On Friday, March 22, a split panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a company with no direct contractual relationship with independent contractors could be found vicariously liable for the actions of those contractors in a class action suit. The majority held that ratification may create an agency relationship when none existed before, and that a reasonable jury could have found the defendant, owners of billions of dollars in student loan debt, vicariously liable for violations of third party debt collectors. The holding in Henderson potentially could have widespread agency law ramifications, especially when it comes to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations. Continue Reading
Litigation funders are well aware that half of the potential market is largely untapped. Clients would prefer to focus on their business rather than litigation, and offload some or all of their defense costs to a third-party. Law firms want the fee flexibility that defense-side funding could provide.
So why is defense funding still the exception rather than the rule? To begin with, because the synergies that propel plaintiff-side funding are much more difficult to capture on the defense side. Continue Reading
As one of the more closely watched insider trading prosecutions of the past few years heads towards trial, observers can look to the investigation surrounding the 2015 acquisition of Life Time Fitness Inc. as a reminder of the dangers that can befall those who seek to engage in a tipping scheme. Continue Reading
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently issued a decision holding that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to websites that connect customers to goods and services offered at a physical location.
In Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, the plaintiff, who is blind, brought suit against Domino’s for failing to “design, construct, maintain, and operate its [website and app] to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Mr. Robles and other blind or visually-impaired people,” in violation of the ADA. Plaintiff, who utilized screen-reading software that vocalized information on websites, tried unsuccessfully on at least two occasions to order a customized pizza from a Domino’s Pizza location. Continue Reading
Consumer advocates, defense attorneys, tort reformists, and trial judges are all eagerly awaiting a decision by the Ninth Circuit which all hope will clarify the process for certifying a nationwide settlement class in the Ninth Circuit. Specifically, an en banc Ninth Circuit panel will decide whether “variations in state law can defeat” predominance in class action litigation. Continue Reading
On Monday, March 4, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that a copyright claimant may only bring a suit for copyright infringement after the copyright has been registered by the Copyright Office, not while the registration is pending. Continue Reading
Characterizing the decision to bring a books and records inspection action after filing a plenary or substantive action as “[i]nherently contradictory,” the Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed a Section 220 action brought by a group of investors. The decision signals that the Court of Chancery remains alert to the use of books and records inspection actions for improper purposes, including to subvert the ordinary conduct of civil discovery. Continue Reading