Judge Gardephe last week ruled that the non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses found in the employment agreements for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign were void and unenforceable.  The action originally arose when the Trump campaign commenced an arbitration proceeding against a former staffer, claiming that she had breached the non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses by filing a complaint alleging sex discrimination claims in New York state court.  The present complaint was brought as a putative class action by former employees of the campaign, who sought a declaration that these provisions of the employment agreement were unenforceable.

Judge Gardephe granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, and focused on the breadth of the non-disclosure provision as a basis for finding it unenforceable:
Continue Reading Judge Gardephe: Trump Campaign NDAs Are Unenforceable

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 the jury.  Judge Gardephe then listed various ways in which plaintiff’s counsel was unprofessional, including:
Continue Reading Judge Gardephe: “Degrading” For Counsel to Refer to Female Adversary By Her First Name Before Jury

Today, Judge Gardephe dismissed with prejudice the amended complaint brought by two prominent “anti-aging” doctors against the nonprofit consumer advocacy website “Quackwatch.”  Last year, Judge Gardephe dismissed the original complaint, containing defamation claims based on an article reporting that the plaintiffs had agreed to pay fines to the Illinois licensing authorities for improperly using the term “M.D.” after their names (see our coverage here).  Plaintiffs’ amended complaint claimed that the defendant, a retired doctor who operates the “Quackwatch” site, had secretly contacted government officials in China and Malaysia to scuttle the plaintiffs’ valuable government contracts based on the allegedly defamatory article on “Quackwatch.”

Continue Reading Judge Gardephe Dismisses Renewed Defamation Claims by Anti-Aging Doctors Labeled as “Quacks”

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Gardephe dismissed a defamation complaint brought by two prominent doctors who practice “anti-aging” medicine (see coverage of them in the New York Times here) over an article on a nonprofit consumer advocacy website called “Quackwatch” reporting that they had agreed to pay fines to the Illinois licensing authorities for

In an opinion this week, Judge Gardephe granted the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss their own federal trademark claims, but found that the defendants’ declaratory judgment counterclaims were enough to preserve federal jurisdiction.  Defendant Chobani had alleged that the dismissal of the federal law claims was simply a tactic for the plaintiffs to attempt to defeat federal subject matter jurisdiction and effectively move the case to state court.

Continue Reading Judge Gardephe Allows Plaintiff to Dismiss Own Federal Patent Claims Against Chobani But Preserves Federal Jurisdiction

Last week, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred 25 actions pending in three districts to Judge Gardephe as part of a MDL concerning Treasury securities.  According to the Order, the actions all allege that “over 20 defendant banks conspired to manipulate Treasury securities auctions overseen by Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well

In an opinion dated Friday but released this morning, Judge Gardephe largely upheld subpoenas to a congressional committee and a staffer concerning allegedly unlawful stock trading under the STOCK Act, which essentially extended insider trading laws to Congress.  (See our previous coverage of the case here.)

Judge Gardephe found that the subpoenas were not