Constitutional Law Updates

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Banks Appeal Fair Housing Act Case to Supreme Court

In September 2015, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the City of Miami had sufficient standing to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo over lending practices that were alleged to be racially discriminatory. On June 28, 2016,...more

Federal Court Grants Full Civil Trial to FERC Enforcement Target

The decision will likely affect the strategies of enforcement targets in electric market manipulation cases. For the first time, a federal district judge has held that a review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s...more

Arm’s Length Royalty Rates Save Medtronic from $1.36 Billion Tax Deficiency

Addressing whether certain intercompany technology license agreements were negotiated at arm’s length, the US Tax Court rejected the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) alleged $1.36 billion tax deficiency and determined that...more

Cert. Petition Seeks to Clarify “Public Official” Under New York Times v. Sullivan

More than 50 years ago, the Supreme Court issued its foundational First Amendment decision New York Times v. Sullivan. The Court held in Sullivan that the First Amendment protects all published statements about public...more

California’s No Aid Clause and Religious Endorsement: Davies v. County of Los Angeles

On April 6, 2016, several local religious leaders and scholars obtained a permanent injunction against the County of Los Angeles, which had approved a measure in 2014 altering the official County Seal to include a Christian...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016 #4

Editor's Note - What Exactly Is Bitcoin? In a case featuring a sting operation beginning with meetings in a coffee shop, ice cream store and hotel lobby and ending with the sale of bitcoins to an undercover Miami Beach...more

Transgender Student Files First Discrimination Suit Against Wisconsin School District

Last Tuesday, the Kenosha Unified School District (“KUSD” or “the District) became the first Wisconsin school district to be sued under federal law by a transgender student alleging the District and its representatives have...more

Standing in Foreclosure Cases: Still a Recurring Issue

On July 13, 2016, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that summary judgment was improperly entered because an affidavit filed by a substitute plaintiff conflicted with the mortgage foreclosure complaint as to what...more

U.S. Department of Justice Issues RLUIPA Report

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a new report on its involvement in RLUIPA cases.  The report, “Update on the Justice Department’s Enforcement of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: 2010-2016,”...more

Book Review: The World According to Star Wars

It was right after our selfie with Minion Captain America that we saw it. We were marching up and down the aisles, dodging empire storm troopers. Bright lights and backbone-rattling sounds shot out of the Nickelodeon and Star...more

Department of Justice Sues Bensalem Township, PA Over Mosque Denial

On July 21, the United States Department of Justice sued Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, in federal court alleging violations of each of RLUIPA’s provisions following the Township’s 2014 denial of a variance application...more

The Scope Of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 4

This is the last of four articles examining the scope of the Seventh Amendment jury trial right as applied to the facts that set the maximum monetary penalty a judge may impose against a civil defendant in a U.S. Securities...more

Federal District Court Dismisses Data Breach Class Action Complaint Against Scottrade

On July 12, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted Scottrade’s motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint that was predicated on the alleged theft of personal information...more

A Setback to Businesses: Courts in the Eleventh Circuit in a Post-Spokeo World

When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 194 L. Ed. 2d 635 (2016), earlier this year, it was received by compliance professionals with mixed reactions. Many were thrilled with the...more

FERC as Prosecutor, Judge and Jury?

May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiate an enforcement investigation against a company for manipulating natural gas markets, order the company to show cause why it shouldn’t be fined and then decide the...more

Supreme Court Declines to Review Constitutionality of SEC In-House Court

The SEC’s increased use of its own "home court" for enforcement proceedings has triggered constitutional challenges to SEC administrative proceedings (APs). See "Defendants Challenge SEC’s Increased Use of Administrative...more

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

Scottrade data breach class action case dismissed for lack of standing

We previously reported that Scottrade was hit with a class action case within 24 hours of notifying customers of a data breach. According to the Complaint, the data compromised included the names, addresses, telephone...more

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct...more

Tennessee Takes Out-of-State Sales Tax into Its Own Hands

Are you an out-of-state retailer doing business in Tennessee? If so, take note. The Tennessee Department of Revenue is proposing a new rule mandating certain out-of-state dealers to collect and remit sales and uses taxes to...more

Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

Government Raids in Korea: What You Should Do When Faced with One

An on-site raid for evidence is a common tool for Korea’s enforcement authorities – particularly when the public prosecutor’s offices are taking the lead in high profile cases. This may surprise practitioners with US...more

A One-Two Punch Case With An Off-Label Twist

When we were young(er), we had a pretty good memory. It is not bad now, as far as we recall, particularly when it comes to pulling up bits of esoteric nonsense. For more important stuff, we find qualifiers like “vague” and...more

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