WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on June 18 granted a motion by shareholders to certify a class and appoint lead and liaison counsel in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the class has met all statutory guidelines for approval (Robert Skeway, et al. v. China Natural Gas Inc., et al., No. 10-728, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82779).
NEWARK, N.J. - A professional liability insurer's mere agreement to pay some of a law firm's fees for representing its insured did not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the insurer, a New Jersey federal judge ruled June 17, refusing to disqualify the law firm as independent counsel for the insured (YA Global Investments, L.P., et al. v. Mandelbaum, Salsburg, Gold, Lazris & Discenza, et al., No. 2:12-cv-219 (WJM), D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81966).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on June 17 announced the completion of a two-week hearing on the merits in a territorial maritime dispute between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on June 19 granted the federal government's motion to enter a consent decree to resolve lawsuits brought by the government and State of Illinois over violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against the owner of two facilities where polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins (United States of America v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1550, State of Illinois v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1551, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83317).
CLARKSBURG. W.Va. - The named plaintiff representing a class of landowners in West Virginia who contest the validity of oil and gas leases they entered into with a company seeking to use hydraulic fracturing on their land filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on June 19 supporting a motion to compel the company to comply with discovery requests (Floyd Barber v. Magnum Land Services LLC, No. 13-33, N.D. W.Va.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - One of the lead plaintiffs in a bad faith and fraud class action against an automobile insurer failed to establish a breach of contract for denial of benefits related to an accident, a Delaware federal judge ruled June 16, finding that this defeated her contractual bad faith and implied bad faith claims against the insurer (Kerry Johnson, et al. v. GEICO Casualty Co., et al., No. 1:06-cv-00408, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81403).
DETROIT - A defendant company's request for draft declarations and communications between plaintiff's counsel and a witness it hoped to call in support of its counterclaim was denied June 18 by a federal magistrate judge in Michigan, who found that the motion was untimely and that the requested information was privileged (Innovation Ventures LLC v. Aspen Fitness Products Inc., et al., No. 11-13537, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82706).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of named plaintiffs have not defined an ascertainable class in their privacy lawsuit against Hulu LLC, a California federal magistrate ruled June 17, denying a motion for class certification (In Re: Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. 3:11-cv-03764, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).
DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on June 17 granted a corporation's request to enjoin various entities from pursuing litigation over a shareholders' dispute in India and granted its request to compel arbitration in London (Midmark Corp. v. Janak Healthcare Private Limited, et al., No. 3:14-cv-088, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82400).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 13 declined to certify three classes of consumers, who are suing ConAgra Foods Inc. over allegedly deceptive and misleading labels, finding that each of the classes failed to meet several requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Levi Jones, et al. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., No. 12-1633, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81292).
MADISON, Wis. - A director of a condominium association was properly denied access to documents protected by the attorney-client privilege, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled June 17, holding that the association has exclusive authority to withhold privileged information from current, individual directors (Ronald Fouts v. Breezy Point Condominium Association, No. 2013AP1585, Wis. App., Dist. 4; 2014 Wis. App. LEXIS 471).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 16 denied a motion to send a class complaint over the labeling of snack products back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy was clearly in excess of $5 million (Natasha Arens v. Popcorn, Indiana, LLC, et al., No. 14-1323, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81651).
SEATTLE - Defendants in a fraud suit did not waive the attorney-client privilege over documents located on a computer that was seized by a sheriff's department and later purchased at auction by plaintiffs' counsel, a federal judge in Washington ruled June 13, explaining that courts are less likely to find waiver when protected materials are taken forcibly (Kyko Global Inc., et al. v. International Business Solutions Inc., et al., No. C13-1034 MJP, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81132).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on June 17 partially dismissed a wage-and-hour complaint filed against a Las Vegas casino, finding that three of the claims lacked a private right of action and, in the same order, conditionally certified a class of workers to proceed with the remaining claims (Nicole McDonagh, et al. v. Harrah's Las Vegas, Inc., et al., No. 13-1744, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82290).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A putative class may proceed with its state law unfair competition and common law right of publicity claims against LinkedIn Corp., a California federal judge ruled June 12, finding that the plaintiffs had standing and had sufficiently alleged injury to proceed against the social network operator (Paul Perkins, et al. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 13-cv-04303, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81042).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate on June 13 granted a motion to certify classes in a lawsuit alleging that a mortgage lender and an insurer were involved in an improper scheme involving force-placed flood insurance (Stephen Ellsworth, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., et al., No. C 12-02506 LB, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81646).
DETROIT - A group of foundations involved in community philanthropy for the bankrupt City of Detroit on June 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan supporting their motion to quash subpoenas filed by creditors Syncora Capital Assurance Inc. and Syncora Guarantee Inc. (the Syncora parties) (City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on June 16 denied a request by two Chinese automotive companies to compel arbitration, finding that commencing arbitration at this point in the litigation would prejudice the plaintiff (Baja Inc. v. Automotive Testing and Development Service Inc., et al., No. 8:13-cv-02057, D. S.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81357).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on June 12 partially granted a motion for preliminary approval of a classwide settlement in a lawsuit accusing a debt collector of sending communications that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); however, the judge ordered the parties to revise and resubmit its notice of proposed class action settlement and proposed settlement agreement by June 27 (Albert Gregory, et al. v. McCabe, Weisberg & Conway, P.C., No. 13-6962, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79795).
DETROIT - A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on June 12 ruled that Honeywell International Inc. did not waive privilege over protected communications regarding collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) it negotiated with plaintiff groups in 2003, 2007 and 2011 because the company does not intend to use the communications to prove reliance (International Union, et al. v. Grand Honeywell International Inc., No. 11-14036, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81608).
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Russian energy company and Ukraine's oil and gas company each announced June 16 that they have commenced international arbitration proceedings in Sweden, seeking billions of dollars in relation to the sale and purchase of natural gas.
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on June 13 reversed summary judgment for a corn milling company in a class complaint filed by people who own land near the mill and allege that they are unable to fully enjoy their property because of pollutants and odors from the mill (Laurie Freeman, et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation, No. 13-0723, Iowa Sup.; 2014 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 72).
MIAMI - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on June 13 held that an insurance company's disclosure of a cover letter written by its attorney about the settlement value of a workers' compensation suit to a defendant insurance company who represented the worker warranted a limited waiver of privilege (Guarantee Insurance Co. v. Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Inc., et al., No. 13-23881-CIV-Martinez/Goodman, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80757).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 affirmed a district court's decision refusing to compel arbitration, finding that two Cayman Islands funds were nonsignatories to the underlying agreement and could not be compelled to arbitrate the dispute (Wimbledon Financing Master Fund Ltd. v. David Molner, et al., No. 12-56328, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10961).