Tag Archives: Judge Rakoff

Judge Rakoff: “KinderGuides” to Literature Infringe Copyrights of Original Works

In an opinion last week, Judge Rakoff ruled that children’s illustrated versions of classic novels called “KinderGuides” infringed the copyrights associated with the original works.  He rejected the defendants’ arguments that the removal of adults themes and addition of commentary rendered the publishing of the Guides “fair use”:… 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

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

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

Judge Rakoff: Executives Cannot Buy Company Products at Grossly Inflated Prices to Trigger Earnout Bonus

The summary judgment ruling, issued yesterday, begins: Why would the executives (and former principals) of a paddle-board division of a sports and recreation company cause the company to make a one-time $60,500 purchase of one million stickers that the executives themselves immediately attempted to repurchase from the company for approximately $4 million? The answer is … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Bemoans “Insidious Trend” of Ordinary Citizens’ Decreasing Access to Courts

Judge Rakoff has published in The New York Review of Books a piece entitled Why You Won’t Get Your Day in Court, in which he describes several factors that have caused ordinary citizens to have less and less access to courts.  He argues, for example, that the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T v. Concepcion, which upheld … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Case Challenging New York’s Credit Card Surcharge Ban

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a First Amendment challenge to New York’s ban on credit card surcharges.  The law allows merchants to charge different prices for cash and credit card purchases, but, according to the plaintiffs, it violates the First Amendment by prohibiting them from calling the extra charge for credit card purchases a … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Stays Antitrust Action Against Uber Pending Appeal Over Arbitrability

As part of the ongoing Uber antitrust litigation, Judge Rakoff granted today the defendants’ request to stay the proceeding pending an interlocutory appeal of his prior order denying defendants’ motion to compel arbitration (see our coverage here). Judge Rakoff noted that the while the defendants had not made a “strong showing” that they would succeed on the … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Rules That Uber’s Customer Arbitration Clause Is Not Conspicuous Enough to Be Enforceable

In an opinion today, Judge Rakoff denied a motion to compel arbitration of antitrust claims against Uber’s CEO because he found that the arbitration clause was too concealed for the plaintiff to have reasonably agreed to it.  (See our prior posts on the case here.) When a user enters his or her credit card information, … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Orders Uber Investigative Firm to Stop “Arguably Criminal Conduct,” Uber Will Pay Plaintiff’s Fees

In the latest chapter of the saga over Uber’s background investigations into an antitrust plaintiff and his counsel (see coverage here), Judge Rakoff has ordered Uber and its investigative firm, Ergo, to cease their background investigations and has enjoined Uber from using any information found during the investigation in the antitrust proceeding.  Uber had hired Ergo to … Continue Reading

Gender Dysphoria Class Action Will Proceed to Trial Before Judge Rakoff

Last week, Judge Rakoff held that a class action of transgender individuals challenging the coverage of gender dysphoria treatments under New York’s Medicaid program will proceed to trial.  Specifically, the class challenged the New York Department of Health (“DOH”)’s exclusion of coverage for gender reassignment and hormone therapy for individuals under 18, and a blanket ban on “cosmetic” procedures … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Won’t Stay Petrobras Securities Trial, Calls Delay “Bane” of U.S. Legal System

Last week, Judge Rakoff denied a request from the defendants in a group of Petrobras securities cases to stay a September trial date pending the Second Circuit’s consideration of an interlocutory appeal of class certification.  The defendants argued that the Second Circuit appeal was on an expedited schedule, and that significant expense could be saved in the … Continue Reading

On Heels of Inquiry Into Potential Litigation Misconduct, Uber CEO Moves to Have Case Heard in Arbitration

Yesterday — just hours after Judge Rakoff ordered broad discovery from Uber and its in-house counsel regarding potentially improper investigative techniques —  Uber’s CEO moved to compel arbitration in the antitrust class action brought by Uber riders (see previous coverage here).  The motion argues that the CEO, as an employee of Uber, is entitled to assert Uber’s arbitration clause … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Authorizes Discovery from Uber Counsel to Probe Potentially Improper Investigation of Adversary and Opposing Counsel

A memorandum order released today reveals that, in an antitrust case against Uber’s CEO (covered here), Judge Rakoff became concerned over improper investigative techniques that Uber (or its agents) employed.  Specifically, Uber hired an firm called Ergo to investigate the plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel, and, in doing so, Ergo’s investigator allegedly made various misrepresentations to … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reverses Judge Rakoff’s $1.2 Billion Penalty in BOA-Countrywide FIRREA Litigation

Today, the Second Circuit reversed Judge Rakoff’s $1.2 billion penalty against Bank of America/Countrywide for FIRREA violations (see our previous coverage here).  The case involved allegations that BoA/Countrywide had sold faulty mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, originally brought as a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act in which the government intervened.  The Second … Continue Reading

SEC Claims Cooperator Lied At Trial; Seeks To Up Penalty from $2,500 to $3 Million

The SEC claims that insider trading defendant Thomas Condradt committed perjury at the trial of his co-defendant Daryl Payton in breach of his cooperation agreement and, instead of the agreed-upon penalty of $2,533, the SEC is now seeking a penalty of almost $3 million.  The jury ultimately convicted Payton, even though the SEC was clearly … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Rejects Handwriting Expert Under FRE 702

Last week, Judge Rakoff held that courts should generally be wary of admitting handwriting expert testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 702.  His opinion notes that handwriting analysis, unlike DNA or other forms of scientific evidence, did not arise from scientific inquiry and instead was created solely for use in the courtroom.  Judge Rakoff found … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Reluctantly Declines to Refer Defendant in SEC Civil Case for Criminal Perjury Prosecution

In an opinion today, Judge Rakoff explained why he would decline to refer Darlyl Payton, a defendant who was recently found liable an SEC insider trading case, to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a perjury prosecution related to Mr. Payton’s testimony in the SEC case.  Mr. Payton had pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges but … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Dismisses 10(b) Claims Against PwC for Alleged Petrobras Bribery Scheme, But Allows Section 11 Claims to Proceed Despite Omnicare

Last week, Judge Rakoff granted Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ motion to dismiss Section 10(b) claims brought as part of the ongoing class action over an alleged bribery and kickback scheme at Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.  PwC’s Brazilian member firm had served as Petrobras’ independent auditor.  PwC argued that the fourth amended complaint had failed to properly allege scienter, and … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff : “Conscious Avoidance” of Source of Stock Tip Can Result in Liability, Even After Newman Decision

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Rakoff denied a summary judgment motion brought by two SEC defendants who traded on a tip that IBM was about to acquire a company called SPSS.  The tip passed from a lawyer working on the deal (Dallas) to his friend (Martin), then to Martin’s roommate (Conradt) and, ultimately, to the two … Continue Reading
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