Burden of Proof

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suits Alleging Directors Wrongfully Refused Litigation Demands

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 30, 2016, The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed two derivative suits filed on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”). The companion memorandum and letter opinions reaffirm the heavy...more

Key Lessons From the Recent Precedential Order by Federal Circuit – Jurisdiction, Mandamus, and Privilege

On November 17, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit published a precedential order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus to overturn a district court’s determination. In In re: Rearden LLC,...more

Burden of Proof Issues in Gift Tax Matter

A recent case illustrates 3 important burden of proof issues. The general facts of the case involved a merger of a company owned by parents with a company owned by children. The gift tax issue involved the relative value...more

Do Durational Limits Apply to Cases That Were Resolved Before the Alimony Reform Act?

The Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision of George v. George provides guidance in applying the durational limits contained in the Alimony Reform Act....more

Courts to Consider Theories, Not Facts, on Certification

Seyfarth Synopsis: In Lubin v. Wackenhut Corp., the California Court of Appeal reinstated an effort to certify a class of over 10,000 security officers required to sign on-duty meal period agreements. The Court of Appeal...more

EU Competition Newsletter - November 2016

The European Commission issues Statement of Objections against Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal over “anticompetitive” codesharing arrangements - The European Commission have expressed concern over the possible...more

Sixth Circuit Sends Flint Water Class Action to State Court Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception

On November 16, 2016, the Sixth Circuit held that a state law professional negligence class action against civil engineering companies arising out of the Flint, Michigan water crisis must be litigated in Michigan state court....more

Court Reverses No-Evidence Summary Judgment On Fiduciary Duty Claim Because Motion Was Not Sufficiently Precise

In Neurodiagnostic Tex, L.L.C. v. Pierce, the court reviewed a summary judgment entered regarding an employer’s breach of fiduciary duty claim. No. 12-14-00254-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 11754 (Tex. App.—Tyler October 31, 2016,...more

Ninth Circuit Retires Fee-Award Standard, Imports Octane Fitness to Trademark Cases

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined a majority of appellate courts that have rejected rigid tests for attorneys’-fees awards in favor of flexible discretion at the district court level. The...more

Affordable Care Act Retaliation Complaint Procedures Finalized

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its Final Rule governing retaliation complaints under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is one of more than 20 whistleblower laws that are administered by the...more

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

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