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Judge Gardephe: “Degrading” For Counsel to Refer to Female Adversary By Her First Name Before Jury

In an opinion Monday denying a motion for a new trial in a car accident case, Judge Gardephe rejected the plaintiff’s argument (among others) that Judge Gardephe made unfairly biased comments during the trial.  While Judge Gardephe acknowledged there were times that counsel “strained the patience of the Court,” those did not take place before … Continue Reading

In Reviving Sarah Palin’s Suit Against the Times, Second Circuit Rejects Use of Evidentiary Hearings on Motions to Dismiss

In an opinion today, the Second Circuit revived Sarah Palin’s suit accusing The New York Times of defaming her in an 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 … Continue Reading

Judge Schofield Trims Claims in Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Class Action Against Trump Organization

In a decision July 24, Judge Schofield dismissed civil RICO claims against the Trump Organization and Trump family members, while allowing the remaining putative class claims to proceed.  The case (see our previous coverage here) alleged that Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization, and members of the Trump family falsely promoted the multi-level-marketing scheme ACN, reaping millions of … Continue Reading

In Dismissing DNC Case, Judge Koeltl Emphasizes First Amendment Right to Publish Material Stolen By Others

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Koeltl dismissed the case brought by the Democratic National Committee and accusing the Wikileaks, the Trump Campaign and others of conspiring with Russia to steal DNC emails in 2016 so as to help President Trump’s election chances (see prior coverage here). Judge Koeltl dismissed a large portion of the case … Continue Reading

Judge Abrams: Jeff Beck Cannot Be Sued in New York Just Because 1969 Guitar Theft Leading to Ownership Dispute Occurred Here

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Abrams found that the court lacked long-arm jurisdiction over British rocker Jeff Beck in a case over the rightful ownership of one of his guitars. The guitar purchaser, plaintiff Perry Margouleff, sought a judicial declaration to refute Beck’s claims that the guitar was stolen from him at a 1969 concert … Continue Reading

Judge Engelmayer: “Short Weighting” Class Action Against Whole Foods Disproven by “Lived Kitchen Experience”

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Engelmayer dismissed a class action accusing Whole Foods of exaggerating the weights of certain pre-packaged foods, so as to overcharge customers.  The genesis of the suit was an analysis by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) finding that 89% of tested products had incorrect weights. The lead plaintiff, … Continue Reading

Judge Oetken: MLB Umpire Can’t Bring Bias Claims Under Conflicting State Laws

On Thursday, Judge Oetken dismissed a Major League Baseball umpire’s discrimination claims under the Ohio Civil Rights Act, holding that the plaintiff could not seek relief under the conflicting laws of two different states based on a single course of employer conduct.  The plaintiff alleged that the MLB discriminated against him on the basis of … Continue Reading

Judge Castel: Plaintiffs Fail to State Claim Against Ja Rule for Fyre Festival

This week, Judge Castel dismissed claims against Jeffery Atkins (better known as Ja Rule) over his role in the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival (see our previous post here). Judge Castel held that, while tweets and Instagram posts could be considered material misrepresentations, plaintiffs failed to plead a fraud claim because they did not allege that they … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Judge Buchwald in Trump Twitter Case

In the ongoing case regarding whether President Trump can block individual Twitter users under the First Amendment (see our previous coverage here), the Second Circuit earlier this week affirmed Judge Buchwald’s earlier ruling that the president’s Twitter account is a public forum and that blocking individual users represented unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.… Continue Reading

Judge Caproni: Compliance Communications Prepared Outside of Attorney-Client Relationship Are Not Privileged

Judge Caproni recently held in the context of a SEC enforcement action that communications with an outside compliance firm were not privileged.  The communications at issue contained advice from a compliance consulting firm which, though staffed by attorneys, provided advice pursuant to a consulting agreement that specifically disclaimed the attorney-client relationship.… Continue Reading

Judge Furman: Sensitive Pricing Information Can’t Be Sealed Where It Goes to the “Heart of the Litigation”

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Furman ruled that the complaint in an “international saga” of fraud in the art world must be filed publicly and without redactions, even though it contained sensitive information about transactions facilitated by the international auction house Sotheby’s. Plaintiffs hired an art dealer to assist in purchasing a world-class art collection, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees With Judge Furman that Census Citizenship Question Was Added Based on “Contrived” Rationale

The Supreme Court today, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, largely affirmed Judge Furman’s conclusion (see here) that the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census was based on a rationale —  to help enforce the Voting Rights Act — that was pretextual, and agreed that the matter must be … Continue Reading

Judge Failla Concludes That Kroger’s Updated Website Moots ADA Lawsuit Over Accessibility for Visually Impaired

In an opinion today, Judge Failla dismissed as moot an ADA lawsuit accusing the supermarket chain Kroger of operating a website that isn’t accessible for the visually impaired.  Kroger apparently addressed all the issues complained of.  There is a huge body of litigation in this area (see this article and this article, for example), but Judge Failla … Continue Reading

Judge Marrero Allows New York State Challenge to Federal Fintech Banking Charters to Proceed

Earlier this month, Judge Marrero denied a motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) against the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  The complaint challenged the Comptroller’s decision to begin issuing special purpose national banking (SPNB) charters to financial technology (“fintech”) companies that, among other things, … Continue Reading

Judges Furman and Carter Grant Habeas Petitions Requiring Individualized Bond Hearings for Detaining Awaiting Removal Hearings

In two opinions yesterday (here and here), Judges Furman and Carter concluded that Due Process requires timely, individual bond hearings, with the Government bearing the burden to show a risk of flight, for those awaiting removal hearings. In the case before Judge Furman, the detainee has been held for 21 months with no hearing.  In … Continue Reading

Magistrate Judge Gorenstein: Attorney-Client Communications That Include Outside PR Firm Are Not Privileged

In an opinion this week, Magistrate Judge Gorenstein ruled that sharing attorney-client privileged communications with an outside public relations firm resulted in a waiver of the attorney-client privilege.  The plaintiff, Universal Standard, a manufacturer of “size-inclusive” clothing, filed a complaint against Target alleging trademark infringement.  After discovery, Target filed a motion asking the court to find … Continue Reading

Trump Family Sues Banks to Prevent Compliance with House Subpoenas

In a complaint filed yesterday, President Trump, his children, and entities related to Trump family businesses sued two financial institutions to prevent them from responding to recent subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Financial Services Committee.  The subpoenas seek banking and financial records related to Trump family businesses;  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Cert in SDNY Case to Address Whether Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two consolidated cases raising the question of whether sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII. One of the cases is Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., in which Judge Failla applied, but heavily criticized, binding Second Circuit precedent disallowing such claims.  The Second Circuit, sitting en banc, ultimately reversed the precedent, … Continue Reading

Judge Cote: Software for “Dynamic” Tutorials Too Generic to Be Patented

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Cote concluded that a plaintiff’s software patent was not eligible for patent protection because it amounted to an abstract idea.  The patent covered a “method of creating a dynamically adaptable tutorial,” and, in essence, it described a method of linking website elements so as to facilitate, and easily update, online tutorials.  … Continue Reading

Judge Woods: Belatedly Withdrawing A Baseless Claim Does Not Insulate a Litigant from Sanctions

In an opinion today, Judge Woods concluded that sanctions were appropriate as against a plaintiff, referred to as ITM, that brought a claim without evidentiary support, even though the claim was eventually dropped.  ITM alleged that it incurred $350,000 in expenses advising the defendant about a certain corporate acquisition, but dropped the claim after discovery.  … Continue Reading
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