex for $2.5 million in costs from a suit alleging its use of Audatex's valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled cars, concluding the lower court erred in finding the suit didn't result from the insurer's use of Audatex's software.

  • May 23, 2024

    22 States Seek To Defend EPA Heavy-Duty Truck GHG Rule

    A coalition of 22 Democrat-led states and four cities moved to intervene on Thursday in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, arguing that vacating the rule would lead to direct injuries to state lands and resources.

  • May 23, 2024

    White House Says 1st Circ. Judge Didn't Aid Daughter's Nom

    The White House said Thursday that a First Circuit judge played no part in his daughter's nomination to the appeals court, and plans to retire if she's confirmed.

  • May 23, 2024

    Thomas Sees No Role For Courts In Election Map Fights

    While his Supreme Court colleagues sparred over evidence standards Thursday in a 6-3 decision rejecting claims that South Carolina's congressional map diluted the power of Black voters, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a solo opinion to argue the country's founders never intended courts to referee election map fights.

  • May 23, 2024

    Irma Power Outage Claims Must Be Brought To Fla. Regulator

    A Florida state appellate court reversed the class certification in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit brought against Florida Power & Light Co. over extended electricity outages during Hurricane Irma, citing a new law requiring ratepayers to bring their claims before the state's Public Service Commission.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ill. Justices OK $28M Tax Value Appeal Without Payment

    A power company's property in Illinois was not required to pay disputed property taxes before appealing a valuation, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed Thursday, upholding a reduction in the assessment of about $28 million.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC High Court Grants Review In Clothier's Virus Coverage Suit

    North Carolina's top court on Thursday agreed to take up a clothing company's coverage appeal for COVID-19 losses against Zurich after a lower appellate panel found the virus did not cause the kind of physical loss or damage necessary to invoke coverage.

  • May 23, 2024

    Enbridge Says Tribe's Trespass Law Could Cost It Millions

    Enbridge Energy told the Seventh Circuit that a Wisconsin tribe's recently publicized trespass ordinance could cause the company to pay millions of dollars in civil penalties if the appeals court rules that its 645-mile crude oil pipeline is trespassing on the tribe's land.

  • May 23, 2024

    Fed. Circ. Says Winery Minority Owner Can't Try To Cancel TM

    The Federal Circuit has affirmed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that a family trust that is a minority owner of Paul Hobbs Winery, which owns the trademark registration on the name of winemaker Paul Hobbs, does not have the right to seek cancellation of registrations on certain trademarks.

  • May 23, 2024

    Lockheed Urges 11th Circ. To Affirm Win In Solvent Suit

    Lockheed Martin Corp. asked the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday to uphold a Florida district court's rejection of a proposed expert's testimony purporting to link a now-deceased former employee's multiple sclerosis to her work-related exposure to industrial solvents.

  • May 23, 2024

    FirstEnergy Wants 6th Circ. To Shield Bribe-Probe Docs

    FirstEnergy Corp. is pursuing the Sixth Circuit's input into its request to shield internal investigative documents from a class of investors and from two of its indicted former executives, saying the documents contain privileged legal advice given in the wake of a $1 billion bribery scandal.

  • May 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Rules No Coverage For Mars' COVID Losses

    Candymaker Mars Inc. can't get coverage from Factory Mutual Insurance Co. for its COVID-19-related losses, the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday, further rejecting Mars' bid to certify a question to the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Pipe Supplier Can't Nix $2.6M 'Take Home' Asbestos Verdict

    A California appeals panel won't upend a $2.6 million verdict against J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. in a case alleging a man contracted mesothelioma because of his brother's work, rejecting the company's argument that the court should apply a duty standard for negligence claims to the man's strict liability claim.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    SEC Doesn't Have Legal Authority For Climate Disclosure Rule

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    Instead of making the required legal argument to establish its authority, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate-related disclosure rule hides behind more than 1,000 references to materiality to give the appearance that its rule is legally defensible, says Bernard Sharfman at RealClearFoundation.

  • Breaking Down 4th Circ. Pendent Appellate Jurisdiction Ruling

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    As illustrated by the Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Elegant Massage v. State Farm, denying class certification and granting a motion to dismiss, federal appellate courts continue to struggle with defining the scope of pendent appellate jurisdiction — or jurisdiction over nonfinal orders below, says Joan Steinman at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

  • What 100 Federal Cases Suggest About Changes To Chevron

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    With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn or narrow its 40-year-old doctrine of Chevron deference, a review of 100 recent federal district court decisions confirm that changes to the Chevron framework will have broad ramifications — but the magnitude of the impact will depend on the details of the high court's ruling, say Kali Schellenberg and Jon Cochran at LeVan Stapleton.

  • Patent Damages Jury Verdicts Aren't Always End Of The Story

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    Recent outcomes demonstrate that patent damages jury verdicts are often challenged and are overturned approximately one-third of the time, and successful verdict challenges typically occur at the appellate level and concern patent validity and infringement, say James Donohue and Marie Sanyal at Charles River.

  • Justices' Title VII Ruling Requires Greater Employer Vigilance

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Muldrow v. St. Louis ruling expands the types of employment decisions that can be challenged under Title VII, so employers will need to carefully review decisions that affect a term, condition or privilege of employment, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • End Of Acquitted Conduct Sentencing Can Spark More Reform

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    The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s recent end to factoring acquitted conduct into federal sentences could signal the start of a more constitutionally sound advisory scheme, but Congress and the Supreme Court must first authorize the commission to resolve two constitutional errors baked into its guidelines, say Mark Allenbaugh at SentencingStats.com and Alan Ellis at the Law Offices of Alan Ellis.

  • NY Tax Talk: Primary Function Is Key Analysis For Sales Tax

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    Two sales tax cases recently decided by New York's Appellate Division illustrate why both taxpayers and the state's Department of Revenue subscribe to the primary function test, a logical way to determine whether business transactions are subject to sales tax, say Elizabeth Cha and Jeremy Gove at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Notable Q1 Updates In Insurance Class Actions

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    Mark Johnson and Mathew Drocton at BakerHostetler discuss notable insurance class action decisions from the first quarter of the year ranging from salvage vehicle titling to rate discrimination based on premium-setting software.

  • Why High Court May Have Rejected IP Obviousness Appeal

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    Attorneys at Womble Bond analyze possible reasons the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Vanda Pharmaceuticals' request to review the Federal Circuit’s reasonable expectation of success standard for determining obviousness, including that the court was unpersuaded by the company's argument that Amgen v. Sanofi places a bind on drug developers.

  • Opinion

    Time To Fix NYC's Broken Property Assessment System

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    A New York appellate court's decision to revive Tax Equity Now New York v. City of New York may force the city to revamp its outdated and unfair real estate tax assessment system, which could be fixed with a couple of simple changes, says Seth Feldman at Romer Debbas.

  • Ill. Justices' Ruling Answers Corporate Defamation Questions

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    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent unanimous decision in Project44 v. FourKites provides needed certainty and direction for lower courts considering defamation cases involving communications to corporate officers from third parties outside the corporation, which could result in fewer unwarranted motions to dismiss in trial courts and nonmeritorious appeals, says Phillip Zisook at Schoenberg Finkel.

  • As Arbitrator Bias Claims Rise, Disclosure Standards Evolve

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    The growth in post-award challenges based on arbitrators' alleged conflicts of interest has led to the release of new guidance and new case law on the topic — both supporting the view that professional familiarity alone does not translate to a lack of impartiality, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • 6th Circ. Bias Ruling Shows Job Evaluations Are Key Defense

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    In Wehrly v. Allstate, the Sixth Circuit recently declined to revive a terminated employee’s federal and state religious discrimination and retaliation claims, illustrating that an employer’s strongest defense in such cases is a documented employment evaluation history that justifies an adverse action, says Michael Luchsinger at Segal Mccambridge.

  • Social Media Free Speech Issues Are Trending At High Court

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision examining what constitutes state action on social media can be viewed in conjunction with oral arguments in two other cases to indicate that the court sees a need for more clarity regarding how social media usage implicates the First Amendment, say attorneys at Kean Miller.

  • The Fed. Circ. In April: Hurdles Remain For Generics

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    The Federal Circuit’s recent Salix v. Norwich ruling — where Salix's brand-name drug's patents were invalidated — is a reminder to patent practitioners that invalidating a competitor's patents may not guarantee abbreviated new drug application approval, say Sean Murray and Jeremiah Helm at Knobbe Martens.

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