Split of Authority

News & Analysis as of

Federal Circuit Recognizes New, but Limited, Privilege for Patent Agent Communications

Introduction - Patent agents are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and perform the same duties as patent attorneys in proceedings before the USPTO, including preparing...more

Music Sampling Back in “Vogue”

With its decision in VMG Salsoul v. Ciccone, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals created a circuit split that could greatly impact copyright infringement claims based on unlicensed music sampling. For the advertising...more

Things Are Not Always What They Appear in UK Commercial Contracts

Anti-oral variation clauses do not prohibit oral variation. The Court of Appeal in Globe Motors Inc v TRW Lucas Variety Electric Steering Ltd (“Globe Motors”) recently provided much overdue clarification on the...more

Appellate Court Split Sets Stage for Supreme Court to Determine Use of Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

As previously reported in EmployNews, the National Labor Relations Board has issued numerous recent decisions finding that employers’ use of class and collective action waiver provisions in mandatory arbitration agreements...more

Class and Collective Action Waivers Lawful under NLRA, Eighth Circuit Finds, Contrary to Seventh Circuit

The National Labor Relations Board erred in determining that a company violated the National Labor Relations Act by maintaining and enforcing a mandatory arbitration agreement which prohibited employees from bringing or...more

U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Consequences Of Relator Violating Seal Requirement In Qui Tam Cases

Last week the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. USA, ex rel. Rigsby, Case No. 15-513, to resolve a circuit split regarding the consequences of a qui tam relator violating a...more

Appellate Courts Set the Supreme Court Stage for Waiver Showdown?

Many of our readers are no strangers to the ongoing legal battle over the enforcement of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. While the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has steadfastly maintained its...more

Supreme Court to Clarify Standard for Dismissal of Qui Tam Complaints for Violations of the False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement

On May 31, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby (No. 15-513) to clarify the standard for sanctioning intentional violations of the...more

Newsletter: May 2016

Pleading Common Law Fraud Under Rule 9(b): Conflicting Circuit Court Interpretations - Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) prescribes the standards for pleading a common law fraud claim. The Rule states that “[i]n...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Unlawful Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements with Class Action Waivers

The Seventh Circuit recently ruled that employment arbitration agreements containing class waivers are unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. In doing so, the Seventh Circuit has created a circuit court split on...more

First Circuit Affirms FAAAA Preemption of Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law

On May 11, 2016, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued the latest of several decisions supporting and furthering federal preemption of the Massachusetts independent contractor statute for businesses that qualify as motor...more

Score One for the NLRB: Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Appeals Court to Hold that Class/Collective Action Waivers in...

The Seventh Circuit recently became the first federal appellate court to say that employers can’t prevent class/collective actions through waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements, holding that such waivers interfere with...more

In Apparent First, Eleventh Circuit Extends Five-Year Statute of Limitations to Declaratory Relief and Disgorgement Actions by SEC...

A federal appellate court recently held that the five-year statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 2462 applies to actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission for declaratory relief and disgorgement. The decision extends...more

Eleventh Circuit Rules Disgorgement No Different Than Forfeiture, Barring SEC From Seeking Ill-Gotten Gains Outside Five-Year...

A three judge panel in the Eleventh Circuit issued a ruling last Thursday in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Barry Graham et al., Case No. 14-13562, holding—contrary to several other circuits—that the remedy of...more

Pleading Common Law Fraud Under Rule 9(b): Conflicting Circuit Court Interpretations

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) prescribes the standards for pleading a common law fraud claim. The Rule states that “[i]n alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting...more

The War on Employment Arbitration

The Seventh Circuit just created a split in the Federal Courts of Appeals by ruling an employment arbitration provision that did not permit arbitration of collective claims was not enforceable because it violated the National...more

Second Circuit Highlights Splits on Nominative Trademark Fair Use

The Second Circuit disagrees with sister circuits and rejects arguments that nominative fair use is an affirmative defense that is available even when confusion is likely and that the traditional nominative fair use analysis...more

Manifest Disregard for the Law is Not a Ground for Vacating TAA Arbitration Awards

Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court, in Hoskins v. Hoskins, No. 15-0046, --- S.W.3d --- (Tex. May 20, 2016), ruled that an arbitration award may not be vacated under the Texas Arbitration Act (“TAA”) on grounds other than...more

Bank Fraud Statute Returns to Supreme Court

Does the federal bank fraud statute require proof of an intent to deceive a bank as well as cheat it out of some of its funds? What happened - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to answer this question in Shaw v....more

Reading The Tea Leaves – How Will The U.S. Supreme Court Decide Spokeo?

While the U.S. Supreme Court has issued decisions on two of its major class action cases this term, Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez and Tyson Foods v. Bouaphekeo (see January 20, 2016 blog and May 5, 2016 blog), one other...more

Supreme Court To Resolve Circuit Split Over Bank Fraud Statute

On Monday April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Shaw, a closely watched case out of the Ninth Circuit addressing the bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344. That statute has two subsections,...more

Google Books Survives Legal Challenge - Supreme Court Declines to Address Book-Digitization Project

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Second Circuit decision (Authors’ Guild v. Google Inc.) affirming that Google’s project of digitizing, and making available online for searching, tens of millions of...more

Stars Fail to Align for P&G, as Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification Appeal

Readers may recall our coverage in recent months of the challenge by Procter & Gamble (P&G) to an order certifying a multi-state consumer class in a case asserting that P&G falsely advertised its probiotic supplement Align....more

SCOTUS Oral Argument Suggests FCA Implied Certification Theory Is Here to Stay – But Perhaps with Limits

Oral argument in Universal Health indicates Justices disinclined to categorically reject False Claims Act implied certification theory, though may limit its scope. On April 19, 2016, the United States Supreme Court heard...more

Context Is Everything: Evaluating Different Approaches Toward Attorneys’ Fees Awards Under Copyright Act in Light of Supreme Court...

The Supreme Court will soon hear oral arguments on standards for awarding attorneys’ fees to the winner of a copyright dispute. Currently there are at least three different test being applied by federal courts. Data analysis...more

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