Appellate

  • May 10, 2024

    Okla. Tells Justices 10th Circ. Wrong On PBM Law

    Oklahoma's insurance department Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its petition seeking review of a Tenth Circuit decision overturning portions of a state law regulating pharmacy benefit managers, arguing that high court intervention is needed to resolve disagreement among the circuits on federal preemption.

  • May 10, 2024

    Pa. Commission Had Right To Deny Grid Project, 3rd Circ. Told

    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission called on the Third Circuit on Friday to reinstate its rejection of a transmission power project approved by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection, arguing a federal district court wrongly deemed the decision unconstitutional.

  • May 10, 2024

    Full 4th Circ. Urged To Settle Key 'Texas Two-Step' Questions

    A Fourth Circuit panel left critical issues open when it denied permission to an appeal challenging the so-called Texas two-step Chapter 11 of industrial equipment maker Aldrich Pump, asbestos claimants in two separate bankruptcy cases said, asking the full appeals court to reconsider hearing the case and settle questions that have plagued their own bankruptcies in the Western District of North Carolina.

  • May 10, 2024

    4th Circ. Judge Suspects 'Abuse' In Land Donor Tax Case

    The Fourth Circuit appeared poised Friday to rule that a couple owes taxes and penalties after claiming an inflated $5.1 million valuation on donated land for deductions, with one judge positing he believed the couple had engaged in "abuse" of a conservation donation.

  • May 10, 2024

    Walmart Must Pay $1M Injury Verdict, Ga. Appeals Court Says

    The Georgia Court of Appeals won't give Walmart a way out of a $1 million verdict owed to a woman injured in a store in 2018, dispatching Friday with the retail chain's argument that the verdict was blatantly excessive.

  • May 10, 2024

    US Bancorp Seeks Quick Appeal In 401(k) Fee Suit

    U.S. Bancorp asked Friday for approval to immediately appeal an order allowing a proposed class action over record-keeping fees for the bank's 401(k) plan to move forward, telling a Minnesota federal court that getting the Eighth Circuit's take could provide clarity to other cases nationwide.

  • May 10, 2024

    Mich. Lawmakers Introduce Judicial Privacy Bill

    A group of Michigan state senators has introduced a bill that would allow judges to seal personal information about themselves and their immediate family members in government agency files, including blocking the government from disclosing the information in response to public records requests, with some narrow exceptions.

  • May 10, 2024

    1st Circ. Fast-Tracks DraftKings Noncompete Feud

    The First Circuit on Friday granted a former DraftKings executive's request to expedite his appeal of a Boston federal judge's ruling that blocked him from doing similar work in the U.S. for rival Fanatics. 

  • May 10, 2024

    Michigan Dept. Gets Snowmobile Crash Claims Tossed

    A Michigan appeals panel has thrown out a man's claims alleging one of the state's Department of Natural Resources rangers was negligent in a suit over a crash that claimed that ranger's life, saying the lack of evidence renders the plaintiff's theory of negligence hypothetical and speculative.

  • May 10, 2024

    CFPB's Credit Card Late Fee Rule Halted By Texas Judge

    A Texas federal judge on Friday stayed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's $8 credit card late fee standard, granting a preliminary injunction sought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups that are challenging the legality of the agency rule.

  • May 10, 2024

    UPMC Inks $38M Deal To End Neurosurgery FCA Suit

    The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has agreed to pay $38 million to put an end to a False Claims Act suit brought by three medical workers from its neurological surgery department who said the medical center fraudulently billed federal healthcare programs.

  • May 10, 2024

    2nd Circ. Says Subway Texts Don't Trigger Autodial Law

    A divided Second Circuit panel upheld the dismissal of a suit claiming that the sandwich chain Subway illegally spammed consumers' phones with automated texts, finding that a Connecticut federal judge was right in ruling that the marketing campaign didn't use an autodialer as defined by federal law.

  • May 10, 2024

    Conn. Court Upholds Diplomat's $582M Win Against Ex-Wife

    Connecticut's ban on lawsuits arising out of adultery does not invalidate a Kuwaiti diplomat's $582 million win in a case against his ex-wife, whom he accused of lying about the paternity of their children as part of a complex fraud, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Friday.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circ. Splits PAGA Claims In Macy's Arbitration Fight

    Macy's can't compel arbitration of nonindividual claims in a worker's wage suit brought under California's Private Attorneys General Act, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday, saying language in an arbitration pact prevents blending together different types of claims.

  • May 10, 2024

    Fed. Circ. Questions Claim Construction In Google Ad Row

    Federal Circuit judges took issue with a district court's claim construction in digital advertising company Impact Engine's infringement summary judgment loss to Google, but questioned why the ad startup didn't raise its objections earlier.

  • May 10, 2024

    Texas Justices Limit Damages In Unwanted Pregnancy Case

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that a woman who sued her doctor for failing to perform a sterilization procedure can't collect damages for emotional and physical pain in connection with her wrongful pregnancy claim, holding that the birth of a healthy child isn't a compensable injury but "a life with inherent dignity and profound, immeasurable value."

  • May 10, 2024

    DC Circ. Mulls Jeffrey Clark's Removal Bid In Ethics Case

    Embattled former Trump administration lawyer Jeffrey Clark brought the fight to save his law license to oral arguments before a federal appeals court on Friday, though members of the D.C. Circuit panel hearing the case said they were struggling at times to follow his attorney's arguments.

  • May 10, 2024

    Atty's Remarks On Race And Gender Sink $12M Texas Verdict

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday threw out a $12.45 million jury verdict awarded to a couple who were rear-ended on a highway, citing the plaintiffs' counsel's "inflammatory" and "unprovoked" accusation that the defendants wanted a lower award because one of the plaintiffs is a Black woman.

  • May 10, 2024

    Off The Bench: Ohtani Translator's Plea, NBA Star Tops Agent

    In this week's Off The Bench, Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter will plead guilty, an NBA star wins in his clash with the agent who sought to represent him, and a tennis player who was abused by her former coach is awarded $9 million.

  • May 10, 2024

    Dem Lawmakers Call For 5th Circ. Judge To Exit CFPB Case

    Six Democratic lawmakers sent a letter admonishing the Judicial Conference, saying Friday it was "undermining the integrity of the judiciary" by allowing a Fifth Circuit judge to participate in a matter in which he has a significant conflict of interest.

  • May 10, 2024

    Calif. May Allow Judges To Work Remotely In Civil Matters

    California's Judicial Council next week will consider amending court rules to allow judges to preside remotely over civil proceedings from a location other than a courtroom.

  • May 10, 2024

    Pepperidge Farm Drivers Not Employees, 3rd Circ. Affirms

    Three delivery drivers for Pepperidge Farm are independent contractors, not employees, and thus cannot sue the company for state wage and hour law violations, a Third Circuit panel ruled Friday, saying the drivers' daily responsibilities make it clear they are self-employed.

  • May 10, 2024

    Fla. Judge Rebuked For Lengthy Case Backlog

    Florida's highest court has publicly reprimanded a state court judge after an investigation revealed he allowed a backlog to develop that stretched back more than two years.

  • May 10, 2024

    Benefits Groups Urge High Court To Take Up AT&T 401(k) Suit

    Several benefits groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear AT&T's request to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling that upended its win in retirement plan participants' class action accusing it of mismanaging their 401(k), saying allowing the decision to stand would redefine prohibited transactions.

  • May 10, 2024

    5th Circ. Upholds SEC Proxy Rule On ESG Disclosures

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday threw out a legal challenge to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirement that will make it easier for investors to identify ESG issues on corporate ballots, saying that suing states like Texas haven't proven that they'll be financially harmed by the measure.

Expert Analysis

  • Disney Copyright Expiration Spurs Trademark Questions

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    While the recent expiration of Disney’s Steamboat Willie copyright is not likely to have an immediate impact, it could provide clarity on the extent to which trademark rights in character names and appearance affect what others can do with characters from works whose copyright has expired, says Bryan Wheelock at Harness IP.

  • Texas Insurance Ruling Could Restore Finality To Appraisal

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    The Texas Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez v. Safeco, determining that full payment of an appraisal award precludes recovery of attorney fees, indicates a potential return to an era in which timely payment undoubtedly disposes of all possible policyholder claims, says Karl Schulz at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Forget Everything You Know About IRAC

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    The mode of legal reasoning most students learn in law school, often called “Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,” or IRAC, erroneously frames analysis as a separate, discrete step, resulting in disorganized briefs and untold obfuscation — but the fix is pretty simple, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Zero-Point Offender Eligibility May Hinge On Meaning Of 'And'

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    Some white collar defendants’ eligibility for the new zero-point offender sentencing adjustment comes down to whether the word “and” really means “and” — a question the U.S. Supreme Court is set to resolve in its upcoming Pulsifer v. U.S. decision, which could affect thousands of incarcerated people, say Brandon McCarthy and Nikita Yogeshwarun at Katten.

  • Valeant Ruling May Pave Way For Patent-Based FCA Suits

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    The Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling in Silbersher v. Valeant marks a significant development in False Claims Act jurisprudence, opens new avenues for litigation and potentially raises the stakes for patent applicants who intend to do business with the government, say Joshua Robbins and Rick Taché at Buchalter.

  • A Former Bankruptcy Judge Talks 'Undue Hardship'

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    Former U.S. bankruptcy judge Robert Gordon reflects on his journey from student borrower to judicial observer, highlighting the challenges faced by modern students burdened with student loan debt and advocating for reform in bankruptcy laws, particularly regarding the "undue hardship" element of discharge.

  • Recent Rulings Add Dimension To Justices' Maui Decision

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's 2020 decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund established new factual criteria for determining when the Clean Water Act applies to groundwater — and recent decisions from the Ninth and Tenth Circuits have clarified how litigants can make use of the Maui standard, says Steven Hoch at Clark Hill.

  • Strategies For Single-Member Special Litigation Committees

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    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent order in the Baker Hughes derivative litigation allowing testimony from a single-member special litigation committee highlights the fact that, while single-member SLCs are subject to heightened scrutiny, they can also provide unique opportunities, says Josh Bloom at MoloLamken.

  • 10th Circ. Ruling Means More Okla. Oilfield Pollution Litigation

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    By applying Oklahoma's statutory definitions of pollution to a private landowner's claim for negligence for the first time, the Tenth Circuit's recent decision in Lazy S Ranch v. Valero will likely make it harder to obtain summary judgment in oilfield contamination cases, and will lead to more litigation, say attorneys at GableGotwals.

  • Race Bias Defense Considerations After 11th Circ. Ruling

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    In Tynes v. Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that the McDonnell Douglas test for employment discrimination cases is merely an evidentiary framework, so employers relying on it as a substantive standard of liability may need to rethink their litigation strategy, says Helen Jay at Phelps Dunbar.

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • Fed. Circ. In Feb.: Using Prior Products To Invalidate A Patent

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    The Federal Circuit's recent Weber v. Provisu ruling, that prior-product operating manuals constituted printed publications that can be used to invalidate patents in an inter partes review proceeding, makes it easier for a petitioner to invalidate a patent, say Sean Murray and Jeremiah Helm at Knobbe Martens.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • What's At Stake In Pending Fed. Circ. Design Patent Test Case

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    The full Federal Circuit recently heard argument in LKQ v. GM Global, a case concerning patent obviousness in the aftermarket for auto parts; the court's decision will likely influence how design patents are obtained, enforced and challenged, and affect the broader innovation ecosystem, says Larry DeMeo at Hunton.

  • Series

    Cheering In The NFL Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Balancing my time between a BigLaw career and my role as an NFL cheerleader has taught me that pursuing your passions outside of work is not a distraction, but rather an opportunity to harness important skills that can positively affect how you approach work and view success in your career, says Rachel Schuster at Sheppard Mullin.

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