Burden of Proof

News & Analysis as of

Warning Causation Potpourri in New Jersey Mass Tort

Over the last couple of years, the Accutane mass tort in New Jersey state court has become the gift that keeps on giving. The latest installment is a two-fer: In re Accutane Litigation, 2016 WL 5958374 (New Jersey Super....more

Court Affirms Finding That Will Was Lost And Not Revoked

In In the Estate of Burrell, a trial court admitted a copy of will to probate, and a contestant appealed. No. 09-14-00345-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 10421 (Tex. App.—Beaumont September 22, 2016, no pet. history). This case was...more

Seventh Circuit Eases ERISA Plaintiffs’ Pleading Burden Against Private Company Plan Fiduciaries

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Allen v. GreatBanc Trust Co., No. 15-3569, 2016 WL 4474730 (7th Cir. 2016), held that (1) the defendant in an ERISA case, rather than the plaintiff,...more

Third Circuit Grants FTC Injunction in Penn State Hershey-Pinnacle Merger, Overruling Lower Court

On September 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed the Federal Trade Commission a big win, overturning the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s denial of an injunction to block the proposed merger of Penn...more

Third Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Doryx ‘Product Hopping’ Suit

On September 28, 2016, the Third Circuit issued an opinion in Mylan v. Warner Chilcott, upholding the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s holding on summary judgement that Defendants’ “product hopping” conduct did not violate...more

Trademark Review | September 2016

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and BLACK MEN ROCK Deemed Confusingly Similar - This opposition involved a straight-forward likelihood of confusion analysis. Opposer owned a registration for the mark BLACK GIRLS ROCK! for clothing and...more

Patent Rights in the U.S.: Is the Pendulum Finally Swinging Back to Center?

The U.S. patent system has long struggled to strike a balance that both encourages patent rights and prevents patent abuse. Finding that balance requires giving patent owners the right amount of patent enforcement power,...more

New Orleans Federal Court Dismisses Relators’ Improper Billing Claims against FEMA Temporary Housing Contractor Due to...

On September 14, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted a government contractor’s summary judgment motion and dismissed a lawsuit brought against it by False Claims Act relators...more

Summary Judgment Horror Story For Stephen King’s Literary Agent

While many breach of contract cases are resolved by motions to dismiss or summary judgment, a recent decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, Kramer v. Greene, (1st Dep’t Aug. 11, 2016), has shown that when it...more

Fourth Circuit Requires Individual Analysis of "Me Too" Discrimination Evidence

In order to reach a jury trial, plaintiffs in employment discrimination claims generally must provide evidence of intentional treatment that led to some adverse employment consequences. In some cases, plaintiffs attempt to...more

If Plaintiff Wants Discovery on Defendant’s Backup Tapes, Court Rules He Must Pay for Them: eDiscovery Case Law

In Elkharwily v. Franciscan Health Sys., No. 3:15-cv-05579-RJB (W.D. Wash. July 29, 2016), Washington District Judge Robert J. Bryan, finding that the defendant had met its burden to show that retrieving electronically stored...more

Courts Are Taking Materiality Seriously Post-Escobar

In the three months since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, lower court decisions suggest a trend of strict interpretation of the high court’s...more

John Edwards argues before the Texas Supreme Court on important libel case that started in 2003

Houston partner John K. Edwards recently argued before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend County...more

Federal Circuit Overturns PTAB Denial of Motion to Amend Claims in IPR Proceeding

Veritas Technologies LLC v. Veeam Software Corp., No. 2015-1894 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 30, 2016). On recurring controversy in AIA trials is the difficulty patent owners face meeting the PTAB’s strict requirements for amending...more

EPA Eliminates “But For” Causation From the Exceptional Events Rule: Tort Professors Everywhere Get Excited

On Monday, EPA promulgated amendments to its “Exceptional Events” Rule. The rule is important, particularly in the Western states, and most particularly in connection with EPA’s latest iteration of the ozone NAAQS. EPA’s...more

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) “Manager of Managers” Lawsuit: AXA Advisory and Administrative Fees Held Not to...

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued its post-trial ruling on August 25, 2016 in Sivolella v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company—the first Section 36(b) trial decision since 2009. The Court...more

Defence & Indemnity - August 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES

A. While the verdict of a criminal case can preclude the litigation of the issues involved in that criminal case in the related civil proceeding, issues that were not involved or decided in the criminal case (such as...more

Defence & Indemnity - August 2016: II. LIABILITY ISSUES #3

C. In cases involving injuries caused by one player to another during a sporting event, there must be a deliberate intent to cause injury or reckless disregard for liability to be found. Henderson v. Canadian Hockey Assn...more

Defence & Indemnity - August 2016: II. LIABILITY ISSUES #1

A. Reverse Onus Provisions of the Traffic Safety Act: Section 186 of the Traffic Safety Act applies over Section 185 in accidents involving a motorist and a non-motorist (such as a pedestrian or cyclist). Section 185 applies...more

CFPB Outlines New Proposals For Third Party Consumer Debt Collection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the U.S. published an outline of proposals on July 28, 2016 to govern consumer debt collection by debt collectors including third-party collection agencies, debt buyers,...more

Seventh Circuit to Plaintiffs: Here's Your Burden of Proof

Most employees who file employment discrimination claims hope for one of two things – a really sympathetic jury or an employer that is willing to generously settle the lawsuit to avoid the risks and uncertainties of trial. ...more

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) "Manager of Managers" Lawsuit

AXA Investor Fees Held Not To Constitute a Breach of Fiduciary Duty - The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued its trial ruling on August 25, 2016 in Sivolella v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance...more

Federal Circuit Rebukes PTAB for Shifting Burden of Proof to Patentee in IPR

Reaffirming the petitioner’s burden of proof codified in 35 USC § 316(e), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) finding the patent owner’s...more

Court Rules in Favor of Investment Adviser after Trial in Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Case

In a case closely watched by the mutual fund industry, the federal district court in New Jersey ruled on Thursday in favor of a mutual fund’s investment adviser and against the shareholders who had brought the lawsuit under...more

Key Arguments in Defending a Disability Claim Based on Subjective Complaints

Courts often do not clearly articulate what are key arguments in defending an action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) involving a claim for benefits based on subjective complaints. However,...more

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