Abuse of Discretion

News & Analysis as of

Illinois Appellate Court Limits Employer's Discretion To Award Or Deny Bonuses Under Written Bonus Plan

McCleary v. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, an Illinois Appellate Court held that a former employee stated a claim for an unpaid bonus under a written bonus plan that expressly stated that bonuses were made at the sole...more

ERISA — 5 Quick Points: Blowing a Deadline for Decision is Not Necessarily Fatal to Abuse of Discretion Standard

You already know that ERISA regulations require the plan administrator to render a decision on an administrative appeal within 45 days....more

Contempt Charge Vacated Based On Valid Assertion of Attorney Client Privilege - Waste Management of Washington, Inc. v. Kattler et...

Finding that a district court had not provided procedural due process to an attorney for a sanctioned party, and that the district court abused its discretion in imposing sanctions for civil contempt against the attorney, the...more

Court of Appeals of New Mexico Reverses Bad Faith Judgment for Insured and Remands for New Trial on Bad Faith Claim

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. v. Vigil, No. 32,171 (N.M. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015). Court of Appeals of New Mexico rules that district court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of previous coverage ruling in...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 13, 2015

Foreclosure: trial court violated purchaser’s procedural due process rights in setting aside judicial sale of property without giving notice to purchaser. Further, trial court abused its discretion in setting aside judicial...more

A Claimant May Be Deposed Before Shown Surveillance Materials

The Fourth District in Hankerson v. Wiley, --- So. 3d ----, 2015 WL 71735, 40 Fla. Law Weekly D195 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 7, 2015), aligned itself with recent Third District decisions and quashed a trial court order which...more

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Four FDCPA Classes Where District Court Failed to Conduct Rigorous Analysis Required by Wal-Mart...

The Eighth Circuit recently held that a district court abused its discretion by certifying four classes of Nebraska consumers in an action against a debt collector and its attorneys for alleged violations of the Fair Debt...more

Federal Circuit Review | January 2015

RAND Commitment Relevant to Damages - In ERICSSON, INC. v. D-LINK SYSTEMS, INC., Appeal Nos. 2013-1625, -1631, -1632, and -1633, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part the district court’s judgment...more

Cy Pres Distributions in Class Action Settlements Addressed By Eighth Circuit

Over the last several years, federal courts of appeals have been closely scrutinizing cy pres distributions to charitable organizations in class action settlements. This includes opinions by the First Circuit, Third Circuit...more

CERCLA Settlements Get a Different Look: the Ninth Circuit May Have Set a New Level of Scrutiny in State of Arizona v. Tucson

The Ninth Circuit has further defined the level of scrutiny required by a court when evaluating settlements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). In State of Arizona v. City...more

Intellectual Property 2014 Year In Review

There were a number of notable developments in patent case law in 2014. Key decisions from the Federal Circuit and Supreme Court tackled a variety of key issues, including patent eligibility of software and business methods,...more

ERISA: 8th Circuit: Choice-Of-Law Provision Trumps Insurance Regulation Banning Discretionary Review

You already know that when a claimant brings suit alleging wrongful denial of ERISA-governed disability benefits, the first issue the court looks at is: what standard of review applies. If the plan or policy includes...more

Stays Pending Covered Business Method Patent Review: VirtualAgility v. Salesforce.com

The Federal Circuit’s divided decision in VirtualAgility Inc. v. Salesforce.com, Inc. is the first major decision from the Federal Circuit interpreting the discretionary stay provision of § 18(b)(1) of the America Invents Act...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC19080 - Sanchez v. Commissioner of Correction - SC19013 - State v. Terwilliger - SC19013 Concurrence - State v. Terwilliger - AC35918 - Scandariato v. Borrelli Trial court was held not to have...more

McKee v. Peoria Unified School District: Court of Appeals Reverses Judgment Against School District in Public Records Case

In May, 2010, a student at a Peoria high school drowned during a swimming class supervised by physical education teacher Timothy McKee. After an internal investigation, the District sought to terminate McKee’s employment....more

Client Alert: Catch Me If You Can – Giorgio Is No Gingerbread Man

In Giorgio v. Synergy Management Group, LLC (2014) Case No. B248752, a California Court of Appeal held in an opinion published on November 6, 2014, that the Los Angeles County trial court did not abuse its discretion in...more

N.C. Appellate Court Speaks On Attorney Fee Recovery Law Applicable to Local Governments

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the following statute allowing payment of attorney fees in the face of certain local government acts...more

Supreme Court Update: Carroll V. Carman (14-212), Johnson V. City Of Shelby (13-1318) And Order List

Greetings, Court fans! We're back with decisions two and three of OT14 (did you already forget about Lopez v. Smith?) as well as last week's news of cert petitions granted and likely to be granted. Police officers...more

Reasonable Fee Issues for Fiduciaries on the Horizon

The Supreme Court is poised to address whether fiduciaries' decisions—especially in using fee sharing arrangements—are subject to deference when challenged. The Eighth and Ninth Circuit courts recently decided these issues,...more

Affirmative Defenses Must Be Addressed In Class Certification Order, According To Texas Court of Appeals

A recent decision of the Texas Court of Appeals in Austin (Third District) caught my eye. Not because it involved insurance; rather, it was a securities class action challenging a board of directors’ approval of a corporate...more

Fast Five: Rhode Island Appellate Practice - July 2014

With the dog days of summer upon us, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has concluded its Spring 2014 term, leaving practitioners with new guidance on a variety of trial and appellate practice issues. In one of its last...more

ERISA 8th Circuit: Deciding Who Is The Beneficiary — The Abuse Of Discretion Standard Trumps The Substantial Compliance Doctrine

Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges. Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more

Civil Contempt Only Applies if Party Violates Explicit Terms of Order

Energy Recovery, Inc. v. Hauge - Addressing a civil contempt order under an abuse of discretion standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found in that a former employee was not in contempt because he...more

Exaggerated Allegations Based on Essentially No Evidence Equals Rule 11 Sanctions - Heller v. Cepia L.L.C.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions of $5,000 on a plaintiff’s attorney for exaggerating allegations in a complaint. As the court explained, the mere “presence of some...more

Three Crisis Management Mistakes from Christie’s Bridgegate

It’s not hard to imagine that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s still-unfolding Bridgegate scandal could have taken a different turn. Lacking evidence, the allegations aired shortly after the George Washington Bridge closure...more

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