Sovereign Immunity

News & Analysis as of

The Supreme Court’s Recent Confirmation that Yearsley Derivative Sovereign Immunity Extends Beyond Public Works Projects

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court clarified the scope of “Yearsley immunity” – a form of derivative sovereign immunity available to qualifying government contractors – in its decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez....more

University of Massachusetts Medical School Not a “Person” Under FCA; 1st Circuit Adopts “Arm-of-the-State” Test

In an opinion issued on January 27, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a qui tam lawsuit against the University of Massachusetts, holding that the University was...more

Supreme Court Rules Settlement Offer Cannot Moot Class Actions

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held, in Campbell Ewald Company v. Gomez, that a plaintiff who receives a settlement offer of complete relief from a defendant still has a viable legal claim, because a...more

Supreme Court affirms government contractors qualified immunity

In a 6-3 decision issued on January 20, the Supreme Court affirmed in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, that federal government contractors are immune from litigation and liability if their work complies with federal...more

How Not to Moot a Case: Supreme Court Rules Case Remains Live After Unaccepted Offer of Settlement

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided another case in a line of cases addressing the issue of class action mootness. Specifically, the justices ruled that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer...more

Supreme Court Decides Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, holding that an unaccepted offer to satisfy a named plaintiff’s individual claim does not render a case moot. The Court also held that sovereign...more

Money for Nothing: Offer of Complete Relief to Named Plaintiff Does Not Moot Class Action, Supreme Court Holds in 6-3 Decision

An unaccepted Rule 68 offer of judgment that would fully satisfy a named plaintiff’s individual claim does not moot individual or class claims opined the U.S. Supreme Court, resolving a split in the circuits. Campbell-Ewald...more

Government Contracts Review, Alston & Bird LLP, January 2016

IN THIS EDITION: THE GOVCON FILES - It’s Good to Be King: The Curious Case of United States v. JAAAT Technical Services PROTEST DECISIONS - GAO Clarifies Discussions and Discusses clarifications...more

Update On The Iraqi Dispute Resolution Landscape

Iraq’s accession to the ICSID Convention, as well as recent UK and US court decisions concerning the Kurdistan Regional Government’s entitlement to sovereign immunity represent potentially significant changes to the Iraqi...more

US CHINA TRADE WAR–DEVELOPMENTS IN TRADE POLICY, TRADE, PRODUCTS LIABILITY, 337/IP ANTITRUST AND SECURITIES

TRADE POLICY - TPP RUNS INTO HEADWINDS - As predicted in past blog posts, on December 28, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Election Debate was complicating the passage of the Trans Pacific...more

Supreme Court to Decide Extent of Puerto Rico’s Sovereign Powers

On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the appeal styled under the caption Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, No. 15-108. In this case, the Supreme Court is asked to determine...more

Tribally Affiliated Payday Lenders Can Use Tribal Sovereign Immunity as Defense to State Administrative Proceedings, Class Actions

Two recent decisions provide support for the use of tribal sovereign immunity by tribally affiliated payday lenders as a defense to both state administrative proceedings and private class actions. In Everette v. Joshua...more

Sixth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits In Using Arm-Of-The-State Analysis To Define “Person” Under The False Claims Act

The FCA imposes liability on “any person” that makes a false statement in violation of the Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1). Although the Act itself does not define “person,” the Supreme Court has said only that a person cannot...more

Is The FTB’s Argument Nothing More Than Blowing In The Wind?

Readers may remember this blog post from September of last year: Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Fraud Verdict Against The California Franchise Tax Board. The subject of the post was Franchise Tax Bd. v. Hyatt, 335 P.3d 125...more

The World in US Courts: New Decision of the US Supreme Court Limits Suits Against Non-US Governmental Entities

The US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) codifies the doctrine of sovereign immunity and generally prohibits lawsuits in US courts against non-US sovereigns. But the FSIA has an exception where, among other things, a...more

Litigation Update: Firebirds and Island Republics - Commerciality Prevails in Enforcing a Foreign Judgment Against a Foreign State...

The recent decision of the High Court of Australia in Firebird Global Master Fund II Ltd v Republic of Nauru [2015] HCA 43 brings the Australian approach to enforcement of foreign judgments against assets of a foreign State...more

Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of Application of Commercial Activity Exception to Foreign Sovereign Immunity

On December 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs a case presenting important questions concerning the types of commercial activities that may strip foreign states and...more

Supreme Court Decides OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs

On December 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs, No. 13-1067, holding that the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act did not apply to a...more

The Supreme Court: OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs

The Supreme Court of the United States announced the following decision today: OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs, No. 13 1067: Respondent Carol Sachs, a California resident, purchased a Eurail Pass over the Internet...more

Government contractor industry brief urges Fourth Circuit to reaffirm “battlefield contractor” tort-suit defenses

On October 29, 2015, Dentons filed an amicus brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of its clients, the Professional Services Council—The Voice of the Government Services Industry and the Coalition for...more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in TCPA Case Concerning “Picking Off” a Class Rep with an Offer of Judgment

On October 14, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez, 14-SC-857.  The plaintiff in Gomez alleged he received an unsolicited marketing text message advertising the US Navy...more

Going on Offense against State Deceptive Trade Practices AG Actions

We have posted many times about cases where a manufacturer of a regulated product is sued over alleged violations of a state consumer protection or deceptive trade practices act because of something allegedly amiss in the...more

CFPB Online Loan Suit Sent to California

In the most recent development in the CFPB’s two-year-old lawsuit alleging unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices by several online lenders, on September 23, 2015, Massachusetts U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, Jr.,...more

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

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