Sovereign Immunity

News & Analysis as of

Insurers’ Suit Against Government for Affordable Care Act Payments May Proceed; If Successful, Insurers Entitled to Billions from...

In a closely watched case, the Court of Federal Claims last week refused to dismiss a health insurer’s putative class action against the Federal government for payments authorized under the Affordable Care Act. The Court’s...more

California Supreme Court Declines to Extend Tribal Sovereign Immunity to Payday Lending Businesses

On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued People ex rel. Owen v. Miami Nation Enterprises. The decision found that certain tribal business entities that provided loans in California are not "arms of the tribe"...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Not a Bar to Payday Lending Enforcement Action, California Supreme Court Rules

In a state enforcement action alleging violations of California's lending law and seeking to enjoin continued lending to state residents, the California Supreme Court has ruled that the two tribally affiliated entities that...more

Plus Feature: Seventh Circuit Affirms Denial of Class Certification on Spokeo Grounds in FACTA Class Action

On December 13, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a plaintiff’s motion for class certification under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”). In the first federal appellate...more

Virginia Supreme Court Rules Sovereign Immunity Bars Private USERRA Claims Against State Employers in State Court

The Supreme Court of Virginia, in Clark v. Virginia Department of State Police, No. 151857 (Dec. 1. 2016), recently ruled that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred a private plaintiff’s claim under the Uniformed Services...more

Chris Lazarini Provides Insight on Standards Applied to Pro Se Litigants

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini provided insight on a case revealing that while less stringent standards are often applied to pro se litigants, courts still should require them to adhere to the procedural rules....more

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Tribal Sovereign Immunity Issue Related to Individual Tribal Employees

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Lewis v. Clarke, (No. 15-1500) addressing the issue of whether the sovereign immunity of an Indian Tribe bars individual-damages actions against tribal employees for torts...more

Legislative Opportunities for Tribal Governments Under the Trump Administration

With the advent of a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, many who work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Indian tribes may be tempted to adopt a defensive posture. But while it always is important to defend tribal...more

Best Practices for Tribes When Faced with Union Organizing Activity

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a dispute between the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The U.S. Supreme Court's decision effectively...more

Recent Development in Retail Power and Contracting with Texas Governmental Entities

A Texas Court of Appeals recently rejected a retail electric provider’s attempt to sue a Texas public school district for breach of contract—holding that the then-effective supply contract at issue was void and that the...more

Second Circuit Addresses Expropriation and Imputation Issues under FSIA

Introduction - On October 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Second Circuit) issued a decision in Arch Trading Corp. v. Republic of Ecuador, a case addressing the expropriation exception to...more

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and Civil Litigation Against International Terrorism in the United States of...

On September 28, 2016 (15 years following the events of 9/11), the U.S. Congress overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of the JASTA bill, which sought to revise the legal concepts of “foreign state immunity” in order to...more

Texas Medical Board Drops its Fifth Circuit Appeal To Bar Antitrust Challenge

On October 17, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted the Texas Medical Board’s (“Board”) motion to voluntarily dismiss its appeal of the District Court’s decision on sovereign immunity in its latest...more

JASTA Amendments to FSIA Become Law

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly voted to override President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a bill whose purpose was to curtail foreign states’ ability to invoke...more

Sovereign Immunity of State Universities: Can It Shield Them from AIA Patent Challenges?

In what appears to be a case of first impression, the PTAB is poised to rule on the question of whether state sovereign immunity prevents an IPR challenge from being maintained against a University of Florida (“UF”) patent...more

SCOTUS to Decide if Sovereign Immunity of an Indian Tribe Bars Individual Damages Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Lewis v. Clarke. The Supreme Court will resolve a Circuit split about whether the sovereign immunity of an Indian Tribe bars individual-damages actions against tribal...more

Is the Golden State about to Fumble Away a Golden Program?

Streamlining environmental reviews of highway projects and fixing state highway issues faster with reduced costs, have all proven successful under the NEPA Assignment Program (Program) that California entered in 2007. In...more

Supreme Court Update: Order List (9/26/16)

Greetings, Court fans! It's (still) the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court (and the Update) are back in action. Actually, The Eight dug in a bit last week, issuing cert grants from their September...more

Congress Overturns Presidential Veto on FSIA, Authorizing Suits Against Saudi Arabia for September 11

The U.S. Congress overturned a veto by President Obama allowing families of the victims of September 11 to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. While the U.S. domestic politics will be debated elsewhere (like everything else this...more

ND Pipeline Decision: Court Grants TRO to Prevent Indian Nation from Interfering with Construction of Pipelines

On September 13, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order in the matter of Paradigm Energy Partners, LLC v. Fox, et al., prohibiting the defendants from...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2016

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Employer's Class Action Waiver - Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 2016 WL 4433080 (9th Cir. 2016) - As a condition of employment, Stephen Morris and Kelly McDaniel were required to sign...more

Governmental Employers Take Note: Court of Appeals allows employee’s claim for violation of N.C. constitution to go forward

In Tully v. City of Wilmington, No. COA15-956 (N.C. Ct. App. Aug. 16, 2016), the Court of Appeals held for the first time in North Carolina that a governmental employee had alleged a valid property and liberty interest in...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That Removal of Action to Federal Court Does Not Waive Tribe's Sovereign Immunity

In a precedential opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently chose to follow the lead of the Eleventh Circuit, holding that tribes do not waive sovereign immunity merely by removing a case to federal court. This...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Effect of Removal on Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Ninth Circuit”) reaffirmed principles of tribal sovereign immunity in a ruling on August 8, 2016. The Ninth Circuit issued an opinion stating that an Indian tribe does not waive its...more

A Look Back at Some Recent Highlights

One of our long-standing objectives for this blog is to provide in-depth analysis of recent court rulings and developing trends that impact class action practice. That remains a driving tenet. In an effort to expand our...more

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