Affirmative Defenses

News & Analysis as of

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

Litigating a Nonsubscriber Case: Prohibited Affirmative Defenses

Although the benefits to becoming a nonsubscriber under the Texas workers’ compensation system are manifold, employers who choose to become nonsubscribers do need to be aware of hurdles that the Texas Legislature put into...more

Important Court Decision For No-Fault Insurers; Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Rejects Limitation On State Farm v. Mallela

We are pleased to inform you that our firm, together with our co-counsel Bob Stern of Stern & Montana, obtained a very favorable and significant decision for no-fault insurers on an issue of first impression at the appellate...more

Is the Error of Judgment Defense Still Available in Suicide Cases?

Are courts becoming more liberal with the standards by which physicians are judged in failing to prevent suicides? Traditionally, the professional judgment rule has been used by psychiatrists and other physicians as a...more

New Clean Air Act Decision Could Spell Trouble for Defendants in Citizen Suits

On April 18, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., No. 10-1371 (Apr. 18, 2014), a case challenging new EPA emissions standards that govern...more

New York Court: Insurer's Failure To Defend Does Not Waive Coverage Defenses

New York’s highest court recently held that an insurer that does not defend its insured may, if later sued by the policyholder seeking coverage, plead policy exclusions as a defense to the coverage claim....more

Employer Loses WARN Affirmative Defenses In Class Action Due To Insufficient Description In Notice

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. As criminal charges continue to loom for some former Dewey partners, the judge overseeing Dewey’s bankruptcy has now ruled that the firm cannot...more

Federal Court Report - Sometimes it’s Just Better to Leave “Well-Enough” Alone

In Sisk v. Abbott Laboratories, — F.R.D. –, No. 1:11-cv-159 (W.D.N.C. Feb. 10, 2014) (J., Reidinger), after prevailing in part on its motion for summary judgment, the defendant asked the court for the Western District to...more

New value defense preserved for three-party transactions

New value is an important defense to preference liability under the Bankruptcy Code. It allows a preference defendant to relieve their preference liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis for the value provided to the debtor...more

De Minimis Defense Closes Shop on Starbucks Barista’s Off-the-Clock Claim in the Central District of California

On March 7, 2014, Judge Feess of the Central District of California granted Defendant Starbucks’ motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s proposed class claims for unpaid wages under the California Labor Code. Plaintiff...more

Ohio Supreme Court Holds Statute of Frauds Applies To Defenses, Too

On March 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that the statute of frauds barred a group of guarantors from raising, as a defense to a collection suit, a claim that the bank’s right to enforce the guaranties was barred by...more

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