WASHINGTON, D.C. - Judicial Watch Inc. cannot have access to the identities of individuals included in a chain of 12 emails about possible attendees to a briefing between U.S. and Canadian companies concerning the Keystone XL pipeline, a federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia ruled July 12, after finding that the information is protected by the deliberative process privilege (Judicial Watch Inc. v. U.S. Department of State, No. 11-1152, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96273).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 rejected a cruise line worker's arguments that an arbitration clause in his employment contract was invalid as against public policy, affirming a Florida federal court's decision to compel arbitration of his injury-related claims against a cruise line (Kenneth Fernandes v. Carnival Corporation, d.b.a. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 09-15675, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14270).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in Washington on July 11 partially dismissed a consumer's class action lawsuit against a debt collector and one of its managing partners for lack of proper venue but transferred the case to another federal district court where the venue would be proper (Juliette Murdoch v. Rosenberg & Associates LLC, et al., No. 12-36, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95580).
JACKSON, Miss. - Without entirely foreclosing on the idea that he would rule on asbestos experts' summary judgment motions in an action challenging the legitimacy of their opinions, a federal judge found dismissal of the action "proper and valid," according to a July 12 minute entry on the docket (National Service Industries Inc., f/d/b/a North Inc. v. Jay T. Segarra, M.D., et al., No. 09-83, S.D Miss.).
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - An Iowa federal magistrate judge on July 11 denied a motion by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as receiver of an insured bank, for early discovery in a directors and officers coverage dispute (Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, et al., No. C12-4041-DEO, N.D. Iowa, Western Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96337).
NEW YORK - "Captains" who manage teams of warehouse employees at a wholesale food distributor fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) executive exemption and are not entitled to overtime pay, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 12, upholding a trial court's ruling in favor of the distributor (Luis Ramos, et al. v. Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc., et al., No. 11-2616, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14333).
MIAMI - Bank of the West has become the latest bank to settle claims in a multidistrict litigation in which plaintiffs allege that it manipulated customers' debit card transactions in order to charge overdraft fees, agreeing to pay $18 million to exit the suit, according to a document the plaintiffs filed July 11 in a federal court in Florida (In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 09-md-2036, S.D. Fla.).
Review a complimentary copy of the motion for preliminary approval of the class settlement in the attached PDF.
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on July 6 denied a request by the special deputy receiver (SDR) for three insolvent funeral insurers for a protective order regarding certain documents sought by a bank, except to the extent that any of the document requests seek information or testimony that is protected by the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine or any other applicable privilege or immunity (Jo Ann Howard & Associates PC, et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93563).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 9 certified a class of assistant bank branch managers (ABMs) suing their employer for unpaid overtime (Christine Lyons v. Citizens Financial Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-11187, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94234).
LOS ANGELES - A California judge in a tentative ruling issued July 6 awarded $89.7 million in back wages, interest and waiting time to a class of approximately 15,000 security guards who were denied off-duty rest breaks (Jennifer Augustus v. American Commercial Security Services, et al., No. BC336416, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.). Subscribers may view the tentative ruling available within the full article.
NEW ORLEANS - A unanimous Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued a per curiam opinion July 9 affirming orders excluding expert reports and testimony from a personal injury lawsuit brought against a Westlake, La., refinery operator and its insurance company; the panel also affirmed summary judgment for the defendants (Braylon James Guidry, et al. v. Georgia Gulf States Lake Charles, et al., No. 11-30561, 5th Cir.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 9 found that a federal district court erred when it denied a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of a seaman's claims under his employment contract, vacating an order remanding the case to state court and ordering that the dispute be arbitrated (St. Hugh Williams v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., d.b.a. NCL, No. 11-12150, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13979).
SAN FRANCISCO - A former Office Depot Inc. employee who says that the company's failure to include $50 incentive bonuses in workers' regular pay rates caused him to lose out on 23 cents of overtime pay in the six months he worked there has properly pleaded class action claims, a California federal judge held July 6 in denying the company summary judgment and granting class certification (Howard David Provine v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 11-00903, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93881).
RICHMOND, Va. - A unanimous Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion July 9 affirming the conclusion of a District of South Carolina magistrate judge that arbitration in a welding fume products liability insurance duty-to-defend dispute is compelled to Sweden (ESAB Group Inc. v. Zurich Insurance, et al., No. 11-1243 (consolidated), 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13926).
PARIS - Two technology companies involved in a dispute over certain royalties owed under a patent license agreement on July 9 both announced that the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has issued an interim award in the case.
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 6 instructed a district court to compel arbitration in a suit involving a bank's overdraft fees, finding that an unenforceable cost-and-fee-shifting provision in an arbitration agreement is severable from the agreement and that the invalidity of that provision does not affect the agreement itself (In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 11-14318, 11th Cir.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Because an international truck rental company "reached out" from its U.S. national headquarters in Arizona to conduct its business and deal with allegations of racism at one of its locations in Tennessee, it is reasonable for a Tennessee federal court to exercise personal jurisdiction over the company in an employment discrimination lawsuit, a Tennessee federal judge held July 6 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. U-Haul International, Inc., et al., No. 2:11-cv-02844, W.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93371).
ATLANTA - After determining that a Florida federal court would be unable to grant a British Virgin Islands company effective relief in relation to a petition to vacate an arbitration award issued against it in a stock purchase dispute, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 5 affirmed a decision dismissing the action and held that the case was moot (Ingaseosas International Co. v. Aconcagua Investing Ltd., No. 11-10914, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13659).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 3 granted the request of a sunken dry dock's owner that one of its insurers produce certain reinsurance documents, holding that the insurer had not shown that the documents are privileged (Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, et al. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, et al., No. 10-cv-01653, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92701).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal jury in California on July 3 awarded $87 million in damages to direct purchasers of film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD), finding that Toshiba Corp. engaged in a conspiracy with other manufacturers to raise and fix the price of TFT-LCD panels and certain products containing those panels imported into the United States for more than 10 years, resulting in overcharges to the purchasers, in violation of the Sherman Act 15 U.S.C.S. § 1 et seq..(In re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation (All Direct Purchaser Actions), MDL No. 3:07-md-1827 SI, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Arab Republic of Egypt, the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Embassy of Egypt Cultural and Educational Bureau are not immune under the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) from a lawsuit brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 2 in an unpublished opinion (Mohamed E. Lasheen v. Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, et al., No. 10-17034, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13477).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge supervising consumer fraud litigation against the manufacturer and distributor of a generic version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL approved a settlement on July 2 that incorporates only injunctive relief and awarded $3.2 million in attorney fees (In re: Budeprion XL Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2107, No. 2:09-md-2107, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91176).
LONDON - An England and Wales appeals court on June 27 allowed a Russian oil company's appeal of a justice's decision that it was estopped by a Dutch court ruling from denying that a Russian court ruling that annulled arbitration awards issued against it was caused by a partial and dependant judicial process, but the appeals court upheld a decision that the act of state doctrine did not apply to the case (Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. v. OJSC Rosneft Oil Co., et al., No. $(2012$) EWCA Civ. 855, England and Wales App.). Subscribers may view the judgment available within the full article.
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian judge on June 29 stayed a case and ordered that under a dealership agreement between an Italian company and an Australian company, a dispute between the parties must be arbitrated in Milan (Casaceli, et al. v Natuzzi S.p.A., et al., NSD 396 of 2012, Australia Fed.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 vacated a trial court's approval of a $17.5 million settlement in a class suit over early termination fees charged by Sprint Nextel Corp. and remanded the matter for further proceedings after finding that the District Court failed to adequately protect the rights of absent class members (Judy Larson, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, et al., Nos. 10-1285/1477/1486/1587, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13292).