The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern District while we were away:

  • Judge Berman vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.  Judge Berman concluded that “Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation.”

Continue Reading SDNY Blog Returns as Steptoe Blog

In an opinion Thursday, Judge Crotty granted Oprah Winfrey summary judgment in a case that was brought by a  motivational speaking business, Own Your Power Communications, Inc., and that accused Ms. Winfrey of wrongfully using the phrase “Own Your Power” in her magazine, on her website and elsewhere.  Judge Crotty found that the mark had not acquired “secondary meaning” and thus was not protectable:
Continue Reading Judge Crotty Dismisses Trademark Case Against Oprah Over Phrase “Own Your Power”

In a ruling yesterday, Judge Crotty dismissed a derivative action against fifteen JP Morgan Chase current and former executives and board members, including bank chief Jamie Dimon. The complaint alleged that that JP Morgan was damaged by six recent, high profile settlements with government agencies and private litigants that cost the firm billions. The

In a ruling this morning, Judge Crotty dismissed a pair of lawsuits that aimed to block the construction of a “massive, 70,000 square foot, 10-story tall” trash-transfer center at the East River on 91st Street in Manhattan. As Judge Crotty explained, the 91st location has had a long and important role in trash disposal in

In an opinion issued yesterday, Judge Crotty denied Goldman Sachs’ motion for reconsideration of his refusal to dismiss securities fraud claims that Goldman argued were inactionable “puffery.”  See our post on that decision here. Goldman had pointed to three subsequent Second Circuit opinions — in City of  Pontiac Policemen’s & Firemen’s Ret. Sys. v. UBS AG, Carpenters Pension Trust Fund of St. Louis v. Barclays PLC, and Boca Raton Firefighters & Police Pension Fund v. Bahash — that it argued had changed or clarified controlling law on puffery.  Judge Crotty disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Crotty: Three New Second Circuit Opinions on “Puffery” Do Not Merit Reconsideration in Goldman Case

Hedge fund Harbinger Capital and its manager Philip Falcone reached a settlement in principle last month to settle with the SEC by agreeing to pay $18 million and have Falcone be banned from the securities industry for two years.  A transcript from the argument on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the SEC’s case, which was recently released on the public docket, sheds some light on the risks and benefits of proceeding with litigation. At the outset of the argument, Judge Crotty appeared sympathetic to the defendants’ argument that there is nothing manipulative or wrong with a “short squeeze” — buying up securities to “squeeze” short sellers into paying more to cover their shorts:
Continue Reading Transcript Shows Risks for Harbinger, Falcone in SEC Case