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

Category Archives: Litigation

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New Rules Tackle Authentication of Electronic Data

On December 1, 2017, two amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence came into effect that impact how courts authenticate digital evidence. The addition of two categories to Rule 902’s list of self-authenticating documents seeks to streamline the introduction of digital evidence by avoiding costly delays that often serve little purpose. In doing so, it … Continue Reading

When It Comes to Pretrial Publicity, Should Lawyers Let Their Clients Do the Talking?

When it overturned a federal court’s order suppressing a litigant’s right to publicly gripe about a pending suit late last month, the Ninth Circuit took the opportunity to remind those of us in the legal profession that we are held to a different, higher standard when it comes to public comment on litigation. In an … Continue Reading

Lawyers Beware: Battle of Legal Professional Privilege of Internal Investigation Continues in England and Wales

Last month, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales granted permission for Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. Ltd. (“ENRC”) to appeal the May 2017 decision by the High Court[1] relating to a dispute over the legal professional privilege with the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”).[2] The Court of Appeal will likely hear the case next year.… Continue Reading

Is the Frye Standard Making a Comeback in Florida?

On July 11, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of a case in which it is expected to finally decide, conclusively, whether Florida courts are to apply the Frye or Daubert standard to determine admissibility of expert or scientific evidence. The Frye standard, which was adopted in Florida in 1952, applies to expert testimony based upon new or novel scientific … Continue Reading

No TKO: California Judge Refuses to Disqualify Counsel from Patent Litigation

Last week, a federal judge in California denied the plaintiff’s motions to disqualify the defendant’s counsel, finding that the firm’s former representation of the plaintiff was not sufficiently recent, substantial, or substantively related to the firm’s current representation of the defendant to warrant disqualification. The plaintiff, IPS Group, Inc., brought two related lawsuits against Duncan … Continue Reading

eDiscovery Includes Electronic Vehicle Data and Possible Sanctions for Spoliation

Discovery of relevant material extends far beyond documents created on personal computers. Discoverable data exists in many forms, including electronic data found in vehicles such as tractors used for tractor-trailers. This type of data is also subject to spoliation sanctions if not properly preserved. A recent case in the Northern District of Alabama, Barry v. … Continue Reading

Consider Whether the Promise of a Bird in the Hand is Better Than Two in the Bush

When drafting settlement agreements, most lawyers give due attention to the scope of any release clause. And for good reason: for defendants, the extent to which the release protects against future litigation is critical, and for plaintiffs, the extent to which it preserves future claims may be equally critical. But lawyers – and particularly those … 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

A District Court’s Discretion to Sanction Is Broad, “But For” a Causal Limitation

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger that even a district court’s exercise of broad discretion to impose a civil sanction for a litigant’s bad faith conduct has to be limited by a causal link. The parties in Goodyear had reached a settlement of the underlying product liability … Continue Reading

Enforcing a Jury Trial Waiver in California: An Impossible Task?

It is not uncommon for parties to enter into agreements containing jury waiver provisions. However, enforcing such provisions in California courts may be a losing battle. California has a strong public policy in favor of the right to a trial by jury, and California courts will not enforce a jury waiver except under limited circumstances. … Continue Reading

WARNING: Follow Rules Governing Objections to Discovery Requests or Waive Them

On February 28, 2017, Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck issued a warning shot, stylized as a “wake-up call,” to the SDNY Bar: comply with the now 15-month-old amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when objecting to requests for the production of documents and electronically stored information (ESI), or … Continue Reading

Timing is Everything: NY Commercial Division Updates Rule on Trial Length

On March 27, 2017, the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Courts updated its rule on trial length, giving judges the express authorization to impose time limits, at their discretion, on different phases of trial. The goal of this amendment, first proposed by the Commercial Division Advisory Council in October 2016, is simple: to … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendment Requires Supporting Papers to Accompany TROs

Currently, the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules permit temporary restraining orders (“TROs”) to be issued without notice to the opposing party – though this practice is discouraged by most judges. CPLR § 6313(a). Notice is not required  if the moving party can demonstrate that there will be significant prejudice by reason of giving … Continue Reading

Too Late To Ask the Court to Retain Jurisdiction to Enforce a Settlement Agreement?

Imagine this scenario: after years of litigation in federal court, your client reaches a settlement agreement with the opposing party. The lawsuit is dismissed pursuant to the settlement agreement and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1). When the opposing party breaches the settlement agreement, you promptly file a motion to compel enforcement – only to … Continue Reading

California High Court Questions Privileged Nature of Attorney Invoices

In Disney’s The Lion King, the wise lion Mufasa sits atop a rock crag with his heir, the cub Simba, looking down on the Serengeti below. “Everything the light touches,” Mufasa instructs, “is our kingdom.” A similar scene plays out in countless law firms each year, when newly admitted attorneys are trained on the boundaries … Continue Reading

A Cloud on the Horizon? Attorneys’ Obligations when Using a Third-Party’s Cloud-Based Services

When we think of clouds, we likely picture cumulus, stratus, and cirrus ones, not the type of “cloud” that holds data and software. The latter type of cloud is generally controlled by a third-party service provider and is used to store and transmit information in a shared environment. The use of clouds is ever-increasing, including … 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

President-Elect Trump Set to Make Key Appointments in SEC Shake-Up

The outcome of the presidential election, and Mary Jo White’s announcement of her intent to step down as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, are sure to kick off an avalanche of prognostication about her successor, the direction of the SEC, and the fate of some of the laws that govern the securities industry, … Continue Reading

Not an LOL Matter: Court Provides Guidance on Steps Litigants Should Take to Preserve Text Messages

We’ve all been there. Your friends throw you in the pool with your phone in your pocket. You repeatedly slice your finger on shards of glass from your phone’s shattered screen. Or, maybe you forget your phone isn’t waterproof and dump champagne all over it. For most of us, the worst part of these ordeals … Continue Reading

Courts Split on Standing Issues in FCRA Suits After Spokeo

On October 5, 2016, two district courts came to opposite conclusions on whether putative class action plaintiffs had standing to bring claims based on prospective employers’ failure to comply with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure requirements. Standing under Article III of the Constitution requires (1) an injury in fact (2) fairly traceable to the … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit’s Continued Scrutiny of Sealing Decisions

We wrote here previously regarding the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Shane Group v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vacating a class action settlement because the district court improperly refused to unseal the parties’ substantive filings. In revisiting the district court’s sealing orders, the Court of Appeals found that the parties’ cursory justifications for their … Continue Reading

Think Your Arbitration Award Is Final? Maybe “Look Through” It Again

The question of federal court jurisdiction over arbitration proceedings has historically led to different conclusions. A few years ago, the  United States Supreme Court clarified in Vaden v. Discover Bank that Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) authorizes a federal court to “look through” to the underlying controversy to determine if there is federal court … Continue Reading

Five Ways to Prepare for Business Interruption Insurance Claims in a Natural Disaster

The extraordinary images and reports of the devastation from Hurricane Matthew have filled the news outlets. While the focus remains on the human toll and concern for the well-being of friends, colleagues and business partners who may be personally affected by this disaster, its impact will extend far beyond those whose lives and businesses were … Continue Reading
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