General Business Civil Procedure

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Communications With Your Broker May Be Privileged

Are communications among a client, a third party, such as an insurance broker, and the client’s attorney privileged? The answer is yes, if the communications are confidential and reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose...more

U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Opportunity To Address Scope of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower” Provision

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. (No. 16-946), thereby declining an opportunity to resolve a conflict amongst circuit...more

Supreme Court Gives WARN-ing To Companies In Bankruptcy: Don’t Ignore Wage Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court held today in a 6 to 2 decision that “structured dismissals” resolving Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings cannot deviate from the Bankruptcy Code’s priority scheme without the consent of the affected...more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty (and Related) Claims Are Not Easily Defeated: A Case Study in Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings

Just what must be alleged for claims for breach of fiduciary duty to proceed past initial pleadings and into meaningful fact development? In a recent decision, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of...more

Wendy’s Successful in Trimming Data Breach Class Action Suit But No Dismissal

We have previously discussed the class action case filed against Wendy’s as a result of a data breach. The case was initially dismissed based upon lack of standing, but the plaintiffs were given the opportunity to amend the...more

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules That Despite Deference Afforded Arbitrator, the Award Must Be Vacated Where Arbitrator’s Decision...

Nappa Constr. Mgmt., LLC v. Flynn, 2017 R.I. LEXIS 13 (R.I. Jan. 23, 2017) - Caroline and Vincent Flynn (the “Flynns”) contracted with Nappa Construction Management, LLC (“Nappa”) to construct an automobile repair...more

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Policyholder Right to Sue Recalcitrant Excess Insurer

A new opinion published on March 21, 2017 from the Ninth Circuit (Teleflex Medical Inc. v National Union, Case no 14-56366 ) affirmed a $6+ M judgment against AIG subsidiary National Union, who was excess a primary policy...more

Employers Closely Follow Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing as He May Cast Deciding Vote on Validity of Class Action Waivers

March 22, 2017 marks the third day of the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Many employers throughout the Carolinas are watching the process with interest given the impact Judge Gorsuch would...more

If You Checked The Box, You’re Bound By The Contract

A recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the well-established legal maxim that “when a party enters into a signed, written contract, that party is presumed to understand and assent to its terms.”...more

New York District Court Flushes Nationwide Class, Permits New York Classes to Go Forward

In three related actions before the Eastern District of New York, consumer plaintiffs who purchased moist toilet wipes manufactured and produced by Kimberly-Clark and sold by Costco alleged that defendants mislabeled the...more

Hold the Phone: SEC Takes One Last Stand Before the Tenth Circuit regarding the Constitutionality of the SEC’s Administrative Law...

Last week, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, imploring the court to reconsider a divided panel’s ruling on the...more

Courts Continue Trend of Recognizing Tribal Immunity in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Court) issued a decision on Feb. 28, 2017, that has important – and positive – significance for Native American tribal governments, their...more

Commercial Court confirms that asymmetric jurisdiction clauses may be exclusive for the purposes of EU law

Asymmetric jurisdiction clauses - also known as one-sided or 'for the benefit' clauses - are common in international financial services agreements, but their validity under EU law has been questioned in recent years by the...more

Federal district court interprets Stark Laws writing requirement

On March 15, 2017, the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, ruling on cross motions for summary judgment in U.S. ex rel. Tullio Emanuele v. Medicor Associates Inc. et al., provided the first...more

Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Attempt to Compel Trademark Arbitration

In a case stemming from a trademark dispute involving a beauty line owned by the Kardashian sisters, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration filed by...more

El Paso Pipeline GP Company, L.P. et al., v. Brinckerhoff, No. 103, 2016 (Del. Dec. 20, 2016)

In this unanimous en banc decision, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed a $171 million judgment of the Court of Chancery, holding that the plaintiff limited partner lost standing to pursue the underlying derivative claim...more

Subject Access Requests: "not an obligation to leave no stone unturned"

The English Court of Appeal has ruled in two recent cases that subject access requests are generally valid, and businesses must comply with such requests, even if they are made for collateral purposes, such as collecting...more

An Arbitration Agreement That Attempts to Skew a Statutory Arbitration Scheme Is Void as Against Public Policy

Federal public policy favors arbitration and the broad interpretation and enforcement of arbitration agreements. So how can an arbitration agreement be held by a court to be void as against public policy? One answer from a...more

Texas Appellate Court Reverses Award of Extracontractual Damages Holding Evidence was Legally Insufficient to Support Jury’s Bad...

State Farm Lloyds v. Webb, No. 09-15-00408-CV, 2017 WL 927848 (Tex. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2017) - After State Farm denied his claim for damages he contended were caused by a plumbing leak, Dennis Webb sued State Farm for,...more

Anti-Aging Litigation

Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers often tout the anti-aging effects of certain cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Of course, the term “anti-aging” is not intended to literally mean that a product prevents aging. ...more

Two New Texas Supreme Court Decisions

Two especially interesting decisions were released last Friday by the Texas Supreme Court. In Engelman Irrigation District v. Shields Brothers, Inc., the Court affirmed the ruling of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals...more

8th Circuit Denies UIM Coverage Again Based Upon Mo. Supreme Court Decision in Rodriguez v. General Accident Insurance Company

For a third time in four years, the 8th Circuit has denied UIM coverage to an insured based upon the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in Rodriguez v. General Accident Insurance Company of America, 808 S.W.2d 379 (Mo. banc...more

N.J. Supreme Court Finds Material Breach by Company That Knowingly Refused to Cooperate with Arbitration Demands Filed in...

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that a company’s refusal to cooperate with plaintiffs’ arbitration demands was a material breach of their arbitration agreement, which barred the company from later compelling...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Arbitration Agreement's Class Action Ban, but Only After Severance of PAGA Ban

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently overruled a lower court’s decision refusing to enforce an arbitration agreement, holding that the dispute resolution provision of the agreement was valid and...more

Proposed Judgment in Conflict Minerals Case

Pursuant to a court order, the parties to the conflict minerals case have filed a proposed judgment after they advised the court no further proceedings were necessary. The text of the proposed judgment is as follows...more

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