Sovereign Immunity

News & Analysis as of

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Holds State May Be Liable for Cleanup Costs under New Jersey’s Spill Act

Action Item: On August 26, 2015, in a case of first impression, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in NL Indus., Inc. v. State of New Jersey, No. A0869-14T3, 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS 161 (N.J. Super. Ct....more

So Much for A Contingency Plan: Can the Florida Legislature Abrogate an Attorney’s Contingency Fee in Tort Claims Against the...

Like many states, Florida has only partially waived its sovereign immunity by statute. Thus, a plaintiff’s recovery against the state is generally limited to no more than $200,000 per incident. This statutory cap, however,...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

Business Court Enjoins Enforcement Of High Interest Rate Loans Made By American Indian-Related Business

Judge Gale's opinion last week in Western Sky in State v. Western Sky Financial, LLC, 2015 NCBC 84 has a little bit of everything in it: choice of law, the U.S. Constitution, claims for usury (excessive interest rates) and...more

Former Abu Ghraib Detainees Appeal Political Question Dismissal of Suit Against War-Zone Contractor

Iraqi citizens who claim that they were abused by civilian government contractor employees who helped the US military interrogate detainees at Abu Ghraib prison following the US invasion in 2003 are appealing a federal...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 14: The Intersection Of Federal Labor Law, Tribal Gaming And A Deep Division Within Two Sixth...

Two separate three-judge panels of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have rendered labor law decisions concerning Indian casinos in Michigan only 22 days apart. While each of the panels ruled that the...more

Supreme Court to review class-action mootness and derivative sovereign immunity issues in government contractor case

On July 21, 2015, Dentons filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of its clients, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar and the Professional Services Council (PSC), in Campbell-Ewald Company...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the NLRA's Reach to Tribal-Owned Casinos

The extent of the National Labor Relations Act's application to tribal-owned and operated enterprises on reservations is an open question in many circuits. Recently, two Sixth Circuit decisions resolved the question in favor...more

Briefing completed in Ninth Circuit tribal lending case challenging CFPB authority

Briefing has now been completed in CFPB v. Great Plains Lending, LLC, et al., the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which three tribally-affiliated payday lenders are challenging the CFPB’s...more

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps — A Balance of Justice

In a recent landmark decision for the citizens in the State of Florida, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals, the appellate court for Palm Beach, Broward, and the counties to their north, issued an opinion finding the...more

Eurozone Crisis: Possible Outcomes

There is no precedent for a country leaving the Euro, and speculation continues as to how the crisis will unfold, and what the consequences would be of an exit of a member. There is uncertainty around various scenarios, not...more

Sixth Circuit Holds National Labor Relations Act Applicable to Indian Tribe's Casino

Weighing in on a hotly contested issue, a panel of the Sixth Circuit has found that federal labor law applies to Indian tribes’ casinos, notwithstanding the tribes’ inherent sovereignty. However, the panel only did so because...more

Despite Changing Economic Reality, Federal Court Holds Indian Tribes Have Sovereign Immunity in Bankruptcy, Absent Waiver

As the Indian gaming industry continues to thrive, Indian tribes are increasingly engaging in other commercial endeavors including banking, construction, energy, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail and more. Based on a...more

Draft Appropriations Bill Seeks to De-Fund Various Regulatory Efforts

A draft House appropriations bill to fund various federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, for Fiscal Year 2016 includes several provisions that would effectively halt a number of controversial regulatory efforts....more

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Immune to Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the Florida legislature did not intend for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (a state-created entity that provides property insurance) to be liable for statutory,...more

Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split on Whether Rule 68 Offer Moots Claims Prior to Class Certification Motion

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez (“Gomez”), potentially opening the door for the high court to resolve a split among the circuits on the issue of whether an offer...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert In U.S. Navy Texting Suit

On May 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the issue of whether a proposed class action is mooted when the named plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim. See...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. to Decide if Offer of Complete Relief Moots Case

On May 18, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a circuit split as to whether an offer of complete relief to a plaintiff seeking to represent a putative class moots the case. Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 2015 WL...more

Call Answered: Supreme Court to Decide if Offer of Judgment Moots TCPA Class Action and Scope of Gov’t Contractor Liability

On May 18, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action. The case raises two related questions that are the source of frequent litigation...more

Use of NAVAJO – Is Urban Outfitters Infringing or Not?

Battles continue to wage over use of the “Navajo” and “Navaho” marks in New Mexico federal court. The Navajo Nation (“the Nation”) sued Urban Outfitters and its subsidiaries, including one of my favorite retailers,...more

Supreme Court to decide whether an offer of judgment for full relief moots a named plaintiff’s class-action claims

Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to “cases” and “controversies.” The Supreme Court has held that “‘an actual controversy … be extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time...more

Critical Change for Serving Preliminary 20-Day Notices for Arizona Public Projects

Cemex v. Falcone Bros. On April 30, 2015, Arizona’s most common construction industry practice for serving a Preliminary Twenty Day Notice (“Prelim”) on an Arizona public project — first class mail with certificate of...more

Supreme Court Delivers another Blow to State Action Antitrust Immunity

Today’s Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission is the second time in two years that the Court has spoken on the state action exemption to the federal antitrust...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Tackle Election Law and Sovereign Immunity on Thursday

The Illinois Supreme Court just announced that on Thursday morning, it will hand down decisions in two civil cases: Bettis v. Marsaglia, No. 117050 – “Does a plaintiff’s failure to name the Electoral Board as a party...more

Fourth Circuit Applies Sovereign Immunity to Shield State Hospital Supervisors from Suit

Some employers are immune from liability by virtue of their status as a state-run operation. Employees have become more creative in attempting to obtain recovery from their employers in such situations by naming individual...more

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