WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 19, in a summary disposition, granted a petition for writ of certiorari in an appeal debating whether class certification should be granted in a malpractice lawsuit filed against a law firm, vacated a judgment by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that vacated the trial court's denial of class certification and remanded for further consideration in light of the high court's recent ruling in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, 582 U.S. __ (2017) (Milberg LLP, et al. v. Lance Laber, No. 15-734, U.S. Sup.).
SEATTLE - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against a developmental pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive offices have properly pleaded a material misrepresentation at this point in the litigation and scienter in alleging that the defendants misrepresented the clinical trial results for the company's new cancer treatment drug in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Washington ruled June 14 (In re Juno Therapeutics Inc., No. 16-1069, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91608).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appellate court panel on June 15 affirmed a jury's verdict finding that a concrete manufacturer should indemnify a contractor that installed concrete that was defectively made, holding that the trial court judge did not err when striking the manufacturer's expert testimony and that the company did not clearly argue in its post-trial motions that the contractor that finished the concrete was a seller under the Texas Products Liability Act (TPLA) (RDJRLW, Inc. v. Bobby Elbert Miller, Jr., d/b/a Miller Construction, et al., No. 02-16-00132-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5494).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 14 denied without comment a plaintiff's motion to reconsider a June 6 ruling that dismissed, for the second time, a putative class action alleging that J. Crew Group Inc. violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by printing too many credit card digits on customers' receipts (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91080).
ATLANTA - In a case over fraudulent transfers of reinsurance funds, a Georgia federal judge granted in part insurers' motion to compel on June 12, ordering a reinsurer to provide missing tax documents to the insurers (Canal Insurance Co. and Canal Indemnity Co. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company Ltd,, et al., No. 15-cv-03331, N.D. Ga.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appellate panel on June 12 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the trial court did not err in allowing the defendants' experts to testify (Anita J. Howard v. Shelly R. Svoboda, M.D., et al., No. A16-1232, Minn. App., 2017 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 508).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendants in a case where a plaintiff sued under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act seeking additional reimbursement for a series of steroid knee injections that an orthopedic surgeon administered to his spouse, finding no abuse of discretion in the defendants' decision to not provide additional insurance coverage and no error in the trial court's refusal to consider information that the plaintiff failed to provide during the administrative appeals process (Monte Hooper, et al. v. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2157, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10482).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who claims that J.P. Morgan Chase Co. (JPMC) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act by denying his request for parental leave on the ground that only women can be primary caregivers for children on June 14 filed a charge asking the Ohio Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate his allegations on a classwide basis.
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a proposed settlement of class action claims seeking penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) did not leave the class members with a clear option for asserting their non-PAGA claims, a California federal judge on June 12 denied a joint motion for approval of the agreement (David Vargas v. Central Freight Lines Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-00507, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90070).
HAMBURG, Germany - The president of the International Tribunal for the Law of The Sea (ITLOS) on June 12 issued the annual report for the tribunal, noting several important rulings and appointments.
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 13 appointed the lead plaintiff in a securities fraud class action suit after determining that the sole movant for lead plaintiff suffered the largest financial loss in the proposed class of more than $83,000 (Courtney Elkin v. Walter Investment Management Group et al., No. 17-2025, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90156).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent's experience alone is sufficient to qualify him as an expert, and his use of a gun-tracing report prepared by other ATF employees does not violate a criminal defendant's confrontation rights, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found June 12 in affirming the defendant's conviction (United States of America v. Jarelle McLean, No. 16-4673, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10380).
NEW YORK - A total of 13 settlements in 2016 were large enough to be added to the top 100 list of securities class action settlements, including one to the top 10 all-time, in terms of total settlement amount, according to a report issued by corporate governance solutions provider Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) Securities Class Action Services Inc. on June 13.
MIAMI - A federal narcotics officer can testify about cocaine trafficking and the drug trade in South America and Central America at trial for a man accused of running a cocaine-smuggling operation from Honduras to the United States, a Florida federal judge ruled June 12 (United States of America v. Juan Carlos Arvizu Hernandez, No. 17-cr-20130, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90548).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 13 entered a default ruling against the Republic of Cabo Verde and granted a finance company's petition to confirm a $190,098.12 award against it, finding that Cabo Verde failed to respond to the petition or present any arguments as to why the award should not be enforced (Sterling Merchant Finance Ltd. v. Republic of Cabo Verde, No. 16-1285, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90434).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on June 12 moved in a federal district court to stay the enforcement of a $1.2 billion arbitral award that was confirmed in favor of a Canadian investor, pending the outcome of its appeal of the decision to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 16-0661, D. D.C.).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a company's payment to a class of bondholders who brought a class action alleging violations of a state securities act complied with the "unambiguous language" of a stipulated settlement despite the class's contention that the payment was incomplete (John W. Cromeans, et al. v. Morgan Keegan & Company, et al., No. 16-2417, 8th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10413).
MIAMI - Plaintiffs in a class action against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. on June 8 filed an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of a $25 million settlement of a 401(k) lawsuit alleging that Merrill Lynch breached its fiduciary duties by failing to ensure that small retirement plan clients received mutual fund sales discounts (Benjamin Fernandez, et al. v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., No. 1:15-cv-22782, S.D. Fla.).
SAN DIEGO - Haeggquist & Eck on June 12 announced that it has joined other firms in prosecuting a class action lawsuit filed against Williams-Sonoma currently pending in a California federal court in which claimants assert that the retailer knowingly misrepresented thread counts on the packaging of several products (William Rushing v. Williams-Sonoma Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-01421, N.D. Calif.).
LUFKIN, Texas - A former University of Tulsa football player filed suit in Texas federal court on June 8, seeking to certify a class of former players at the school who sustained injuries, claiming that the university, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Conference USA failed to put in protocols to prevent, detect and treat concussions in student athletes (Donald Gobert v. The University of Tulsa, et al., No. 9:17-cv-00106, E.D. Texas).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 9 granted in part and denied in part a retired bus driver's motion to conditionally certify a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Robert Estorga v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, No. 16-02668, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89200).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 9 granted final approval of a proposed settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate for class members and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective members, further approving $450,000 in class counsel fees and costs and a $10,000 service award to the named plaintiff (Juan Luna Dominguez, et al. v. Galaxy Recycling Inc., et al., No. 12-7521, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88855).
SYDNEY, Australia - A justice for the Federal Court of Australia on June 9 found that an arbitral process in a dispute over an agreement to sell shares in a food company was significantly flawed and that portions of partial awards should be set aside, but requested additional information from the parties before issuing a ruling (Hui v Esposito Holdings Pty Ltd.,  FCA 648, Australia Fed.).
SAN ANTONIO - A Texas federal judge on June 8 mostly allowed expert testimony for three citizens who allege that the San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium is violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by harming and harassing a 57-year-old Asian elephant named Lucky (James Graham, et al. v. San Antonio Zoological Society, No. 5:15-cv-1054, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88776).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas Supreme Court majority on June 9 granted an insurer's petition for mandamus in a discovery dispute, finding that a trial court and an appeals court abused their discretion by granting a group of insured's request for billing records from other cases in the same multidistrict litigation because such records are protected from discovery as work product (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Wardlaw Claims Service Inc. and Ideal Adjusting Inc., No. 15-0591, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 522).