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Judge Forrest: Fact That Complaint Exposes Book By Former Fox News Host as Ghostwritten Is Not Grounds For Sealing

In an opinion unsealed last week, Judge Forrest ruled that a suit by the alleged ghostwriter of former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros’ book Tied Up in Knots could not stay sealed, merely because the revelation that there was a ghostwriter could cause Tarantos “humiliation”: Defendant argues that, as a well-known television journalist, her credibility … Continue Reading

Opposition Brief: Trump’s Emoluments Argument Has “No Support in Two Centuries of History”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and other plaintiffs responded Friday to President Trump’s motion to dismiss their case to enforce the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.  President Trump argued that the clause, which prevents government officers from receiving gifts from foreign countries, was never intended to cover the president’s private business dealings unrelated to his office or service to a … Continue Reading

Judge Oetken: Law Banning Robocalls to Cell Phones, Except Where Government is Collecting Debts, Does Not Violate First Amendment

In an opinion Wednesday in a case under the TCPA, a law that (among other things) bars calls without consent to cell phones via automatic dealings systems, Judge Oeken rejected the defendant’s argument that, by exempting government debt collection calls from the ban, the law is a form of speech discrimination that violates the First Amendment. … Continue Reading

Judge Gardephe Dismisses Renewed Defamation Claims by Anti-Aging Doctors Labeled as “Quacks”

Today, Judge Gardephe dismissed with prejudice the amended complaint brought by two prominent “anti-aging” doctors against the nonprofit consumer advocacy website “Quackwatch.”  Last year, Judge Gardephe dismissed the original complaint, containing defamation claims based on an article reporting that the plaintiffs had agreed to pay fines to the Illinois licensing authorities for improperly using the term “M.D.” after their … Continue Reading

SDNY Selects Three New Magistrate Judges

The Southern District has announced three new magistrate judges, who will fill the seats being vacated by Magistrate Judges Francis, Ellis, and Peck later this year. Joining the bench will be Stewart Aaron, of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer; Robert Lehrburger, of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler; and Ona Wang, of Baker & Hostetler. For … Continue Reading

Judge Preska: Widespread Pirating Makes Music Price Fixing Case Unsuitable for Class Treatment

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Preska refused to certify as a class action a case alleging price fixing in the digital music industry.  Among other reasons, she found that widespread pirating would raise “unclean hand” defenses that could not be determined on a classwide basis: Defendants note that two of the Proposed Class Representatives admitted … Continue Reading

N.Y. Times Moves to Dismiss Palin Defamation Suit, Arguing Editorial Concerned Palin’s PAC, Not Palin Personally

Last week, the New York Times Company moved to dismiss a defamation suit brought by Sarah Palin over a New York Times editorial drawing a connection between SarahPAC’s publication of a “crosshairs map” referencing Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the mass shooting where she was wounded in 2011 (see our previous coverage of the suit here). The Times argues that … Continue Reading

Complaint: @realDonaldTrump Blocking Twitter Users Violates First Amendment

A complaint filed today alleges that President Trump and others violated the First Amendment when they blocked Twitter users who wrote tweets critical of the president.  The plaintiffs claim that preventing them from viewing comments, replying to tweets, and participating in comment threads denies access to an important public forum in the 21st century. According … Continue Reading

Judge Sullivan: Plaintiff Can Voluntarily Drop Federal Claim to Get Back in State Court

Today, Judge Sullivan remanded to New York state court a case against MLB brought by a former Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds player Neiman Nix.  The complaint alleged that MLB investigators spread misinformation about Nix’s player training academy and “sports science testing facility” in Florida, and included claims for defamation, tortious interference, and violation of … Continue Reading

In Sarah Palin’s Defamation Case Against N.Y. Times, Judge Rakoff Indicates Trial by December

Sarah Palin sued the New York Times Tuesday (see the complaint here) over a recent editorial suggesting that her political action committee’s use of “stylized cross hairs” over the districts of several members of Congress in online materials was responsible for the “political incitement” of Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people and wounded many others (including Representative Gabby … Continue Reading

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
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