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Case Summaries

Attorney's Fees

[10/17] Doe v. San Diego-Imperial Council
In an attorney's fees action, arising from a lawsuit against defendant ranch owners for alleged sexual abuse of plaintiff at their ranch when he was a boy scout, the trial court's award of attorney's fees to defendants is reversed where a 'favorable conclusion' required for the award of fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1, subdivision (q) requires a result reflective of the merits of the litigation.

[10/11] H.E., Individually and on behalf of H.F. v. Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School
Reversing the district court's denial of attorney's fees to parents who brought suit under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act because the fee-shifting provision allows litigants to claim attorney fees as the prevailing party even when they only win interlocutory procedural relief.

[09/14] In Re: CWS Enterprises
Affirming the judgment of the state court confirming the arbitration award of contingency fees in the case of a party who sought to avoid the judgment by creating spinoff companies and entering into bankruptcy proceedings where the bankruptcy court's use of the lodestar method to determine the reasonableness of the attorney fees claimed because the contract that provided for these fees was not unreasonable or unconscionable.

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[08/23] Connecticut Ironworkers Employers Association, Inc. v. New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Vacating the district court's determination that a carpenters union was entitled to summary judgment as to Sherman Act Antitrust charges, but affirmed summary judgment for them as to unfair labor practices charges in a case where the union used subcontracting to include ironworking in their activities because the union did not qualify for the non-statutory exemption to antitrust liability, but qualified for the construction industry proviso.

[08/21] In Re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation
Reversing the District Court dismissal of complaints in litigation that alleged Lipitor's fraudulent patent procurement and other misconduct because the allegations were plausible, and reversing the dismissal of allegations in Effexor litigation because it was plausible that the companies holding the pharmaceutical patents and generic manufacturers entered into reverse payment settlement agreements that subjected them to antitrust scrutiny.

[08/07] Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition v. US
Affirming the Court of International Trade's decision affirming a Department of Commerce ruling in the administrative review of an earlier anti-dumping order, the court held that no error occurred in the determination that a Chinese saw blade manufacturer was seeking to sell their products at less than fair market value in the United States.

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Banking Law

[10/13] Parille v. O'Connor
In an estate planning case, arising after daughter petitioned for ownership over funds remaining in joint accounts held with her deceased mother, the trial court's grant of the petition is affirmed where the trial court's finding of no contrary intent on the part of decedent is supported by substantial evidence.

[10/10] Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. v. Owen
Reversing district court orders dismissing motions for preliminary injunction in a case involving Nationwide's 'biweekly interest savings' mortgage payment model and holding that the company was unlikely to succeed in First Amendment claims that California could not make them include truthful disclosures in mailers, and that the company was likely to succeed in its claim that the Dormant Commerce Clause precludes California from making in-state incorporation a prerequisite of licensure to engage in interstate commerce.

[09/11] Branch Banking and Trust Company v. DMSI LLC
Affirming summary judgments against debtors who failed to repay loans held by a bank because arguments about breaches of good faith and fair dealing were predicated on oral promises that do not constitute a contract, the bank had standing to sue, there was no detrimental reliance to support an estoppel defense, and summary judgment did not violate the Seventh Amendment because the claim was predominantly equitable.

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Administrative Law

[10/17] Beneli v. NLRB
In a labor action, the NLRB's decision to make its new standard for deferring to an arbitration decision prospective only, and not apply it retroactively to petitioner's case, is affirmed where the decision conforms with the relevant analysis under Oil, Chem, & Atomic Workers Int'l Union Local 1-547 v. NLRB, 842 F.2d 1141 (9th Cir. 1988).

[10/16] Quality Health Services of P.R., Inc. v. NLRB
In a labor case concerning a dispute between a hospital and its union over the subcontracting of its respiratory therapy technicians, the NLRB's order in favor of the union is affirmed where: 1) the court lacks jurisdiction to consider the hospital's claim on the validity of the NLRB's decision, since it wasn't raised before the Board; and 2) the Board's determinations are supported by substantial evidence.

[10/13] U.S. Dept. of Labor v. Am. Future Systems, Inc.
In a labor law action, arising from defendant's failure to pay its workers for short rest breaks, the court held that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for all rest breaks of twenty minutes or less.

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Asset Forfeiture

[08/30] US v. Catala
Affirming the district court's decision that the government has priority over a general creditor with respect to claims relating to assets forfeited as the proceeds of a criminal activity.

[08/22] Walker v. The People
Partially granting a mandate petition in the case of a man who entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of contracting without a license that was ordered to pay restitution on the actual economic loss suffered by a victim, after which the People's request that full restitution for services and attorney fees incurred by the victim be paid, which had been granted by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court because the civil disgorgement statute relied upon by the Appellate Division did not control the amount of restitution in a criminal action but there was no error in ordering restitution of attorney fees.

[08/10] Curci Investments, LLC v. Baldwin
Reversing and remanding a case where a judgment creditor sought a reverse veil piercing in order to reach assets held by a judgment debtor because the case upon which the motion for the action was denied was distinguishable, thought the court of appeals left unanswered the question of whether there was sufficient justification to support the piercing.

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