Appellate

  • April 11, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Project Thoroughly Vetted, Feds Tell 1st Circ.

    The federal government on Thursday urged the First Circuit to uphold a Massachusetts federal judge's decision tossing a fishing group's challenge to the Vineyard Wind project, saying it was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior after extensive analysis.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circ. Denies Atty DQ Bid From Gold Star Wives

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday denied a request from Gold Star Wives of America Inc. to disqualify an attorney representing a former president of the organization in an appeal over a trademark suit settlement, rejecting its argument that the lawyer's time serving the group should prevent him from guiding its former leader.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Grants $3.2M In Fees For Wawa Class Counsel

    There is no evidence of side agreements or collusion between attorneys representing a proposed class in a suit against Wawa Inc. and the convenience store's defense counsel, according to a Pennsylvania federal judge's order approving $3.2 million in attorney fees following appellate court review.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circ. Says Insurer Owes Defense In Home Damage Suit

    A general contractor's insurer must defend it against claims that it abandoned the construction site of a custom-built home, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Thursday, rejecting the insurer's reliance on two exclusions barring coverage for damage to "that particular part" of property the contractor worked on and corresponding repairs.

  • April 11, 2024

    NC Justices Hint Holtzman Vogel Immune In Defamation Case

    The North Carolina Supreme Court's Republican majority seems poised to reverse a Court of Appeals decision forcing Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak PLLC to face voters' defamation claims, with one justice lamenting that revoking the law firm's privilege defense could upend decades of case law in the Tar Heel State.

  • April 11, 2024

    Houston Atty Beats Real Estate Deal Malpractice Suit

    In a split decision Thursday, a Houston attorney accused of malpractice was handed a win by the majority of a three-justice Lone Star State appellate panel that cleared her of negligence in connection with a 2014 contract inked between the owner of a property management company and a pair of apartment complex investors, finding that she obtained no "improper benefit" from representing both sides.

  • April 11, 2024

    Mich. Justices To Hear Ex-Prosecutor's Whistleblower Appeal

    The Michigan Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to hold oral arguments in the appeal of a former assistant county prosecutor who claims her former boss retaliated against her for speaking up about a plea bargain she believed was unlawful.

  • April 11, 2024

    Inventor Says AI Art Merits Copyright Despite US Gov't Stance

    An artificial intelligence inventor has bashed the U.S. Copyright Office's arguments that art created by his AI system is not copyrightable because the machine is not human, telling the D.C. Circuit that the government cannot overcome the fact that the work exists, it's original and it qualifies for registration, regardless of its origin.

  • April 11, 2024

    Medical Cannabis Ads Are Lawful In Miss., 5th Circ. Told

    A Mississippi medical marijuana dispensary is urging the Fifth Circuit to find that state regulations restricting cannabis advertising violate the First Amendment right to free speech, and that the state cannot hide behind the drug's federal illegality.

  • April 11, 2024

    Calif., NY And SD Judicial Nominees Advance To Full Senate

    Four judicial nominees were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, including one scrutinized for his affiliation with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the group's position on hot button issues.

  • April 11, 2024

    OJ Simpson's Jury Was Sequestered. Why Not Trump's?

    Unlike jurors in the murder case of O.J. Simpson, the 12 Manhattanites picked to hear criminal charges against Donald Trump likely won't be sequestered during the trial — easing psychological and financial burdens but potentially exposing them to outside pressures.

  • April 11, 2024

    EPA Says Colo. Air Pollution Plan Approval Was Proper

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday urged the Tenth Circuit to uphold its approval of a Colorado air emissions permitting program, and said a green group's argument that the scheme contains too many exemptions for the oil and gas industry pollution is mistaken.

  • April 11, 2024

    6th Circ. Orders Redo In Brokerage's Trade Secrets Row

    The Sixth Circuit ordered an Ohio district court to take another look at its ruling that a team of insurance brokerage's workers who defected for a competitor must comply with non-compete terms, reasoning that the lower court referenced standards for the injunction, but didn't actually consider them. 

  • April 11, 2024

    Pa. Docs Must Face Patient's Post-Op Blood Clot Death Suit

    A Pennsylvania appeals court has revived a woman's suit against her husband's physician over his death from a pulmonary embolism, saying her experts established a factual dispute over whether the doctor's failure to conduct appropriate tests or inform a surgeon of the husband's prior blood clots led to his death.

  • April 11, 2024

    US Sends Mixed Messages In Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline Dispute

    The U.S. government sent mixed messages to the Seventh Circuit in weighing in on Enbridge's controversial Line 5 oil pipeline, saying a lower court was right to determine that the company is trespassing on tribal lands, but recommended that the case be remanded and that a tribe's public nuisance claim be dismissed. 

  • April 11, 2024

    Trump Camp Must Face 2020 Election Lies Suit

    A Denver trial court rightfully kept intact a former Dominion executive's defamation claims against Donald Trump's presidential campaign and others, accusing them of spreading false claims that the executive helped rig the 2020 election, a Colorado appellate panel ruled Thursday.

  • April 10, 2024

    Texas Panel Seeks Evidence In $1M Real Estate Quagmire

    A Texas appellate panel suggested Wednesday that both sides fighting about a soured real estate financing deal need to do more to make their cases, asking attorneys during oral arguments to point to evidence that either confirms or refutes the existence of a contract.

  • April 10, 2024

    Full 9th Circ. Asked To Rethink Tanker Seizure Ruling

    Several operators of liquid petroleum gas carrier vessels have petitioned the full Ninth Circuit to rethink a circuit panel ruling that a nearly 800-foot crude oil tanker cannot be seized to enforce approximately $10 million in arbitral awards against a defunct gas shipping company.

  • April 10, 2024

    BDO Fights SEC's 'Misdirected' Call For 2nd Circ. Rehearing

    BDO USA LLP is urging the Second Circuit not to reconsider a decision that freed the firm from private litigation over AmTrust Financial Services Inc.'s financial restatements, saying the court should not heed "misdirected concerns" from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the ruling's supposed impact on shareholders' ability to sue public company auditors.

  • April 10, 2024

    Del. Justices Probe Validity Of Advance Notice Bylaws

    The appeal of a Delaware Chancery Court decision voiding a biopharmaceutical company's "onerous" advance notice requirements for director nominations while upholding the rejection of an activist shareholder's nominees boiled down to one basic legal question at Delaware's Supreme Court Wednesday: Is this a facial or an as-applied challenge?

  • April 10, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Revive White And Williams Malpractice Suit

    The Third Circuit on Wednesday declined to revive a $30 million legal malpractice suit brought by a home improvement product manufacturer against White and Williams LLP, finding the claim should have been brought in an earlier action between the parties.

  • April 10, 2024

    9th Circ. Mostly Affirms Industry Ban For COVID PPE Delays

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday largely upheld a district court's ruling requiring personal protective equipment suppliers to pay over $3 million after finding that they misrepresented the shipping times of hand sanitizer products at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while reversing the Federal Trade Commission's injunction against one of the companies' owners.

  • April 10, 2024

    Deported Man Can't Undo Fraud Conviction After Feds' Error

    A deported Nigerian national who confessed to fraud on promises that prosecutors would submit a letter to immigration authorities supporting his deportation defense couldn't convince the Eighth Circuit to toss his guilty plea after prosecutors mistakenly disavowed the letter.

  • April 10, 2024

    Emissions Rules' Foes May Be Forced To Yield To Automakers

    Potential challengers of vehicle emissions rules were shown they're not necessarily in the drivers' seat on the issue when the D.C. Circuit upheld California's authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and run a zero-emission vehicles program while citing the auto industry's peace with the regulations.

  • April 10, 2024

    No Damages After Drug Lab Scandal Sinks Case, Court Says

    A Massachusetts man is not entitled to compensation from a fund for exonerees after his 2006 heroin distribution conviction was among thousands of drug cases vacated due to misconduct by a chemist at the state crime lab, an intermediate appeals court said Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Justices' Trump Ballot Ruling: Purposivism In Textualist Garb

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Trump v. Anderson decision earlier this week, allowing former President Donald Trump to remain on state primary ballots, alleviates uncertainty and minimizes the potential for abuse in future cases, but is difficult to square with the court’s own account of its textualist interpretive methods, says Will Havemann at Hogan Lovells.

  • Disney Copyright Expiration Spurs Trademark Questions

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    While the recent expiration of Disney’s Steamboat Willie copyright is not likely to have an immediate impact, it could provide clarity on the extent to which trademark rights in character names and appearance affect what others can do with characters from works whose copyright has expired, says Bryan Wheelock at Harness IP.

  • Texas Insurance Ruling Could Restore Finality To Appraisal

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    The Texas Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez v. Safeco, determining that full payment of an appraisal award precludes recovery of attorney fees, indicates a potential return to an era in which timely payment undoubtedly disposes of all possible policyholder claims, says Karl Schulz at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Forget Everything You Know About IRAC

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    The mode of legal reasoning most students learn in law school, often called “Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,” or IRAC, erroneously frames analysis as a separate, discrete step, resulting in disorganized briefs and untold obfuscation — but the fix is pretty simple, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Zero-Point Offender Eligibility May Hinge On Meaning Of 'And'

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    Some white collar defendants’ eligibility for the new zero-point offender sentencing adjustment comes down to whether the word “and” really means “and” — a question the U.S. Supreme Court is set to resolve in its upcoming Pulsifer v. U.S. decision, which could affect thousands of incarcerated people, say Brandon McCarthy and Nikita Yogeshwarun at Katten.

  • Valeant Ruling May Pave Way For Patent-Based FCA Suits

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    The Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling in Silbersher v. Valeant marks a significant development in False Claims Act jurisprudence, opens new avenues for litigation and potentially raises the stakes for patent applicants who intend to do business with the government, say Joshua Robbins and Rick Taché at Buchalter.

  • A Former Bankruptcy Judge Talks 'Undue Hardship'

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    Former U.S. bankruptcy judge Robert Gordon reflects on his journey from student borrower to judicial observer, highlighting the challenges faced by modern students burdened with student loan debt and advocating for reform in bankruptcy laws, particularly regarding the "undue hardship" element of discharge.

  • Recent Rulings Add Dimension To Justices' Maui Decision

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's 2020 decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund established new factual criteria for determining when the Clean Water Act applies to groundwater — and recent decisions from the Ninth and Tenth Circuits have clarified how litigants can make use of the Maui standard, says Steven Hoch at Clark Hill.

  • Strategies For Single-Member Special Litigation Committees

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    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent order in the Baker Hughes derivative litigation allowing testimony from a single-member special litigation committee highlights the fact that, while single-member SLCs are subject to heightened scrutiny, they can also provide unique opportunities, says Josh Bloom at MoloLamken.

  • 10th Circ. Ruling Means More Okla. Oilfield Pollution Litigation

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    By applying Oklahoma's statutory definitions of pollution to a private landowner's claim for negligence for the first time, the Tenth Circuit's recent decision in Lazy S Ranch v. Valero will likely make it harder to obtain summary judgment in oilfield contamination cases, and will lead to more litigation, say attorneys at GableGotwals.

  • Race Bias Defense Considerations After 11th Circ. Ruling

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    In Tynes v. Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that the McDonnell Douglas test for employment discrimination cases is merely an evidentiary framework, so employers relying on it as a substantive standard of liability may need to rethink their litigation strategy, says Helen Jay at Phelps Dunbar.

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • Fed. Circ. In Feb.: Using Prior Products To Invalidate A Patent

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    The Federal Circuit's recent Weber v. Provisu ruling, that prior-product operating manuals constituted printed publications that can be used to invalidate patents in an inter partes review proceeding, makes it easier for a petitioner to invalidate a patent, say Sean Murray and Jeremiah Helm at Knobbe Martens.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • What's At Stake In Pending Fed. Circ. Design Patent Test Case

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    The full Federal Circuit recently heard argument in LKQ v. GM Global, a case concerning patent obviousness in the aftermarket for auto parts; the court's decision will likely influence how design patents are obtained, enforced and challenged, and affect the broader innovation ecosystem, says Larry DeMeo at Hunton.

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