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Civil Procedure

Courthouse Steps: Microsoft v. Baker - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Cory L. Andrews March 23, 2017

On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Microsoft v. Baker. The case involves a class action lawsuit against the Microsoft Company by plaintiffs who alleged that during games on their Xbox video game console, the game disc would come loose and scratch the internal components of the device, permanently damaging the Xbox. Since only .4% of Xbox consoles experienced this issue, the district court determined that "a class action suit could not be certified and individuals in the suit would have to come forward on their own." The named plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice. The case was then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where the court overturned the lower court's decision and held that the district court misapplied the law and abused its discretion in removing the class action allegations.

As Microsoft v. Baker comes before the Supreme Court, the major question is whether or not appellate courts have the jurisdiction to review a class action suit after the plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice.

Featuring:

  • Cory L. Andrews, Senior Litigation Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation

In Re: Walgreen Co. Stockholder Litigation Update - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Theodore H. Frank February 24, 2017

According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, over 97% of mergers and acquisitions result in "strike suits," litigation seeking to enjoin a merger that often quickly settles for attorneys' fees and supplemental disclosures to shareholders. In In Re: Walgreen Co. Stockholder Litigation, 832 F.3d 718, a recent case over such a settlement, Judge Richard Posner called the practice a "racket," and the Seventh Circuit rejected the lawsuit’s claims. Meanwhile, Delaware and New York courts have come out on opposite sides of the issue.

Ted Frank of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who successfully argued Walgreen and has multiple appeals on the subject pending in other jurisdictions, discussed developments in the area over the last year and answer questions.

Featuring:

  • Theodore H. Frank, Senior Attorney & Director, Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF), CEI

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby Decided - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Lawrence S. Ebner January 18, 2017

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the respondent. The respondent, Cori Rigsby, violated the seal requirement of the False Claims Act (FCA) by disclosing her complaint against State Farm, regarding allegedly fraudulent actions taken post-Katrina, before the defendant was served. State Farm argued that the case should have been immediately dismissed due to the procedural violation. The question at hand was whether a claim made under the FCA should be dismissed because the complaining party violated the seal requirement.

Mr. Lawrence Ebner, founder of Capital Appellate Advocacy, author of multiple pieces on the case, and Counsel of Record on the DRI Amicus Brief in support of the petitioner, joined us to discuss the decision and its implications for the future.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Lawrence Ebner, Founder, Capital Appellate Advocacy

Courthouse Steps: State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Cory L. Andrews November 03, 2016

On Tuesday, November 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the case State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby. The defendant, Cori Rigsby, violated the seal requirement of the False Claims Act (FCA) by disclosing her complaint against State Farm before the defendant was served. Rigsby won her original case against State Farm under the FCA, but State Farm appealed, arguing that the U.S. Court of Appeals should immediately dismiss the case due to the procedural violation. The U.S. Court of Appeals refused to do so. The question the Supreme Court must answer is what standards should be used to determine whether a claim made under the False Claims Act should be dismissed because the complaining party violated the seal requirement?

Featuring:

  • Cory Andrews, Senior Litigation Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation

Changing the Rules of Discovery - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Alexander R. Dahl, A. Benjamin Spencer August 19, 2016

A “requester pays” amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) would require that those seeking discovery pay for its costs, moving federal civil litigation away from the current “American rule” that requires all parties to bear their own litigation expenses, including the costs of responding to discovery requests. Supporters of “requester pays” argue that discovery requests can be so broad and costs can be so high that they become a disincentive to defend. Opponents claim that the amendment would make legal proceedings even more expensive for individual litigants, who would be unable to pay for the discovery necessary to make a case against larger and more powerful defendants. Here to discuss this idea are Alex Dahl of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and Professor Benjamin Spencer of UVA School of Law.

Featuring:

  • Alexander R. Dahl, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
  • Prof. A. Benjamin Spencer, Earle K. Shawe Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law