CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 4 found that an adult entertainment firm chose "to air its laundry for strategic reason" in a motion for a protective order in a copyright infringement case against an alleged file sharer, leading the judge to mostly deny the firm's motion to seal in favor of "the public's presumptive right of access" to court records (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:13-cv-06312, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75718).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 vacated a federal judge's order rejecting the Securities and Exchange Commission's $285 million proposed settlement with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. over alleged misstatements made regarding the investment quality of a collateralized debt obligation (CDO), ruling that the judge abused his discretion (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Nos. 11-5227, 11-5375 and 11-5242, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 4 released an order in which it granted a request to exclude certain expert testimony submitted by the Argentine Republic in a treaty dispute and granted the parties' proposed list of experts to testify in the case (Abaclat and others v. The Argentine Republic, No. ARB/07/05, ICSID).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Motions to consolidate personal injury and property damage class actions for discovery in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia litigation arising from the January spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River near Charleston were granted June 3 (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75299).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on June 3 upheld a class settlement between a janitorial company and franchisees who claimed that they were misclassified as independent contractors and had their franchise agreements breached, finding the terms fair and adequate (Sabrina Laguna, et al. v. Coverall North America, Inc., et al., No. 12-55479, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10259).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Insurers have a duty to defend against underlying class action lawsuit alleging that prolonged use of Bluetooth headsets can causes noise-induced hearing loss, a California federal magistrate judge ruled May 30, granting partial summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer and distributor of the headsets (Plantronics Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co. et al., No. 07-6038, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75557).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court properly dismissed some California unfair competition law (UCL) claims in a consumer class action alleging unlawful debt collection practices but should have remanded other UCL claims under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 2 in an unpublished opinion (Kimberly Grant v. Unifund CCR, LLC, et al., No. 12-56641, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10208).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in Florida on May 30 substantially denied defendants' motions to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit regarding the acquisition of a company, ruling that the shareholder that brought the suit has properly pleaded his claims and that the federal court has jurisdiction over the claims (Marvin Biver v. Nicholas Financial Inc., No. 14-250, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73933).
HARRISONBURG, Va. - A federal magistrate judge in Virginia on June 2 refused a request from a woman's former employer to make mirror images of two of her home computers, ruling that while there is a connection between the contents of the computers and the woman's wrongful termination lawsuit, the proportionality test of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(2) weighs against production (Christy Downs v. Virginia Health System, et al., No. 13cv00083, W.D. Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74415).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 affirmed admission of a Federal Trade Commission expert and an injunction order against a multilevel music merchandise marketing company because it was deemed a pyramid scheme (Federal Trade Commission v. BurnLounge, Inc., et al., Nos. 12-55926, 12-56197, 12-56228, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10152).
NEW ORLEANS - Causation experts designated by a seaman to offer testimony supporting his occupational ammonia exposure lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana survived a motion in limine on June 2; the presiding judge also denied the defendant a no-evidence summary judgment (Anthony Arnold Jr. v. Canal Barge Co. Inc., No. 13-4966, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74744).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 affirmed summary judgment in a Rocephin antibiotic Steven-Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (SJS/TEN) case, agreeing that the prescribing physician's knowledge of the drug's risk triggered the learned intermediary doctrine and protected drug maker Roche Laboratories Inc. from liability for failure to warn (Dawn Brown v. Roche Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 13-12803, 11th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley's decision to make company contributions to defined contribution plans with company stock after the fund was already active is not a fiduciary act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 29 in affirming the dismissal of participants' stock-drop claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (G. Kenneth Coulter, et al. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, et al., Nos. 13-2504-cv, 13-2509, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10027).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 30 sent a wage-and-hour class complaint against a bookstore chain back to state court, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Cassandra Carag, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., et al., No. 14-481, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74215).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida hearing an unfair competition case between drug-screening companies on May 29 found inadmissible expert testimony that was based on a survey asking sales representatives how much time they spent over several years dealing with a competitor's allegedly improper sales practices (Ameritox, Ltd. v. Millennium Laboratories, Inc., No. 8:11-cv-775-T-24-TBM, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73328).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 29 conditionally certified a collective action filed by title examiners who allege that their employer improperly included additional compensation they received for certain tasks when calculating their overtime rate (Cora Bath, et al. v. Red Vision Systems, Inc., No. 13-2366, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73563).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A unanimous District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion May 30 affirming in part judgment for U.S. contractors accused of exposing thousands of Ecuadorans to the herbicide glyphosate during coca and heroin poppy eradication spraying in Colombia (Venancio Aguasanta Arias, et al. v. DynCorp, et al., No. 13-7044 [consolidated], D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10049).
ATLANTA - Federal law preempts claims that Regions Bank violated state law by charging out-of-state check-cashing fees, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 30, affirming a federal court's dismissal of a putative class action (Derek Pereira, et al. v. Regions Bank, No. 13-10458, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10040).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on May 29 announced that a hearing on the merits of a territorial maritime dispute between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia will be held this month.
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 28 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by an hourly manager against Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Shakora Abdulhaqq, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-3184, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73356).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Just one day after remanding a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by hourly managers employed by Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, a California federal judge on May 29 withdrew that order, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to refile their remand motion after it was struck as premature (Alexander Moore, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-2245, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73218).
TUCSON, Ariz. - In what it called an issue of first impression, a unanimous Arizona Supreme Court on May 29 held that Rule of Evidence 702 does not bar admission of "cold" expert testimony that educates the fact finder about general principles without considering the particular facts of the case (State of Arizona v. Martin David Salazar-Mercado, No. CR-13-0244-PR, Ariz. Sup.; 2014 Ariz. LEXIS 122).
CHICAGO - A split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 28 denied a petition for rehearing and for rehearing en banc in the appeal of the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against two poultry processing companies accused of failing to pay their employees for time spent donning and doffing safety gear (Rochelle Mitchell, et al. v. JCG Industries, Inc., et al., No. 13-2115, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10073).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 29 granted preliminary approval to a $10 million settlement that would allow Bank of America NA (USA) to exit a class action alleging that the bank charged late fees to the credit card accounts of consumers who made their payments on time (Heydee De Leon v. Bank of America NA (USA), No. 09-1251, M.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a verdict of approximately $15 million for a class of loan officers seeking unpaid overtime, finding that the trial plan relied on flawed statistical sampling (Samuel Duran, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. S200923, Calif. Sup.).