Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Category Archives: Appellate

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The Supreme Court Enters the Digital Age

Electronic filing is coming to the U.S. Supreme Court! Effective November 13, 2017, amendments to the Supreme Court’s rules take effect that require represented parties (and their amici) to submit petitions, briefs, and most other filings through the Court’s electronic filing system. The Rules explain that the new e-filing requirements are “[i]n addition to the … Continue Reading

Concrete Enough to Stand: Ninth Circuit Upholds FCRA Claims in Spokeo

On August 15, 2017, the Ninth Circuit delivered the latest episode in the Robins v. Spokeo saga, reaffirming on remand from the Supreme Court that plaintiff Robins had alleged an injury in fact sufficient for Article III standing to bring claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Robins had brought a putative class action against … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Specific Jurisdiction and Ends Forum Shopping Spree

The Supreme Court has put an end to a jurisdictional contrivance used by the plaintiffs’ bar to shop for a friendly state forum, even if neither the plaintiff, nor the defendant, nor the actionable conduct took place in those states. In last month’s Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court decision, the Court ruled that out-of-state … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies When Service by Mail is Permitted under the Hague Convention

The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“Hague Service Convention” or “Convention”), was designed to simplify and standardize the service of legal documents across international borders. But for decades, U.S. courts divided over a seemingly simple question: does the Hague Service Convention prohibit service by mail?… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Says “Game Over” to Crafty Gamers’ Attempt to Circumvent Class Certification Appeals

The Xbox 360 is designed for gaming. Appellate litigation, gamers learned, is not. On behalf of a putative class of purchasers of the Xbox 360, a group of gamers brought suit alleging a defect with the consoles. After the district court struck the class allegations, plaintiffs sought permission to appeal under Rule 23(f), which the … Continue Reading

Venezuela Mines for a Reversal in Federal Appeals Court

Venezuela is taking its fight over a $1.4 billion arbitral award to the District of Columbia’s federal court of appeals. The award capped a bitter dispute between Venezuela and Crystallex International Corporation, a Canadian mining company. The fight began in 2002, when Crystallex acquired the rights to develop the Las Cristinas gold deposits in Venezuela. … Continue Reading

Standing in the Shoes of a Suspended Corporation under California Law

A California Court of Appeal recently provided a reminder that under Code of Civil Procedure § 368, assignment of a right to recover money or other personal property (“a thing in action”) is subject to any defense existing at or before notice of the assignment, including defenses regarding the assignor’s corporate status. Thus, an assignee … Continue Reading

First Department Finds Work-Product Protection Not Waived by Storage of Documents on Company Laptop

On June 6, 2017, the First Department had an opportunity to apply—and reaffirm—last month’s decision in Peerenboom v. Marvel Entm’t, LLC, where the Court held that use of a company email system for personal purposes “does not, standing alone, constitute a waiver of attorney work product protections” even if the user lacked reasonable assurance of … Continue Reading

Arbitration Clauses Extending to Non-Signatory Affiliates: Are They Enforceable?

A recent decision of the New Jersey Appellate Division considered the enforceability of arbitration agreements by non-signatories. In Foti v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., the plaintiff filed a putative class action complaint against defendant alleging violations of New Jersey’s Truth-In-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”), as well as the state’s Lemon Law (N.J.S.A. … Continue Reading

Recent Decisions Clarify (Un)Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreements

Companies looking to waive class action rights of employees may instead be waving goodbye to provisions in their employment contracts. Two recent decisions in California—one administrative and one in the 9th Circuit—recently found that class action waivers in employment contracts were unenforceable as a matter of law and public policy, resulting in the removal of … Continue Reading

Case Halted: California Court Denies Class Certification in Ford Defective Steering Case

On December 22, 2016, a federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of California denied certification of three proposed classes of statewide consumers who purchased or leased certain Ford Fusion or Ford Focus vehicles. The plaintiffs allege that their vehicles contain defective Electronic Power Assisted Steering (“EPAS”) systems prone to sudden and premature failure … Continue Reading

Kazakhstan Ordered to Pay $506 Million for Crude Expropriation of Oil and Gas Investments

In a case that highlights both that governments are not above the rule of law and that it is difficult to swiftly enforce arbitral awards, a Swedish appeals court, on December 12, 2016, upheld a $506 million award against Kazakhstan. The award stems from Kazakhstan’s 2008 seizure of the oil and gas investments of two … Continue Reading

California UCL Standing Requirement — On This You Can Rely

The California Court of Appeal recently confirmed, in case there was any doubt, that plaintiffs must allege (and ultimately prove) actual reliance to adequately state a fraudulent prong Unfair Competition Law claim (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200). In Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC, the plaintiff brought a variety of claims related to her alleged wrongful termination, both against … Continue Reading

Key Lessons From the Recent Precedential Order by Federal Circuit – Jurisdiction, Mandamus, and Privilege

On November 17, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit published a precedential order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus to overturn a district court’s determination. In In re: Rearden LLC, Rearden MOVA LLC, MO2, LLC, MOVA, LLC, the defendants in the underlying case had petitioned for a writ … Continue Reading

NY Court of Appeals Finds Personal Jurisdiction Based on Use of NY Correspondent Bank Accounts

A sharply divided New York Court of Appeals recently held that defendants who allegedly made intentional and repeated use of New York correspondent bank accounts for money laundering thereby purposefully transacted business related to the plaintiffs’ claims, and thus were subject to the personal jurisdiction of the New York courts. According to the three-judge dissent, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds Use of “Who’s on First” Routine Not to Be Fair Use

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a unanimous 3-0 ruling, decided that a Broadway play’s verbatim performance of a full minute from the iconic Abbott and Costello routine, “Who’s on First,” in a scene between an introverted, small-town boy and his demonic sock puppet, was not transformative or otherwise fair use … Continue Reading

It’s Not an Illusion! DISH Not Required to Give Credit When Channels Go Dark

Expanded Basic. Choice. Choice Plus. Cable and satellite TV customers pay monthly fees for bundled channel packages of different sizes. The packages are becoming “skinnier,” allowing you to customize your service from a set of modules (i.e., the Family package, the Sports package, various language packages, etc.). But each module is still a pre-set bundle … Continue Reading

The Eighth Circuit Extinguishes Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

Before plaintiffs could light the pilot on antitrust claims against two propane tank distributors, a split Eighth Circuit panel cut the gas. In doing so, the majority espoused a narrow view of the applicability of the continuing violations theory in antitrust litigation. In 2014, following an FTC administrative complaint, class plaintiffs brought suit against defendant … Continue Reading

A Sovereign Thumb on the Scale – Appeals Court Defers to China’s Interpretation of its Own Laws to Dismiss Antitrust Suit

The Second Circuit recently set aside a $147 million verdict against two Chinese companies accused of conspiring to fix the price and supply of vitamin C sold to U.S. buyers. In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation. The panel held that the complaint should have been dismissed after the Chinese government submitted an amicus curiae brief … Continue Reading

Slapped Down: California Supreme Court Rules Anti-SLAPP Law Applies to Mixed Causes of Action

In Baral v. Schnitt, the California Supreme Court addressed a question that has divided California appellate courts for more than a decade: whether a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P. 425.16) can be granted with respect to a “mixed cause of action” that combines allegations concerning both protected conduct, i.e., the rights … Continue Reading

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit Rejects FTC Authority Over Broadband Providers

In late August 2016, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that a core source of FTC authority (Section 5 of the FTC Act) does not apply to any “common … Continue Reading
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