Westlaw Journals

Supreme Court hears argument over attorney fee dispute

From Westlaw Journal Bankruptcy: The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument Feb. 25 over whether Asarco LLC must pay the law firm Baker Botts $5 million for defending its initial claim for attorney fees after representing the mining company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The law firm may be in for “some tough sledding” in trying to recover the fees for defending its fee application, said bankruptcy attorney Michael Fletcher of Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato, who is not involved in the case.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Does the Clean Air Act preempt state common-law claims?

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: Recent decisions from the Iowa Supreme Court, a federal district court, a federal appellate court and a state appellate court may indicate a trend that the Clean Air Act does not preempt state common-law claims.

In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011), the U.S Supreme Court left open the question of whether the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401, preempts all state common-law claims.  That inquiry remains unsettled in the courts and presents a confusing dilemma for the energy industry.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Plaintiffs in $10 billion Illinois light-cigarette case seek judge’s ouster

From Westlaw Journal Tobacco: Plaintiffs in a 14-year-old light-cigarette class action that resulted in a $10 billion verdict that has been appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court are seeking recusal or disqualification of one of the court’s judges.

Named plaintiffs Sharon Price and Michael Fruth claim they have evidence showing Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier is biased in favor of defendant Philip Morris Inc.  They had unsuccessfully sought recusal or disqualification of the judge last September.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Ex-Alcoa worker urges appeals court to reinstate intentional-injury claim in mesothelioma case

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A former Alcoa Inc. worker suing the company for exposing him to asbestos says a Washington state court judge misinterpreted an exception to the state workers’ compensation statute that allows an employee to sue an employer for causing an intentional injury.

In a brief filed with the Washington Division 1 Court of Appeals, John Kalahar says the trial judge erred in ruling that his mesothelioma claim failed as an exception to the statute because he showed no signs of illness at the time of the alleged exposure.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

New York high court weighs in on $300 million ruling in swap dispute

From Westlaw Journal Derivatives: The New York Court of Appeals is sending a dispute between a bank and a hedge fund over swap agreements back to a trial court because fact questions exist as to which party defaulted under the agreements’ terms.

A state appellate panel previously held that Barclays Bank owed BDC Finance Ltd. nearly $300 million in collateral for several swaps after the bank failed to make timely payment on a collateral call.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Suit says Allstate overcharging Washington auto insurance customers

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: Allstate Corp. is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit in Washington state court for allegedly charging higher auto insurance premiums to customers unlikely to shop around for a better price.

The suit, filed by Allstate policyholders Joan and David Slocombe in the King County Superior Court, alleges the company bases some of its premiums on customers’ willingness to accept higher prices rather than on the risk they will cause an accident.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

FTC urges security, privacy for Web-connected devices and ‘Internet of Things’

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: With more than 25 billion Web-connected consumer devices expected by 2016, security and privacy remain top concerns for the “Internet of Things,” the Federal Trade Commission says in a recent report.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, has no widely accepted definition but generally refers to devices or sensors — other than computers, smartphones and tablets — that connect to the Internet or share information.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

No privilege for joint-client attorney communications, California appeals court rules

From Westlaw Journal Professional Liability: Communications between an attorney and joint clients that are relevant to a legal malpractice action by only one of the clients are not protected by the attorney-client privilege, a California appeals panel has ruled for the first time.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal held that a state evidentiary rule making attorney-client communications discoverable in legal malpractice actions applies when the attorney represents joint clients but only one sues for malpractice.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

‘Incentivizing good health: The legal issues presented by health-contingent wellness plans,’ by R. Scott Oswald, Esq., and Tom Harrington, Esq.

 

 

For a one-minute audio intro to the commentary, click here.

WestlawNext users: Click here to read the full article on WestlawNext.

R. Scott Oswald

R. Scott Oswald

Tom Harrington

Tom Harrington

9th Circuit won’t revive Zicam user’s toxic injury suit

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts:  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to disturb a summary judgment order for the former producer of Zicam nasal spray in the case of a user who alleged toxic ingredients in the product caused his permanent loss of smell.

The appeals court panel said a California federal judge correctly found plaintiff Michael D. Nelson failed to produce sufficient expert testimony on the cause of his injuries.

(more…)