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Florida Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages, At Least When the Time Comes for Divorce

A same-sex couple were married in Massachusetts in October 2012. They later moved to Florida, and one of the spouses filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Florida, even though Florida does not recognize same-sex...more

DOL Rule Redefining “Spouse” Under the FMLA on Hold in Several States

On Feb. 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) promulgated a final rule that, effective March 27, modified the federal Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) definition of “spouse” to extend the FMLA’s protections to...more

Supreme Court Preserves States' Power to Protect Consumers But in the Process Blurs Federal Preemption Analysis

The Supreme Court once again showed that, when it comes to the antitrust laws, the consumer is king. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, the Court was asked to decide where state antitrust laws end and federal regulation begins. The...more

Supreme Court Update: Rodriguez v. United States (13-9972); United States v. Wong (13-1074 And 13-7075); Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet,...

When is a sniff not up to snuff (as far as the Fourth Amendment is concerned)? Ten years ago, in Illinois v. Caballes (2005), the Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the Fourth...more

Is The Presumption Against Preemption Dead?

We’ve got the expression “the dog that didn’t bark” stuck in our heads today, and it’s not just from that phrase being used in the rececnt Caplinger decision. See Caplinger v. Medtronic, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 1786742,...more

Second Circuit to Weigh In on Copyright Owner-Digital Broadcaster Dispute Over Pre-1972 Sound Recording Performance Rights

On April 15, 2015, the Second Circuit granted digital broadcaster Sirius XM Radio, Inc.'s (Sirius XM) petition for interlocutory appeal of U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon's November 2014 ruling that New York state law...more

Breaking News - Reinforcement For Buckman

We’ve been watching for Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 2015 WL 14194231 (U.S. Mar. 31, 2015), ever since we spotted an intriguing footnote mentioning the certiorari grant in Ouellette v. Mills, ___...more

New Article Explores RLUIPA’s “Safe Harbor” Provision

Evan recently wrote the article “Finding Salvation in Religious Law’s Safe Harbor; Municipal Governments Can Take Steps to Mitigate RLUIPA Claims,” published in the March 23, 2015 edition of the Connecticut Law Tribune. ...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

Challenge to Delaware Unclaimed Property Estimation Methods Allowed to Proceed

A lawsuit challenging the unclaimed property estimation methodology used by the State of Delaware and its auditor Kelmar Associates will proceed, according to a ruling issued by a Delaware federal district court on March 11....more

Court Finds Misappropriation Claims Arising From Licensing of Copyrighted Photographs Are Preempted

Judge André Birotte Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed a lawsuit brought by former college athletes alleging that the licensing of copyrighted photographs from their NCAA...more

Sick Leave Trend Continues in New Jersey, Constitutional Challenge Begins

This week Bloomfield became the ninth locality in the State of New Jersey to require employers to provide sick leave to their employees, joining Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Irvington, Trenton, and...more

California’s Fracking Preemption Battle Moves Forward in San Benito County

Oil company Citadel Exploration, Inc. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against San Benito County, arguing that the County’s voter-sponsored ban on various types of well stimulation—often referred to generally as hydraulic...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Issues Decision Interpreting Antifraud Provisions of Oregon Securities Law

On February 11, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued an important decision interpreting the antifraud provisions of the Oregon Securities Law. The Court of Appeals held that ORS 59.137, which governs the private right of action...more

Federal Judge in California Weighs Constitutionality of U.S. Marijuana Classification

Last week, a federal judge indicated she was considering nine defendants’ arguments that Congress’ decision to treat marijuana as a Schedule One controlled substance is unconstitutional....more

Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down Local Oil & Gas Regulations – How State Law Preemption Is Shielding the Oil and Gas Industry

In a closely watched, 4-3 decision issued yesterday, February 17, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the ‘Home Rule Amendment’ to the Ohio Constitution does not grant the city of Munroe Falls the power to enforce its own oil...more

SCC Recognizes a Lawyer’s Duty of Commitment to the Client’s Cause

In a decision released on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized a new principle of fundamental justice: a lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause. In Canada (Attorney General) v Federation of...more

Federalism and States' Rights -- A Never Ending Battle

Is Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore out of touch with reality? How can a State Supreme Court Judge defy the ruling of a United States District Court? Because he feels he can. Remember Little Rock, Arkansas in 1954 and the...more

U.S. District Court Holds that Puerto Rico's Recovery Act is Unconstitutional

On February 6, 2015, Judge Francisco Besosa of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico held that the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the “Recovery Act”) is expressly preempted...more

Plaintiff’s Mislabeling Claims Against Honest Tea Survive Motion to Dismiss

On January 5, 2015 Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California denied Honest Tea’s motion to dismiss a case involving accusations that the company misled consumers about the antioxidant content of one of its...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Will Decide Gay Marriage Issue Once and For All

It was bound to happen.  Sooner or later the U.S. Supreme Court would be put to the task of deciding whether a married couple from California are still married while visiting Elvis’ ghost at Graceland, in Tennessee....more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Municipal Foreclosure Ordinances

Can a Massachusetts municipality impose ordinances on banks that are more onerous than existing statewide law? In a recent landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) answered “no.” In Easthampton...more

Prairie Dogs vs. Congress

A recent ruling by a Utah federal judge, although directed at the Endangered Species Act (ESA), may have far-reaching implications on Congress' commerce clause powers. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Judge Dee...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Natural Gas Case in which 21 State AGs File Brief

On Monday, January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the preemption case, Oneok v. Learjet. In reliance on state law private action remedies, Learjet sued Oneok over market manipulation in natural gas...more

Industry Challenging County and Municipal Bans on Multiple Fronts

Municipalities and counties have joined forces with environmental groups to halt hydraulic fracking and related well stimulation techniques. Environmental groups have filed suits under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

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