Peter Luger Brings Trademark Claims Against Similarly-Named Rival

Last week, iconic Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger filed an action against a similarly-named rival.  The defendant, Carl von Luger, operates a steakhouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with plans to expand to Florida.  Peter Luger, in business since 1887, claims that the defendant attempted to create a false association between the steakhouse brands.  The complaint includes claims for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and false advertising under the Lanham Act, as well as common law and state law claims.

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The case is currently pending before Judge Nathan.

Judge Crotty:  No Customer Standing Where Receipts Wrongfully Printed Too Many Credit Card Digits

In an opinion Wednesday, Judge Crotty dismissed a class action accusing a retailer of violating a law (referred to as “FACTA”) requiring that no more than the final five digits of credit cards be printed on receipts.  The plaintiff allegedly received receipts exposing 10 digits.  Judge Crotty found that the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Spokeo. Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016) made clear that a statutory violation, without more, was insufficient to confer standing: Continue Reading

Judge Seibel Nearly Sanctions Attorneys for “Sham” Responses to Rule 56.1 Opposition Statement

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Seibel lambasted, but ultimately did not sanction, attorneys in an insurance dispute who made evasive and false assertions in a Rule 56.1 statement submitted in opposition to summary judgment.  She found the statements lacked a “factual basis,” and were a “sham,” and added that the attorneys’ conduct “was entirely unbecoming of members of our profession.”  She nonetheless concluded “in light of the high standard for bad faith, and the caution with which courts should approach the question of bad faith,” not to award sanctions, for two reasons: Continue Reading

Judge Swain Appointed to Oversee Puerto Rico Debt Litigation

Last week, the government of Puerto Rico filed a petition for relief under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).  PROMESA gave Chief Justice John Roberts authority to select a U.S. district court judge to preside over the case, and last week he selected SDNY’s Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Additional coverage of Judge Swain and the Puerto Rico litigation can be found here and here.

Judge Netburn Refuses New Yorker Magazine’s Request for Ray Kelly’s Deposition Because Appeal Divested Her of Jurisdiction

On Friday, Judge Netburn rejected the New Yorker magazine’s letter request to release a sealed deposition of former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, in a case brought by Muslim officer who sued Mr. Kelly and New York City for discrimination but lost on summary judgment.  She found that she lacked jurisdiction to grant the request because the proper procedural vehicle is a motion to intervene under Rule 24 — which the District Court cannot address while an appeal is pending: Continue Reading

Judge Peck: “We Have a Deal” Email from Lenny Dykstra’s Lawyer Creates a Binding Settlement

In an order Friday, Judge Peck enforced as a binding contract the terms of a settlement negotiated over email in a case against former Mets star Lenny Dykstra.  The plaintiff managed Mr. Dykstra’s social media presence, including “dealing with the fallout from Dykstra’s boorish behavior,” and claims to have not been paid (see complaint here).

Mr. Dykstra’s lawyer had written “we have a deal” in an email chain with settlement terms but later argued that the terms also needed to include a “standard” mutual release.  Judge Peck disagreed: Continue Reading

Judge Wood Dismisses Preemptive Copyright Action Brought By Internet Service Provider

Yesterday, Judge Wood dismissed an attempt by internet service provider (ISP) Windstream to secure a declaratory judgment that its status as an ISP meant that it lacked the necessary knowledge and ability to secondarily infringe copyrights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The defendant, music publisher BMG, argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue what would amount to an advisory opinion preventing any future infringement claims against ISPs. Continue Reading

Judge Furman: Parties Cannot Circumvent Approval of FLSA Settlements with Rule 68 Offer of Judgment

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Furman weighed in on  — and certified for interlocutory appeal — an issue that has divided judges in the Southern District:  whether the requirement that FLSA settlements be approved by the DOL or the Court can be avoided by a settlement accomplished via a Rule 68 offer of judgment.  Because Rule 68 is phrased in mandatory terms (when an offer is accepted, the “clerk must then enter judgment”), some courts have held that there is no room for judicial or DOL approval.

Judge Furman disagreed: Continue Reading

NBA’s Thabo Sefolosha Settles Case Against NYPD After Judge Furman Helps Seal the Deal

Yesterday, Thabo Sefolosha settled his case against the NYPD for $4 million (see ESPN coverage here) for false arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution, and false imprisonment (see our previous post here).  The complaint had stemmed from an incident outside a Manhattan nightclub in April 2015, where Sefolosha alleged that NYPD officers beat him and broke his leg without justification.  Sefolosha alleged that the NYPD orchestrated a malicious prosecution against him in an attempt to cover up wrongdoing after they realized he was a well-known basketball player.  Sefolosha was later acquitted by a Manhattan jury.

According to an order by Judge Furman, the settlement came after a conference presided over by the judge with a settlement figure that Judge Furman had suggested.

 

Judge Nathan Tosses Yellow Cabs’ Fifth Amendment Takings Claim Over Uber Regulatory Treatment

Last week, Judge Nathan dismissed a challenge by a group of yellow taxi medallion owners to New York City’s regulatory treatment of Uber and similar ride-hailing services.  The plaintiffs alleged that the decision to exempt Uber and its drivers from the requirements imposed on yellow cabs constituted a regulatory taking under the Fifth Amendment and violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause (see our previous coverage here).  Judge Nathan rejected the takings claim as untimely, noting that New York State provided a mechanism for seeking just compensation for a taking, but plaintiffs had not attempted to avail themselves of it.

In response to the plaintiffs’ equal protection claim, Judge Nathan reasoned that the city was justified in separate regulatory regimes for yellow cabs and Uber: Continue Reading

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