Affirmative Defenses

News & Analysis as of

Massachusetts Legislature Passes New Pay Equity Law

The Massachusetts Legislature passed new pay equity legislation on July 23, 2016. Governor Baker has been reported to have said that he will sign the legislation. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2018. The...more

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on...more

Court Holds Rule 26(b)(1) Cannot be Used for Unpled Claims or Defenses (New York)

Lifeguard Licensing Corp. v. Kozak, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68724 (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2016) - In this intellectual property case, the defendants motioned the court to compel production of various discovery. The plaintiffs...more

Serial Plaintiffs Are Filing Waves of Disability Cases

Hotels, restaurants and retail establishments have been flooded with new lawsuits filed by serial plaintiffs that allege that a property (a place of public accommodation) is in violation of Title III of the Americans with...more

District Court Denies Leave to Amend to Add Implied License Affirmative Defense Where Motion for Leave Was Filed Just Two Months...

Google, Inc. and YouTube, LLC (collectively "Google") filed a motion for leave to amend their answer to include an implied license affirmative defense. Because Google filed the motion to amend its answer more than two months...more

Personnel Investigation By Outside Attorney Protected From Disclosure In Discovery

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal holds that (1) an outside attorney’s investigation can be privileged even though the attorney simply investigated facts, and (2) the employer does not waive the privilege simply...more

FTC Stands Down in Latest Head-to-Head Battle Between Federal and State Oversight of Healthcare Collaborations

In what will undoubtedly be seen by all interested parties as a significant setback in the Federal Trade Commission’s active opposition to potentially anticompetitive healthcare collaborations, the FTC voted unanimously on...more

Jury Acquits Former Pharma Exec in One of the First Post-Yates Memo Health Care Fraud Prosecutions

Like many before it, this year has been one to watch in government health care fraud enforcement efforts. In September 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the “Yates Memo,” which reaffirmed the government’s...more

Nominative Fair Use of a Trademark: The Second Circuit Weighs In

If a defendant in a trademark case uses the plaintiff’s trademark, not to identify the defendant’s own products, but rather to refer accurately to the plaintiff’s products, is that trademark infringement? Called “nominative...more

Second Circuit Highlights Splits on Nominative Trademark Fair Use

The Second Circuit disagrees with sister circuits and rejects arguments that nominative fair use is an affirmative defense that is available even when confusion is likely and that the traditional nominative fair use analysis...more

District Court Denies Request to Have Invalidity Case Proceed Prior to Infringement Case

The parties in this patent infringement action could not agree on the order of proof at trial. Defendants sought to present their invalidity defense first, arguing that if the patent is invalid, they could not be liable for...more

Preference Defendants, Rejoice! Services Billed in a Lump Sum Can Be Allocated Per Diem, for Your New Value Defense

Preference actions are, for the most part, insanity. We won’t go on a tirade here. But recently, a ruling brings common sense to the “new value” defense....more

District Court Strikes Affirmative Defenses of Laches, Waiver, Estoppel and Acquiescence for Lack of Sufficient Detail

After the plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint against Fieldpiece Instruments, Inc. ("Defendant") for patent infringement, the Defendant filed its an answer raising a series of affirmative defenses to Plaintiff's...more

EPA Continues to Dismantle Clean Air Act Affirmative Defenses — Blame It On the Judge(s)

On Wednesday, EPA published certain amendments to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the Federal Register. EPA describes most of the changes as “technical corrections,” but there is one important substantive change. ...more

Price Tag for Patent Invalidity Ruling in Inequitable Conduct Case is $26 Million - TransWeb, LLC v. 3M Innovative Properties Co.

Affirming a ruling of invalidity and an antitrust damages award of trebled attorneys’ fees in a patent abuse case, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit highlighted the severe penalties that may befall patent owners...more

Preemption prevails in watercraft case under Federal Boat Safety Act

For vehicle manufacturers that find themselves in state court facing product liability claims over safety mechanisms, federal preemption is frequently examined as an affirmative defense. Watercraft manufacturers, in...more

Defending Against Insider Trading Claims

No corporate legal issue captures public attention quite like insider trading. These cases epitomize the worst stereotypes of Wall Street and often involve high-profile individuals. Government prosecutors and securities...more

The Fair Labor Standards Act Statute of Limitations Limits Employer Liability: Except When It Doesn't

About a year ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in Cruz v. Maypa, 773 F.3d 138 (4th Cir. 2014), a decision that has received little attention, that an employer covered by the Fair Labor...more

Design Immunity for Public Agencies Clarified by California Supreme Court

Decision touches on a crucial issue in public agency tort defense - A crucial issue in public agency tort defense was recently clarified by the California Supreme Court in Hampton v. County of San Diego. While a public...more

EU Sanctions: Commercial and Contract Risks

Sanctions programmes are established and developed as a political response to international relations developments; yet they impose significant obligations on commercial entities in terms of compliance. They may interfere...more

California’s New Piece-Rate Compensation Requirements and a New Affirmative Defense Take Effect January 1, 2016

On October 10, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1513, which added new requirements with regard to employees who work on a piece-rate basis. The new law, which amends California Labor Code section...more

California’s Auto-Renewal Law Leads to Wave of California Consumer Class Actions

California’s Auto-Renewal Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq.) has given rise to a recent torrent of new lawsuits in California, many brought on a putative class action basis, targeting businesses that offer...more

Begin with the End in Mind: Collaboration with Outside Counsel in Preparing Trial-Ready Initial Pleadings

If there is a secret to effective business litigation, it is planning early and well – as early as preparing the complaint or, for defendants, their answer and defenses. While a cogent, powerful opening pleading has always...more

Court Rules on Antitrust Claims Arising from Changes to Electricity Pricing Plans for Home Solar Users

A federal court allowed certain antitrust and state law claims brought by an installer of distributed solar energy systems against Arizona’s Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) to move forward...more

Government contractor industry brief urges Fourth Circuit to reaffirm “battlefield contractor” tort-suit defenses

On October 29, 2015, Dentons filed an amicus brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of its clients, the Professional Services Council—The Voice of the Government Services Industry and the Coalition for...more

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