Abuse of Discretion

News & Analysis as of

ERISA: When Does A Claimant Get To “Augment” The Administrative Record?

You already know that judicial review of ERISA claims generally will be limited to the administrative record considered by the claim administrator. But the courts will allow claimants to augment the record if ERISA...more

Section 325(d) Does Not Preclude All Second Petitions - Motorola Mobility LLC v. Intellectual Ventures I LLC

Addressing its decision to institute a covered business method (CBM) patent review based on a second petition, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) found that its decision...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

California, Nevada and 38 Other States Have These, But Delaware Doesn’t

According to the National Center for State Courts, forty states, including California and Nevada, have established intermediate courts of appeal.  California’s Court of Appeal was established by a constitutional amendment...more

The Abuse Of Discretion Standard Applies To The Appellate Review Of Reasonable Attorney Fees

In Calvo Fisher & Jacob LLP v. Lujan, 2015 DJDAR 1965, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided another case in the ongoing saga arising out of litigation concerning the Estate of Larry...more

Potential Erosion of the Distinction Between Benefits Denials and Breach of Fiduciary Duty under ERISA in the Tenth Circuit

A recent decision from a federal district court in the Tenth Circuit provides an example of the potential erosion of the distinction between claims for wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under the...more

“Ambush” Election Challenge Fails in Federal Court

A federal judge in Texas recently ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case challenging the Board’s “ambush” election rules. The lawsuit, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v....more

Federal Circuit Review | May 2015

Overly Narrow Statement Of Problem Can Show Reliance On Hindsight - In INSITE VISION INCORPORATED v. SANDOZ, INC., Appeal No. 2014-1065, the Federal Circuit held that enunciating an overly narrow statement of the problem...more

Florida’s 3rd DCA Reverses Dismissal Based on the Technical Admission

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals reversed the involuntary dismissal of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s (“Wells Fargo”) foreclosure action against borrower, Melissa Donaldson (“Donaldson”), ruling that it was an abuse of...more

Bad Faith Bargainer Beware: D.C. Circuit Enforces Award of Negotiation Costs

Last year the NLRB demonstrated an increased willingness to award negotiation costs as a remedy for bad faith bargaining in cases that are far less egregious than those where the remedy historically was given. Hospital of...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Order Striking Class Allegations in Microsoft Xbox Case

The Ninth Circuit reversed an order striking class allegations against Microsoft reasoning that the Washington district court misapplied its precedent and thereby abused its discretion. Plaintiffs alleged that a design defect...more

First Circuit Reviews Top Hat Plan Benefits Denial for Abuse of Discretion

The First Circuit recently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to a claim for top hat plan benefits. Plaintiff Robert Niebauer, a former executive of Crane, brought a claim for executive severance plan benefits...more

Court Redefines the Legal Standard for Preservation Obligations (4th Circuit)

Blue Sky Travel & Tours, LLC v. Al Tayyar, 2015 WL 1451636 (4th Cir. Mar. 31, 2015). In this breach of contract case, the defendants failed to produce relevant documents despite a court order, and sanctions were imposed....more

Abuse of Discretion Not Shown By Court’s Failure To “Show Its Arithmetic” in Significantly Reducing Claimed Attorney Fees in CEQA...

In Save Our Uniquely Rural Community Environment v. County of San Bernardino, __ Cal.App.4th ___, 2015 WL 1259781 (4th Dist., Div. 2, 2015) (SOURCE) , the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision...more

Federal Circuit Held District Court Abused Discretion in Refusing to Award Attorneys’ Fees

On April 10, 2015, in a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals–Judge Moore writing–vacated and remanded U.S. District Court Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer’s 2014 decision denying fees, finding that it “cannot...more

Ediscovery Costs Affirmed in Termination Dispute (6th Circuit)

Colosi v. Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., 2015 WL 1186765 (6th Cir. Mar. 17, 2015). In this wrongful termination case, the plaintiff sought to challenge the bill of costs previously awarded to the defendant. The...more

Illinois Appellate Court Limits Employer's Discretion To Award Or Deny Bonuses Under Written Bonus Plan

McCleary v. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, an Illinois Appellate Court held that a former employee stated a claim for an unpaid bonus under a written bonus plan that expressly stated that bonuses were made at the sole...more

ERISA — 5 Quick Points: Blowing a Deadline for Decision is Not Necessarily Fatal to Abuse of Discretion Standard

You already know that ERISA regulations require the plan administrator to render a decision on an administrative appeal within 45 days....more

Contempt Charge Vacated Based On Valid Assertion of Attorney Client Privilege - Waste Management of Washington, Inc. v. Kattler et...

Finding that a district court had not provided procedural due process to an attorney for a sanctioned party, and that the district court abused its discretion in imposing sanctions for civil contempt against the attorney, the...more

Court of Appeals of New Mexico Reverses Bad Faith Judgment for Insured and Remands for New Trial on Bad Faith Claim

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. v. Vigil, No. 32,171 (N.M. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015). Court of Appeals of New Mexico rules that district court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of previous coverage ruling in...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 13, 2015

Foreclosure: trial court violated purchaser’s procedural due process rights in setting aside judicial sale of property without giving notice to purchaser. Further, trial court abused its discretion in setting aside judicial...more

A Claimant May Be Deposed Before Shown Surveillance Materials

The Fourth District in Hankerson v. Wiley, --- So. 3d ----, 2015 WL 71735, 40 Fla. Law Weekly D195 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 7, 2015), aligned itself with recent Third District decisions and quashed a trial court order which...more

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Four FDCPA Classes Where District Court Failed to Conduct Rigorous Analysis Required by Wal-Mart...

The Eighth Circuit recently held that a district court abused its discretion by certifying four classes of Nebraska consumers in an action against a debt collector and its attorneys for alleged violations of the Fair Debt...more

Federal Circuit Review | January 2015

RAND Commitment Relevant to Damages - In ERICSSON, INC. v. D-LINK SYSTEMS, INC., Appeal Nos. 2013-1625, -1631, -1632, and -1633, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part the district court’s judgment...more

Cy Pres Distributions in Class Action Settlements Addressed By Eighth Circuit

Over the last several years, federal courts of appeals have been closely scrutinizing cy pres distributions to charitable organizations in class action settlements. This includes opinions by the First Circuit, Third Circuit...more

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