Conflict of Laws Civil Procedure

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Preemption: Oregon Has Not Gone Bananas

Can you get sued over a picture of a banana? It seems the answer might depend on where you live and probably not in Oregon. That is one takeaway from a good preemption case that came out of the District of Oregon last week,...more

C.D. Cal. Dismisses Infusion Pump Complaint

The plaintiff in Frere v. Medtronic, Inc., 2016 WL 1533524 (C.D. Cal. April 6, 2014), was an 80 year-old woman who had an infusion pump implanted to treat her chronic low-back pain. According to the plaintiff, the device...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Power Plant Subsidy Program and Reaffirms FERC’s Exclusive Authority Over Wholesale Capacity...

On April 19, 2016, for the second time in three months, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over the formation of wholesale rates in...more

Third Circuit Limits Federal Aviation Act Preemption for Product Liability Claims

In a departure from a string of cases supporting field preemption of state-law aviation product liability claims under certain circumstances by the Federal Aviation Act (FAAct), the Third Circuit recently held that the FAAct...more

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling. Late last month, in Dryer v. National Football League, the Eighth Circuit denied an appeal by three...more

New York’s Highest Court Enforces Arbitration Provision in California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Agreement, Rejecting...

A recent ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals underscores the Federal Arbitration Act’s(“FAA”) strong policy favoring enforcement of arbitration agreements—even in the insurance industry and despite federal policy...more

Innovator Drug/510k Medical Device Impossibility Preemption and the Meaning of “A Fortiori”

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “a fortiori” is legal Latin meaning: - By even greater force of logic; even more so it follows. We’ve been arguing for some time – since PLIVA v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567...more

Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation. The petition was filed in November of 2015,...more

Supreme Court Rejects Maryland Power Plant Subsidies, But Signals Permissible Ways for States to Incentivize New Plants

In recent years, Maryland attempted to subsidize new power plants by guaranteeing prices for generating capacity at wholesale auctions administered by PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (PJM). Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016 #3

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 19, 2016: Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614: Congress, though the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. §791a et seq., vested...more

Central District of California Holds That the California Resale Royalty Act Is Preempted by Federal Copyright Law

As previously discussed on this blog, the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (the “RRA,” Civil Code Section 986), a 1976 law that requires resellers of fine art to pay a royalty of 5 percent to the artists behind...more

Supreme Court Hands FERC Win on Authority Over Capacity Markets

With its decision on Tuesday, April 20 in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, the Supreme Court issued its second significant holding of the year on the reach of federal authority over interstate wholesale sales markets. The...more

Supreme Court Confirms State Limits on Wholesale Power Generation - Federalism vs. States' Rights Again at Issue in Court's Third...

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 19, 2016, issued its decision in the third and final energy case this term. In Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, et al., the Court clarified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC)...more

Supreme Court Decides Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC

On April 19, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614, holding that Maryland’s program that provided subsidies to a new electricity generator through state-mandated...more

Supreme Court rules on state energy incentives

The U.S. Supreme Court has released its ruling on a case affecting how states may provide incentives for electric power generation. In Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, the Court upheld a lower court's ruling...more

California Resale Royalty Act Claims Dismissed as Preempted by Copyright Law, Despite 1980 Ninth Circuit Holding to the Contrary

Just three months after the Supreme Court denied certiorari review of last year’s Ninth Circuit decision finding California’s Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional under the Dormant Commerce Clause in part—but also valid in...more

Employee Health Plans: Good News / Bad News – State Claims Reporting Laws Do Not Apply, but Recovery of Overpayments Made More...

Employee health plans recently received good and bad news from the Supreme Court. On the upside, the Court invalidated a State law that required self-insured employee health plans (and their third-party administrators) to...more

Ever-Expanding Safe Harbor Leaves Creditors’ Claims Stranded at Sea

Second Circuit holds that Bankruptcy Code preempts creditors’ state law constructive fraud claims. On March 29, 2016, the Second Circuit issued its opinion in In re Tribune Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litig.,...more

Judge Garland’s ERISA Jurisprudence Reflects His Methodical and Moderate Reputation

With President Obama’s recent nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court, we thought our loyal readers would be interested to learn a little about Judge...more

NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Denied - J. F. Dryer et al. v. The National Football League

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court summary judgment in favor of defendants, denying plaintiffs’ publicity rights claims in footage and interviews made by the defendants and finding that...more

SCOTUS ERISA Cases, Part Two: Preemption of State Healthcare Claims Database

This is the second article of a three part series summarizing employee benefit issues that are being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the current October 2015 term. Part One provided an outline of Montanile v....more

POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca Cola Co.: legal battle nearly over, but industry litigation landscape forever changed…

On March 18, 2016, Pom Wonderful LLC made closing arguments in its trial against Coca-Cola for the alleged misleading marketing of a pomegranate-blueberry juice which contained only trace amounts of either pomegranate or...more

Supreme Court Exempts ERISA Plans from a State Reporting Law

In Gobeille, Chair of the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., decided on March 1, 2016, the Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) preempts...more

Comment K Case by Case – Falling Out of Favor?

When we examined Restatement (Second) of Torts §402A, comment k (1965), in our 2011 research post “Comment K, Some of the Way,” we remarked about how it said “a lot of things,” including: (1) that one can’t design away...more

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