Affirmative Defenses

News & Analysis as of

Where’s the Beef Part II: Court Refuses To “Butcher” EEOC’s Religious Discrimination Claim

Our loyal blog readers may recall a post we authored in October 2013 regarding EEOC v. JBS USA, LLC (the “Nebraska Case”), where Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska entered...more

EPA nixes state exemptions on excess CAA emissions

Affirmative defenses commonly relied upon by facility operators to avoid civil and administrative penalties for violations of air emissions limitations during periods of facility startup, shutdown or malfunction (“SSM”) may...more

Making Straight the Road: Case Litigation Plans as a Means of Efficiency and Predictability in the Tennessee Business Court

Tennessee’s recently-convened Davidson County Business Court will adjudicate business litigation in Nashville and may hear business cases from around the state with the consent of both parties. The Business Court’s stated...more

Eastern District of Pa. Again Recognizes Montreal Convention Exclusively Governs Claims

Action Item: Until there is appellate resolution of the preemptive effect of the Montreal Convention, airlines sued in state court over damages allegedly arising during the course of international transportation should...more

Bristol Palin, Abstinence and the Compliance Defense

Today Bristol Palin informs the debate on the efficacy of a compliance defense to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). A noted expert on many areas around ethical behavior and family values, Ms. Palin was credited by...more

Becoming a Creditor in a Bankruptcy Case Triggers a Duty to Preserve Documents

A litigator in bankruptcy court is challenged with mastery of a trial lawyer’s skills as well as the developing substantive law, jurisdictional and otherwise, governed by the Bankruptcy Code. Who hasn’t heard of Stern v....more

Florida State Appellate Court Provides Guidance for Defendants Pursuing Summary Judgment on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A Florida state appellate court recently provided guidance for defendants pursuing summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds where a plaintiff initially sues the wrong corporation and later substitutes the correct...more

EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense

EPA has issued a final rule that requires 36 states to revise their State Implementation Plans to eliminate a well-known and often-used Clean Air Act defense for excess emissions. While specific elements of the defense...more

Why Criminal-Law Statute-Of-Limitations Principles Should Apply To Claims For Punitive Damages

There are not many true affirmative defenses to punitive damages, much less ones that can be established on the face of the complaint. One potential basis for dismissing a claim for punitive damages, which could be...more

Nothing but Nonsense in New EPA Rule on Emissions

In response to a petition for final rule-making filed by the Sierra Club, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued on May 22, 2015, its final action requiring 36 states to revise their state implementation plans...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending May 22, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Duty to Disclose/Vacant Property: plaintiff failed to present competent, substantial evidence of existence of fact materially affecting value of property and did not prove defendants had actual...more

Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction — No Longer Any Automatic Exemptions or Affirmative Defenses

Last week, EPA finally responded to the Sierra Club’s petition requesting that it eliminate exemptions and defenses for excess emissions resulting from startup, shutdown, or malfunction events. EPA concluded that it needed to...more

Less Is More? Not when it comes to director compensation plans and effective shareholder ratification

Companies cannot merely rely upon shareholder approval to obtain protection under the business judgment rule. While the courts in Delaware do frequently apply the standard of waste to claims of breach of fiduciary duty and...more

EPA Requires States to Revise and Tighten Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Regulations

Action Item: In response to pressure from environmental groups, EPA has removed Clean Air Act affirmative defenses previously available to the regulated community for startups, shutdowns, or malfunctions (SSM Rule). The...more

Appellate Court Rejects Reliance on Document Retention Policy; Justifies Harsh Sanctions (Washington)

Crews v. Avco Corp., 2015 WL 1541179 (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 6, 2015). In this wrongful death action, the plaintiffs sought discovery concerning the design and manufacture of a carburetor that was believed to be the cause...more

Supreme Court’s Decision in Commil v. Cisco: Big Win for Pharmaceutical Industry

On May 26, 2015, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s decision in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. and held that a defendant’s belief regarding patent validity is not a defense to an induced infringement...more

Making the FCPA "Reasonable"— Exceptions and Affirmative Defenses

So, we have covered the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (“FCPA”) scope, but the FCPA anti-bribery provisions also contain certain exceptions and affirmative defenses. These exceptions and affirmative defenses attempt to carve...more

Supreme Court Victory For Employers In Mach Mining v. EEOC

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Mach as1859[1]Mining, LLC v. EEOC, No. 13-1019 (U.S. 2015), and concluded, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Kagan, that federal courts...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Dismisses Municipal Takings Claim For Failing "Public Benefit" Standard

Today, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a takings case filed by a local government. The case is Town of Matthews v. Wright, No. COA14-943 (April 21, 2015)....more

District Court Denies Motion for Leave to Amend Answer to Assert Affirmative Defense of Patent Misuse

The defendants in this patent infringement action filed several motions for leave to amend their answers to include various affirmative defenses, including: (1) the affirmative defense of patent misuse; (2) the affirmative...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Common Affirmative Defenses In Commercial Foreclosure Context

A recent opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals addresses some common borrower defenses within the context of foreclosure and statute of frauds issues: compromise and settlement, accord and satisfaction, the...more

Employers Asserting ADA Direct Threat Defense Do Not Have to Prove Actual Threat

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified person with a disability, or refusing to provide that person with a reasonable accommodation that would allow them to perform the...more

Will Employers Have an Affirmative Defense in EEOC Litigation? A Look at the Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decision

In the coming months, the Supreme Court of the United States will determine the level of judicial review, if any, that will be applied to employers’ pre-litigation negotiations with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Supreme Court of New Jersey Adopts Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense

On February 11, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey expressly adopted the test created by the United States Supreme Court in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 807 (1998) and Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth,...more

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