In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Castel dismissed a case brought by three fraternity members against Rolling Stone magazine and one of its writers, Sabrina Erdely, who authored a discredited account of a woman referred to as “Jackie” claiming to have been gang raped at a fraternity at the University of Virginia.

Judge Castel found that the article was not specific enough to defame the plaintiffs.   For example, the article quotes Jackie as saying that the attackers encouraged one another with statements like “Don’t you want to be a brother?” and “We all had to do it, so you do, too” – language that Judge Castel found couldn’t plausibly suggest that every fraternity member was a rapist:
Continue Reading Judge Castel Rules Rolling Stone Article on UVA Rape Did Not Defame Fraternity Members

In an opinion dated yesterday, Judge Castel dismissed a suit challenging the proposed merger between a Chilean bank (Itau) and a Brazlian bank (CorpBanca) because the plaintiff, Cartica, was not a “purchaser” or “seller” in relation to the alleged fraud.  It was merely a stockholder. In doing so, he took one side of an issue that has divided the lower courts:
Continue Reading Judge Castel Rules 10(b) Claims Are Limited to Buyers and Sellers, Even in Injunction Cases

Judge Engelmayer issued an opinion yesterday resolving several motions in limine relating to an upcoming trial concerning the Beastie Boys’ suit accusing the makers of Monster Energy drinks of using Beastie Boys songs in promotional videos without authorization. Judge Engelmayer largely denied the Beastie Boys’ motion to exclude the testimony of Erich Joachimsthaler, a branding expert, who proposed to testify that the videos would not leave viewers with a lasting association between the Beastie Boys and Monster. He found that the testimony was “potentially relevant to the Beastie Boys’ actual damages” because “damages to the Beastie Boys would arguably be little, if any, if viewers would neither remember the Video nor retain from it an association between the Beastie Boys and Monster.” However, Judge Engelmayer was careful to limit the testimony to issues of damages, not liability:
Continue Reading In Beastie Boys Case, Judge Engelmayer Limits Lanham Act Damages to Cases of Willful Violations or Actual Confusion; Excludes Expert Testimony Failing “Laugh Test”

In an order today, Judge Castel explained why, although he approved over $150 million in attorney’s fees in a securities class action against Bank of America, he would not approve a request for $3.4 million from Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman and Swain, a firm that apparently played only a peripheral role for the class:
Continue Reading Judge Castel Denies $3.4 Million Fee Request for “Armchair Advice” in Securities Class Action