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New Filings
  • The Federal Communications Commission acted properly when it repealed its controversial “net neutrality” rule (Mozilla v. FCC).
  • Those who claim copyright infringement must wait for the U.S. Copyright Office to act on their copyright application before they may sue alleged infringers (Fourth Estate v.
  • Implanted medical devices qualify as “unavoidably unsafe” products, and thus manufacturers should not be subject to strict design-defect liability for products approved for marketing by FDA (Burningham v. Wright Medical Group).
  • The U.S. Constitution bars States from requiring an out-of-state business, as a prerequisite to being permitted to conduct business within the State, to consent to state-court jurisdiction over all lawsuits filed against the business (Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.).
  • Oil and gas platforms located on the Outer Continental Shelf are governed by federal law, and thus the federal Fair Labor Standards Act—not the wage-and-hour laws of adjoining states—exclusively governs claims asserted by OCS employees (Newton v. Parker Drilling).
  • The First Amendment protects a business’s right to control the message it conveys to the public, including the right to prohibit employees who deal with customers from wearing pins expressing political views (In-N-Out Burger, Inc. v. NLRB).
Cases Decided
  • First Circuit holds that Rule 23 bars certification of a plaintiff class when, as here, the evidence demonstrates that more than a handful of members of the proposed class cannot establish liability because they suffered no injury (In re Asacol Antitrust Litigation).
  • Florida Supreme Court, in conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court and virtually every other state court, declines to adopt Daubert—a rule designed to prevent scientifically unreliable expert evidence from ever reaching the jury (Delisle v. Crane Co.).
  • Ninth Circuit reinstates claims filed by human rights activists under the federal Alien Tort Statute; they seek to hold U.S.-based chocolate manufacturers (who purchased cocoa from farmers in the Ivory Coast) liable for “aiding and abetting” the farmers’ alleged abuse of child laborers (Doe I v. Nestle).
  • U.S. Supreme Court requests that the Solicitor General weigh in on a pending certiorari petition that seeks review of a decision that threatens expanded liability under CERCLA, the “Superfund” statute. Such requests are a strong indication that the Supreme Court is giving very serious consideration to the petition (Atlantic Richfield v. Christian).
  • U.S. Supreme Court declines WLF’s request that it review a massive California judgment imposed on lead paint manufacturers (ConAgra Grocery Products Co. v. The People of California).
  • U.S. Supreme Court declines WLF’s request that it review a Federal Circuit decision that invoked the controversial “inequitable conduct” doctrine to invalidate a valuable patent (Regeneron v. Merus).