Declaratory Judgments

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Rejects Foreign Employee’s Attempt to Avoid Forum Selection Clause on Grounds He Signed Under Duress Upon Arriving...

Earlier this fall, the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts transferred an employee’s declaratory judgment action to the Eastern District of Michigan pursuant to a forum-selection clause in a non-compete agreement over the...more

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms a Declaratory Judgment in Favor of the Insurer Where the Underlying Suit Did Not Allege an...

In Westfield Ins. Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC, the Appellate Court of Illinois, affirmed the trial court’s decision holding that the developer, West Van Buren, LLC (“Van Buren”), was not entitled to defense and indemnification...more

Sixth Circuit Holds That Ascertainability Not a Requirement in Rule 23(B)(2) Class Actions

On October 17, 2016, in a case of first impression, the Sixth Circuit held that ascertainability is not a requirement in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) class actions. The Sixth Circuit joined three other Circuits...more

Challenge To The Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces (“Blacklisting”) Rule To Be Heard On October 21, 2016

On October 7, 2016, the first lawsuit challenging the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”) and its Final Rule and Guidance (collectively the “Rule”) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern...more

Electronic Frontier Foundation brings suit over anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a complaint against various agencies and members of the U.S. government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), arguing that this...more

Dutch Collective Actions vs. Collective Settlements

As U.S. law has become less willing to entertain certain types of lawsuits on behalf of worldwide classes of plaintiffs, litigants have looked for other forums that might allow the prosecution – or at least the resolution –...more

Quicksands and Cutting Edges of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers possess Due Process and Vested Rights to Continued...

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome. The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5,...more

Happy Birthday To Me: An Iconic Song Enters The Public Domain After Copyright Settlement

As I turn 50 years old this week, I can’t help but think of the famous Happy Birthday song and the class action that resulted in its entering the public domain earlier this year. The class action plaintiffs in that case...more

U.S. Bank Settles Four RMBS Lawsuits against WMC

On September 22, 2016, RMBS Trustee U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”) and loan originator WMC Mortgage LLC (“WMC”) filed a stipulation of dismissal in four RMBS lawsuits in light of a settlement reached between the...more

Accused Infringer Secures Patent Invalidity in Eyeglass Screw Case

Declaratory judgment actions can be a useful way for entities threatened with patent infringement to go on the offensive.  In one such matter in the District of Massachusetts, a declaratory judgment plaintiff turned the...more

Nashville Islamic Center Claims Tax Rules Impose Unfair Burden

The Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) recently filed a federal complaint and request for declaratory judgment against the State of Tennessee, the Metropolitan Trustee of Nashville, and the Tennessee State Board of...more

Delaware District Court Sets Up Another Marathon Unclaimed Property Battle

On September 23, 2016, the Delaware federal district court granted the state’s motion to dismiss in Marathon Petroleum Corp., et al. v. Cook, et al., ending (for now) the plaintiffs’ claims that Delaware’s audit of the...more

21 States File a Lawsuit Challenging the USDOL’s Revisions to the White Collar Exemptions

On September 20, 21 states filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, challenging the USDOL’s revisions to the white collar exemptions under the Fair...more

Mind Reading Infringement Contentions

Order Regarding Discovery Letter Briefs, InteraXon Inc. v. NeuroTek, LLC, Case No. 15-cv-05290 (Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore) - InteraXon, maker of a mind reading meditation aid, is not required to read the...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Where Declination of Defense is Grounded in a Reasonable Basis, No Bad Faith Exists Under...

Defendant Icon Legacy Custom Modular was sued in two separate state court proceedings: one in New York and one in Massachusetts. Plaintiff Westfield Insurance Company initially agreed to defend Icon as to those actions, but...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC37588 - Prime Locations of CT, LLC v. Rocky Hill Development, LLC - When a commercial condominium unit owner’s association refused to grant their approval for a...more

Substantial Controversy Exists to Support Declaratory Judgment Complaint under Totality of Circumstances Test Where Patentee’s...

Asia Vital Components Co., Ltd. (AVC) filed a declaratory judgment complaint seeking a declaration that its K7 and K9 products do not infringe two of Asetek Danmark A/S’s (“Asetek”) patents. According to AVC, those two...more

Disgruntled Timeshare Owner’s Bid for Class Arbitration Thwarted

On August 30, the Northern District of California thwarted a disgruntled timeshare owner’s attempt to arbitrate her dispute against a timeshare developer on a classwide basis. A timeshare purchaser alleged that Wyndham, the...more

In Indiana, an Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Exclude Absolutely Nothing

A recent article in the Sports section of The Miami Herald read “Shooting coach helps Winslow.” Perhaps, but it probably didn’t help the coach much. The admonition to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate” undoubtedly...more

Court Report - September 2016

About Court Report: Each week we will report briefly on recently filed biotech and pharma cases. Horizon Therapeutics, Inc. v. Lupin Ltd. et al. 1:16-cv-04438; filed July 21, 2016 in the District Court of New Jersey...more

Patent Infringement Claim Exempts Related Counterclaims from Mandatory Arbitration

In reviewing the scope of an arbitration agreement that was part of a supply agreement, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, determining that the defendant’s breach of...more

Court Report - August 2016 #2

About Court Report: Each week we will report briefly on recently filed biotech and pharma cases. Tris Pharma Inc. v. Actavis Elizabeth LLC et al. 1:16-cv-00603l; filed July 12, 2016 in the District Court of...more

Policy for Employee Theft Including Forgery Doesn’t Cover Employee Forgery

A seller extends $90 million in credit to a customer, secured by letters of credit. When the debtor can’t pay, the seller discovers the instruments are fakes, forged by its own employee. Can the seller recover under a...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

FCC Holds Educators and Utilities Making Certain Robo Calls Do Not Violate The TCPA

On August 4, 2016, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that schools and utilities making robo calls do not violate the TCPA under certain circumstances. The Ruling, addressed Petitions filed by Blackboard, Inc....more

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