RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The same day that a California federal magistrate judge issued an order compelling Apple Inc. to "unlock" a cellular phone owned by one of the shooters in the December San Bernardino, Calif., attack, Apple on Feb. 16 released a public statement asserting its opposition to the order out of a concern for privacy and security from technology and a precedent that "would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect" (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:15-mj-00451, C.D. Calif.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insurer in rehabilitation asked a Texas court on Feb. 16 to approve a nearly $9 million payment to an asbestos bodily injury trust (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 12 held that although an insurer's failure to provide independent counsel in an underlying wrongful termination dispute does not constitute vexatious or unreasonable conduct, the insured's remaining allegations of misconduct by the insurer are sufficiently supported by the facts (DHR International, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 15 C 4880, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17719).
NEW ORLEANS - A neuropsychology expert may testify on the neuropsychological validity testing he performed on plaintiffs in a maritime personal injury lawsuit, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Feb. 11, finding that the methodology is reliable as the results were peer-reviewed (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 16937).
WILMINGTON, Del. - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may testify on actual identifiers in systems for providing efficient data storage that eliminate redundancy using deduplication techniques, a Delaware federal judge ruled Feb. 11, also granting and denying summary judgment on issues of infringement and validity (EMC Corp., et al. v. Pure Storage, Inc., No. 13-1985, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16794).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 16 released its first procedural order in an arbitration commenced by a German entity against the Republic of Kosovo, establishing the procedural details of the case (ACP Axos Capital GmbH v. Republic of Kosovo, No. ARB/15/22, ICSID).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - An insurance policy covers hail dents incurred to an insured's roofs under the section for "physical loss or damage" to the covered property, a Kansas federal judge ruled Feb. 11, granting summary judgment to the insured on coverage (Great Plains Ventures, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-1136, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17751).
RAPID CITY, S.D. - A trademark infringement plaintiff who prevailed at trial in October 2015 was issued a preliminary injunction Feb. 11 by a South Dakota federal judge (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. v. Rushmore Photo & Gifts Inc., et al., No. 11-5052, D. S.D.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17887).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A magistrate judge assigned to a dispute between residents and an oil and gas company that they contend has contaminated groundwater as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations on Feb. 12 granted the company's motion to exclude plaintiffs' exhibits at trial on grounds that they pertain to water tests that were performed just a month before trial without notice being given to the company (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 12 dismissed an insurer's petition for review after the parties notified the high court that they settled the dispute arising out of coverage for damages associated with the blowout of an insured's gas well (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Petroplex Energy Inc., No. 15-0805, Texas Sup.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A youth football team in West Virginia on Feb. 17 urged a federal judge to compel discovery in a class action in which the team alleges that a football helmet maker misled customers (Midwestern Midget Football Club Inc. v. Riddell, Inc., No. 15-244, S.D. W.Va.).
PHILADELPHIA - A lawsuit accusing the City of Philadelphia of improperly collecting meter fees for parking when parking was to be free of charge was denied class certification on Feb. 11 by a Pennsylvania federal judge and sent back to the state court where it originated (Angela Parsons, et al. v. The Philadelphia Parking Authority, et al., No. 13-0955, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16731).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge did not err in concluding that a claim for inventorship of a patented method of manufacturing a contact tip for use in metal inert gas welding, filed 10 years after the patent issued, is barred by laches, according to a Feb. 16 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Hedwig Lismont v. Alexander Binzel Schweisstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, et al., No. 14-1846, Fed. Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In the wake of a $25 million verdict in which a Virginia federal jury found an Internet service provider (ISP) guilty of contributory infringement in its subscribers' illegal online sharing of copyrighted songs, the ISP and plaintiff publishing company filed opposition briefs Feb. 12 responding to each other's motions for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01611, E.D. Va.).
ROCKFORD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 16 denied a property company's motion to dismiss claims against it for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), allowing property owners' claims that it violated the FDCPA by failing to disclose that it was attempting to collect debt to proceed (Andrew Schlaf, et al. v. Safeguard Properties LLC, No. 15-50113, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18531).
HOUSTON - A trial court did not err in allowing a police officer to testify as an expert witness on the issue of gang membership and in admitting photographs of various gang symbols, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 11, affirming convictions (Jeremy Dion Washington v. The State of Texas, No. 01-13-00227, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1451).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 16 found that a commercial general liability insurer owes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that negligence by the City of New York, its Administration for Children's Services and a foster care agency resulted in abuse and death, finding that the insurer failed to provide a timely disclaimer of coverage that was necessary to invoke a policy exclusion (The City of New York v Granite State Insurance Co., No. 236, 451366/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1125).
CINCINNATI - Patients who provided their cell phone numbers to the hospital where they received medical care gave their "prior express consent" to receive collection calls at that number for debt owed for medical care, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 12, upholding a trial court's rejection of a class suit filed by patients under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Zachary Baisden, et al. v. Credit Adjustments, Inc., No. 15-3411, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2465).
LOS ANGELES - After finding that an order lifting a stay of a case in which a former employee of a real estate company asserted claims for harassment and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not an appealable order, a California appellate court on Feb. 11 affirmed the decision (Amparo Gastelum v. Remax International, Inc., et al., No. B263213, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 101).
DAYTON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 11 dismissed with prejudice claims seeking cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against BPM Paper Inc. (BPM Paper), ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show that the defendant company is the successor-in-interest to Badger Paper Mills Inc. and BPM Inc. (Garrett Day LLC v. International Paper Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-36, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17953).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge did not erroneously import limitations from specific embodiments during the claim construction process for two patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 17 (Secure Web Conference Corporation v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 15-1321, Fed. Cir.).