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Mr. Hinman’s Metaphysics: Some Thoughts on Reexamining the Utility Token

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 10:52am
Featured Expert Contributor, Legal & Regulatory Challenges for Digital Assets By Daniel S. Alter, a Shareholder in the New York, NY office of Murphy & McGonigle P.C. A common criticism of Sigmund Freud is that he built a theory of the human psyche based largely upon experiences of the mentally ill.  The U.S. Securities and …

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Update: Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Diet Sodas Cause Weight Gain” Class Action

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:26am
Last May on the eve of Memorial Day, we wrote about a Southern District of New York decision dismissing a class action against Pepsi-Cola. On Friday, March 15, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a Summary Order (which has no precedential value) affirming the lower court’s decision. …

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This Justin: Timberlake Out of Suit but False-Labeling Action against Bai Beverage Mostly Survives

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 1:29pm
Here at the WLF Legal Pulse, we routinely discuss class-action lawsuits filed against consumer-product makers, especially those who manufacture packaged foods. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have been clogging the aisles of grocery stores for years dissecting food labels for any possible regulatory misstep and perhaps signing up new clients in the process. We could write far more …

Continue reading This Justin: Timberlake Out of Suit but False-Labeling Action against Bai Beverage Mostly Survives

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Update: Pre-Approval Requirements Announced for Federal Wire Act Prosecutions

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 03/04/2019 - 10:13am
Featured Expert Contributor, White Collar Crime & Corporate Compliance Gregory A. Brower, a Shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Las Vegas, NV and Washington, DC, with William E. Moschella, a Shareholder in the firm’s Washington, DC office. We recently posted about the Department of Justice’s new take on what the federal Wire Act …

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U.S. Government Should Champion Foreign-Commerce Authority in Washington Export Terminal Legal Dispute

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 9:33am
Lighthouse Resources, Inc. v. Inslee, a federal lawsuit of great national consequence pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Western District of Washington (here and here are our past posts on it), has reached a critical point after a year of pre-trial developments. In its January 3, 2018 complaint, Lighthouse Resources (LHR) and …

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Children’s Crusade for Judicially Managed Climate Regulation Stalls in Federal Court

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 9:05am
One act in the nationwide climate-litigation sideshow recently got the proverbial hook from a Pennsylvania-based federal judge. From chambers that are fittingly just around the corner from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Judge Paul S. Diamond refused to “make the Executive a subsidiary of the Judiciary,” which is exactly what the plaintiffs in Clean Air Council, …

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Love Regulation or Hate It, the National Debt Is Not Your Friend

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 2:36pm
By the end of the reign of Trajan, in what would later be called AD 117, the impending decline of the Roman Empire could be seen by anyone who looked closely at the coins. In the days of Nero, a half-century before, more than nine parts in ten of a denarius was silver. When Trajan …

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A Material Change: FCA Defendants Confront Altered Pleading Standard in Ninth Circuit after Rose and Campie

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, False Claims Act Stephen A. Wood, Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. In 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016), a watershed in False Claims Act jurisprudence.  The Petitioner asked the Court to decide whether the …

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Justice Department Revisits the Wire Act but Stays Enforcement, for Now

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, White Collar Crime & Corporate Compliance Gregory A. Brower, a Shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Las Vegas, NV and Washington, DC, with William E. Moschella, a Shareholder in the firm’s Washington, DC office. On January 14, 2019, the Department of Justice quietly released a new Office of Legal Counsel …

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Will a SCOTUS Grant in Berkheimer v. HP Finally Get Alice Out of Wonderland?

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 1:51pm
Featured Expert Contributor, Intellectual Property—Patents Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP The future of patent-infringement challenges under 35 U.S.C. § 101 may be in the hands of the Solicitor General of the United States. The defendant in Berkheimer v. Hewlett Packard petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari and overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals …

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Class-Action Lawyers Invoke Novel Doctrine to Avoid SCOTUS Jurisdiction Rulings

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 9:04am
Civil litigation is waged through a series of small battles between plaintiff’s and defendant’s counsel. One initial battle, which can be outcome-determinative, involves where suit can be filed. Plaintiffs’ lawyers want to be in courts in which “friendly” judges preside, while defense counsel want no part of such jurisdictions. U.S. Supreme Court decisions from the …

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NJ Supreme Court to Decide Whether Third-Party Manufacturers Have Duty to Warn of Asbestos Exposure

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 9:51am
Featured Expert Contributor, Mass Torts—Asbestos Robert H. Wright, a Partner with Horvitz & Levy LLP in Los Angeles, CA In Whelan v. Armstrong International, the New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal that will decide a manufacturer’s liability for asbestos-containing replacement parts that it did not manufacture or sell.  The Supreme Court …

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DOJ Updates Justice Manual to Formalize Guidance about Guidance

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 2:22pm
Featured Expert Contributor, White Collar Crime & Corporate Compliance Gregory A. Brower, a Shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Las Vegas, NV and Washington, DC, with William E. Moschella, a Shareholder in the firm’s Washington, DC office. Back in November 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum entitled “Prohibition on Improper …

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Ninth Circuit Narrowly Vindicates First Amendment in Bellwether Compelled Speech Case

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, First Amendment By Megan Brown, a Partner with Wiley Rein LLP, with Jeremy Broggi, an Associate with the firm.*  Wiley Rein LLP represents the United States Chamber of Commerce as amicus in American Beverage Ass’n v. San Francisco. Click here for a printer-friendly version of this post. The tide may be turning …

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Ninth Circuit Decision Underscores Need for Clarity on ADA’s Application in Cyberspace

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 9:05am
Debate over whether the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) applies to websites has been raging for years—mostly in the federal courts. As happens all too often, federal legislators and regulators have remained mostly mute, leaving judges to resolve this thorny question. This default appeal to the judiciary, which has produced divergent decisions, deprives website owners …

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Food-Labeling Suit’s Successful Class Certification is Cause for Concern in California

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 01/23/2019 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor—Civil Justice/Class Actions Frank Cruz-Alvarez, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., with Rachel Forman, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. California is broadening the legal landscape of food-labeling class actions to the dismay of the food and beverage industry.  The Southern District of California in Hilsley v. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. et al. has thrown …

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With Emulex Corp., Supreme Court Could Raise Bar for “Merger Tax” Securities Suits

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 10:50am
Featured Expert Contributor, Corporate Governance/Securities Law Stephen M. Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law. In the wake of the Delaware Chancery Court’s pathbreaking decision in the Trulia case,1 which sharply increased the scrutiny given settlements of cases challenging mergers and other takeovers, there has been a dramatic shift of …

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The Judiciary Can Corral the Administrative State, but Only the People Themselves Can Tame It

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 2:35pm
The executive power of this nation would, James Madison wrote in Federalist 48, be “restrained” within a “narrow compass.” The judicial power could, in his view, be “described by landmarks still less uncertain.” It was against “the enterprising ambition” of the legislature, he believed, that “the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust …

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Knick v. Scott Township: Whack-a-Mole at the Supreme Court

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 5:54pm
Today’s Supreme Court argument in Knick v. Scott Township made clear that state and local governments are playing Whack-a-Mole with private property rights. Whack-a-Mole is the arcade game in which every time a mole is whacked down, a new one pops up. At issue in Knick is whether to overturn the Court’s 1985 Williamson County …

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Quality Control at a Sustainable Cost: Blockchain Solutions for Bank Secrecy and Anti-Money-Laundering Compliance

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 01/15/2019 - 2:19pm
Featured Expert Contributor, Legal & Regulatory Challenges for Digital Assets By Daniel S. Alter, a Shareholder in the New York, NY office of Murphy & McGonigle P.C. I’ve banged on this drum before in American Banker but—given recent and exciting developments in blockchain technology—it’s time to beat on it again.  The costs of Bank Secrecy …

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