Frivolous Lawsuits

News & Analysis as of

Bootstrapped Claim Against the FDA Gets the Boot

We’re pleased to report the demise of a plaintiff’s firm’s attempt to punish the FDA for rejecting the firm’s attempt to force the agency to create evidence helpful to plaintiffs in litigation. The ploy began in 2012, when “a...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

EEOC Issues New Retaliation Guidance

For the first time since 1998, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new enforcement guidance on retaliation. Retaliation claims have been a growth industry over the last 18 years. Back in 1998...more

Put Up or Pay Up: Mentor Obtape MDL Judge Promises Sanctions to Plaintiff Attorneys Filing Meritless Cases

We spend the vast bulk of our professional life working in the context of MDLs. We know the drill: plaintiff lawyers file hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of cases. At some point, the cream rises to the top in...more

Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin - USDC, C.D. California, August 8, 2016

District court rejects music publisher’s request for nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as prevailing party in copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” concluding lawsuit alleging infringement...more

Gavel to Gavel: Summary judgment, or letting the judge do her job

Justice is blind, but judges are not. That is why judges are empowered, through a process called summary judgment, to decide whether a case deserves to go to trial. But while the law trusts trial judges to discern...more

Private Attorney General Act Amendment Permits More Government Oversight of Claims

Buried in an appropriations bill designed to address no fewer than 42 separate issues is a small, but important item for California employers. In response to requests for legislative restrictions on the Private Attorneys...more

Frivolous Retaliatory Lawsuit Could Set Ominous Precedent in Mass Torts

In the world of mass torts, there is no shortage of scheme or artifice plaintiffs’ counsel will use to try to avoid the removal of lawsuits to federal court. However, it would be unreasonable and unjustified for a defendant,...more

Supreme Court Tells EEOC It May Be on the Hook for Fees if It Does Not Fulfill Its Statutory Pre-Suit Duties

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) authorizes the award of attorneys’ fees to a party who prevails in a discrimination or retaliation claim brought under that statute. Although this fee shifting provision...more

Fee Wars: Supreme Court Eases Defendants’ Burden for Attorneys’ Fees in Baseless Discrimination Actions

In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that attorneys’ fees for successfully defending a Title VII action can be recovered by an employer even if the defendant’s victory is not based on the merits of the case....more

Supreme Court Leaves Massive Attorney's Fee Award Against EEOC Unresolved

But Decision Could Still Be Helpful For Employers - Today, in a unanimous 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling on whether an employer is entitled to recover nearly $5 million dollars...more

Supreme Court Holds a Party May be Entitled to Attorneys' Fees Absent a Favorable Ruling on the Merits

On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in CRST, Inc. v. EEOC, which addressed the definition of a “prevailing party” who may be awarded attorneys’ fees in Title VII cases. Although the Court ultimately...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19436 - Miller v. Appellate Court - When the appellant’s attorney kept missing deadlines and failed to comply with other Appellate Court rules in four pending appeals, one...more

District Court Declines to "Reverse" Bifurcate Trial to Try Damages before Patent Infringement and Calls Motion "Baseless"

California Home Spas, Inc. ("CHS") filed a motion to bifurcate the trial between damages and infringement and asserted that the damage trial should proceed first. As noted below, the district court denied the request finding...more

Truckin’ To The Top Court: CRST Files Final Reply Brief Before Supreme Court Argument Against EEOC

In high-stakes litigation brought by the EEOC against trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc., (“CRST”), CRST recently submitted its final reply brief before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in the case later this...more

The Uncertainty of Remand in Texas

The United States District Courts in Texas continue to issue conflicting opinions regarding the analysis to be used in determining whether a state court petition contains sufficient allegations against a nondiverse defendant...more

Attorneys’ Fee Award Cannot Be Enhanced to Deter Misconduct (Lumen View Technology, LLC v., Inc.)

Addressing whether deterrence can play a role in an attorneys’ fee award under § 285, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that once a case is deemed exceptional, § 285 only authorizes an award of reasonable...more

What is a Patent Troll and Why are you Always Hearing about Them?

The term “Patent Troll” has been around for a long time. According to the Wikipedia page for “Patent Troll,” it was first used in 1993 to describe countries that file aggressive patent lawsuits. Though there are a variety of...more

The Next Copyright “Fantasy” is Headed to The Supreme Court

The last time the U.S. Supreme Court tackled the issue of attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act was in Fogerty v. Fantasy. In that case, John Fogerty was sued for alleged copyright infringement over his song “The Old Man...more

Shareholder Suit Challenging Groundbreaking Minimum-Support-To-Sue Bylaw Dismissed

In what is believed to be the first case nationwide seeking to strike down a groundbreaking corporate bylaw aimed at combatting frivolous shareholder class actions, Emergent Capital, Inc., has secured the dismissal with...more

Apotex Accuses Amgen of Sham BPCIA Litigation

Amgen recently sued Apotex under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA) over Apotex’s proposed biosimilar of Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), a long-lasting version of Neupogen. This is the first...more

California Expands Right to Cure Certain Claims Under PAGA

Assembly Bill 1506 grants relief to employers from frivolous actions under PAGA by allowing employers to cure certain alleged wage statement defects before an employee may recover PAGA penalties....more

A Cure for PAGA? At Least for Some Frivolous Wage Statement Claims

California employers had reason to celebrate over the weekend, as Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to curb frivolous “PAGA” lawsuits alleging noncompliance with itemized wage statement requirements in California Labor...more

Court Orders Law Firm and Client Joint and Severally Liable for Part of Attorney's Fee Award After Determination That Case Was...

The district court briefly summarized this patent infringement action that it found frivolous as follows: "In the 1990's, Segan invented a system for people to browse the Internet. Today, Zynga makes video games that people...more

EEOC to Pay One Mmmillion Dollars

In EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc. et al., No. CV-11-3045-EFS (E.D. Wash.), the court determined that the EEOC had conducted a shoddy administrative investigation and lacked a factual basis to pursue its theory of...more

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