Civil Procedure Conflict of Laws

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Supreme Court Agrees To Wade Into Class Waiver Conflict

In a widely expected move, the U.S. Supreme Court just agreed to settle a dispute about whether employers can use mandatory class action waivers with their workers. The decision, which should be issued by June 2017, will...more

The Intersection of Bankruptcy, Debt Collection and the Supreme Court

For years the interplay between the Bankruptcy Code and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has vexed creditors and courts alike, leading to a split among the circuits as to whether the Bankruptcy Code preempts the...more

United States Supreme Court Agrees to Review Class Action Waiver Cases

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Case No. 16-307, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Case No. 16-285 and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, Case No....more

Supreme Court Justices (presumably 9 of them) Will Again Address Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses

Last Friday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear cases from the 9th, 7th, and 5th Circuits in which the courts are split on the issue whether class action waivers in employee arbitration agreements violate Section 7 of the...more

Federal Court Strikes Down Lincolnshire’s “Right to Work” Ordinance

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that the Village of Lincolnshire’s municipal ordinance regulating union activities was invalid under federal law. The ruling is a defeat for...more

New circuit split raises questions about ‘permit shield’ defense in Clean Water Act cases

Can a discharger violate a general narrative state water quality standard incorporated into its national pollutant discharge elimination system (“NPDES”) permit when the permit does not contain specific numeric effluent...more

Despite Privilege, GC May Pursue Whistleblower Retaliation Suit under SOX and Dodd–Frank

California’s USDC–ND ruled that Bio-Rad Laboratories’ former General Counsel may use privileged communications to prove his retaliatory-discharge case prosecuted under Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank’s whistleblower...more

New York Court of Appeals Says No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, held that no common law public performance right exists for pre-1972 sound recordings. The issue of whether a common law public performance...more

Massachusetts SJC Strikes a Blow to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently held that the FAAAA preempts the second prong of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute as applied to certain delivery drivers. Although the...more

Court Holds School Districts Not Barred by State Law from Prohibiting Firearms on School Property

In two separate cases, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel determined that state law does not preempt public school policies relating to the possession of firearms in schools and at school-sponsored events. In the lead case,...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2016

DC High Court Adopts Daubert Approach to Expert Testimony - In a direct victory for mobile phone manufacturers and service providers, and with implications for any other case involving expert testimony in the District of...more

Supreme Court Day 4: in the end, it is about where to start

Today was the final day of the Supreme Court hearing of the Article 50 case (R (Miller and Ors) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union). The Court heard submissions from the Scottish and Welsh governments as well...more

Third Circuit Reverses Order Denying Arbitration, Ruling That State Law Prohibiting Arbitration Of Insurance Matters Challenged...

Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company appealed from the denial of its motion to compel arbitration in a dispute related to a reinsurance participation contract with South Jersey Sanitation Company. The trial...more

FERC Dismisses Electric Cooperatives’ Maryland Community Solar Program PURPA Case as Premature

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing...more

Federal Circuit Judges Disagree Over Contours of Section 101

The increased prominence of Section 101 in computer-related patent disputes stems from the Supreme Court case of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Before Alice reached the Supreme Court, ten judges of the Federal Circuit considered...more

How Might a Trump Administration Affect Our Sandbox?

No, we’re not here to muse about how our lack of contact with advanced extra-terrestrial civilizations might be due to an unfortunate proclivity for “intelligent” life to invent technology that destroys their home planets...more

Smoking Out the Scope of Preemption

Last month, while grappling with an aphrodisiac false-advertising case, we joked that we felt like having a cigarette after reading the court’s opinion. Today we get our cigarette. Or, rather, our e-cigarette. Today’s post...more

Preemption by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The Exemption for “Pervasive and Intricate Regulation” by Another Field of Law

Courts often opine on the relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and other bodies of law. In a recent case, a federal court announced a rare holding of that type: a holding that another body of law regulates an area so...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Is It a Franchise? Yes and No

A federal court in Indiana made an interesting decision on whether a business relationship was a franchise. Wabash National Corp. is a famous maker of semitrailers. Wabash notified a dealer in Texas that its dealership was...more

SCOTUS Accepts Review of Kentucky Nursing Home Arbitration Case

On October 28, the Supreme Court granted a cert petition in a case in which the Kentucky Supreme Court refused to enforce arbitration agreements in nursing home agreements.  (Kentucky recently topped my list of states hostile...more

FAQ About California’s New Law on Venue and Choice of Law in Employment Agreements

We recently blogged about Governor Brown signing S.B. 1241, which is now codified as Section 925 of the California Labor Code. The law, which affects venue and choice of law provisions in agreements entered into as a...more

Seventh Circuit Holds that FDAAA Does Not Affect Mensing/Bartlett Preemption

When we first set foot on the University of Chicago Law School campus back in 1982, Chicago sports were a mess. But quickly – certainly more quickly than our ability to grasp the Rule in Shelley’s Case, Last Clear Chance, or...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: The Slants, The Sims and SCAR Rifles

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies Washington Redskins' Petition to Join Proceedings - Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies...more

Hurricane Matthew flood claims may not be entirely preempted by federal law

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew and its associated flooding (particularly in North Carolina and South Carolina), a recent case of first impression in the Sixth Circuit may be cited by both damaged businesses and insurers and...more

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