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“Oil States” Oral Argument: Many Nuances Probed, Little Light Shed on Outcome

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:44am
Featured Expert Contributor, Intellectual Property—Patents Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP The November 27, 2017 oral arguments in Oil States Energy v. Greene’s Energy Group shed little light on the ultimate fate of inter partes review proceedings (“IPRs”), in which the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) may invalidate an issued patent. As anticipated, much of the …

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Food Court Follies: Yogurt Buyers’ Attempt to Milk “All Natural” Litigation Trend Rejected

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:14pm
Among the hundreds of food-labeling class actions filed this decade, claims challenging a product’s “natural” or “all natural” declaration have stood out in number and notoriety. The latter characteristic is especially true about suits where a product is purportedly unnatural because an ingredient was “genetically modified.” A recent federal court decision reminds us that no …

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Ninth Circuit Finds Lower Court Erred in Flushing “Flushable” Wipes False Advertising Claims

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 9:00am
Guest Commentary By Alexandra Laks and Lucía Roibal, Associates with Morrison & Foerster LLP in the firm’s San Francisco, CA office. This commentary is reposted with permission, originally appearing on December 4, 2017 in the firm’s Class Dismissed  blog. On October 20, 2017, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel in Davidson v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 873 F.3d 1103 …

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FDA Makes a Welcome Return to Courtroom Advocacy for Uniform, National Regulation

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 5:00pm
Through the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and its amendments, Congress put the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in charge of establishing uniform, national regulation of consumer products. In the past decade, private litigants and state officials have increasingly undercut regulatory uniformity through state tort and consumer-protection lawsuits. Rather than defend its congressional mandate …

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A River Runs to Court: Environmental Activists Circumvent Democracy to Impose Agenda

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 4:54pm
This is a frustrating time for environmental special-interest activists. Their cause is not one the public rates as a national priority. Their allies are no longer in leadership positions in federal agencies. And though they still have friends at the state and local levels, shrinking budgets prevent those regulators and elected officials from pursuing the …

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Change in Law of Patent Venue May Not Be Get Out of Texas Card

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:22am
Featured Expert Contributor, Intellectual Property—Patents Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP In In re: Micron Technology, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit resolved a disagreement among various district courts as to when the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Group Brands LLC has changed patent venue law. …

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New First Amendment Challenge Takes Aim at California’s Listing of Glyphosate as a Potential Carcinogen Under Prop 65

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 4:35pm
Long the subject of much controversy, California’s Proposition 65 law prohibits businesses from exposing Californians to chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer” without first providing a warning. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) publishes a list of chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer.” By statute, …

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Ninth Circuit Permits Interest-Group Enforcement of RCRA after EPA Exercises Non-Enforcement Discretion on Stormwater

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Column—Environmental Law and Policy By Samuel B. Boxerman, Sidley Austin LLP Can an environmental organization file suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (“RCRA”) citizen-suit provision claiming harm from stormwater runoff which could be, but was not, subject to limits under a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) permit? In a November 2, 2017 …

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WLF Webinar to Feature Two Seasoned FCPA Compliance Practitioners

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:46am
The FCPA Approaches Middle Age: Is the Anti-Corruption Law Slowing Down or as Spirited as Ever? Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST Live webcast, click here to view Speakers: Homer E. Moyer, Jr., Miller & Chevalier and Lucinda A. Low, Steptoe & Johnson Description: For 40 years, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has kept business interaction …

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High Stakes for Patent Holders, Challengers in SCOTUS “Oil States” Case

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, Intellectual Property—Patents Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, which could strike a devastating blow to extant patent procedure. On November 27, the Court will consider Oil States’ challenge to the constitutionality of the …

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Food Court Follies: Misled-By-Maple Class Action Against Quaker Oats Preempted

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:20am
In all the blogging we’ve done on food-related consumer-protection litigation over the past five years, we’ve said very little about one of our favorite federal constitutional doctrines, federal preemption. That’s because the Food Court Bar has filed the vast majority of its claims in California, which has a statute, the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic …

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Federal Judicial Advisory Panel to Assess Multidistrict Litigation Rules Proposals

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:18am
According to a November 8, 2017 National Law Journal article, the chairman of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure “suggested creating a subcommittee to take up a package of proposals to amend multidistrict litigation procedures” at a meeting this week. The article noted that the Advisory Committee had received a number …

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Update: Plaintiffs in Subway Not-Foot-Long Class Action Throw in the Napkin

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 5:55pm
In September WLF’s Cory Andrews applauded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s rejection of a settlement of a consumer-fraud class-action suit against Subway. The suit alleged that not all Subway foot-long sandwiches measured a full 12″. The WLF Legal Pulse post did note, however, that on the basis of “new” information from …

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Court Order Imposing $9 Million Sanction Paints Sordid Tale of Ethically-Challenged Lawyering

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 2:38pm
The lure of easy money, as the late Glen Frey once sang, has a very strong appeal. It routinely inspires less-than-ethical behavior from those who pursue it. Lawyers are certainly no exception, as a recent investigation and resulting federal court sanctions order reflects. The October 18, 2017 opinion, weighing in at 148 pages, is a …

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Trial Judge Tosses Jury Verdict in Talcum Powder Mass-Tort Suit for Lack of Causation

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor, Mass Torts—Asbestos Robert H. Wright, a Partner with Horvitz & Levy LLP in Los Angeles, CA In a case that has generated national publicity, Judge Maren E. Nelson of the Los Angeles County Superior Court granted Johnson & Johnson’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict after a jury awarded plaintiff $417 million, …

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Federal Courts, State Governments Push Back Against Corrosive Disabilities Act Suits

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:05am
Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to provide important protections for some of the most vulnerable Americans.  Like other federal anti-discrimination laws, the ADA included a private right of action.  And as has happened with many other laws that can be privately enforced, the ADA has seen its share of questionable …

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Ninth Circuit Overturns State Licensing Scheme Forcing Businesses to Incorporate in California

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:12pm
According to one California observer, the “list of businesses abandoning California for more hospitable business environments reads like a roll call of top companies.” That corporations have been fleeing California’s escalating costs and over-the-top regulation is not all that surprising. But few may be aware of one of the Golden State’s more creative efforts to …

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Eighth Circuit Finds Standing, but Ultimately Rejects Claims, in Data-Breach Suit

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 10:09am
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. On August 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in Kuhns v. Scottrade, Inc., 868 F.3d 711 (8th Cir. 2017), affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a consolidated class action complaint. …

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Third Circuit Antitrust Decision Makes Pharmaceutical Patent Disputes Nearly Impossible to Settle

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 11:24am
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 FTC v. Actavis, Inc. decision held that “reverse payment” settlement agreements—in which a drug company suing a generic competitor for patent infringement pays the alleged infringer a substantial amount of cash to settle the litigation—are subject to antitrust scrutiny.  The Court reasoned that such reverse payments are unusual and may …

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Is D.C. Circuit’s Data-Breach Standing Decision a Tipping Point for High Court Review?

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 2:36pm
Guest Commentary by David T. Cohen, Counsel at Ropes & Gray LLP in its New York, NY office. Article III of the U.S. Constitution requires all private litigants in federal court to establish “standing,” that is, to show that they are proper litigants to raise the defendant’s alleged legal violations with the court. To have …

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