Abuse of Discretion

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Fast Five: Rhode Island Appellate Practice - July 2014

With the dog days of summer upon us, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has concluded its Spring 2014 term, leaving practitioners with new guidance on a variety of trial and appellate practice issues. In one of its last...more

ERISA 8th Circuit: Deciding Who Is The Beneficiary — The Abuse Of Discretion Standard Trumps The Substantial Compliance Doctrine

Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges. Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more

Civil Contempt Only Applies if Party Violates Explicit Terms of Order

Energy Recovery, Inc. v. Hauge - Addressing a civil contempt order under an abuse of discretion standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found in that a former employee was not in contempt because he...more

Exaggerated Allegations Based on Essentially No Evidence Equals Rule 11 Sanctions - Heller v. Cepia L.L.C.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions of $5,000 on a plaintiff’s attorney for exaggerating allegations in a complaint. As the court explained, the mere “presence of some...more

Brownstone Appellate Law Firm Files Brief to Overturn Conviction in Dalia Dippolito Case

Brownstone Appellate Law Firm, led by attorneys Robert Sirianni, Michael Brownlee, and Andrew Greenlee, file the initial brief challenging the conviction and sentence in Dalia Dippolito case. In their brief, appellate...more

Three Crisis Management Mistakes from Christie’s Bridgegate

It’s not hard to imagine that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s still-unfolding Bridgegate scandal could have taken a different turn. Lacking evidence, the allegations aired shortly after the George Washington Bridge closure...more

Supreme Court to Review Sixth Circuit’s Reinstatement of ERISA “Stock-Drop” Class Action

The Supreme Court recently agreed to resolve a circuit split on the pleading requirements for claims that ERISA fiduciaries imprudently invested employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) assets in the stock of the...more

Justice Rubin Tackles the Amorphous “Abuse of Discretion” Standard

Today, Division Eight of the Second Appellate District of California issued its decision in Gaines v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company (Dec. 12, 2013 B244961). The case involved the dismissal of a fraud case in the...more

Certification of Meal Break Employment Class Affirmed By Ninth Circuit

In Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates Inc., the Ninth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break subclass, defined as all past and present employees who (a) worked more than...more

ERISA – 5th Circuit: Ambiguities In Plan Terms CANNOT Be Construed Against Plan Administrator When Plan Confers Discretion “To...

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms? If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms,” ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator....more

Federal Circuit Review - Volume 3 | Issue 9 September 2013

In This Issue: • Smartphone War Update: Some of Apple’s Patents Survive Invalidity Challenge • Sale by Foreign Supplier Invalidated Patent • District Court Abused Discretion in Refusing to Keep Confidential...more

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms?

If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms”, ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator. Here’s the case of Porter v. Lowe’s Companies, __ F.3d__ (5th Cir....more

Employment Newsletter - September 2013: Connecticut Supreme Court Limits Arbitrator’s Discretion When Interpreting Collective...

In State v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, 2013 Conn. LEXIS 266 (Conn. Aug. 6, 2013), the Connecticut Supreme Court held there is a clear, well-defined and dominant policy against sexual harassment in the State and that an...more

More on Daubert: The 11th Circuit Allows EPA’s Experts to Testify on NSR Violations

Last spring, Robby Sanoff complained in this space about the problem resulting from appellate courts’ refusal to give appropriate discretion to district judges in performing their gatekeeping function under Daubert. As Robby...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Update: Week Ending August 2, 2013

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES – JOURDAN HAYNES - Attorneys’ Fees: trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys’ fees and costs of $74,429 against bank following dismissal of foreclosure action as sanction...more

Stoking a Dead Fire: Da Silva Moore Plaintiffs File Petition for Writ of Certiorari

As reported first by Victor Li, a reporter at Law Technology News, the plaintiffs in Da Silva Moore are at it again—this time with a cert petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. In their petition, the plaintiffs contend that...more

C. Court Did Not Abuse Discretion In Denying Attorney's Fees To Successful Beneficiary In Declaratory Judgment Action

In Estate of Richardson, a remainder beneficiary of a trust filed a declaratory judgment action to declare that the trust would terminate five years after its creation. No. 14-12-00516-CV, 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 2664 (Tex....more

IP Update, Vol. 16, No. 6, June 2013

Patents / Patent Eligible Subject Matter - Supreme Court to Myriad: Isolated DNA Sequences Are Not Patent-Eligible Subject Matter -- AMP et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.: In a 9–0 decision the Supreme...more

California Court of Appeal Affirms Deferential CEQA Substantial Evidence Standard

On May 21, 2013, the California First District Court of Appeal certified for publication North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Municipal Water District, an important CEQA opinion that affirms a highly deferential...more

Doing Time: A Requirement for White Collar Crime?

A recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit indicates that deterring future white collar crime is a substantial factor in shaping appellate court rulings relating to appropriate sentences for fraud, particularly when a...more

Principled Appellate Decisions

In This Presentation: - Overview: • The "right" result on appeal depends on your perspective, but several factors go into reaching a principled appellate decision. • Our discussion will examine some...more

How Late Can a Default on a Foreclosure Suit Be Vacated?

In the closing days of the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. McCluskey, a decision from the Second District reversing an order refusing to vacate a...more

The Fourth Circuit Opens the Door to Extrinsic Evidence in Considering a Claim for Employee Benefits

Executive Summary: The Fourth Circuit expands the scope of admissible evidence in an ERISA employee benefits case. The very first principle applied in a lawsuit for benefits from an ERISA-governed employee benefit plan...more

District Court Considers Evidence Outside Administrative Record

Helton v. AT&T, Inc. No. 11-2153, 2013 WL 812118 (4th Cir. Mar. 6, 2013) - In Helton v. AT&T, Inc., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s consideration of evidence outside of the...more

Appealing Propositions: Appellate Issues In The Law - Distinguishing Between Error and Reversible Error; Recognizing and Avoiding...

Right after the judge or the jury renders a “bad verdict” we all have undoubtedly heard, at least, one our clients say they want to appeal the case “all the way to the United States Court, if that’s what it takes to get...more

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