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S.D.N.Y. Issues Spoliation Sanctions Against Foot Locker

The sanctions recently levied against Foot Locker serve as a potent reminder that understanding data and document preservation requirements is imperative. A New York federal judge issued sanctions against Foot Locker last...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

IP Newsflash - July 2014 #2

New Nautilus Indefiniteness Standard Justifies Submission of Expert Evidence at Markman Hearing - The court granted defendants' motion to supplement their claim construction briefing with an expert declaration...more

White Collar Watch - July 2014

In This Issue: - Move over Big Pharma: Health care is not the only industry susceptible to False Claims Act scrutiny - Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract...more

Recent Ontario Decision Casts Doubt on Statutory Severance Pay Threshold

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). In addition, employees with five years of service or more...more

False claims by any other name: Medtronic and Omnicare cases illustrate the interplay between the False Claims Act and other...

- Government allegations of Medtronic’s alleged incentives to physicians for prescribing its medical devices lead company, while denying wrongdoing, to settle False Claims Act suit predicated on Anti-Kickback...more

Fifth Circuit: FCA Inapplicable to Claims Involving Private Funds Administered by Government-Created Programs

In United States of America ex rel Rene Shupe v. Cisco Systems, Inc. and Avnet, Inc., No. 13-40807 (5th Cir. July 7, 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying a motion to dismiss a qui tam...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

The Mistaken Fiduciary: Can You Correct Overpayments to U.S. Retirees?

Even the best run pension plans occasionally pay retirees the wrong amount due to errors in employee classification, or calculating participant service or compensation. Correcting underpayments is easy enough – though it is...more

Duran v. U.S. Bank: When Class Certification Goes Wrong

The California Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark decision on class actions. The trial judge lost control of the certification and evidentiary presentation of the case resulting in a $15 million verdict against...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Enforceability of FLSA Collective Action Waivers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request to review the issue of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act grants employees a non-waivable right to bring a collective action and thus, renders arbitration agreements with...more

Employers Fight Back Against Whistleblowers

In 2013, the federal government recovered $3.8 billion from settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (FCA). Whistleblowers—also called “relators”—can recover up to 30 percent of whatever a defendant pays in a...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Monetary “Make-Whole” Relief Is Not Available Absent Loss to Plan or Unjust Enrichment for Defendant...

A Ninth Circuit panel recognized that reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge were among the “appropriate equitable relief” potentially available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA (following dictum in CIGNA Corp. v....more

Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Lawsuit Backfires!

We recently reported on good things (big verdicts) coming to trade secret plaintiffs that endure lengthy lawsuits. But good things don’t always come to those who wait. ...more

Court Awards Fees And Costs Against USDOL

A Texas federal court has ordered the U.S. Labor Department to pay more than $560,000 in attorney's fees, paralegal fees, and travel expenses growing out of litigation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. USDOL...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

Court Sanctions Employer $25K for Failing to Preserve Email After Notice of EEOC Charge

In Knickerbocker v. Corinthian Colleges, a trial court in Washington state sanctioned an employer because it failed to preserve evidence and issued an insufficient litigation hold after the employer received notice of EEOC...more

$15M Judgment Reversed Due to Flawed Statistical Sampling Approach to Class Action

In a significant victory for California employers, the California Supreme Court threw out a $15 million judgment in favor of allegedly misclassified employees. In Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, a putative class of...more

SEC's Enforcement Action Against Hedge Fund Adviser for Retaliation Against a Whistleblower Highlights Challenges Employers Face

After repeated warnings over the last few years that it had both the authority and willingness to do so, on June 16, 2014, the SEC brought its first enforcement action for retaliation against a whistleblower under the...more

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser with Whistleblower Retaliation under Dodd-Frank

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - June 2014

No Liability for Off-the-Clock Work Absent Employer Knowledge - A California appeals court refused to hold Kaiser Foundation Health Plan liable for alleged off-the-clock overtime about which it lacked knowledge. In...more

Appelate Court Notes

AC35823 - Stratford v. Wilson - When Mayor allegedly overpaid a departing employee as he was leaving office himself, the town sued the former employee under the action of “indebitatus assumpsit for money had &...more

Ninth Circuit Takes Narrow View of ERISA Surcharge Remedy

In Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a pension plan participant could not be “made whole” by using the equitable remedy of surcharge to recover pension benefits he was erroneously told he...more

Lack of Full Disclosure: Special Costs in Failed Anton Piller Order

In recent years, employers have increasingly sought and obtained Anton Piller Orders (“APO”) where a departing employee leaves with confidential information. The strategy is often extremely effective...more

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