Appeals

News & Analysis as of

Are Longer-Pending Cases More Likely to Be Affirmances in the Criminal Docket? (Part 2 – 2008-2016)

On March 23, 2017, we showed that affirmances in civil cases between 2008 and 2016 have tended to be pending for longer both between the grant of review and oral argument, and between argument and decision, than reversals...more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only...more

Absolute Priority Remains Absolute – US Supreme Court Holds Structured Dismissals Cannot Violate Priority Rules

In a highly anticipated bankruptcy opinion, the United States Supreme Court, in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., held that courts may not approve structured dismissals providing for distributions that deviate from the...more

Briefs Filed in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities

On February 27, 2017, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) filed its brief with the Supreme Court, requesting that the Court reverse the decision of the Second Circuit and abrogate the Second...more

The Top Five Reasons to Have Separate Appellate Counsel

An appeal is neither a chance to retry a case nor a time to develop new legal theories. A successful appeal depends on careful planning and extensive knowledge of the appellate process, as well as a meritorious legal...more

Supreme Court Curbs Laches as a Defense in Patent Cases

In SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, decided on March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly reduced the role of the laches defense in patent actions: "Laches cannot be interposed as a defense...more

Supreme Court Eliminates the Laches Defense in Patent Cases

The Supreme Court held that laches is no longer a defense against patent infringement. The Patent Act’s six-year statute of limitations already limits the window for damages for infringement, which precludes any further...more

Aftermath of Briseno Decision Holding No “Administrative Feasibility” Required for Class Certification

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down its (by now) hotly discussed decision in Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 844 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2017), on January 3, 2017, holding there is no separate...more

Employees Paid on a Commission Basis Must Be Paid a Separate Minimum Wage for Rest Periods

Employers who pay employees commissions should evaluate their compensation schemes to ensure compliance with California law in light of the California Court of Appeals’ recent ruling in Vaquero, et al. v. Stoneledge...more

No Emergency Injunction Appeal in Chamber’s Challenge to DOL Rule

On March 20, 2017, a federal court in the Northern District of Texas denied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal challenging implementation of the Department’s conflict of interest...more

U.S. Supreme Court Eliminates Laches Defense for Damages in Patent Suits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, held in a 7-1 decision that the defense of laches is not available under the Patent Act to bar claims for damages. SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby...more

Supreme Court Increases School Standards For Students With Disabilities

IEPs Must Meet “Markedly More Demanding” Standard From Now On This week, in a unanimous decision crafted by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court decided that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act...more

Third Circuit Finds Title IX Provides a Remedy for Sex Discrimination in Fully Funded Educational Institutions

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has again created a circuit split by disagreeing with decisions from the Fifth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, which have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides...more

Court Finds Taxi Cab Company Vicariously Liable for Taxi Driver’s Negligence

Emanuele Secci v. United Independent Taxi Drivers, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District 8 Cal.App.5th 846 (February 15, 2017) - The California Court of Appeals reinstated a jury verdict of $335,000...more

The D.C. Circuit Vacates NLRB Ruling on Driver Status in FedEx Case

In early March 2017, the D.C. Circuit in FedEx Home Delivery v. NLRB, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3826 (D.C. Cir. 2017) vacated a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”) ruling that Connecticut FedEx drivers...more

UK: AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgment in AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others UKSC 2016/0100, ruling on how claims arising from similar acts or omissions in a series of related...more

Federal Circuit PTAB Appeal Statistics – March 2017

Through March 1, 2017, the Federal Circuit decided 172 PTAB appeals from IPRs and CBMs. The Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB on every issue in 132 (76.74%) cases, and reversed or vacated the PTAB on every issue in 15...more

Third Circuit Holds Criminal Defendant in Contempt for Refusing to Decrypt Hard Drives

In a precedential ruling, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week upheld a lower court’s ruling holding a criminal defendant in contempt for refusing to decrypt two external hard drives that were seized during a child...more

District Court Does Not Have Unlimited Discretion in Assessing Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees

Addressing attorneys’ fees in the context of a breach of contract claim, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s limited award of attorneys’ fees, finding the award inconsistent with the...more

Federal Circuit to PTAB – No 102 Gap Filling

In a precedential opinion dated March 14, 2017, the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB, holding that in finding a claim anticipated under 35 USC § 102, the Board cannot “fill in missing limitations” simply because a skilled...more

State Law Cannot Blur the Line Between Patents and Copyrights

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that a plaintiff could not use a state law claim for unfair competition to protect a valve design, because federal copyright law preempts such a claim. Ultraflo Corp....more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII and Title IX Retaliation Case

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Burton v. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, affirmed the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer...more

Public Trust Doctrine & Water Rights - The Walker Case: Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Water Rights Established in...

A case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit raises a significant and novel issue of western water law. The case addresses whether the public trust doctrine can authorize modification of a water rights decree and...more

Texas Court Holds Mere Possession and Opportunity to Use Trade Secrets is Sufficient for Misappropriation

The San Antonio Court of Appeals recently held that an applicant for a temporary injunction in a trade-secret-misappropriation case under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act is not required to show the defendant is actually...more

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