WASHINGTON, D.C. - A defendant failed to establish error in a firearms examiner's testimony that markings on bullets recovered from a deceased man's car were "unique" to a gun recovered from the defendant's apartment, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals held Jan. 21 (Marlon Williams v. United States, No. CF1-18032-10, D.C. App.; 2016 D.C. App. LEXIS 6).
PHOENIX - A state court judge erred by precluding a defendant from offering expert testimony that firearms examiners use subjective rather than scientifically rigorous methods in drawing conclusions from indentations on shell casings, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20 (State of Arizona v. Joseph Javier Romero, No. CR-15-0039-PR, Ariz. Sup.; 2016 Ariz. LEXIS 32).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 15 denied two Doe defendants' motions to quash a copyright holder's subpoenas to discover their identities, finding no merit to the Does' arguments alleging misjoinder and free speech right violations (Cobbler Nevada LLC v. Does 1-28, No.1:15-cv-07538, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5623).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In respective reply briefs filed Jan. 19, Anthem Inc. and related insurers argued in support of their motions to dismiss a putative class action over a January 2015 breach of Anthem's network, asserting that the plaintiffs did not adequately specify the allegedly breached contractual provisions (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02617, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A marine-safety expert may not testify on the effect that certain weather conditions have on vessel operations and on issues particular to vessel operations or vessel navigation in a maritime personal injury lawsuit, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Jan. 19 (Calvin Howard, et al. v. Offshore Liftboats, LLC, et al., No. 13-4811 c/w 13-6407 & 14-1188, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5947).
LAKE CHARLES, La. - An expert may testify about damages related to an alleged breach of contract for a blind vendor licensing at a military base and include damages from resulting alleged lost contracts from two other bases, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Jan. 19 (Cantu Services, Inc. v. Melvin Lee Frazier, No. 12-1292, W.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6300).
CHICAGO - A doctor may not testify in a civil rights lawsuit that a nurse knew the risks to a prison inmate from an untreated penetrating wound from a shotgun and failed to act in disregard of these risks, an Illinois federal magistrate judge held Jan. 19 (Raul C. Gomez v. Lanel Palmer, et al., No. 11-1793, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5687).
ELGIN, Ill. - A divided Illinois appeals panel on Jan. 19 reversed a grant of class certification in a complaint accusing an individual of sending unauthorized faxes, finding the class representative to be a "passive figurehead" (Byer Clinic and Chiropractic, Ltd., et al. v. Michael Kapraun, No. 1-14-3733, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 16).
SAN FRANCISCO - Class claims alleging that an airline's automatic kiosks violate California's anti-discrimination laws because they inaccessible to blind travelers are preempted by the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (ACAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 19 (National Federation of the Blind, et al. v. United Airlines Inc., No. 11-16240, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 811).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In a Jan. 19 memorandum, Barnes & Noble Inc. (BN) asks a New York federal judge to compel the plaintiff in a consumer legal remedies lawsuit to produce responsive documents to a discovery interrogatory seeking to establish the plaintiff's claimed connection to New York under which he alleges violation of state consumer laws (Kevin Khoa Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., No. 8:12-cv-00812, C.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Jan. 15 consented motion for approval, the named plaintiffs in a class action against Facebook Inc. stated that the social network operator agreed to make changes to how it handles requested refunds for purchases made by minors' within applications (in-app purchases) on its social network in compliance with California law (I.B., by and through his guardian ad litem Glynnis Bohannon, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 5:12-cv-01894, N.D. Calif.).
INDIANAPOLIS - A certified public accountant may testify as a layperson to opine that a defendant has the finances to pay off investors despite allegations from the U.S. government that the defendant defrauded investors, an Indiana federal judge ruled Jan. 15 (United States of America v. Jaime C. Lopez, No. 15-00069, S.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5239).
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 14 granted class certification in a suit accusing a farming enterprise of various wage-and-hour violations under federal and state laws (Manuel Mateo-Evangelio, et al. v. Triple J Produce, Inc., et al., No. 14-302, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4872).
HOUSTON - Occidental Petroleum Corp. on Jan. 19 announced that it has reached an agreement for the payment of an arbitration award that was issued by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) pursuant to which the Republic of Ecuador will pay it approximately $1 billion.
LONDON - The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on Jan. 18 allowed an appeal of an order that denied a request for a stay of litigation under an arbitration act, even though arbitration of a shareholders' dispute was not yet commenced, finding that a company and others were entitled to a stay of the case (Anzen Limited and others v. Hermes One Limited, No. No 0041 of 2015, Privy Council, Judicial Committee).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lacks jurisdiction to review an appeal seeking a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) may aggregate claims in cases raising legally identical claims, the secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) argues in a Jan. 14 appellee brief (Conley F. Monk, Jr. v. Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Nos. 15-7092 and 15-7106, Fed. Cir.).
HOUSTON - A nurse consultant may testify on certain medical issues and expenses in dispute in a negligence lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC but may not testify on whether a plaintiff will need a heart transplant and expenses resulting from that transplant, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 18 (Shan Kovaly v. Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC, No. 13-2599, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5664).
NEW YORK - An economist expert's damages "benchmark" model is adequate in a class action antitrust lawsuit against News Corp., News America Inc., News America Marketing FSI L.L.C. and News America Marketing In-Store Services L.L.C. (collectively, News Corp.), a New York federal judge ruled Jan. 15 (Dial Corp., et al. v. News Corp., et al., No. 13-6802, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5668).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 affirmed dismissal of breach of contract and tortious interference counterclaims filed by Riceland Foods Inc. in a class suit filed by a group of attorneys accusing the company of using some of their litigation work product without compensation (Riceland Foods v. Don M. Downing, et al., No. 14-3758, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 620).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 15 dismissed a class suit for lacking of standing that accuses Costco Wholesale Corp. and its suppliers of selling prawns that come from a supply chain that includes slavery and human trafficking (Monica Sud v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-3783, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5524).
ST. LOUIS - There was no error in permitting an expert to testify about the substantial similarity in chemical structure between scheduled controlled substances and products sold at a store owned and run by defendants, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 14, affirming convictions against them (United States of America v. James Robert Carlson, No. 14-2986, United States of America v. Lava Marie Haugen, No. 14-2987, United States of America v. Joseph James Gellerman, No. 14-3242, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 569).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of State on Jan. 17 announced that it has reached a $1.7 billion settlement with Iran, resolving a longstanding dispute over a trust fund before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An unaccepted offer to settle a plaintiff's individual claim in a class complaint does not render the case moot, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20 (Campbell-Ewald Company v. Jose Gomez, No. 14-857, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS - The Texas federal judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on Jan. 15 ordered defendant Johnson & Johnson to produce documents and a corporate witness concerning the company's bribery in Greece, Poland, Romania and Iraq (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 denied rehearing of its divided ruling rejecting claims that State Street Bank and Trust Co. breached its statutory duty of prudence as fiduciary of the General Motors (GM) Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) (Raymond M. Pfeil and Michael Kammer v. State Street Bank and Trust Company, No. 14-1491, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19536).