LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
“Any” Means “All” – Public Policy Must be Set by the Legislature Not the Courts

Arkansas, by statute, makes joint and several liability only several with each party causing injury shares in judgment only up to the party’s percentage of liability. Uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages only provide coverage if there is no insurance or if the insurance carried...

State Net Capitol Journal: With D.C. Stalled, More States Ponder Regulating E-Cigarettes

By Rich Ehisen The use of electronic cigarettes — battery powered devices that look like a traditional cigarette or cigar but which allow smokers to inhale flavored nicotine in a vapor form that uses no tobacco and produces no secondhand smoke — is booming. But with no definitive scientific...

State Net Capitol Journal: Voting Rights Bill Introduced In Congress

A bill introduced in Congress last month would require four southern states to once again obtain federal preapproval before making any changes to their voting laws by replacing parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The bill modernizes the formula in the forty...

State Net Capitol Journal: Congress Passes Food Industry Overhaul

Just when it looked as if no legislation of any consequence would ever make it through the partisan gridlock in Washington, the 113th Congress approved three significant, bipartisan measures in three months, the latest a five-year farm bill passed last week that will impact everything from farm subsidies...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Embracing Efforts to Combat Rise in Heroin Deaths

By Rich Ehisen For years, America's "war on drugs" has inspired police and lawmakers to take a very tough minded, arrest-and-incarcerate approach to dealing with illicit drug use. But an alarming increase in heroin overdose deaths nationwide has a growing number of states turning away...

State Net Capitol Journal: More States Looking to Offer ‘Safe Harbor’ to Underage Trafficking Victims

By Rich Ehisen Dealing with human trafficking has always been tricky business for lawmakers. States have in recent years been bringing down a variety of hammers, most aimed at the traffickers or the johns who solicit their often-underage victims. But how to best deal with the young girls and boys...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact

By Joseph A. Kanefield, Brunn (Beau) Roysden, and Lindsay D. Breedlove | Pundits have alternatively saluted and denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week striking down aggregate campaign contribution limits as unconstitutional. Few, however, have addressed the decision’s impact...

Troutman Sanders Wins Insurance Coverage Dispute in California Federal Court Proving that Crime Really Doesn’t Pay

By Eileen King Bower Troutman Sanders recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Continental Casualty Company in an insurance coverage dispute in the Northern District of California, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In this case, the plaintiff, a court-appointed receiver...

WV’s High Court Upholds State Public Policy Violation For Fired Employee Who Refused to Retaliate Against a Co-Worker Who Filed His Own Discrimination Claim

by Julie Arbore As West Virginia employers are undoubtedly aware, there is a cause of action in the state commonly known as a “ Harless claim” for wrongful discharge when an employee can show that his or her discharge contravenes some substantial public policy of the State of West Virginia...

Punitive Damages: Insurable In 38 States – The Sometimes Oversimplified Issue

It is a question that is uttered by claims professionals and coverage counsel on a regular basis: Are punitive damages insurable in such and such state? In essence, what the questioner is often asking is whether the particular state’s public policy permits a tortfeasor to insure against punitive...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight: Issues Old And New Catch Fire In States

By Korey Clark Last week, we took a mid-year look at several of the issues we predicted last December would see a lot of action in statehouses this year. Here are a few more of those issues, as well as a couple of others that have heated up as the year has progressed. DIGITAL REVOLUTION/SHARING ECONOMY...

Federal Judge Declares California's Death Penalty System Unconstitutional

In a bold and far-reaching opinion last week, California Federal Judge Cormac J. Carney upended California’s Death Penalty System, finding that it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Judge Carney entered the ruling in response to the petition for...

State Net Capitol Journal: Gun Groups Fire Back at Gun Control Efforts in Ct. and Md.

After the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the state enacted sweeping gun control legislation (SB 1160) expanding its assault weapon ban. Gun rights advocates spent the next year holding protests and challenging the law in the courts. "You have a community...

State Net Capitol Journal: Minimum Wage, Marijuana, Gambling And Guns Dominate Ballot Measures

By Korey Clark A total of 136 measures have qualified for states' November ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Ballot Measures Database. That number is 23 percent lower than it was in 2012, when there were 176 measures on state ballots; 42 percent lower than...

This Is Real Law: State Ballot Measures: Big Questions Among Those Set For Election Day 2014

Decisions, decisions. With just days to go before the 2014 mid-term elections, voters across the country are weighing important choices affecting all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate. That’s in addition to considering 38...

California: Limitation on Use of In Camera Review

I. Intent of the Discovery Process Attention: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. The discovery process is intended to be liberally construed in favor of the person seeking information. Of course, that information must be “relevant to the subject matter involved” or appear to be...

State Net Capitol Journal: Local Measures Vie With State, Federal Issues As Voters Finally Get Their Say

By Rich Ehisen Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts) is often credited with coining the phrase "all politics is local," a nod to the critical nature of retail politics even for those inhabiting Congress in Washington D.C. O'Neill's...

Florida: Arbitration Clause in Employment Contract Binding in Former Employee’s Retaliatory Discharge Claim

An employment agreement that required arbitration of all employment disputes between a staffing company and a truck driver did not violate public policy by requiring that the driver’s claim of retaliatory discharge be submitted to arbitration, rather than be determined by a court, held a Florida...

State Net Capitol Journal: Florida Supreme Court Rejects Congressional Remap

The Florida Supreme Court threw the state’s political landscape into chaos this month when it threw out the congressional district map drawn by the Republican-led Legislature in 2010, as well as a revised map drawn by the Legislature last year, and ordered lawmakers to come up with a new map by...

New York Court Enforces Voluntary Payment Provision

In its recent decision in SI Venture Holdings, LLC v. Catlin Specialty Insurance , 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89925 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had...

Prospective Waiver of Lien Rights by Subcontractors & Suppliers

By Jay Rixey , Associate, Vandeventer Black LLP Earlier this year, the General Assembly enacted legislation amending Virginia Code § 43-3, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this statute: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], providing that a subcontractor, lower-tier subcontractor, or...

What Could Have Been: Court Holds That Policy With Eroding Limits Does Not Violate Public Policy

Westport Insurance Company v. Mylonas, No. 14-5760 (E.D. Pa. July 15, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], is one of those cases involving a very interesting issue -- but that will likely go by the wayside with nary a peep ever to heard from...

Pollution Liability: Insurance Policy And Public Policy

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes A New York federal court, addressing an issue of first impression, held in SI Venture Holdings, LLC v. Catlin Specialty Ins., No. 14-2261 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com ...

New Mexico: Employer May Not Sue Third Party for Increased Comp Premiums and Other Collateral Damages

While a business entity’s injured employees might state a claim against third parties for their physical injuries allegedly caused by those third parties’ negligence, the business entity itself, which has suffered neither a physical injury nor property damage, may not maintain a civil action...

California: UPS Driver May Not Sue Shipper for Injuries Related to Mislabeled Box

A UPS driver, who injured his back when he picked up a box whose weight had been mislabeled by a university employee may not maintain a lawsuit against the university for negligence; the risk of injury from lifting heavy boxes that might be labeled with inaccurate weight information was inherent in the...