CINCINNATI - A mortgage owner failed to obtain sufficient expert testimony on handwriting to support his claim that a 2004 loan was fraudulently generated and, thus, his mortgage lenders are liable for the fraud, an Ohio federal magistrate judge held Jan. 6, recommending that summary judgment be granted to the lenders because there are no genuine issues of material fact (Kalemba Balimunkwe v. Bank of America, N.A., as successor to First Franklin Financial Corp., et al., No. 14-327, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 981).
AUSTIN, Texas - A trial judge did not err in allowing ballistics evidence from an expert witness without first granting a requested hearing on the admissibility of the evidence, a Texas appeals panel affirmed Jan. 6 (Clifton Sivad Montague v. The State of Texas, No. 03-14-00266-CR, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 38).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Jan. 5 vacated a $21.5 million verdict in a negligence suit on Jan. 5 after finding that a cruise line developed "clear and convincing evidence" that the man who sued it engaged in discovery misconduct by deleting emails (James R. Hausman v. Holland America Line-U.S.A., et al., No. 2:13-cv-00937, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 787).
CHICAGO - The statute of repose protects a company from liability for a boiler installed 30 years before a man's asbestos exposure, but his widow's claims against a company making repairs may go forward, a federal judge in Wisconsin held Jan. 6 (Beverly Ahnert, et al. v. Brand Insulation Inc., et al., No. 13-1456, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 427).
PARIS - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration on Jan. 5 announced that two new decisions have been issued that are aimed at enhancing the efficiency and transparency of its arbitration cases.
SHERMAN, Texas - The CEO of a company suing for infringement of its patent may not testify regarding the legal issue of infringement or the calculation of damages, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 6, striking the CEO's testimony (Motio Inc. v. BSP Software LLC, et al., No. 12-647, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 901).
MELBOURNE, Australia - An Australian biotechnology company on Jan. 6 announced that it has commenced arbitration in Singapore against a laboratory.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - After the Russian Federation objected to jurisdiction and failed to file a statement of defense to claims related to the operation of a passenger terminal at an airport, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Jan. 6 said it has decided to proceed and to bifurcate the issues of jurisdiction and admissibility in a preliminary procedure (Aeroport Belbek LLC and Mr. Igor Valerievich Kolomoisky v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-07, PCA).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Jan. 4 that a psychiatrist but not a forensic pathologist may testify in a personal injury lawsuit regarding a driver's drug addiction at the time of a motor vehicle accident (Kathy Leister, et al. v. Jewell Transport, Inc., et al., No. 14-1411, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173624).
CHICAGO - An airline passenger's claim for breach of implied covenant, made in a class complaint she filed after United Airlines Inc. misplaced her luggage, is preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, a divided Illinois appellate panel ruled Dec. 31, upholding a trial court's decision (Gina Spadoni, et al. v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 14-11119, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 1002).
ST. LOUIS - Two motions to compel information about members of the Sierra Club who allegedly sustained injuries as a result of emissions from coal-fired power plants owned by Union Electric Co., doing business as Ameren Missouri, and other members of the environmental group were denied Dec. 31 by a federal judge in Missouri, who ruled that the requested information is irrelevant to the group's citizen suit under the Clean Air Act (CAA) (Sierra Club v. Union Electric Company, d/b/a Ameren Missouri, No. 14-cv-408-AGF, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173530).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Dec. 30 granted a motion for class certification filed in a suit accusing a bank of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and the common law of nuisance by disclosing individuals' unredacted driver's license numbers in small claims court complaints; however, the judge directed the parties to show cause why the class definition should not be narrowed with respect to time and the type of lawsuit in which the defendant allegedly disclosed a driver's license number (Brian Eggen, et al. v. WESTconsin Credit Union, No. 14-873, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173100).
CHICAGO - Granting in part and denying in part the parties' discovery motions in a lawsuit over the purported misappropriation of polymer production trade secrets by a former employee, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on Dec. 30 found discovery requests related to the formula and testing of the purportedly infringing items to be relevant and discoverable (PolyOne Corp. v. Yun Martin Lu, et al., No. 1:14-cv-10369, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172924).
SALT LAKE CITY - Applying State v. Clopten (2009 UT 84, 49, 223 P.3d 1103) retroactively, the Utah Supreme Court on Dec. 31 ruled that a trial judge did not abuse his discretion to exclude expert testimony on the full range of cognitive processes associated with the eyewitness in a child kidnapping case (State of Utah v. Jimmy D. Guard, No. 20140039, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 298).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Civil Liberties Union argues in a Dec. 30 reply brief in the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. government did not meet its burden to prove that a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on the Central Intelligence Agency's detention and interrogation program, which the ACLU sought via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, was not an "agency record" subject to FOIA disclosure (American Civil Liberties Union, et al. v. Central Intelligence Agency, et al., No. 15-5183, D.C. Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 29 dismissed a class complaint against General Mills Inc. and General Mills Sales Inc. over the companies' use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) with leave to amend but stayed the action pending the Food and Drug Administration's determination of the food additive status of PHOs (Jennifer Red, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-2232, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172671).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The defendant in a patent infringement suit over aseptic food packaging methods must provide a privilege log of purportedly privileged material in a related proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 28, denying in part the defendant's motion for a protective order (Steuben Foods Inc. v. GEA Process Engineering Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-00904, W.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172145).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 28 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed against a crafts store chain after the retailer announced in January 2014 that customers' credit and debit card numbers had been stolen from its system (Mary Jane Whalen, et al. v. Michael Stores Inc., No. 14-7006, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172152).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Dec. 29 denied various motions in limine to exclude expert testimony in a lawsuit between a woman charged with resisting arrest and the arresting officers in a lawsuit over constitutional and state law claims (Robin Ann Burkhart v. Officer Ryan Dickel, et al., No. 12-3320, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172353).
TRENTON, N.J. - A liability expert may testify that operators and owners of a theme and amusement part should have warned patrons to wait until everyone was seated before lowering a restraining bar, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Dec. 29, declining to exclude the testimony in a negligence lawsuit (Adrianna Guillen v. Six Flags Great Adventure LLC and Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc., No. 14-2091, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173044).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A media and entertainment industry expert may not testify on damages suffered by cable subscribers because his testimony erroneously amounts to legal conclusions, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 28, excluding the testimony in a class action lawsuit against Cablevision Systems Corp. (Theodore Pearlman, et al. v. Cablevision Systems Corp., No. 10-4992, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172080).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A statistical expert witness may testify in a residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) case on a mortgage lender's liability for alleged breaches of contractual representations and warranties of nonperforming mortgages, a Connecticut federal judge held Dec. 30 (Law Debenture Trust Company of New York, solely in its capacity as separate trustee of the Securitized Asset Backed Receivables LLC Trust 2006-WM2 v. WMC Mortgage, LLC f/k/a WMC Mortgage Corp., No. 12-1538, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173094).
DENVER - Because a man "opened the door to evidence" regarding his polygraph examination by claiming that his confession was coerced, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 29 that the trial court can allow limited examination about the facts surrounding a polygraph test to rebut claims of coercion (United States of America v. Daniel Phillip Tenorio, No. 15-2037, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22789).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 31 rejected pleas by several objectors to overturn a $3.75 million settlement by Vibram USA Inc. and Vibram FiveFingersLLC that was granted final approval in January 2015 and ended two consolidated lawsuits accusing the footwear maker of misrepresenting that its products provide certain health benefits to wearers (Valerie Bezdek, et al. v. Vibram USA, Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1207 and 15-1208, Brian DeFalco v. Vibram USA. Inc., et al., No. 15-1209, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22925).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 21 denied a motion to dismiss by an outside auditor in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and scienter in making his federal securities law claims (Chao Sun v. Daqing Han, et al., No. 15-703, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170005).