Sovereign Immunity

News & Analysis as of

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

Business Litigation Report -- November 2014

In This Issue: - Main Article: ..Foreign Investor Protection v. National Sovereignty: The Pros and Cons of Investor-State Arbitration - Noted With Interest: ..Gelboim et al. v. Bank of America Corp. et...more

Litigation Update: Sovereign Immunity vs Commerciality: Enforcing A Foreign Judgment Against A Nation State In Australia

The recent decision by the NSW Court of Appeal in Firebird Global Master Fund II Ltd v Republic of Nauru [2014] NSWCA 360 illustrates the complex considerations involved in enforcing a foreign judgment against a foreign State...more

California's Eastern District: Government Agency Liable for Costs When Site Cleanup Is Mismanaged

In a ruling last month (California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas, Inc., et al), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the Department of Toxic Substances...more

Extraterritorial Reach of Antitrust Laws: The FSIA

We have written extensively about the scope of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Acts and the extraterritorial reach of U.S. antitrust laws. Now, the scope of the U.S. antitrust laws has arisen in a different context:...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses TCPA Text Message Claims

In Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., No. 13-55486, 2014 WL 4654478 (9th Cir. Sept. 19, 2014), a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed several recurring issues in TCPA litigation, including: the efficacy of Rule 68...more

A Recent Reminder of the Sovereign Acts Doctrine

The sovereign acts doctrine provides that the federal government, when sued as a contractor, cannot be held liable for an obstruction to the performance of the particular contract resulting from its public and general acts as...more

The Woodward Case: Guidance to Trustees on Their Duties Under the Massachusetts Prudent Investor Act

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that, with few exceptions, trustees have a duty to invest with inflation in mind. While not required to follow an investment advisor’s guidance, they can’t ignore the...more

Zachry v. Port of Houston Authority: Texas Supreme Court rules for contractor despite no-damages-for-delay clause

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a decision that could have a huge impact on the construction industry in Texas involving several high-profile issues the industry has passionately debated for years. In Zachry...more

Federal Agencies Cannot Be Fined for Reliability Standard Violations

The D.C. Circuit concluded that sovereign immunity prevents FERC and NERC from imposing monetary penalties on federal agencies that violate Reliability Standards....more

Implications of the Argentina Debt Litigation for Foreign Sovereign Immunity

Foreign sovereigns have long assumed that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) provides them with substantial protection against litigants in United States courts. Although the immunity afforded by the FSIA has never...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Tribal Immunity at the Supreme Court: Impact on Payday Lenders?

Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders? The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...more

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