Civil Remedies Constitutional Law

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Pontone v. Milso Indus. Corp. et al., C.A. No. 8842-VCP (Del. Ch. Aug. 22, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s claim for mandatory advancement of legal fees and expenses incurred in an underlying litigation between the...more

Connecticut Home Invasion Killer/Death Row Inmate Sues Under RLUIPA for Kosher Food

In 2007, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky invaded a home in Cheshire, Connecticut, where they horrifically murdered a mother and her two children. Hayes and Komisarjevsky were sentenced to death for their crimes. ...more

Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Fraud Verdict Against The California Franchise Tax Board

The Franchise Tax Board’s Shande - This is case that has been more than two decades in the making. It began in the 1990s when inventor Gilbert Hyatt filed a California tax return showing that he relocated from...more

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: MTC Election Disappears in Michigan?

On September 11, 2014, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed S.B. 156, which purports to repeal the state’s adoption of the Multistate Tax Compact (the Compact) retroactive to January 1, 2008. Mich. Pub. Acts 2014, No. 282...more

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statute Capping Punitive Damages Violates Right To Trial By Jury

On September 9, 2014, in a unanimous opinion authored by the Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a Missouri statute which imposed a cap on the amount of punitive damages...more

Wisconsin's Voter-ID Case Provides a Lesson in Interim Relief

In recent weeks, several high-profile cases involving Wisconsin public policy have come before the Seventh Circuit. In many instances, these cases have provided not only insights on the federal judicial system for the general...more

Second Circuit Affirms No Extraterritorial Application For Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13-cv-4385, 2014 WL 3953672 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2014), the Second Circuit affirmed that the anti-retaliation provision in Section 922 of Dodd-Frank does not apply extraterritorially. This post...more

Debunking Bunk: Fourth Circuit Leaves Unresolved “Excessive” Penalties Under the False Claims Act

On December 19, 2013, in a highly anticipated decision, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit awarded $24 million in civil penalties under the False Claims Act (FCA), despite the fact that the whistleblower prosecuting...more

Federal Circuit Sidesteps Constitutionality of AIA First-to-File Provision

MadStad Eng’g, Inc. v. USPTO - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit faced an issue of first impression when a named inventor on three patents challenged the first-inventor-to-file provision of the America...more

Midwest Gaming Win Reinforces Division Between Police and Taxing Powers

In United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86 (1919) the Supreme Court held that a tax law “may not be declared unconstitutional, because its effect may be to accomplish another purpose as well as the raising of revenue.” That...more

Delaware Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees for Stockholders in Appraisal Proceedings

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that certain stockholders who launched appraisal proceedings challenging a merger lacked standing to obtain reimbursement of attorneys’ fees from a $10.7 million settlement in a...more

Appellate Court Orders California Tax Agency to Pay Attorney Fees Based on Significant Public Benefit Obtained by Reed Smith

The California Court of Appeal held in a published decision Sept. 2 that Reed Smith secured a significant benefit for the public by bringing a case that resulted in the Court striking down portions of an unconstitutional and...more

Fifth Circuit Applies Punitive Damages Limitations to Statutory Civil Penalties

It’s not uncommon for state and federal regulatory schemes to provide for an award of statutory civil penalties to deter and punish certain conduct that it is difficult to monetize in a suit for damages. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Rules Injunctions for Defamation Not Proper and Requires Proof of Damages

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas issued two important defamation rulings. The first, Kinney v. Barnes, held that injunctions to prohibit defamatory speech do not pass constitutional muster. ...more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

No Workers' Comp Immunity! No Insurance! Sure Is a Problem

In many states, workers’ compensation benefits are ordinarily the exclusive remedy for an employee injured or killed on the job. In exchange for these benefits, often awarded on a “no fault” basis, the employee generally...more

Permanent Injunction of Pennsylvania’s Prohibition against Establishment of Political Committees to Receive Contributions of...

On August 13, 2014, an order was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the matter of General Majority PAC v. Carol Aichele permanently enjoining implementation and enforcement of...more

Florida Court finds Workers' Compensation Statute Unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida has found that Section 440.11 of Florida's Workers' Compensation Act (the "Act"), which makes the Act the "exclusive" remedy...more

Full Steam Ahead for Eminent Domain Actions after High Speed Rail Authority Negotiations End in Impasse

The State Public Works Board (the “Board”) adopted four Resolutions of Necessity approving the High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) use of eminent domain for public necessity to acquire four parcels in Fresno and...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...more

The Law Society Of British Columbia v The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia: Intervener Granted Standing to Appeal...

On June 12, 2014, a panel of the British Columbia Court of Appeal delivered its oral reasons in The Law Society Of British Columbia v The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia, 2014 BCCA 233, granting standing to an...more

Cook County Use Tax Update – Reed Smith Wins Appeal – Ordinance Invalid

On August 4, 2014, the First District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a lower court decision invalidating Cook County’s Non-Titled Personal Property Use Tax (the “Use Tax”). The Appellate Court dismissed as moot the...more

BP Oil Spill Litigation – Current Status of the Litigation

As many are aware, BP entered into a Settlement Agreement to compensate citizens of areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico for losses arising from the epic oil spill in 2010. There has been substantial litigation and appellate...more

Duke, Hershey, and Winston: Who gets to trademark a famous name?

Common sense tells you that you can always use your own name. But under trademark law, that’s not always true. Three recent cases illustrate this conundrum, which plays a major role in many Internet marketing and domain name...more

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