Conflict of Laws Civil Procedure

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Waiting for Gorsuch: SCOTUS Kicks Important Class-Action Waiver Case to Next Term

Last week, the United States Supreme Court informed litigants in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that it is pushing the case to its October 2017 term. The lawsuit, which rose up through the Western District of Wisconsin and the...more

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements: A Changing Landscape

Because arbitration proceedings often offer a less costly and more efficient alternative to the burdens of protracted courtroom litigation, arbitration agreements are increasingly common in the nursing home industry. However,...more

Amendment 7 Prevails Over Patient Safety Work Product Protections

On January 31, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the “Patient Safety Work Product” privilege cannot shield Florida health care providers from Amendment 7 requests. The court’s decision in Charles v. Southern Baptist...more

Florida Supreme Court: Federal PSQIA Does Not Pre-empt State's Constitution

In Charles v. Southern Baptist Hospital of Florida, Inc., published on Jan. 31, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) is not and was never intended to be a...more

Misappropriation Versus the Copyright Act: Round 2 in the Fifth Circuit

A few months ago, Trade Secrets Watch covered the GlobeRanger Corp. case in which the Fifth Circuit joined 10 other circuits in determining that the Copyright Act does not preempt state trade secret misappropriation claims....more

Is Same-Sex Discrimination Considered “Sex Discrimination” Under Title VII? 

The Supreme Court made clear in 2015 that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. However, two years later, we still are not clear whether a person’s sexual orientation is protected under Title VII’s “sex...more

South Carolina Court of Appeals, in Olds v. City of Goose Creek, Affirms Circuit Court Order Regarding Definition of Gross Income...

In Olds v. City of Goose Creek, 2016 S.C. App. LEXIS 147, the South Carolina Court of Appeals provides a thorough discussion of the application of the South Carolina business license tax to a taxpayer’s gross income. The...more

Two States Buck FAA Preemption, While Alabama Stays the Course

Three state supreme courts tackled arbitration law in recent weeks: Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Rhode Island reversed a construction arbitration award because it disagreed with the arbitrator’s analysis. ...more

Simultaneous Decisions from the 7th Circuit: How the Later-Argued Case Became Binding Precedent

The Seventh Circuit is very serious about treating its panel decisions as the “law of the court” unless and until they are overruled by the en banc court or a higher authority. Hence, its Circuit Rule 40(e) requires a panel...more

The Super-Priority Saga Continues – Nevada Supreme Court Holds That NRS 116’s Notice Provisions Are Constitutional

The Ninth Circuit sent shockwaves through the mortgage industry when it held that NRS 116—the statute allowing an HOA to impose a nominal super-priority lien that can extinguish a senior deed of trust when foreclosed—was...more

California Court Rules Sarbanes-Oxley Preempts California Law Regarding Privileged Communications in Suit by Former In-House...

By determining that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX” or the “Act”) preempts California’s ethical rules, the Northern District of California ruled that an in-house attorney can rely on privileged communications and confidential...more

Married, but Without Benefits: The Obergefell Saga Continues in Texas

Same-sex couples can legally marry, but are they legally entitled to benefits? The Supreme Court of Texas will decide this issue after hearing oral arguments in March of 2017 in Pidgeon v. Turner. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fate of Class-Action Waivers

As many employers may remember, on August, 22, 2016, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that class-action waivers in mandatory employee arbitration agreements were unlawful, holding...more

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

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