HOUSTON - Search warrants and subpoenas that law enforcement personnel served on Facebook Inc. and Yahoo Inc. as part of a child pornography investigation complied with state law and the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Aug. 5, affirming a Texas man's conviction under federal law (United States of America v. Damian Orisakwe, No. 14-40699, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13883).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 5 refused to vacate a $185,530,618 arbitration award issued in favor of various investors, finding that Romania's challenges to the award must be argued in annulment proceedings currently proceeding before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (Viorel Micula v. Government of Romania, No. 15-107, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102907).
LONDON - An English council on Aug. 6 granted a Caribbean company's appeal of two arbitration awards issued in relation to a project for the construction of a hospital in Trinidad and Tobago, remanding the case for review by an arbitrator (NH International [Caribbean] Limited v National Insurance Property Development Company Limited, No.  UKPC 37, Judicial Comm. Priv. Co.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal court did not abuse its discretion in finding that testimony in a multiple robbery case regarding cell site location information (CSLI) from a phone company official and an FBI agent did not constitute impermissible expert opinions but instead was testimony from lay witnesses, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 5 in affirming the convictions of two men (United States of America v. Aaron Graham and United States of America v. Eric Jordan, Nos. 12-4659 and 12-4825, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13653).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal judge in Oregon on Aug. 5 granted in part and denied in part a number of motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that shareholders have properly pleaded a number of their claims but have failed to plead scienter with regard to one of the defendants and failed to plead their insider trading claims against other defendants (In re Galena Biopharma Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-367, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102250).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 5 amended his order allowing Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC to serve a subpoena on the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust for information on the more than 90,000 asbestos claimants in Garlock's bankruptcy case so the parties can conduct a preliminary exchange of information to limit the number of false positive matches of claimants in their databases (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
PARIS - After an unsuccessful attempt to disqualify an arbitrator appointed by two Venezuelan companies to hear an investment dispute related to glass production, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Aug. 5 reconstituted the tribunal and indicated that the proceedings will resume (Fabrica De Vidrios Los Andres C.A., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/12/21, ICSID).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 31 granted final approval of a $235 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the settlement met all statutory guidelines for approval (New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund, et al. v. Residential Capital LLC, et al., No. 08-8781, S.D. N.Y.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 31 denied portions of Tamko Building Products Inc.'s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit over alleged defects in its roofing shingles, ruling that plaintiffs could pursue strict liability and negligence claims stemming from damage that allegedly occurred to their homes as a result of the shingles prematurely cracking (Richard Disher, et al. v. Tamko Building Products Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-740, S.D. Ill.).
NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs fail to distinguish how an expert's testimony that every exposure above background can cause disease differs from the type of "every exposure" testimony receiving a "largely negative" reception from courts, a federal judge in Louisiana held Aug. 4 (Sally Gros Vedros, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., et al., No. 11-1198, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98959).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 3 declined to dismiss a purported class action complaint alleging that homeopathic products falsely advertised that they were effective treatments for gas, colic and reflux problems in infants in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL), saying the defendants raised arguments not appropriate for a motion to dismiss (Wannita Thesier-Hendricks v. TJL Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 15-477, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101710).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 affirmed a district court's decision granting a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of a seaman's claims in the Republic of the Philippines, finding that his injury-related claims were governed by his employment contract (Emmanuel Navarette v. Silversea Cruises Ltd., et al., No. 14-13324, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13634).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that all of the arguments against confirmation of a $96 million arbitration award asserted by the Republic of Ecuador failed, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 affirmed a district court's order confirming the award in favor of Chevron Corp. (Chevron Corporation, et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. 13-7103, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13528).
HELENA, Mont. - Although a Montana state court properly excluded testimony by an expert that trauma could contribute to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it abused its discretion in finding that a second expert is not qualified to offer an opinion that trauma from a car crash was the "proximate cause" of a woman's ALS, the Montana Supreme Court held Aug. 4 (Carol J. McClue, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. DA 14-0375, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 399).
ATLANTA - A district court abused its discretion in finding that certain opinions of an expert for a couple suing a cruise line in a slip-and-fall case were not reliable, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 4 in reversing in part the district court's evidentiary rulings and vacating the grant of summary judgment and award of costs in favor of the cruise line (Teresita Sorrels, et al. v. NCL [Bahamas] Ltd., Nos. 13-15858 and 14-14467, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13541).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 4 granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement under which J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $388 million to settle claims that it violated provisions of federal securities law by misrepresenting the investment quality of certain mortgage-backed securities it sold to investors, according to court documents filed in New York federal court (Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 09-3701, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on July 30 left portions of claims for violations of the state's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL), as well as fraud and negligent misrepresentation, but dismissed all other claims in a class action suit accusing the manufacturer of a dog bone product of selling items not safe for its intended purpose (Khristie Reed v. Dynamic Pet Products, et al., No. 15-987, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100540).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Testimony by a property value expert for Halliburton Co. in a suit filed by homeowners alleging that the company polluted the groundwater under their properties is admissible because it is reliable and will be helpful to a jury, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled July 31 (Amanda Alexander, et al. v. Halliburton Company, et al., Nos. 11-1343, 11-1272, 11-1305, 11-1306, 11-1322, 11-1323, 13-715, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100030).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on July 31 refused to recognize a Bolivian court judgment in favor of a car dealership, finding that the parties agreed to arbitrate all disputes under a global importer dealer sales agreement (Automotores Galindo, S.A. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 13-CV-23285, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100259).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - While the treating physician for a woman alleging that her leg had to be amputated due to medical malpractice cannot testify as an expert witness on causation because the basis for his opinion is "inherently unreliable," an interventional radiologist can testify as an expert because her testimony creates a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether a botched angiogram caused the amputation, an Alabama federal judge held Aug. 3 (Jessica Marie Muniz v. United States of America, No. 2:13-cv-01163, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100921).
NEW YORK - New York City sanitation workers who filed a class complaint alleging discriminatory promotion practices failed to present sufficient statistical evidence and exhaust their administrative remedies, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 31 (Andrenia Burgis, et al. v. New York City Department of Sanitation, et al., No. 14-1640, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13353).
PASADENA, Calif. - In a lawsuit where both class claims and nonclass claims are being pursued, the amount sought for the nonclass claims may not be added together with the amount sought for class claims to meet the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) amount-in-controversy requirement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 30 (Porfiria Yocupicio, et al. v. PAW Group, LLC, et al., No. 15-55878, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13273).
NEW YORK - A magistrate judge in a federal court in New York on July 30 granted an insurer's motion to enjoin an arbitration, holding that the arbitration demand of a group of reinsurers was in direct contravention of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Equitas Insurance Limited, et al., No. 13-cv-07680, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99787).
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi Supreme Court panel on July 30 upheld a trial court judge's decisions to award summary judgment to the developer, architect, structural engineer and contractors who repaired the Inn by the Sea (IBTS) condominiums following Hurricane Katrina and exclude the expert testimony proffered by a plaintiff homeowners association, ruling that the judge properly found that the estimates were not based on reliable information (Inn by the Sea Homeowner's Association Inc. v. SeaInn LLC, et al., No. 2013-CA-02013-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2015 Miss. LEXIS 379).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A settlement between a California-based retailer and the representatives of a putative consumer class that alleged inappropriate collection of their personal information was preliminarily approved by a California federal judge on July 29 (Heidi Anderson-Butler, et al. v. Charming Charlie LLC, et al., No. 2:14-cv-01921, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99154).