Affirmative Defenses

News & Analysis as of

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Many Clean Air Act Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule on September 5, 2014 that would prevent states from including affirmative defenses in their Clean Air Act state implementation plans (SIPs) for emissions...more

U.S. Bank v. Indian Harbor: Insurers Face Another Restitution/Disgorgement Setback

In a recent decision, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota held that insurers could not use the so-called restitution/disgorgement defense to avoid covering amounts that their insured bank agreed to...more

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Excess Emissions During Startups, Shutdowns, or Malfunctions — Get Ready for...

This past April, the D.C. Circuit struck down the part of EPA’s cement kiln rule that would have provided an affirmative defense to civil penalties for excess emissions resulting from unavoidable malfunctions. As we noted at...more

Limits of Expansive Protection of New York’s In Pari Delicto Defense

Whenever a company tumbles into bankruptcy following the discovery of its management’s financial misdeeds, firms that provided the company with accounting, legal, banking and financial advisory services should prepare to...more

The Art of Defending Preferential Transfers – Part Two: The Defenses

Learning how to defend a preferential transfer action is a particularly useful art for the credit professional. In Part One, we discussed the Bankruptcy Code’s specific requirements that must be established by the debtor or...more

The Government Contractor Defense

The government contractor defense is a potentially dispositive defense that can be raised by contractor-defendants in certain product liability cases. Understanding the basics of this defense, and in particular the...more

Affirmative Defenses Must Be Addressed In Class Certification Order, According To Texas Court of Appeals

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

ERISA: 6th Circuit — Benefit Denial Letters: Include The Time Limit For Judicial Review Or Lose Contractual Limitations Defense

Does your ERISA claim benefit denial letter preserve the contractual limitations defense? If your denial letter fails to expressly state the contractual limitations timeframe, it might not preserve that defense. ...more

Connecticut Court Holds Negligence Misrepresentation Claim Does Not Trigger Defense

In its recent decision in Pa. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Thakur, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110251 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether a claim for...more

Raging Bull Decision Riles Hollywood, Thrills Plaintiffs

In June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision affecting copyright claims and defenses. The copyrighted work at issue was the popular motion picture Raging Bull, in which Robert DeNiro plays famous boxing champion Jake...more

Judge Castel Rejects Laches and Equitable Estoppel Defenses

Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s first amended complaint based on the affirmative defenses of laches and equitable estoppel. The patents-in-suit are U.S Patent Nos. 7,980,095 (“Jewelry method and system”) and 8,479,536...more

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

Laches, Statutes of Limitations and Raging Bull: The Supreme Court Re-Emphasizes The Pitfalls Of Delay In Copyright Cases

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 572 U.S. __ (2014), the United States Supreme Court addressed the role that the equitable defense of laches – i.e., a plaintiff’s unreasonable and prejudicial delay in commencing suit...more

Sierra Club Seeks to Vacate Affirmative Defenses under Clean Air Act for Unavoidable Malfunctions

This month, the Sierra Club filed a petition for review challenging certain provisions of nine EPA rules that provide for affirmative defenses against alleged Clean Air Act violations in the case of unavoidable malfunctions....more

“Raging Bull” Decision Highlights Importance of ADR in Entertainment Disputes

“Raging Bull” is a classic 1980 motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta. In the case of Petrella v. Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., the United States Supreme Court recently...more

Supreme Court of Texas Finds Purchasers of Used Goods Can Recover on Implied Warranty Claims in a Case That Highlights Risk of...

In a significant decision issued earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Texas held that the implied warranty of merchantability, unless properly disclaimed, passes to purchasers of used goods. The decision in Man Engines &...more

Supreme Court Knocks Out Laches as Equitable Defense to "Raging Bull" Suit

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., No. 12-1315 (May 19, 2014), the Supreme Court of the United States found the equitable defense of laches does not apply to a copyright infringement claim. In a 6-3 decision, the...more

New York High Court Finds that New York Insurance Law §3420(d)(2)’s Prompt Notice Requirement Does Not Extend to Claims Limited to...

In KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., et al., — N.Y.3d –, (N.Y. June 10, 2014), a case involving two environmental damage claims, the New York Court of Appeals reversed an appellate decision which...more

Ruling Explains and Extends Application of Good Faith Defense to Fraudulent Transfer Actions in SIPA Context

In an April 27, 2014 decision in the Madoff cases, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that the standard of good faith should be considered differently in a Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) liquidation. To defeat a good faith...more

FIRREA Protects Purchasing Banks Against Some Claims Disguised as Affirmative Defenses

As previously discussed on this blog, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (“FIRREA”) creates a mandatory administrative claims process for claims against the assets of failed financial...more

Raging Bull and Copyright Trolls: The Supreme Court “Knocks Out” The Laches Defense in Copyright Fights

The 1980 movie classic Raging Bull tells the story of the hard-charging boxer Jake LaMotta, the prizefighter from the Bronx who pulverized opponents and eliminated their defenses in the ring. Just days ago in the biggest ring...more

“Plausibility” and the Non-Conspiracy Elements of Antitrust Claims

In Bell Atlantic Co. v. Twombly, the Supreme Court injected a “plausibility” standard into Rule 12(b)(6) for claims asserting an alleged antitrust conspiracy. Since then, lower courts, scholars, and practitioners have written...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - May 2014

In this issue: - Tax Court Rejects Partnerships’ Claim of Attorney-Client Privilege and Orders Release of Opinion Letters - Litigation Heats Up in Section 1603 Cash Grant Program for Renewable Energy Projects...more

Raging Bull Heiress Knocks Out MGM’s Laches Defense

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., Supreme Court holds that laches cannot bar claims for damages for copyright infringement brought during the 3-year limitations period. On May 19, 2014, in a case concerning the...more

The Grapes of Wrath Part II - A Return to Horne

In June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Horne v. Department of Agriculture holding that California raisin handlers could assert a takings claim as an affirmative defense to an enforcement...more

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