Abuse of Process

News & Analysis as of

Cherry-Picking: 7th Cir. Criticizes Lawyers' Summary-Judgment Practice

Two weeks ago, in an order given wide publicity nationally, federal District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa issued sanctions in Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories, addressing what Judge Bennett...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Bankruptcy Court Applies To Collateral Estoppel To State Court Judgement For Fraud and Vexatious Litigation In...

In her first published decision, rendered in Mexico Construction and Paving v. Thompson (In re Thompson), Case No. 11-32924, Adv. Pro. No. 12-03065 (Bankr. D. Conn May 22, 2014), Judge Julie A. Manning held on the basis of...more

Court Found Case Frivolous For Five-Year Period, But $5.3M Attorney's Fee Request Will Be Trimmed - Touchtunes Music Corp. v....

Case Number: 1:07-cv-11450-RWS (Dkt. 291) - Judge Sweet unsealed [link to tab 9] his decision of April 3, 2014 [link to tab 10] granting counterclaim defendant TouchTunes' motion for fees and expenses, but said that...more

Fourth Federal Court Judge Holds That DC Anti-SLAPP Statute Can Be Applied In Federal Court

Another DC federal court judge recently held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court, and applied it to dismiss a libel and related torts action. This decision, in Forras v. Rauf, means that four DC federal...more

The Limits Of SLUSA Preemption

In 1995, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”) was passed to limit frivolous and unwarranted securities lawsuits. 15 U.S.C. §78u–4. While private securities litigation is an indispensable tool in which...more

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.” The purpose of the hearing...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctioning of EEOC for Unreasonable Lawsuit Brought Against Employer Six Years After Charge Filed

Employers involved in litigation under Title VII and related federal civil rights laws understand that a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to collect his or her attorneys’ fees. These employers may not be aware that in more...more

Appellate Court Notes - Week ending March 24

SC18996 - Meyers v. Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, P.C. This case arrived from a divided Appellate Court where some jurist opined that the plaintiff’s attorney malpractice claims sounded solely in tort,...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 12, Issue 1 (Winter 2014): “Patent Trolls” Beware –...

If the mainstream media is to be believed, the patent system is now “broken.” This notion is frequently blamed on the perceived increase in so-called patent assertion entities (“PAEs”), referred to derogatorily in the press...more

Insurance Company Tactics: Know Your Rights

In a landmark case from 2012, the Florida Supreme Court held that when suing insurers for bad faith, a policyholder must first sue the insurance company for violating the terms of the insurance agreement, and only after...more

Patent Assertion Entity Sues FTC, Agrees to Follow New York Attorney General Guidelines

A well-known “patent assertion entity” (PAE), MPHJ Technology Investment LLC, filed a declaratory judgment suit against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its Commissioners for the agency’s alleged “threats to bring...more

An NPE Settles with New York, Sues FTC

Over the past year, both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government have expressed increasing support for legislation and other measures targeting patent litigation abuse by non-practicing entities...more

Contrasting the Torts of Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process

The related torts of malicious prosecution and abuse of process both vindicate the important personal rights to be free from unwarranted or abusive litigation tactics. There are some important distinctions in the elements of...more

For Whom the Bell Trolls, Episode II: The Judiciary Strikes Back

Patent reform legislation continues to be hotly debated, both in the public arena and before Congress. Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall R. Rader recently said that Congress should leave reform to the courts, echoing...more

Potential Defendants in a Malicious Prosecution Case

Malicious prosecution actions in California are complex. Filing and defending such actions require the handling attorney to have a deep understanding of the interplay of anti-SLAPP law, SLAPP-back actions and malicious...more

Judge Rader urges legislative restraint, emphasizes judicial ability to rectify litigation abuses through available tools

To a full house and rapt audience of 500 attendees at the Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar Conference in Plano, Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall R. Rader last week delivered a persuasive and impassioned Patent Law...more

Maryland Defendants Can Recover Attorneys' Fees Paid by Insurance Company

Litigants that have been forced to defend groundless litigation are entitled to recover their attorneys' fees even if those costs were paid by an insurance company, Maryland's highest court has ruled. ...more

Trolls Better Watch Out This Halloween -- Senator Hatch Introduces Patent Litigation Integrity Act

Just in time for Halloween, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has introduced yet another piece of legislation to combat the perceived "patent troll" problem. The Patent Litigation Integrity Act (S. 1612) is aimed at shifting the...more

Chairman Goodlatte Introduces “Innovation Act” to Curb Abusive Patent Litigation

Following two earlier drafts floated in May and September 2013, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on October 23, 2013 formally introduced a bill, titled the “Innovation Act,” aimed at curbing abusive patent...more

A Useful Reminder About Sham Litigation as Exclusionary Conduct

In Surface Supplied, Inc. v. Kirby Morgan Dive Systems, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143478 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2013) (Chesney, J.), the Court dismissed attempted monopolization and monopolization counterclaims with leave to...more

FTC Announces Study of "Patent Assertion Entities"

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on September 27, 2013 that it would begin an investigation of so-called “patent assertion entities” (PAE). Its first step was to seek public comment on a lengthy series of...more

Texas Dramatically Expands Review of New Trial Orders

Traditionally, Texas trial court judges have enjoyed a virtually unlimited power to order new trials “in the interest of justice.” The Texas appellate courts have refused to review almost all new trial orders. This has led to...more

Alleged Patent Troll Targeted By Vermont Attorney General

Previously, we posted about Governor Peter Shumlin signing into law Vermont’s first-in-the-nation (and so far only-in-the-nation) patent troll legislation helping Vermont businesses protect themselves from bad faith patent...more

Rep. Goodlatte Introduces Second "Discussion Draft" of Legislation Aimed at Curbing "Abusive Patent Litigation"

In order to combat the perceived "patent troll" problem, members of Congress in both the House and the Senate introduced bills last spring aimed at addressing abusive patent litigation tactics. One of the more comprehensive...more

Top 5 Ediscovery Case Summaries – September 2013: Virginia - Divorcee Gets Sanctioned for Using Vindictive Discovery Tactics...

Christ v. Flinthill Space Comm. Trust, 2013 WL 3771178 (Va. June 17, 2013). In this divorce case, the plaintiff and her counsel were fined $880,748.26 for using abusive, “vindictive” discovery tactics. ...more

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