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Judge Furman: Burden to Justify Detention Pending Deportation Proceedings Falls to Government, Not the Person Facing Deportation

In an opinion today, Judge Furman ruled that, under the Due Process Clause, it is the Government that must bear the burden, in immigration proceedings, to justify the continued detention of people subject to deportation. He found that, in weighing the Government’s interests of ensuring an appearance by the person subject to deportation against that … Continue Reading

Judge Broderick: Copyright Case Against Justin Timberlake Is Timely; Plaintiff Had No Duty “Scour” All Songs Immediately After Album Was Released

Last week, Judge Broderick denied a motion to dismiss a case brought by the copyright holders for the song “A New Day is Here at Last,” written by Perry Kibble in 1969 and performed by J.C. Davis.  The suit alleged that Justin Timberlake’s 2006 hit song “Damn Girl” sampled “A New Day is Here at … Continue Reading

Judge Furman: Secretary of Commerce Must Sit for Deposition Over Census Citizenship Question

This week, Judge Furman ordered U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. to sit for a deposition in a case challenging the constitutionality of adding a question about citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. census questionnaire.  The question had not appeared on the census questionnaire since 1950; according to the complaint, the question was purposefully … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Grants Sanctions for “Objector Extortion” in Proposed Class Action Settlement

Yesterday, Judge Rakoff sanctioned an attorney for an objector to the $3 billion Petrobras securities litigation settlement (see our full coverage of the Petrobras litigation here).  Judge Rakoff had approved the settlement over the objections, after which the objectors filed an appeal.  According to the class plaintiff, the appeals were part of an “extortionist agenda” … Continue Reading

Judge Castel:  Attorney Review of Draft Corporate Documents Is “Prudent,” Not “Subterfuge” to Evade Discovery

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Castel denied in part a motion to compel certain drafts of sales and marketing documents withheld as privileged in an antitrust case.  The plaintiff argued that the attorneys were not providing legal advice but, instead, “‘scrubbing’ or ‘vetting’ these documents ‘to avoid having a jury see the unvarnished truth.”  Judge … Continue Reading

Ja Rule: Social Media Posts Do Not Create Liability for Failed “Fyre Festival”

Last week, Jeffrey Atkins (better known as Ja Rule) asked Judge Castel to dismiss claims against him stemming from the “Fyre Festival,” a 2017 music festival in the Bahamas that descended into chaos after organizers were unable to deliver the luxury accommodations, celebrity chefs, and musical acts that attendees were expecting (see NYT coverage here).  Plaintiffs accused Atkins … Continue Reading

Judge Pauley: Despite 40,000 Words of Summary Judgment Briefing, Photo of Snoozing Mouse Is Enough to Show There Are Fact Issues

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Pauley denied summary judgment in a case alleging that a certain rodent repeller devices are ineffective, contrary to the defendant’s allegedly false representations. He noted that the parties had filed over 40,000 words in briefing the issues, but that three photos (including the one below) were sufficient to decide the … Continue Reading

Airbnb Challenges NYC’s Homesharing Monitoring Law

Last week, Airbnb filed a complaint challenging the city’s new ordinance requiring homesharing platforms to share data about hosts and guests to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.  According to Airbnb, the new ordinance allows the city to collect wide-ranging categories of non-public information: “[T]he Ordinance requires Internet homesharing platforms to turn over personal information about … Continue Reading

Judge Stanton Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Creator of “Grand Theft Auto V” Cheat Software

In an opinion last week, Judge Stanton granted video game manufacturer Take-Two’s request for an injunction against the creator of two software programs that allowed users to cheat at Take-Two’s “Grand Theft Auto V” video game.  Among other functions, the computer programs allow users to use an unlimited amount of in-game currency that otherwise had … Continue Reading

Judge Daniels Narrows Trademark Case Against Company Offering “Frozen Themed” Costumed Characters for Children’s Parties

Last week, Judge Daniels granted in large part a summary judgment motion that Characters For Hire, a company that provides costumed characters for children’s events, had filed in response to trademark, unfair competition and and similar claims.  According to the plaintiffs (Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm), Characters for Hire’s costumes, including ones named “Frozen Themed,” “Avenging Team,” … Continue Reading

Judge Koeltl Allows DNC to Serve Wikileaks by Twitter

Last week, via a memo endorsement, Judge Koeltl granted the Democratic National Committee’s motion to serve Wikileaks by Twitter in the DNC’s case over the 2016 election hacks (see our coverage here). The DNC argued that “[w]hile WikiLeaks’ physical presence is difficult to discern, it has a robust online presence, including an active presence on … Continue Reading

Judge Daniels Dismisses Case Against Fox News Over Alleged Conspiracy Theories for DNC Staffer’s Death

Yesterday, Judge Daniels dismissed a complaint filed by the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich against Fox News, which alleged that Fox News and two contributors intentionally exploited the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich during the 2016 election season.  According to the complaint,  Rich was murdered in Washington in what authorities believed was … Continue Reading

Judge Buchwald: No “Coddling” of Plaintiffs in Suit Over Junior Mints

This week, Judge Buchwald dismissed a complaint against Tootsie Roll Industries, makers of the candy Junior Mints, claiming that packages of Junior Mints contained “non-functional slack-fill” which mislead consumers as to the amount of product contained in the package. Judge Buchwald noted that the labeling on the package, including the estimated servings in each package, … Continue Reading

Judge Berman Declines Fan’s Request to Sign “Deflategate” Sports Illustrated Cover

In an docketed email Monday, Judge Berman politely declined a fan’s request to autograph a Sports Illustrated cover (likely the one below) over the “Deflategate” case (see our coverage here). Judge Berman pointed out that “while I was privileged to preside over this very interesting case, remember that I did so as the randomly selected district … Continue Reading

Judge Keenan: Addressing Climate Change is “Squarely Within the Purview of the Political Branches”

Yesterday, Judge Keenan dismissed a complaint against several producers of fossil fuels that asked the court to address the producers’ role in the effects of climate change.  The complaint, filed by the City of New York, alleged that the defendants had known for decades about the effects of their fossil fuel emissions on the global … Continue Reading

Judge Forrest to Retire from SDNY Bench

Judge Katherine Forrest has announced that she will be retiring from the federal bench.  Judge Forrest was nominated as a district judge by President Obama in 2011. For additional coverage, see the New York Law Journal piece here.  Our full coverage of cases before Judge Forrest is here. H/T NYLJ… Continue Reading

Judge Hellerstein Dismisses Copyright Suit Against Author of The Art of Fielding

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Hellerstein dismissed a suit claiming that the popular novel The Art of Fielding unlawfully misappropriated elements of the story from an unpublished novel called Bucky’s 9th.  After reading both works, Judge Hellerstein found they were not substantially similar: When read in context, the portions or features of TOAF that are … Continue Reading

Owner of “Let’s Get It On” Copyright Sues Ed Sheeran for $100 Million

This week, the owner of the copyright for Marvin Gaye’s hit song “Let’s Get It On” filed a complaint against English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.  The complaint alleges that Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud” copies large parts of Gaye’s work, including its vocal melodies, bass lines, chord progression, and harmonic rhythm.  “Thinking Out Loud” was nominated … Continue Reading

Judge Preska Declares Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Unconstitutional

In an opinion today, Judge Preska dismissed the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) from an action after finding that, because the CFPB’s structure was unconstitutional, it lacked the authority to bring claims under the Consumer Finance Protection Act (“CFPA”). The CFPB and the New York Attorney General had originally brought claims against companies that offered cash advances … Continue Reading
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