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Federal Court Rules that Minnesota Drug Testing Law Does Not Apply to Employment Outside of Minnesota

Employers with operations in multiple states have long known that Minnesota has the most restrictive drug and alcohol testing law in the country. To make matters more difficult for employers, the Minnesota law, by its terms,...more

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

Permanent Injunction of Pennsylvania’s Prohibition against Establishment of Political Committees to Receive Contributions of...

On August 13, 2014, an order was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the matter of General Majority PAC v. Carol Aichele permanently enjoining implementation and enforcement of...more

No Right to Jury Trial Under Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Statute

On August 19, 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that individuals bringing suit under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law have no right to a jury trial. Writing for the court, Judge Judith Olson explains that “the...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2014

Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, et al. v. Donna Norris, et al. - Why it matters: With land use issues and development projects increasingly the subject of local ballot initiatives, it is imperative...more

A New Case On Standing to Foreclose

Legal standing to foreclose a note and mortgage continues to be an issue that frustrates plaintiffs and delights defense counsel. Florida courts have consistently held that standing must exist when the lawsuit is filed and...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Alleged Retaliatory Actions Must Be Viewed in Context For Purposes of a First Amendment Retaliation Claim

In Wendy Thomas, et al v. County of Riverside, et al, the Ninth Circuit considered whether the District Court properly granted summary judgment of an employee’s First Amendment retaliation claim in favor of the employer....more

Court protects privacy in ruling on warrantless searches of cellphones

Every now and then The Nine agree on something. Among the unanimous rulings the U.S. Supreme Court issued in the final stretch this year was Riley v. California, which held that law enforcement officials may not make a...more

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. ...more

Oil and Gas Developer Challenges an Extreme Waste Disposal Ordinance Enacted by a Pennsylvania Township

Oil and gas developer Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC (“PGE”) recently filed suit against Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, alleging that a waste disposal ordinance enacted by the Township violates the...more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

The risk of self-incrimination in cross-border disputes: The Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (527)

In Attorney General of Manitoba et al. v. Clark, 2013 MBQB 249 (“Clark”), the Crown sought to enforce an evidence gathering order under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (the “Act”). The order required...more

Florida Court finds Workers' Compensation Statute Unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida has found that Section 440.11 of Florida's Workers' Compensation Act (the "Act"), which makes the Act the "exclusive" remedy...more

R. v. Graham: Ontario Court of Appeal Explains Protocol for Appeal Alleging Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

In its July 29, 2014 decision in R. v. Graham, the Ontario Court of Appeal (Cronk, Watt and van Rensburg JJ.A.) comprehensively considered how to approach a criminal appeal alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. In...more

Congressional Approval of Mexico's Energy Reform Legislation

On August 6, 2014, the Mexican Congress finally approved secondary legislation (the "Legislation") providing for the implementation of the historic constitutional energy reforms in Mexico that were approved on December 20,...more

Amnesty International Continues to Push for En Banc Rehearing in Conflict Minerals Case

Amnesty International has filed a supplemental brief which continues to advocate for a rehearing en banc in the conflict minerals case. The argument is this: American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Order No. 1000, FERC’s Landmark Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Rulemaking Order

On August 15, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously affirmed Order No. 1000, a landmark set of rules approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 to...more

The Food Fight Continues: Vermont AG Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Against GMO Labeling Law

In June, we reported on a suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (“GMA”) seeking to rescind Vermont’s new GMO-labeling statute, Act 120. As we explained in that post, the GMA argues that Act 120 is doubly...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirements for Public Input on Development Agreements

Due process rights to notice and a public hearing for those who may be affected do not apply to a public agency’s consideration of approval of a development agreement, an appellate court has ruled. In addition, the First...more

The NLRB Does It Again!

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ratified all the decisions made by the NLRB, including those made in administrative and personnel matters, during the period of time when it did not have a proper quorum....more

Per Second Circuit: Full Text Searchable Database Is Fair Use

Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. HathiTrust, et al. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming a district court summary judgment ruling in favor of a consortium of authors, ruled that the unauthorized...more

Full Steam Ahead for Eminent Domain Actions after High Speed Rail Authority Negotiations End in Impasse

The State Public Works Board (the “Board”) adopted four Resolutions of Necessity approving the High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) use of eminent domain for public necessity to acquire four parcels in Fresno and...more

Property Tax Foreclosure: Tax Authority May Have to Pay for Equity in Property

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The bankruptcy court agreed that the transfer was a fraudulent conveyance, but...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #6

..Ahead of the law? In Hidalgo County, Texas, a former sheriff has been sued civilly over allegedly illegal campaign contributions. (He was also criminally convicted of money laundering.) At a civil deposition in the case, a...more

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