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Complex Civil Litigation

Courthouse Steps Decision: TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
William J. Brown, J. Devlin Hartline May 26, 2017

On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court handed down its unanimous opinion in the closely-watched TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC case. The patent venue statute provides that a domestic corporation may be sued for patent infringement anywhere the defendant “resides,” and the question before the Court was whether that rule incorporates the broader definition of corporate residence found in the general venue statute. The district court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit both held that it did, thus giving patent owners more choices of where they could sue for infringement. However, the Supreme Court reversed, holding that a corporate defendant only “resides” in its state of incorporation.

While the Supreme Court rested its opinion solely on the statutory language and its own precedent interpreting it, many of the arguments raised in the amicus brief supporting both sides focused on the policy implications. In particular, the briefs argued that the Court should consider the effect its decision would have on certain patent assertion entities (PAEs) or “patent trolls”—non-practicing patent owners who litigate their patents, oftentimes in the Eastern District of Texas. Whether such arguments persuaded the Court is unclear, though it is clear that the Court’s narrow rule for where patent owners may sue will change the litigation landscape for practicing and non-practicing entities alike.

Featuring:

  • Mr. William J. Brown, Jr., Managing Partner, Brown Wegner LLP
  • Prof. J. Devlin Hartline, Assistant Director, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Update: In re Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Jay Lefkowitz, Douglas G. Smith May 25, 2017

In a recent decision, the Third Circuit held that hundreds of state-law claims alleging that bone fractures were caused by an osteoporosis medication were not preempted by federal law. While defendants argued, and the district court agreed, that the record showed that the FDA would not have approved stronger warnings in the product labeling, the Third Circuit concluded that the record raised factual issues that should go to a jury. In doing so, the court rejected defendants’ contention that preemption was a purely legal issue for the court to decide and suggested that the evidence must show that there was a “high probability” that the FDA would have rejected stronger labeling in order to invoke preemption. Was the appellate court correct? How does its decision fit with other recent preemption cases? Jay Lefkowitz and Doug Smith joined us to discuss these and other issues relating to the court’s decision.

Featuring:

  • Jay P. Lefkowitz, P.C., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Douglas G. Smith, P.C., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Spokeo v. Robins: One Year Later - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Jeffrey S. Jacobson, Alan C. Raul May 18, 2017

When is an alleged injury “concrete and particularized” under Article III of the U.S. Constitution? Spokeo, a self-proclaimed “online people search” site, was sued by Thomas Robins for publishing false information about him, which he claimed damaged his employment prospects. After being dismissed by the District Court and the Ninth Circuit for failing to state an injury “in fact,” the case was appealed to the Supreme Court where, one year ago, a 6-2 decision saw the Court vacate and remand the case. Legal experts Jeffrey Jacobson and Alan Raul joined us as we discussed the lasting implications of this decision on its first anniversary.   

Featuring: 

  • Jeffrey S. Jacobson, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
  • Alan Charles Raul, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Fairness in Class Litigation Act - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Howard M. Erichson, Andrew Grossman April 03, 2017

On Saturday, March 11 the House passed the Fairness in Class Litigation Act by a vote of 220-201. The stated purpose of the Act is to “(1) assure fair and prompt recoveries for class members and multidistrict litigation plaintiffs; (2) diminish abuses in class action and mass tort litigation; and (3)  restore the intent of the framers…by ensuring Federal court consideration of interstate controversies of national importance consistent with diversity jurisdiction principles” (H.R.985, 2017).

The Bill amends the federal judicial code’s standards for the certification of class action. For example, the bill requires that proposed class members to show that they suffered the same type and degree of injury. The bill also limits the amount and timing of attorney’s fees in a class action. Attorney’s cannot be paid more than the class members, and they must be paid after the class members receive payment.

Andrew Grossman Partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP and Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute will join Professor Howard M. Erichson of Fordham to discuss the legislation as deliberations begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Featuring:

  • Professor Howard M. Erichson, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
  • Andrew Grossman, Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Adjunct Scholar, the Cato Institute

Freddie & Fannie Shareholder Litigation Update - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Jason A. Levine, John Carney March 02, 2017

During the 2008 financial crisis, Congress provided Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with billions of dollars in emergency funds to keep them afloat, supplemented by the investments of private investors who bet that these entities would return to profitability. In 2012, just as Fannie and Freddie were indeed becoming profitable again, the Government instituted a "net worth sweep" that required them to remit to the government nearly all of their profits every quarter. Fannie and Freddie have paid the government over $246 billion so far. In the process, the stock was rendered virtually worthless. Investors filed myriad lawsuits as the net worth sweep came into effect. After four years of litigation and an initial dismissal by the district court, the D.C. Circuit has now largely affirmed but also sent key contract-based claims for monetary relief back to the district court for further review. This Teleforum discusses this historic litigation, its implications for the housing market and the proper role of the Government, and the investors' prospects for success on their claims.

Featuring:

  • John Carney, Editor, Breitbart News
  • Jason A. Levine, Litigation Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP