Sovereign Immunity

News & Analysis as of

Puerto Rico Tees Up GO Financing

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico continues its efforts to maintain fiscal and financial stability. This week, we expect the Commonwealth to move forward with an approximately US$3 billion General Obligation bond financing....more

Sixth Circuit Grants Stay in Lansing, Michigan, Off-Reservation Casino Case

In an order issued on February 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a stay of its decision in State of Michigan v. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sixth Circuit Case No....more

The Hualapai Grand Canyon Disputes Continue

The Hualapai (pronounced wah-lah-pie) Tribe has about 2,300 members, 1,300 of whom live on the Tribe’s northwest Arizona reservation. The enormous reservation borders the Colorado River and includes portions of the West Rim...more

California Appellate Court Holds State Regulators Lack Authority To Regulate Tribe-Affiliated Lenders

On January 21, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held that short-term, small-dollar credit businesses owned by certain federally recognized Indian tribes are sufficiently related to their respective tribes to...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Blocks Payday Lending Enforcement Action, Calif. Appellate Court Rules

In a state enforcement action alleging violations of California’s lending law and seeking to enjoin continued lending to state residents, a California Court of Appeal has ruled that tribal sovereign immunity shielded the two...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Protects Payday Lenders From State Enforcement

Last year, the Commissioner of Business Oversight issued several alerts warning consumers that it has received complaints with respect to unlicensed firms offering payday (deferred deposit) loans in California. The common...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law January 10, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

SDNY Retains Jurisdiction Over Three LIBOR Suits

On December 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that three LIBOR suits should remain under federal jurisdiction and denied the plaintiffs’ motions to remand. In Re LIBOR-Based Fin....more

Trade Dress, Sovereign Immunity, World Politics and R.60 Collide - Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. v. Islamic Republic of Iran,

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the vacatur of final default judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) for alleged trade-dress infringement. The unanimous panel agreed with...more

Australia: new government may lead to opportunities for investor/state arbitration

This autumn, the people of Australia elected a new federal government, presenting a number of potential opportunities for investor-state arbitration in Australia. First, the new government has reviewed its position...more

Native American Tribes Immune From Patent Infringement Suits

In the near future, Native American tribal organizations might consider expanding operations in many technological areas in view of recent court decisions indicating that tribes enjoy sovereign immunity from patent...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Scope of Commercial Activity Exception to Sovereign Immunity

On December 6, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, issued its decision in Sachs v. Republic of Austria, a case presenting important questions concerning the types of commercial activities...more

Asserting a Tribal Sovereign Immunity Defense, Even Where the Tribe has Contractually Waived its Immunity

The doctrine of sovereign immunity acts as a powerful protection for any sovereign entity. By prohibiting the courts from adjudicating whether or not the sovereign party breached a contract, committed a tort, or otherwise...more

State Primacy in Coal Mining Regulations Challenged: Environmental Group Seeks Federal Court Jurisdiction

State sovereignty over the regulation of coal mining is again under attack by anti-industry groups. In Montana Environmental Information Center, et al. v. Stone-Manning, et al., Appeal No. 13-35107 (Ninth Circuit Court of...more

IP Update, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2013

Patents/Preliminary Injunction: Preliminary Injunction Ordered Based on Appellate Claim Construction Aria Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. - Addressing a preliminary injunction filed by a defendant in a...more

Legislative Update

Construction legislation in the 2013 session was much different from 2011. In 2011 many new construction related laws were passed including governance of indemnities and mechanic’s liens. In 2013 many significant...more

PK Law Attorneys Successfully Defend Charles County Board Against Multi-Million Dollar Wage and Hour Lawsuit

In a wage and hour class action suit that was filed in Maryland’s federal district court, bus drivers and bus assistants sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S. C. Section 201 et seq., for back-pay,...more

The Illinois Supreme Court 2012: The Year in Review

During 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court filed seventy-one written opinions, thirty-nine in civil cases. Although the total opinion output was down somewhat from recent years, this represents the Court's highest number of...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Jurisdiction Over Claims Arising Under Procurement Code

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently confirmed the absolute right of Commonwealth agencies to withdraw solicitations for contracts, as well as the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Claims to hear disputes with the...more

Update On Tribal Loans To State Residents

Native American tribes increasingly are engaging in consumer lending over the Internet. These “tribal loans” present unique legal questions and issues, including whether tribal sovereign immunity shields tribes and their...more

Little Tucker Act Does Not Waive Sovereign Immunity For Alleged Violation Of Fair Credit Reporting Act

The United States Supreme Court recently held that the Little Tucker Act does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States in an action for damages alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The...more

Vitamin C Purchasers Awarded $162 Million In First-Ever Civil Price-Fixing Verdict Against Chinese Companies

On March 14, 2013, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York returned a verdict in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-md-1738 (E.D.N.Y.), finding that two Chinese companies had unlawfully fixed prices and controlled...more

Gaming Legal News - March 27, 2013 • Volume 6, Number 8

In This Issue: - NEGOTIATING DISPUTE RESOLUTION WITH INDIAN TRIBES: DON’T DO IT ALONE: Indian tribes enjoy sovereign immunity from civil suits arising from contractual relationships, even if the contracts are...more

Tribal Corporate Bankruptcy Petition Raises Issues of First Impression for Bankruptcy Court

On March 4, 2013, ‘SA’ NYU WA, Inc., a tribally-chartered corporation wholly owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona. This is a...more

Court Finds Private Person Can Be Held Liable for Negligent Inspection

A private person who inspects a workplace can be held liable for injury or death due to hazards that should have been found and addressed. That is effectively what the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently held...more

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