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Democratic National Committee Sues Russia and Trump Officials Over Hacking

The complaint, filed today, alleges a broad conspiracy to benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy: Russian agents made clear that their government supported Trump and was prepared to use stolen emails and other information to damages his opponent and the Democratic party. Rather than report these repeated messages that Russia intended to interfere with U.S. elections, the … Continue Reading

Broadway Producers Offer to Perform “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Court to Prove Faithfulness to Novel

In a complaint filed Monday, the producers of a forthcoming Broadway version of To Kill a Mockingbird, with a script written by Aaron Sorkin, are seeking a judicial declaration that the play is consistent with a written agreement to the rights to the play for just these purposes.  An alleged representative of Harper Lee’s estate … Continue Reading

Judge Batts Unseals Bill O’Reilly’s Confidential Settlement Agreements

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Batts unsealed certain confidential settlement agreements (now available here) relating to harassment claims against former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly.  The plaintiffs are parties to those agreements and their suit (see our previous covered here) claims that O’Reilly defamed them by calling them “smear merchants” and otherwise implying that their … Continue Reading

Judge Failla Again Dismisses Securities Fraud Case Over Food-Borne Illness Outbreaks at Chipotle

In a detailed 74-page opinion yesterday, Judge Failla dismissed a securities fraud complaint against Chipotle arising from its alleged failure to properly disclose to investors various matters relating to the food-borne illness outbreaks that caused its stock to drop.  She had dismissed an earlier version of the complaint last year, as we covered here. Judge … Continue Reading

Fox News Sued for Allegedly Peddling Conspiracy Theories About Murdered DNC Staffer

A complaint this week alleges that Fox News and two contributors intentionally exploited the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich during the 2016 election season.  Rich was murdered in Washington in what authorities believed was a botched robbery; the complaint alleges that Fox News reported a false story that Rich had been murdered after leaking thousands … Continue Reading

In Trump Twitter Case, Parties Dispute Whether President’s Tweets Are Government Action; Judge Buchwald Floats “Muting” Compromise

Last week, Judge Buchwald heard oral argument (see transcript here) on summary judgment motions in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Donald J. Trump (see our previous coverage here). The suit 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 … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Bemoans “Factual and Legal Fictions” Underlying Enforcement of Consumer Arbitration Clauses

In an opinion today in the Uber antitrust case, which was on remand from the Second Circuit (see our prior coverage here), Judge Rakoff sent the case to arbitration based on the “Terms of Service” within Uber’s phone application.  Before doing so, however, he complained of having to enforce terms that “everyone recognizes” are “totally … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Suit Challenging New York’s Charity Reporting Laws

Yesterday, the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Stein’s decision last year to dismiss a suit by Citizens United challenging New York’s charity reporting laws (see our previous coverage here). Citizens United challenged the New York Attorney General’s requirement that charities file an un-redacted Schedule B, a form listing the names and contribution amounts of the charity’s … Continue Reading

Journalist’s Complaint Seeks CIA Files for “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” at Guantanamo

A complaint filed this week seeks to compel the CIA to release records related to its interrogation practices, including “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  According to the complaint, the prisoner has been held at the Guantanamo Bay facility for fifteen years without being charged.  A Politico article cited in … Continue Reading

Judge Preska: Disputed Picasso Will Stay at the Met

Yesterday, Judge Preska dismissed a suit seeking to reclaim Picasso’s “The Actor” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The suit alleged that the painting was sold under duress in the 1930s after its owner at the time, a German Jew, fled the Nazi regime (see our original coverage here).  While the opinion details the plight of the … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff: Parties’ “Strategic Concerns” Don’t Justify Sealing Settlement Terms

Today, Judge Rakoff rejected an attempt by the parties in the Petrobras securities litigation (see our prior coverage here) to keep parts of the settlement agreement in that case out of the public record.  Judge Rakoff had previously rebuffed the parties’ request to keep parts of the settlement agreement confidential, and the parties had renewed … Continue Reading

Judge Oetken Refuses to Dismiss Complaint Alleging that Applebee’s Tabletop Tablets Force Patrons to Tip

In an opinion Friday, Judge Oetken refused to dismiss a putative class action brought by Applebee’s patrons who allege that the tabletop computer tablets at the Broadway and Times Square locations force customers to leave a minimum tip of either 15% or 18%, and thereby deceive customers into believing tipping is mandatory, in violation of … Continue Reading

Judge Forrest: Vegetarian Who Unwittingly Bought Fries Cooked in Beef Tallow Not “Injured” for Purposes of NY’s Consumer Fraud Law

In an opinion today, Judge Forrest dismissed a class action brought by a vegetarian who alleged she bought fries and mozzarella sticks at Buffalo Wild Wings without knowing that they were cooked in beef tallow. Judge Forrest found that, under the New York consumer protection law at issue, N.Y. Gen. Bus. L § 349, the … Continue Reading

Judge Cote Won’t Disqualify SEC Trial Team For Receiving Privileged Documents Via DOJ’s Search Warrant

Yesterday, Judge Cote declined a defendant’s request to disqualify the SEC’s entire trial team on the eve of trial after the SEC received allegedly privileged communications between the defendants and their counsel.  The documents were seized by federal agents during the execution of a search warrant and provided to federal prosecutors, who in turn provided them to the … Continue Reading

Judge Sweet: Fox News’s Statement that It Took “Decisive Action” After Assault Allegation Does Not Disparage the Unnamed Accused Assailant

This week, Judge Sweet dismissed a complaint brought by a former Fox News Latino vice president who was terminated after a Fox News contributor accused him of sexual assault.  According to the complaint, a joint statement by Fox News and the accuser published in a New York Times article — stating that Fox News took “decisive action” … Continue Reading

Judge Daniels Dismisses Emoluments Case Against President Trump on Standing Grounds

In an opinion today, Judge Daniels dismissed on standing grounds a suit challenging President Trump’s business dealings under the so-called Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses in the U.S. Constitution  (see our prior coverage here).  Judge Daniels concluded that the alleged “competitive injury” suffered by the “Hospitality Plaintiffs” who compete with President Trump’s hotels was not sufficient, … Continue Reading

Judge Carter Vacates Ruling at Both Sides’ Request To Facilitate Settlement

In a case concerning a loan default, Judge Carter agreed today to vacate a prior ruling finding that the borrower (the National Bank of Liberia) had waived sovereign immunity.  Judge Carter agreed with the parties that doing so would help foster a settlement of the matter: [T]he parties seek the Court’s assistance in facilitating settlement, … Continue Reading

Broadway Producers Sue to Bust Broadway Casting “Cartel”

In a complaint filed earlier this week, a group of Broadway producers accused various Broadway casting companies of “band[ing] together to form a casting cartel, enlisting the help of the Teamsters to force Broadway producers to engage in collective negotiations.”  The Broadway League, representing the producers, notes that “the market for casting services is highly … Continue Reading
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