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Judge Kaplan: Plaintiff Who Live-Streamed Childbirth Must Pay News Networks’ Attorneys’ Fees for Dismissed Copyright Suit

In an opinion Wednesday, Judge Kaplan awarded attorneys’ fees to news networks that broadcast brief excerpts of the plaintiff’s live-streaming on Facebook of his partner’s childbirth.  Alongside the broadcasts, the networks offered “social commentary about the phenomenon of someone publicly live-streaming a life event that traditionally is considered personal.”  Judge Kaplan dismissed the plaintiff’s copyright claims on fair … Continue Reading

Judge Oetken:  Law Firm Partners Can Be “Employees” for Purposes of Sex Discrimination Suit, Based on Control by Management Committee

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Oetken denied the defendants’ pre-discovery summary judgment motion in a sex discrimination suit against the law firm Chadbourne & Parke and certain partners. The defendants argued that the named plaintiffs, as firm partners, did not qualify as “employees” of the firm for purposes of the relevant discrimination statutes because of their … Continue Reading

President Trump Moves to Dismiss Emoluments Clause Case

In a brief filed Friday, President Trump asked Judge Abrams to dismiss the suit seeking to enjoin his business dealings to the extent they violate the Emoluments Clause (see our post on the original complaint here, and see the current, second amended complaint here). The brief argues (among other things) that, based on extensive historical evidence, the Emoluments Clause … Continue Reading

Judge Pauley: Drake’s Sampling of Spoken Word Excerpt from Jazz Album is Fair Use

In an opinion last week, Judge Pauley granted Drake and his co-defendants summary judgment in a case accusing them of copyright infringement.  The case arose from the fact that Drake’s song “Pound Cake” opens with about 35 seconds of spoken words that are similar to a spoken word recording called “Jimmy Smith Rap,” by the jazz artist … Continue Reading

Judge Forrest Awards Almost $250 Million to New York State and City in UPS Cigarette Tax Case

Judge Forrest awarded over $165 million to plaintiff New York State and over $81 million to plaintiff New York City for their claims that UPS failed to prevent the shipment of untaxed cigarettes using its parcel service (see our previous coverage here).  Judge Forrest awarded damages under both a previous Assurance of Discontinuance agreed to … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … Continue Reading

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 … 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). … 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 … 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 … 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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Judge Marrero Imposes $1,000 Sanction for Double Spacing Fudge

In a brief order Thursday, Judge Marrero imposed a sanction of $1,048.09 against a party that deliberately broke his individual rule requiring briefs be double-spaced: At the March 24, 2017 hearing regarding plaintiff CafeX Communications’s (“CafeX”) Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (“Motion,” Dkt. No. 8.) the Court found that defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“Amazon”) … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds that Claim Focused on Sexual Orientation Discrimination May Proceed Under Gender Stereotyping Theory

Last week, the Second Circuit reversed Judge Failla’s decision criticizing precedent that she concluded required dismissal of a Title VII claim focused on sexual orientation discrimination (see our coverage of Judge Failla’s ruling here).  The Second Circuit found that it lacked authority to overturn circuit precedent without an en banc panel or a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decision, and so did … Continue Reading

SCOTUS: NY Credit Card Surcharge Law Regulates Speech

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that New York State’s law preventing merchants from charging an additional fee for using a credit card (see our previous coverage here) regulates speech, and remanded the case to the Second Circuit to determine whether the law can survive First Amendment scrutiny.  Judge Rakoff had initially ruled in favor of … Continue Reading

New Complaint Seeks Damages from Saudi Arabia for Ties to 9/11 Attacks

A complaint filed this week by families of 9/11 victims alleges that the government of Saudi Arabia knowingly gave aid and support to al Qaeda, allowing the terrorist organization to carry out the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  According to the complaint, state-run charities funneled money to al Qaeda while members of the Saudi government … Continue Reading

Judge Sullivan: No Extension of Pretrial Deadlines for Expected, But Not Finalized, Settlement

In an order yesterday, Judge Sullivan refused an to extend the time for the SEC to oppose motions in limine in a six-year-old case.  The SEC sought the extension because the parties reached a settlement awaiting formal Commission approval, but Judge Sullivan found that those grounds were not enough, particularly because the request itself was … Continue Reading

Judge Failla Dismisses Chipotle E. coli Class Action

This week, Judge Failla dismissed a putative class action stemming from the 2015 food-borne illness outbreak among Chipotle customers.  According to the complaint, at least seven E. coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants in 2015 were caused by Chipotle’s switch from processing produce at a central facility to processing produce in each of its 1,900 restaurants.  … Continue Reading

Judge Pauley: Moody’s Whistleblower Whose False Claim Act Case Was Dismissed Cannot Share in Related Government FIRREA Settlement

In an opinion last week, Judge Pauley dismissed a second amended False Claims complaint brought by a former Moody’s managing director who claimed that Moody’s false ratings caused various government overpayments  (our coverage of the dismissal of the original complaint is here). The opinion notes that, as a consequence of the dismissal, the plaintiff was … Continue Reading
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