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Updated: 2 hours 14 min ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Ninth Circuit Judges Call for En Banc Review of FTC’s Authority to Obtain Monetary Relief

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 1:01pm
Featured Expert Contributor, Antitrust & Competition Policy — Federal Trade Commission By M. Sean Royall, a Partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, with Blaine H. Evanson, and Richard H. Cunningham, Partners, and Brandon J. Stoker, an Associate, with the firm. Click here for a printer-friendly version of this post. Less than two years ago, …

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Airbnb v. NYC: Data Collection and Fourth Amendment Protection

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 3:35pm
During 2018, the hand-wringing demands for “better” protection of online consumers’ privacy (despite the likely costs, some of which we documented here) grew to a fever pitch. Easily forgotten amid the cacophony is data-collecting companies’ own expectation of privacy in their extremely valuable property. A federal court decision last week provides a timely reminder that …

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Update: Solicitor General Encourages SCOTUS to Review Vast Expansion of Clean Water Act

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:05am
A November 2018 commentary by our Featured Expert Contributor on environmental-law matters, Samuel Boxerman (with Ben Tannen), discussed two related petitions for certiorari pending at the U.S. Supreme Court that presented a novel Clean Water Act question: whether a discharge through groundwater is an addition of a pollutant to waters of the United States from …

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End the Endless Extensions of the Seal Period in False Claims Act Qui Tam Cases

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:02pm
Featured Expert Contributor, False Claims Act Stephen A. Wood, Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. For a printer-friendly PDF of this post, click here. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions permit private persons or entities to bring suit in the name of the government against defendants who are claimed to have violated the law.  An action …

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Congressional Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 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 Emily R. Garnett, an Associate in the firm’s Denver, CO office. As Democrats assume control over the U.S. House of Representatives for the next Congress, many insiders …

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Games People Play: Supreme Court Can Put a Stop to an Obvious CAFA Workaround

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, Litigation Strategies Joe G. Hollingsworth, a Partner at Hollingsworth LLP, with Katharine R. Latimer, a Partner at the firm and a member of WLF’s Legal Policy Advisory Board. A printer-friendly PDF version of this commentary is available here. Earlier this fall, the Supreme Court took up the Class Action Fairness Act of …

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Unreasonable Second Circuit Decision Sets Daunting Precedent for Packaged-Food Makers

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 3:07pm
A decision this month from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reunites us with an old friend, The Reasonable Consumer. As we’ve discussed in previous posts here and in Washington Legal Foundation publications, The Reasonable Consumer has figured prominently in consumer class-action lawsuits that allege harm from supposedly deceptive or misleading food …

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In 2019, Federal Appellate Courts Will Address Impact of SCOTUS Jurisdiction Rulings on Class Actions

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 3:19pm
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court (BMS), litigants and courts have struggled to determine its impact on future cases.  The Court held in BMS that courts may not exercise jurisdiction over nonresident defendants with respect to nonresident plaintiffs’ claims arising from conduct that occurred outside the State. This …

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New York Regulator Approves Internal Use of “Permissioned” Blockchain by Commercial Bank—Other Institutions Should Follow

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:24am
Guest Commentary By Maxwell T.S. Thompson, an Associate with Murphy & McGonigle, P.C. in the firm’s New York, NY office. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Thompson was Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary with Bank Leumi USA and served in the General Counsel’s office of the New York State Department of Financial Services. …

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DOJ Modifies Policy on Credit for Cooperation by Corporate Employees

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:02am
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. Following an internal review of the Department of Justice’s policy concerning individual accountability in corporate cases, …

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