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

Category Archives: Litigation

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Maintaining Privilege and Work Product Protections in Dual Purpose (Legal and Business) Investigations

Requires More than Merely Adding Counsel’s Name to a Forensic Report. Technical investigations conducted following cyber-incidents often have both legal and ordinary-course business purposes. In certain jurisdictions, reports generated as a result of such investigations can be protected from discovery by privilege and work product protections– despite certain non-legal use – under the “dual purpose” … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrowly Rejects Second Circuit’s Sweeping “Defense Preclusion” Doctrine

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court unanimously rebuffed the Second Circuit’s attempt to expand the scope of res judicata to include the so-called concept of “defense preclusion” – a novel doctrine that would have barred defendants from raising defenses not asserted in previously adjudicated disputes regardless of whether the disputes share a common … Continue Reading

Pricing in an Emergency: Where Price Gouging Meets Antitrust

As state investigators across the country launch price gouging investigations, one thing is becoming clear – state price gouging investigations can look a lot like antitrust investigations. Price gouging enforcement is at an all-time high, and more and more it is being combined with antitrust and unfair trade practice investigations. This overlap can be bad … Continue Reading

First Circuit Holds Japan is an Adequate Alternative Forum

On April 24, 2020, the First Circuit affirmed the District of Massachusetts’ dismissal of a case against General Electric on forum non conveniens grounds. In 2011, an earthquake-induced tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Individuals and businesses who suffered property damage and/or economic harm from the disaster filed a class action … Continue Reading

Corporate Caution during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought great economic uncertainty and significant market volatility, creating an environment where investors that are trying to assess the financial impact of the virus are looking to glean any insight they can from a company’s disclosures and are hanging on every statement made by company leaders. This environment of heightened investor … Continue Reading

Divided Supreme Court Rules that State Jury Verdicts for Serious Crimes Must Be Unanimous

On April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that the Sixth Amendment requires a unanimous jury verdict to convict a defendant of a serious offense in state courts. In so holding, the Court not only paved the way for potentially hundreds of defendants convicted by divided juries, like petitioner Evangelisto Ramos, … Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Holds Early Committee Appointment Necessary to Cleanse Conflict from Corporate Transactions

In Salladay v. Lev, the Delaware Chancery Court elaborated on how early a corporate board must take protective measures to shield a conflicted transaction from entire fairness review. Salladay involved a motion to dismiss a challenge to a merger agreement based on alleged director conflicts at the target company. The defendants argued that the transaction … Continue Reading

Jeep Drivers’ Claims Come to a Screeching Halt: Hypothetical Hacking Threat Does Not Confer Article III Standing

On March 27, 2020, a five-year legal battle between three certified classes of Jeep Cherokee drivers and Fiat Chrysler came to a sudden end, when a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois held that allegations that the vehicles were vulnerable to cyber-attacks did not give plaintiffs standing to sue under Article III of … Continue Reading

First Circuit Treads “Unchartered Waters”: Holds Copyright Sublicenses Can Be Implied

On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in a case of first impression, held that a copyright licensee given the unrestricted right to grant sublicenses may do so without using express language. The case, Photographic Illustrators Corp. v. Orgill, Inc., stems from a license Photographic Illustrators Corp. (“PIC”), a … Continue Reading

To the Victor Go the Spoliation Sanctions: Eastern District of Louisiana Exercises Inherent Power to Issue Sanctions for Spoliation

Parties should think twice before posting potential evidence on social media, as the Plaintiff in Guarisco v. Boh Brothers Construction learned recently. The Eastern District of Louisiana imposed sanctions on Plaintiff for deliberately producing an altered photo, which Plaintiff had previously posted on social media in its unaltered form. Rather than relying on Rule 37(e), … Continue Reading

Five Key Takeaways from the New Emergency Judicial Procedures in the Eastern District of California

Federal court judges in California are facing a crisis caused by expanding caseloads coupled with increasing vacancies in judicial seats that remain unfilled. United States District Court Judge Dale A. Drozd of the Eastern District of California recently took matters into his own hands. After three other judges in the Eastern District assumed Senior status … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision Has Significant Implications for Terms and Conditions in Smartphone Apps

A recent Ninth Circuit decision centered on something most consumers use many times every day: smartphone apps. In Wilson v. Huuuge, Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of defendant Huuuge’s motion to compel arbitration against a user of its smartphone casino app. Addressing a question of first impression, the Court considered the circumstances under … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit “Scraps” Old Construction of CFAA in Closely Watched LinkedIn Data Scraping Case

This past month, professional networking site LinkedIn Corp., was given more time to file a petition for certiorari challenging a Ninth Circuit finding that hiQ Labs Inc. (“hiQ”), a workforce data analytics startup, did not violate federal hacking laws by “scraping” LinkedIn member profiles without LinkedIn’s permission. Data scraping, or web scraping, is a method … Continue Reading

CCP 2031.280(a): New Document Production Obligations in California Civil Litigation

Effective as of January 1, 2020, all civil litigants in California will have additional discovery burdens. The California Code of Civil Procedure now requires “[a]ny documents or category of documents produced in response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling shall be identified with the specific request number to which the documents respond.” … Continue Reading

“Ain’t No River Wide Enough”: Second Circuit Says No Per Se Bar to Extraterritorial Application of Section 1782

This month, the Second Circuit weighed in on open issues relating to discovery under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Section 1782 allows federal courts to order entities that “reside[] or [are] found” in their district to produce evidence for use in a proceeding before “a foreign or international tribunal” upon request by “any interested person.”… Continue Reading

For The First Circuit, Transaction Costs in Structured Settlements are Not Fraud

Liability insurers charge premiums in exchange for an agreement to cover certain claims against their policyholders. When settling a tort claim against a policyholder, the insurance company can pay a lump-sum of cash or, in some cases, will enter into a “structured settlement” with the claimant. Here, the insurance company purchases an annuity (or a … Continue Reading

State Liquor Law Tossed: Industry Changes Ahead

In a decision with major implications for fans of wine, liquor, or free trade, the Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling that struck down a Tennessee law, which imposed certain residency requirements to operate retail liquor stores, as impermissibly violating the Commerce Clause. Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Assn. v. Thomas. Justice Alito, writing for the majority … Continue Reading

A Radical Change to Ratification: Key Takeaways from Henderson v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc.

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 … Continue Reading

“ADApt your Website”: Key Takeaways from the Domino’s Website Litigation

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 … Continue Reading
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