Appeals

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Commonsense Misconduct Not so "Common": Illinois Supreme Court Significantly Narrows Use of Commonsense Rationale in Employee...

In the absence of a rule prohibiting specific conduct, employers can no longer rely merely on what one would deem "commonsense" to deny unemployment benefits. In Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security, the Illinois...more

Physical Combinability of References Not Necessarily Required for Obviousness

Addressing issues of obviousness, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the obviousness determination of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board), explaining that it is not necessary for two...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Claim Terms with No Specialized Meaning in the Art Always Linked to Specification

Emphasizing the public-notice function of a patent’s specification, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s construction of four patent claim terms based entirely on intrinsic evidence....more

Ninth Circuit Says You’re Going to Jail for Visiting That Website without Permission

Zounds, right? But that is arguably what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Facebook v. Power Ventures, Inc. on July 12th. Let’s get to it....more

CA Corps Not Obligated to Make Records Available for Inspection in California

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that an inspection demand under California Corporations Code section 1601 requires a corporation to make its books and records available for inspection at an office where they...more

Michigan Court Holds That Pandora Users Are Not Customers Under State Law, Further Narrowing Streaming Privacy Laws

On July 6, 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a Pandora user was not a “customer” allowed to bring a class action under the Video Rental Privacy Act (“VRPA”) in Michigan. ...more

Federal Circuit Review | July 2016

Obvious Combinations Do Not Need to Be Physically Combinable - In Allied Erecting and Dismantling Co., Inc. v. Genesis Attachments, LLC, Appeal No. 2015-1533, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s invalidity finding...more

Déjà Vu Not All Over Again: Ninth Circuit Strengthens CFAA In Nosal II

On July 5, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly anticipated decision in the most recent chapter of United States v. Nosal, holding that an individual acts "without authorization" as used in the Computer...more

Alert to Contractors – California Court of Appeals (2d App. Dist.) Rules Subcontractor Price in Proposal Containing Material...

Flintco Pacific, Inc. v. TEC Management Consultants, Inc., 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 594 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. June 21, 2016) - There was an important California decision published on July 19, 2016 (decided June 21, 2016)...more

Franchisor to Be Considered Statutory Employer? PA Supreme Court to Decide

The far-reaching implications of this decision could change the existing franchise business model. Is a franchisor a statutory employer of its franchisee’s employees? The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board thinks so,...more

First Circuit Affirms Another Insider-Trading Conviction

On July 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed another conviction in a pair of appeals arising from insider-trading prosecutions. The decision in United States v. McPhail confirms that, under...more

Prior Art References Introduced After IPR Institution Are Permissible to Show State of Art

Addressing issues related to introducing additional prior art references after institution of an inter partes review (IPR), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or...more

The Whole Claim Is More Inventive Than the Sum of Its Generic Parts

Addressing the issue of subject matter eligibility, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s finding that the limitations of the challenged claims, when considered as an ordered...more

Court Affirms Order Requiring Partition of Property Where Fiduciary’s Homestead Argument Failed

In Byrom v. Penn, Byrom was appointed executor of his mother’s estate, and he was later removed as executor for breach of fiduciary duty by using estate funds to build a house for himself. No. 12-15-00033-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

Plaintiff Who Could Not Afford to Pay for Arbitration Was Allowed to Pursue Her Malpractice Action in Court

Tillman adv. Rheingold Firm, No. 13-56624, 2016 BL 190432 (9th Cir. June 15, 2016) - Brief Summary - A former client who had agreed to arbitrate disputes with her lawyers, but ultimately could not afford to pay the...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Each Debt Collector Must Send a 1692g Validation Notice, Even If Previously Provided By Another Debt Collector...

In Hernandez v. Williams, Zinman & Parham PC, No. 14-15672, — F.3d –, 2016 WL 3913445 (9th Cir. July 20, 2016), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that each subsequent debt collector is required to send a § 1692g(a)...more

PTAB Institution Decision Does Not Shift Burden from the Patent Challenger to the Patentee

The Federal Circuit previously clarified that a petitioner’s burden to prove unpatentability never shifts to the patent owner. See Dynamic Drinkware, LLC v. Nat’l Graphics, Inc. On July 25, 2016, the Federal Circuit’s In re...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces The Importance of Clearly Communicating Anti-Harassment Policies

A well-drafted anti-sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure can provide useful defenses for employers defending against claims of sexual harassment. However, a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit should remind...more

Fourth Circuit Says Failure to Replace Employee Does Not Defeat Discriminatory Termination Claim

When a terminated employee alleges that her firing resulted from discrimination or retaliation, employers often dispute those claims by noting that the employer never hired anyone to take the terminated employee’s position....more

No Deference to State Settlements Under CERCLA? No Problem!

I will confess that I do enjoy being correct. In 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to defer to a state agency determination of the procedural and substantive fairness of a CERCLA consent decree. Various parties...more

Unauthorized Transfers of Receivership Property: Void, Voidable or Ok?

Question: Unauthorized Transfers of Receivership Property: Void, Voidable or Ok? Answer: In a recent unpublished bankruptcy appellate panel decision (In Re Domum Locis, LLC, 2015 WL 4697747 (9th Cir. BAP 2015)), the BAP...more

Illinois Appellate Court Determines Medical Expense “Write-offs” Do Not Qualify for Set-off

Harold Miller v. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, et al., 2016 IL App (4th) 150728. Adding to the ever-changing debate regarding how medical expenses “written off” by health care providers are treated by Illinois...more

Lowndes Attorneys Obtain Favorable Rulings for Court-Appointed Receiver

Orlando, FL–Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. is pleased to announce that shareholder, Richard Dellinger, and appellate attorney, Jennifer R. Dixon, prevailed in defending a client appointed to serve as a...more

Panel Did Not Commit Manifest Disregard Of The Law When It Rejected Res Judicata Defense

A construction company appealed an order confirming an international arbitration award, which had denied the company’s demand for unpaid monies against an Antiguan medical school. The award also granted the medical school’s...more

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