News & Analysis as of

Before You Sue: 10 Questions Every Employee Should Ask

Last week, we talked about 20 things an employer should ask itself before terminating an employee. In the interests of fairness, here are 10 things that an employee should ask before suing an employer. You should know that I...more

The New Rules: Making Lawsuits Speedier and Less Expensive

Be prepared, litigators, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are coming on December 1, 2015. These changes represent the Advisory Committee’s attempt to fulfill Rule 1’s goal of “just, speedy, and inexpensive”...more

Get It in Writing: Even Arguments Prompted by PTAB Questions Must Be in the Briefings

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to strictly enforce its rule that "parties are not permitted to raise new arguments at oral hearing," including in situations where the "new" arguments are provided as a...more

The Florida Legislature’s Need to Control – the Daubert Rule

This is in response to the article in the Daily Business Review, Opponents of New Expert Witness Rule Rely on Outdated Authority [COMMENTARY] by Christopher Johnson, Daily Business Review. This recent article claims that...more

Digital Emotions: The Evidentiary Impact of Emoticons and Emojis

When computer science professor Scott Fahlman posted a sideways smiley face on an electronic message board at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982, he could not possibly have known that combination of dots and dashes would give...more

Board Offers New Technique to Solve an Often-Raised IPR Issue

One panel of the PTAB has introduced a technique that may help solve the oft-raised complaint that a reply brief from Petitioner contains new evidence and/or argument not raised in the Petition. In early decisions, when this...more

When Conducting Investigations, Consider "Privileges"

Whether voluntarily or as required by the International Safety Management Code, the American Waterways Operators’ (“AWO”) Responsible Carrier Program, or some other rule or regulation, investigations of accidents and...more

Federal District Court Issues Split Decision On Admissibility Of Evidence Bearing On Punitive Damages

As we have observed in a prior post, defendants in punitive damages cases often fail to develop evidence in mitigation of the amount of punitive damages, enabling the plaintiff to focus the jury on evidence about the...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course on the Broad Use of Prepetition Discovery

Although this Alabama Supreme Court opinion was released in February of this year, my recent dealings on the topic have prompted me to highlight how the Alabama Supreme Court has reigned in the liberal use of prepetition...more

Much Ado About Nothing: The Defense of Judge Posner’s Internet Research

All the briefs are filed, and the next step in the saga of Rowe v. Gibson, No. 14-3316 (Aug. 19, 2015), is for the nine judges in regular active service on the Seventh Circuit to cast their votes in favor of or against...more

CLIENT ALERT: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments to Take Effect December 1, 2015

On December 1, 2015, amendments to Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 55 and 84 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will become effective. These amendments were originally approved by the Judicial Conference in...more

Social Media and Practice: Questions Attorneys Should Ask Now

Social media users number in the billions. Facebook counts over 1.4 billion users, LinkedIn has 347 million members, Instagram has 300 million, Twitter has nearly 290 million, and YouTube reports more than a billion users....more

Value Paid by the Medical Lien Holder Alone Will Not Establish the Reasonable Value Medical Expenses

In Uspenskaya v. Meline (filed October 28, 2015), the California Court of Appeal for the Third District held that evidence of payments made by a medical lien holder offered to prove the reasonable value of medical services...more

Rectification in a Tax Context: The Intention Standard Prevails

A drafting mistake in an agreement can result in significant and unintended tax consequences. In the recent case of Baytex Energy Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General) (Baytex), the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Court)...more

CFPB Sanctions Midland Funding – What it Means for your Arizona Debt Collection Case

Recently I wrote about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) sanctioning Midland Funding and its sister companies Midland Credit Management, Asset Acceptance, and parent company Encore Capital. After a thorough...more

Phigenix v Genentech; Claims Found Not Unpatentable In Final Written Decision

On October 27, the PTAB issued a Final Written Decision in an IPR challenging claims 1-8 of US Patent 8,337,856, directed to immunoconjugates comprising an anti-ErbB antibody, such as the humanized anti-ErbB2 antibody known...more

Fundamental Evidentiary Issues – Avoiding Exclusion of Your Opinion of Value and Comparable Sales

In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters: Before we delve into the case, here’s a basic reminder of California law...more

Torts – Effect of Howell Decision on Purchased Medical Liens

Anna Uspenskaya v. Clare Meline - Court of Appeal, Third District (October 28, 2015) - Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541 was a landmark case in which the California Supreme Court...more

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Relax the Standard for Award of Enhanced Patent Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide two cases concerning the issue of when district courts may award enhanced damages to patentees upon a finding of infringement. Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, U.S., No....more

Finally, We’re Back to “Put Up, or Shut Up”

My clients who have defended against meritless claims over the last few years know why this is important. The Tennessee Supreme Court has finally restored the traditional summary judgment standard making it easier for these...more

The E-Discovery Digest - October 2015

In This Issue: - Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product Decisions: ..Decisions Protecting Against Disclosure ..Decisions Ordering Disclosure Other - Spoliation Decisions: ..Spoliation Sanctions...more

Florida Supreme Court Rules Defendants May Not Admit Evidence of Potential Collateral Source Benefits Provided by Social...

In John Joerg, Jr., etc., et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. SC13-1768 (October 15, 2015), the Florida Supreme Court held that defendants are precluded from introducing evidence regarding collateral...more

Witnesses in Arbitration – California Arbitration Act (Part I)

Testimony and documents may be obtained in arbitration in accordance with the parties’ agreement, the applicable institutional arbitration rules and provisions of law (federal and state arbitration acts, as applicable). This...more

Rhode Island Supreme Court Closes Door To In Camera Review In Certain Circumstances

In addressing an issue of first impression under Rhode Island law, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has held that a trial justice may not make decisions on the merits based on documents submitted in camera....more

This N.C. Case Cries For Comment

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals State v. Matsoake started me to think about what constitutes a communication.  The case involved whether an ex-wife’s testimony about seeing her husband crying should have been...more

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