NEW YORK - Defendants in a securities class action have failed to show that interlocutory appeal is appropriate because, among other things, they have not shown that any controlling question of law exists, a federal judge in New York ruled Oct. 7 (In re Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 10-3461, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143127).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Oct. 8 named a union retirement plan as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a biotechnology firm and certain of its current and former officers and directors, ruling that the retirement plan has met all statutory guidelines to become lead plaintiff (Local No. 8 IBEW Retirement Plan v. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 14-12296, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143249).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Oct. 6 affirmed a trial court decision that excluded the testimony of a pediatrician who had been called as a witness in a lead-paint-poisoning lawsuit on grounds that he lacked sufficient knowledge to draw conclusions about the plaintiff's alleged injuries (Jakeem Roy v. Elliot Dackman, et al., No. 558, Sept. Term 2013, Md. Spec. App.; 2014 Md. App. LEXIS 116).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 6 granted motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action lacks standing to bring certain claims and has failed to plead materiality and falsity with particularity for others (In re Atossa Genetics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-1836, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142100).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal magistrate on Oct. 6 granted a professional liability insurer's motion to compel the production of documents but deemed the insured's discovery request "overly broad" in a dispute over coverage for an underlying bad faith claim (The Medical Protective Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., No. 1:13-CV-357, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141557.
DETROIT - Documents withheld from discovery by a graduate student suing her university for sexual discrimination are not subject to attorney-client privilege, a Michigan federal magistrate judge ruled Oct. 3, ordering that they be produced (Jennifer Dibbern v. University of Michigan, et al., No. 2:12-cv-15632, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140744).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 asked the solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in a case challenging an appellate court's ruling that an eyelash growth product is actually a drug that was sold without approval in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Athena Cosmetics, Inc. v. Allergan, Inc., No. 13-1379, U.S. Sup.).
HAMBURG, Germany - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Oct. 2 announced that it has reconstituted its chambers so that the majority of cases will now be handled by the tribunal as a full court.
WICHITA, Kan. - In what he described as a "close call" discovery dispute between an insurer and a long-term disability (LTD) benefits claimant, a Kansas federal magistrate judge on Oct. 3 granted the insured's motion to compel discovery of additional materials from the insurer's electronic claim manual, deeming them to be relevant to a dispute under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Larry Winfrey v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 6:14-cv-01034, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140634).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The plain language of 28 U.S. Code Section 1446(a) requires only "a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal," not evidence, the attorney representing Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. LLC and Cherokee Basin Pipeline LLC argued Oct. 7 before the U.S. Supreme Court (Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC, et al. v. Brandon W. Owens, et al., No. 13-719, U.S. Sup.).
TORONTO - Stans Energy Corp. on Oct. 6 announced that the Kyrgyz Republic has filed a motion in a Russian court seeking to vacate a $118 million arbitration award recently issued against it.
NEW YORK - After finding that a company did not sign a part of a share purchase and sale agreement that required arbitration of all disputes before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a New York federal judge on Oct. 2 refused to confirm a Brazilian airline's petition to confirm an arbitration award issued in its favor (VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. v. Matlinpatterson Global Opportunities Partners II L.P., et al., No. 11 Civ. 0198, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141036).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In considering a petition for certiorari filed by an online data aggregator in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action against it, the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief on the matter (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 3 ruled on numerous pending motions filed pursuant to the ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc. (509 U.S. 579 [1993[), finding that certain expert testimony on alleged mold growth in washing machines should be excluded (In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 1:08-WP-65000, N.D. Ohio).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 1 left an unfair competition claim (UCL) in a proposed class action lawsuit challenging four financial institutions' practice of instituting lender-placed insurance (Margo Perryman v. Litton Loan Servicing, et al., No. 14-2261, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140479).
NEWARK, N.J. - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel should grant rehearing in a case alleging fraud in asbestos-tainted talc litigation so that the New Jersey Supreme Court can weigh in on the scope of the state's litigation privilege, two defendants argue in a pair of Oct. 1 briefs (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 13-1089, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A hydraulic fracturing company on Sept. 30 filed a brief in West Virginia federal court seeking a declaration that a class of residents who hold leases for oil and gas rights is not entitled to class arbitration on its claims that the fracking company has breached its contract (Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al. v. Deloris Suppa, et al., No. 14-159, N.D. W.Va.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 granted motions by the U.S. solicitor general for leave to participate in oral argument and for divided argument in the appeal of a lawsuit filed by warehouse employees seeking compensation for the time they spend at the end of each shift passing through a security check (Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Jesse Busk, et al., No. 13-433, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4904).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A man's deposition testimony regarding a single instance of installing a defendant's brakes is simply "too speculative" to proceed, and an affidavit containing an unexplained change in memory constitutes a "sham affidavit," a Delaware judge held Sept. 30 in an asbestos exposure case (Ronald Shimko and Carol Shimko v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. N10C-12-238 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Because the records sought by various media outlets related to an on-campus rape at Vanderbilt University are "relevant to a pending or contemplated criminal action," a Tennessee Court of Appeals panel majority on Sept. 30 held that the records were not discoverable under an exemption to the Tennessee Public Records Act (TPRA), reversing a trial court's ruling (The Tennessean, et al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson Co., et al., No. M2014-00524-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 616).
DETROIT - In light of a pending dismissal motion by University of Michigan (UM) personnel in a due process and free speech lawsuit brought against them by a student accused of sexual misconduct, a Michigan federal judge on Oct. 1 held that discovery in the case should be stayed pending a resolution of the motion and a determination of the threshold question whether the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity (Drew Sterrett v. Heather Cowan, et al., No. 2:14-cv-11619, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139196).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 agreed to decide whether the U.S. Bankruptcy Code gives bankruptcy courts discretion to award lawyers their fees for successfully defending applications for enhanced attorney fees (Baker Botts, LLP, et al. v. ASARCO, LLC, No. 14-103, U.S. Sup.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that a dispute related to the operation of a thermal power plant in Libya should be arbitrated pursuant to an underlying contract, a Florida federal judge on Sept. 29 granted an energy firm's motion to compel arbitration and for an anti-suit injunction barring litigation in Libya (APR Energy LLC v. First Investment Group Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-575, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137425).
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Changes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) made to the False Claims Act public disclosure bar apply prospectively, a Georgia federal judge held Sept. 29 (United States of America and State of Georgia, ex rel. Chad Willis v. SouthernCare Inc., No. 10-124, S.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137457).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Criticisms of both sides' expert opinions in an antitrust class action related to Apple Inc.'s iTunes store and iPod devices go to weight, not admissibility, a California federal judge concluded Sept. 26, denying both sides' motions to exclude testimony under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) (The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, No. 4:05-cv-00037, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136437).