Affirmative Defenses

News & Analysis as of

Mushroom Court Ruling Sprouts Controversy on Whether Reliance on Lawyer Advice Maintains Affirmative Defense to Antitrust Claims

A federal district court recently ruled that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defense to the antitrust laws – a result that may soon collide with rulings...more

Northern District of Illinois Applies Twombly/Iqbal Pleading Standard to Affirmative Defenses in TCPA Case

In a TCPA action involving allegedly unsolicited fax advertisements, the Northern District of Illinois applied the plausibility standard articulated in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal,...more

Battle of the Experts Still Brewin’ in Starbucks Trial

In April 2010, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) sued Starbucks Corp. and other coffee sellers alleging they violated California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by California...more

Don't Throw The Kitchen Sink Of Defenses Into Your Answer

Say you are filing an Answer to a Complaint. NC Rule of Civil Procedure 8(c) lists a host of affirmative defenses you might raise. They are: accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk,...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Enforceability of Waiver of ECOA Claim

Last month, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued an important opinion for lenders in this state. The opinion reversed the North Carolina Court of Appeals’ decision in RL REGI N.C., LLC v. Lighthouse Cove, LLC, which found...more

Supreme Court’s Footnote About Auckerman in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. Does Not Create New Law: Cordis’s Laches Defense...

Medinol Ltd., v. Cordis Corporation and Johnson & Johnson Case Number: 1:13-cv-0148-SAS In March, Judge Scheindlin found that laches formed a complete defense for Cordis in this matter. Medinol did not appeal...more

Court Holds That Twombly/Iqbal Pleading Standard Does Not Apply to Affirmative Defenses in TCPA Case

In a TCPA action concerning allegedly unsolicited fax advertisements, the Eastern District of Michigan recently rejected the argument that the plausibility standard articulated in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544...more

Seven Key Supreme Court Cases for Retailers to Watch

The Supreme Court of the United States is ending its summer recess and will start hearing oral arguments next week. There are seven key cases on the Court’s docket for the current term that could affect retailers. Here is a...more

More Empty Words for an FCPA Compliance Defense

It is hard to understand why there are still advocates for an FCPA compliance defense. The issue is dead and gone, and is unlikely to come back in any form. I guess there are people who enjoy “zombie” movies – for the life of...more

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

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