Lane Powell PC

ERISA Attorney Fee Awards: What Are “Reasonable Hours” for a Plaintiff’s Attorney to Spend on a Summary Judgment Motion?

You already know that courts typically award attorney fees in ERISA cases when the Plaintiff/claimant achieves “some success on the merits.” But does a mere remand constitute “some success on the merits”? Probably yes…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law

The Two Faces of Hacking: Data Scientists are Doing Bad to Do Good.

American and Canadian data scientists, librarians, hackers and activists have united in a “rogue” movement to locate and archive climate data maintained by U.S. agencies. Environmental scholars and librarians at the University…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Science, Computers, & Technology

Washington Supreme Court Holds That Punitive Damages May Be Awarded to a Seaman Under a General Maritime Law Unseaworthiness Claim

On March 9, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion confirming the types of damages available to a plaintiff under a general maritime unseaworthiness claim, specifically determining that punitive damages are…more
| Civil Procedure, Maritime Law, Personal Injury

The State of Domain Names

The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has released its 2016 Uniform Dispute Resolution Proceedings (UDRP) statistics. The overall number of new cases increased by 10 percent over the previous year. WIPO indicates that…more
| Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Myths & Misconceptions of Biotech Securities Claims: An Analysis of Motion to Dismiss Results (2005-2016)

There is a common life cycle for Directors and Officers Liability for a publicly-traded biotechnology company bringing its first drug or device to the market. In the early stages, whether pre-clinical or Phase 1, there is more…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Insurance, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Filings

On Friday, March 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary suspension of the premium processing option for all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. This suspension includes…more
| Immigration Law, Labor & Employment Law

Litigation and Federal Regulations Under Part 107 in the Coming Era of Drones

A drone crashed into Seattle’s iconic Space Needle on New Year’s Eve. The accident — which was recorded in dramatic fashion on the onboard camera — is likely a sign of things to come in 2017 and beyond as the Federal Aviation…more
| Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Transportation

ERISA (10th Circuit): Does the ERISA Plan Breach Fiduciary Duties by Informing the Employer of an Employee/Disability Claimant’s Substance Abuse Problem?

Can an ERISA plan administrator tell an employer about an employee’s substance abuse? Doesn’t that breach fiduciary duties to the employee/claimant? Probably not. Check the employer’s employment policies because an…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

Wild Introgressions: The Tomato Genome’s Impact on Plant Patenting and Trademark Branding Prospects

Diana Kennedy, an intrepid chronicler of Mexican cuisine, describes cuatomates as “very small cherry tomatoes with an intense flavor and enormous amount of tiny seeds.” A potently flavored, tiny green tomatillo variety “grows…more
| Agriculture, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

ERISA: Winning Tactic on Summary Judgment to Prove Claimant Received the Policy: Get Key Evidence into the Administrative Record

You know that to apply an exclusion in a policy, the claims administrator must show that the claimant received the policy. But what happens when the claimant submits a declaration disputing your proof that she received the…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Health, Insurance

Ninth Circuit Says Ethics Policies Are “Inherently Aspirational,” and Violations Don’t Support Securities Fraud Claims, in Retail Wholesale v. Hewlett-Packard (January 19, 2017)

A senior officer’s violations of a corporation’s code of conduct do not give rise to a claim for violation of the federal securities laws—even where the corporation (including the officer himself) has touted the company’s high…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Securities Law

Fourth Circuit Holds Zone of Danger Test Does Not Apply to Award of LHWCA Benefits

In January, a panel of the Fourth Circuit considered whether the “zone of danger” test outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Gottshall, 512 U.S. 532 (1994) is applicable to a longshoreman’s claim for…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Maritime Law, Personal Injury, Transportation

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

Be Careful What You Wish For, Part II: Would Companies Be Better Off Without the Fraud-on-the-Market Doctrine?

The villain in the fight against securities class actions is the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988 in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988). Without Basic, the…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Insurance, Securities Law

ERISA: Fibromyalgia – “[D]iagnosis is not the automatic equivalent to a finding of disability.”

Fibromyalgia cases often are difficult to assess in determining eligibility for benefits. But the mere diagnosis of a condition (like fibromyalgia) is not enough to qualify for disability benefits under most policy…more
| Civil Procedure, Health, Labor & Employment Law
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