Standard of Review

News & Analysis as of

Legal Lessons from Tom Brady

The state of Massachusetts collectively groaned last week as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflate-Gate” saga. A brief recap of this strange...more

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Federal Circuit Says It's Required to Accord the PTAB Deference Until Instructed Otherwise by...

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an order denying a petition filed by Merck & Cie for rehearing en banc of an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board...more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments In First Appeal From AIA Post-Grant Proceeding: Justices Focus on Practical Consequences of...

On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in its first appeal from a decision by the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “Board”) in an inter partes review proceeding (“IPR”) under the...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

Quality, Quantity and Comments: USPTO’s New Patent Quality Metrics

On Friday March 25, 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office introduced its new patent quality metrics and requested comments from stakeholders on how to further improve the proposed changes (“2017 Proposed Changes”). The...more

CSAPR > BART: The Eighth Circuit Affirms Minnesota’s Regional Haze Plan

Environmental lawyers live for acronyms. Why is CSAPR > BART? Because EPA determined that, on net, EPA’s Transport Rule is “better than BART,” meaning that compliance with the Transport Rule yields greater progress towards...more

FERC Signals Intention to Closely Scrutinize Late Interventions

Movants must clear high hurdle once parties reach settlement in principle. On March 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued an order in Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC (Maritimes...more

OSHA issues new whistleblower investigations manual with aggressive new standard

Employers are familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement of workplace safety standards, but OSHA also enforces the whistleblower provisions of 21 other federal laws in addition to the...more

Pharmaceutical Preservative Patent Survives Indefiniteness Challenge - Senju Pharma. Co. Ltd. v. Lupin Ltd., (D.N.J. November 18,...

Applying the Supreme Court of the United States’ new indefiniteness standard from Nautilus v. Biosig, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey held three claim terms in a patent on a stabilized, opthalmic...more

ERISA: Sixth Circuit — No Conflict of Interest with Multi-Employer Benefit Plan, Saving Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

You already know that evidence of a “conflict of interest” can change the standard of review the court applies in ERISA claims. But proper structuring of multi-employer benefit plans can avoid an inherent conflict of...more

RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015 (Del. Nov. 30, 2015) (Valihura, J.)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the principal legal holdings and final judgment of the Court of Chancery finding, among other things, that RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”) aided and abetted...more

In Cooperative Federalism, Who Gets Deference, EPA or the States? Can you say “Federal Supremacy”?

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit denied Arizona’s challenge to EPA’s decision to reject Arizona’s SIP addressing regional haze requirements and instead promulgate its own federal implementation plan. The decision has a...more

Tension Between 'Aronson' Analysis and the Standard of Review

On Monday, just after the arrival of the blizzard of 2016 in Delaware, the Court of Chancery created its own momentous event with the release of its opinion in In re EZCorp Consulting Agreement Derivative Litigation, C.A. No....more

PTAB Trial Standard Of Review Requires Affirmance Despite Contrary Evidence

In Merck & Cie v. Gnosis S.p.A., the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that held the challenged claims obvious in an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding. Although the...more

What are the Rules on Indefiniteness of a Patent Specification under 35 USC § 112?

While the question was answered by the Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, 134 S. Ct. 2120 (2014), the Federal Circuit, in The Dow Chemical Company v. Nova Chemicals Corporation (Canada), (2014-1431,...more

New Jersey Tax Court Publishes Decisions That Dual Nexus Standards Are Inappropriate For Throwout

On January 6, 2016, the New Jersey Tax Court approved its January 14, 2014 decision in Lorillard Licensing Company LLC v. Director, Division of Taxation for publication, making the Tax Court decision precedential. The...more

Appeal Court Applies Correctness Standard of Review for Standard Form Contracts, Distinguishes Sattva

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that appeal courts will review decisions interpreting standard form contracts on a correctness standard, as opposed to the more deferential standard of review of reasonableness....more

Appellate Review of Downhole Cases: The Supreme Court Repairs the Third Circuit’s Broken Manifest Error Standard in Hayes Fund for...

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a downhole damages case, reversing the Third Circuit’s misguided application of the manifest error standard of review. Hayes Fund for the First United Methodist Church...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Objections To Magistrate’s Order Regarding Daubert And Anticipation Are Reviewed

W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-515 -LPS, November 24, 2015. Stark, C.J. The court rules on objections to Magistrate’s rulings on a Daubert motion and a Report and Recommendation on...more

The Most Important Principles of Delaware Corporate Law Can’t Be Found In the DGCL

I have often observed that you can read every section of the Delaware General Corporation Law and learn almost nothing about Delaware corporate law.  Here are three of the most fundamental principles of Delaware corporate law...more

Will the Tennessee General Assembly Continue to tell the Judiciary to Put Up or Shut Up?

On October 26, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court returned the state’s summary judgment standard to normalcy and also gave the Tennessee General Assembly a little more room to invade the judiciary. In Rye v. Women’s Care...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals May Limit the Board’s Standard for Evaluating Employers’ Confidentiality Policies

In Hyundai Am. Shipping v NLRB, No. 11-1351 (Nov. 6, 2015), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently enforced a Board order with respect to a work rule that prohibited employees from discussing matters under investigation...more

Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, No. 9745-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In a decision reinforcing the importance of observing corporate formalities, Chancellor Bouchard found that a controlling stockholder cannot ratify a board’s self-dealing with something as informal as an affidavit, a...more

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

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