Preliminary Injunctions

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Crotty preliminarily enjoined New York State from enforcing unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”) regulations against a non-profit that counsels New Yorkers facing debt-collection actions (see our prior coverage here).

Judge Crotty found that UPL regulations were commonly upheld as regulating conduct, but, as applied to the that the program at issue, the UPL regulations governed speech:
Continue Reading Judge Crotty: Non-Profit’s Advice on Dealing With Debt Collection Actions Is Protected by First Amendment Against “Unauthorized Practice of Law” Regulations

In an opinion today, Judge Ramos denied a motion to preliminary enjoin recent changes to the admissions process for New York City’s eight elite, specialized schools, which generally admit students based solely on a highly competitive test.  Last summer, the City announced modified the criteria somewhat to set aside a larger proportion of each class for disadvantaged students, with the aim of creating greater diversity.

The challengers alleged that the changes discriminate against Asian-Americans, but Judge Ramos, in denying a preliminary injunction, found that they were unlikely to succeed on that claim:
Continue Reading Judge Ramos Refuses to Enjoin Initiative to Diversify NYC’s Elite “Specialized” Schools

In an order last week, Judge Oetken granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the purveyors of the cryptocurrency “AlibabaCoin” from continuing to use the marks of Alibaba Group, the global e-commerce company based in China.  According to Alibaba Group, defendants “published a variety of promotional materials that impermissibly use Alibaba’s trademarks in an effort to align AlibabaCoin with Alibaba in the minds of potential consumers.”

Notably, Judge Oetken addressed whether cryptocurrency transactions purportedly occurring in Belarus could be subject to personal jurisdiction in New York by analogizing cryptocurrency to debit card transactions:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken Enjoins “AlibabaCoin” from Using Alibaba Group’s Marks; Finds Personal Jurisdiction Over Cryptocurrency Transactions Made Using Blockchain in Belarus

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 to be purchased from Take-Two.  Take-Two alleged that the cheat software violated Take-Two’s copyright in “Grand Theft Auto V” and also violated the terms of the user agreement.

In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Stanton focused on the harm to both the public as well as Take-Two:
Continue Reading Judge Stanton Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Creator of “Grand Theft Auto V” Cheat Software

In an opinion today, Judge Oetken clarified a preliminary injunction granted to the maker of a product called “My Cinema Lightbox,” a backlit sign similar to old-fashioned movie theater displays (see image below), against a similar product called “My Marquee Lightbox.”   After winning its motion for a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff  began instructing retailers that they could no longer sell “My Marquee Lightbox.”  Judge Oetken clarified that the Order did not permit the plaintiff to do so:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken: Preliminary Injunction Winner in Trademark Case Cannot Direct Third Party Retailers to Stop Selling the Accused Product

In an opinion today, Judge McMahon preliminary enjoined a company called Matinee from using the phrase and logo “NYC Pride” to promote events that compete with those of the plaintiff, Heritage, the organizer of the LGBT’s community’s annual gay pride march and rally, which are scheduled for later this month. Matinee’s competing events include a performance by Azealia Banks, a singer who was heavily criticized for making allegedly homophobic comments directed at blogger Perez Hilton, and Judge McMahon found that Heritage would be irreparably harmed by the potential of being wrongly associated with the Banks controversy:
Continue Reading Judge McMahon Issues Preliminary Injunction to Block Unauthorized Use of “NYC Pride” to Promote Competing Pride Week Events

In an opinion today, Judge Nathan refused to issue a preliminary injunction that would required Aetna to alter the proxy materials by which it opposes two upcoming shareholder proposals seeking to require Aetna to provide more detail about its political contributions. The complaint alleges that Aetna’s prior opposition to similar proposals falsely claimed that Aetna already provided “robust” and “extensive” disclosure, when, in fact, Aetna omitted or misstated various political donations. Judge Nathan found that the plaintiff could not show “irreparable harm”:
Continue Reading Judge Nathan Refuses to Enjoin Allegedly “Uninformed” Shareholder Vote Relating to Aetna Political Donations

Yesterday, a group of merchants moved, on First Amendment Grounds, to enjoin a New York law that allows merchants to charge different prices for cash and credit card purchases, but prohibits them from calling the extra charge for credit card purchases a “surcharge”: The motion begins:
Continue Reading Merchants Move to Enjoin New York Law Against Describing Extra Charges to Credit Card Customers As “Surcharges”

In an opinion issued yesterday, Judge Engelmayer granted the motion of Level Global and the hedge funds’ management team to preliminarily enjoin their insurer, XL Specialty Insurance, from cutting off the advancement of legal fees. After Level Global and its managers became the subject of a criminal insider trading investigation by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in 2010, XL began advancing defense costs in connection with the investigation. On January 18 of this year, a day after indicting Level Global founder Anthony Chiasson, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office unsealed a guilty plea of a mid-level Level Global employee on insider trading charges. In the guilty plea, the employee allocuted to the following facts:

From 2007 to 2010 I agreed, with others, to commit securities fraud. Namely, I agreed to obtain, directly and indirectly, material non-public information from employees of public companies. I knew that the inside information I received was disclosed by the company employees in violation of duties of trust and confidence. I agreed to share that information with the other individuals at other companies as well as with others at the hedge fund where I worked. When I gave the inside information to the others at the hedge fund where I worked, I knew the information would be used to execute trades. Moreover, I did in fact obtain such information and provide it to others. For example, on August 27, 2008, I spoke with others at the hedge fund where I worked and discussed with them inside information that I obtained indirectly from an employee at [Dell].

On March 5, XL informed Level Global and its management that it would no longer advance legal fees as a result of the facts admitted in the guilty plea. The XL insurance policy that covered Level Global’s defense costs had been executed in April 2010, at which time Level Global’s general counsel had certified that no one at the firm had knowledge of any facts or circumstances that would give rise to a claim against Level Global. Based on the plea allocution, XL stated that an individual at the fund necessarily had knowledge of the facts that gave rise to the very claims against which Level Global and its management were defending, and thus XL was not required to pay costs associated with those claims. XL told Level Global that it would not advance further funds and asked Level Global to return all funds advanced — nearly three-quarters of the $10 million policy. On the same day it sent Level Global its letter, XL filed a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not obligated to advance funds and was entitled to restitution of funds advanced.
Continue Reading Judge Engelmayer Preliminarily Enjoins Insurer from Cutting off Advancement of Hedge Fund’s Legal Fees