A recent decision of the Texas Court of Appeals in Austin (Third District) caught my eye. Not because it involved insurance; rather, it was a securities class action challenging a board of directors’ approval of a corporate...more
With the dog days of summer upon us, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has concluded its Spring 2014 term, leaving practitioners with new guidance on a variety of trial and appellate practice issues. In one of its last...more
Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges.
Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more
Energy Recovery, Inc. v. Hauge -
Addressing a civil contempt order under an abuse of discretion standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found in that a former employee was not in contempt because he...more
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions of $5,000 on a plaintiff’s attorney for exaggerating allegations in a complaint. As the court explained, the mere “presence of some...more
Brownstone Appellate Law Firm, led by attorneys Robert Sirianni, Michael Brownlee, and Andrew Greenlee, file the initial brief challenging the conviction and sentence in Dalia Dippolito case. In their brief, appellate...more
It’s not hard to imagine that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s still-unfolding Bridgegate scandal could have taken a different turn. Lacking evidence, the allegations aired shortly after the George Washington Bridge closure...more
The Supreme Court recently agreed to resolve a circuit split on the pleading requirements for claims that ERISA fiduciaries imprudently invested employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) assets in the stock of the...more
Today, Division Eight of the Second Appellate District of California issued its decision in Gaines v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company (Dec. 12, 2013 B244961). The case involved the dismissal of a fraud case in the...more
In Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates Inc., the Ninth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break subclass, defined as all past and present employees who (a) worked more than...more
How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms?
If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms,” ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator....more
In This Issue:
• Smartphone War Update: Some of Apple’s Patents Survive Invalidity Challenge
• Sale by Foreign Supplier Invalidated Patent
• District Court Abused Discretion in Refusing to Keep Confidential...more
If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms”, ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator.
Here’s the case of Porter v. Lowe’s Companies, __ F.3d__ (5th Cir....more
In State v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, 2013 Conn. LEXIS 266 (Conn. Aug. 6, 2013), the Connecticut Supreme Court held there is a clear, well-defined and dominant policy against sexual harassment in the State and that an...more
Last spring, Robby Sanoff complained in this space about the problem resulting from appellate courts’ refusal to give appropriate discretion to district judges in performing their gatekeeping function under Daubert. As Robby...more
I. FLORIDA STATE CASES – JOURDAN HAYNES -
Attorneys’ Fees: trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys’ fees and costs of $74,429 against bank following dismissal of foreclosure action as sanction...more
As reported first by Victor Li, a reporter at Law Technology News, the plaintiffs in Da Silva Moore are at it again—this time with a cert petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. In their petition, the plaintiffs contend that...more
In Estate of Richardson, a remainder beneficiary of a trust filed a declaratory judgment action to declare that the trust would terminate five years after its creation. No. 14-12-00516-CV, 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 2664 (Tex....more
Patents / Patent Eligible Subject Matter -
Supreme Court to Myriad: Isolated DNA Sequences Are Not Patent-Eligible Subject Matter --
AMP et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.:
In a 9–0 decision the Supreme...more
On May 21, 2013, the California First District Court of Appeal certified for publication North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Municipal Water District, an important CEQA opinion that affirms a highly deferential...more
A recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit indicates that deterring future white collar crime is a substantial factor in shaping appellate court rulings relating to appropriate sentences for fraud, particularly when a...more
In This Presentation:
• The "right" result on appeal depends on your perspective, but several factors go into reaching a principled appellate decision.
• Our discussion will examine some...more
In the closing days of the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. McCluskey, a decision from the Second District reversing an order refusing to vacate a...more
Executive Summary: The Fourth Circuit expands the scope of admissible evidence in an ERISA employee benefits case.
The very first principle applied in a lawsuit for benefits from an ERISA-governed employee benefit plan...more
Helton v. AT&T, Inc.
No. 11-2153, 2013 WL 812118 (4th Cir. Mar. 6, 2013) -
In Helton v. AT&T, Inc., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s consideration of evidence outside of the...more
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