THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on July 7 announced that it commenced a hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility of claims asserted by the Republic of the Philippines against the People's Republic of China in a maritime dispute filed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People's Republic of China, PCA).
PHILADELPHIA - An electrical engineer's forensic evaluation of an electrical-current-reducing device that started a fire in a home is sufficient enough to be tested in the adversary process at trial, and his testimony will help the trier of fact, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 7 in denying a bid to preclude the expert from testifying (Donald Dalton, et al., v. McCourt Electric LLC, et al., No. 12-3568, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87609).
LOS ANGELES - Commercial fisherman, fish buyers and owners of three businesses adversely affected by the May 19, 2015, rupture of Plains All American Pipeline LLC's Line 901, which discharged more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil onto the beaches of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara, Calif., and into the Pacific Ocean, filed a class action lawsuit against the company July 1 in California federal court, claiming that it negligently operated the 10-mile, 24-inch wide pipeline (Keith Andrews, et al. v. Plains All American Pipeline L.P., No. 15-cv-4989, C.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a federal securities class action lawsuit because the alleged misrepresentations cited by the lead plaintiffs were forward-looking and protected by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act's (PSLRA) safe-harbor provision, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 2 (Lori Anderson v. K-V Pharmaceutical Co., et al., No. 14-2592, 8th Cir.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The makers of a towable boating tube are not entitled to summary judgment on claims that defects with the tube caused a boy to lose his foot in a boating accident because the opinions of a design expert, whose testimony is admissible, create genuine issues of fact about whether the tube is defective and whether the defect caused the boy's injury, an Alabama federal judge ruled July 6 (Brandon Williams v. The Coleman Company, Inc., et al., No. 4:11-cv-02384, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87132).
ATLANTA - Handwriting and fingerprint experts for the U.S. government in a tax fraud and identity theft case against a Florida man were qualified, used scientifically reliable methodology and provided testimony that was helpful to the jury, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 2 in affirming the man's conviction (United States of America v. Lee Ervin Dale, No. 14-10733, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11433).
RICHMOND, Va. - A trial court used proper discretion in excluding testimony by an expert in a defective ladder action because the expert failed to show that his opinions were based on "reliable principles and methods," the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 6 in an unpublished per curiam opinion (Barry Zuckerman, et al., v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., et al., No. 15-1040, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11563).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on July 2 granted in part a motion to compel filed by a defendant company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit seeking production of emails between the plaintiff company and an environmental engineering firm, ruling that some information was not protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege (NL Industries v. ACF Industries, et al., No. 10cv89, W.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86677).
NEW YORK - An oil and gas industry products provider has agreed to a $120 million settlement of claims with investors that it violated provisions of federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business and financial condition, according to a press release issued July 1 (Glenn Freedman v. Weatherford International Ltd., et al., No. 12-2121, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Class certification should be granted in a suit alleging that dog food manufactured by Nestle Purina Petcare Co. contains toxic substances, a group of dog owners argued in a motion to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California July 1 (Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., et al., No. 3:15-cv-00569-LB, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An attorney may not recover fees under the common-fund doctrine in addition to or in lieu of fees awarded under a fee-shifting statute like the Employee Retirement Income Security Act "in the absence of a contract," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 1 (Darryl Pierce, et al. v. Visteon Corporation, et al., No. 14-2542, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11333).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 2 vacated an order denying a motion for partial summary judgment sought by unpaid magazine interns for reconsideration in light of another Second Circuit ruling in an intern case the same day in which the appellate court established a set of factors courts can use to consider whether an intern is an employee (Xuedan Wang, et al. v. The Hearst Corp., No. 13-4480, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11516).
INDIANAPOLIS - A federal magistrate judge in Indiana on July 2 granted in part an insured's motion to reconsider an April 7 order regarding its motion to compel production of its insurer's underwriting material and claims handling manual (Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 13-01316, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86315).
SAN DIEGO - In a July 2 unpublished opinion, a California appeals court affirmed a class action settlement over the objections of a class member in a case accusing QuickTrim LLC of improperly labeling its product in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) (Teresa Anaya, et al. v. QuickTrim, et al., No. D067432, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ca. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4697).
BALTIMORE - A subpoena served on the Internet service provider (ISP) of a Doe defendant in a file-sharing suit does not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Maryland federal judge ruled June 30, finding that the act specifically allows disclosure of subscriber identification information for the purpose of serving process on an alleged infringer in a copyright infringement lawsuit (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned to IP Address 220.127.116.11, No. 1:15-cv-01048, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85355).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 2 vacated an order conditionally certifying a nationwide class of unpaid interns working at divisions of Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group Inc. (collectively, Fox) and vacated an order granting partial summary judgment to two of those interns and remanded for reconsideration of the interns' employment status based on a new test focusing on the educational aspects of the internships (Eric Glatt, et al. v. Fox Seachlight Pictures, Inc., et al., Nos. 13-4478 and 13-4481, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11435).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A chairman for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 1 denied a request by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to disqualify the majority of the tribunal hearing a case filed by investors in relation to oil projects in Venezuela (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/07/30, ICSID).
LOS ANGELES - About two weeks after seeing part of their putative class complaint against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. dismissed, a group of former Sony employees on June moved for class certification on their remaining claims of negligence, unfair competition and violation of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CCMIA) (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 1 affirmed a district court's decision refusing to confirm an arbitration award issued by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in favor of a Brazilian airline, finding that the other party did not agree to arbitrate the dispute (VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. v. MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners II L.P., et al., No. 14-3906, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11281).
PHILADELPHIA - An expert may opine regarding, among other things, how Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations affect class ascertainability, a federal judge held June 30 in decertifying a class of indirect purchasers of Wellbutrin XL (In re: Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-2433, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84444).
LONDON - The United Kingdom Supreme Court on July 1 upheld the majority of an arbitration award issued in favor of the purchasers of Russian milling wheat, but found that the damages awarded to the buyers should be altered (Bunge S.A. v. Nidera B.V., No.  UKSC 43, U.K. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. did not establish that AT&T Mobility, its alleged co-conspirator in a putative antitrust class action related to service for Apple's iPhones, was a necessary party to the action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority ruled June 29, reversing a trial court's dismissal of the case for failure to join AT&T, per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 12-17805, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 agreed to hear an appeal of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling remanding a securities class action lawsuit over the alleged illegal "naked" short selling of a company's stock back to state court Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., et al. v. Greg Manning, et al., No. 14-1132, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Remand of a securities class action suit to state court is proper because the defendants were prohibited from removing the action to federal court in the first place, a federal judge in California ruled June 25 (Alexander Liu v. Xoom Corp., et al., No. 15-0602, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82830).