How Appealing

Thursday, March 5, 2009

“Appellate court upholds no-fee decision in FLSA case involving law firm”: The Tampa Bay Business Journal today has an article that begins, “The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Tampa federal judge’s decision not to award attorney’s fees and costs to a paralegal who sued her former employer for overtime pay. The appellate court agreed that the attorney representing Christine Sahyers should have contacted the defendant law firm prior to filing suit. The court ruled the duty lawyers owe to others in the legal profession is more important than the duty owed to clients, according to its March 3 opinion.” (emphasis added).

My earlier coverage of Tuesday’s Eleventh Circuit ruling appears at this link (second item).

Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Palin bucks pressure in Supreme Court appointment; Selection went against push from Alaska Family Council”: This article appears today in The Anchorage Daily News.

Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“In the light of the Supreme Court’s clear language that, under the FAA, the statutory provisions are the exclusive grounds for vacatur, manifest disregard of the law as an independent, nonstatutory ground for setting aside an award must be abandoned and rejected.” So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a Federal Arbitration Act ruling issued today.

Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“California Supreme Court appears likely to uphold gay marriage ban”: Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has this news update.

Maura Dolan and Carol J. Williams of The Los Angeles Times have a news update headlined “California Supreme Court signals mixed response to Proposition 8; As both sides of the gay-marriage ban argue before the court, the justices sound hesitant to overturn the ban but also reluctant to invalidate the same-sex marriages already performed.”

The Sacramento Bee has a news update headlined “Justices hammer both sides in Prop. 8 hearing.”

The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update headlined “Court hears Prop. 8 arguments.”

The New York Times has a news update headlined “California Court Weighing Gay Marriage Ban.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Calif justices hear arguments in gay marriage case.”

Posted at 5:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“No Legal Shield in Drug Labeling, Justices Rule”: Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times. A related article is headlined “Drug Ruling Puts Devices in Spotlight.” And an editorial is entitled “A Win for Injured Patients.”

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that “Justices Rule Against Drug Company in Injury Case.”

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that “Supreme Court rules patients can sue drug makers; The justices, acting in a Vermont case, reject the Bush administration’s contention that drug companies should be shielded from lawsuits if their products were approved by the FDA.”

Joan Biskupic and Julie Appleby of USA Today report that “Court ruling backs drug lawsuits; Woman lost arm because of injection.”

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that “High Court Eases Way to Liability Lawsuits.” A related article reports that “Ruling Ripples Beyond Drug Firms.” And an editorial is entitled “Pre-empting Drug Innovation: So much for the ‘pro-business’ Court.”’s Tony Mauro reports that “Supreme Court’s Wyeth Ruling Deals a Blow to Pre-emption Defense; 6-3 decision highlights how pre-emption cases are not always decided along liberal-conservative lines.”

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Ruling says patients can sue drugmakers.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “High court upholds right to sue drugmakers.”

The Associated Press reports that “Victory bittersweet for drug liability case victim.”

Yesterday evening’s broadcast of the PBS program “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” contained a segment entitled “Supreme Court Allows Lawsuits against Pharmaceutical Companies to Move Forward” (transcript with links to audio and video) featuring Marcia Coyle.

And yesterday evening’s broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered” contained an audio segment entiteld “Court Rules For Musician In Drug Case” (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.

Posted at 1:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Missing trial tapes spawn an impasse; Stenographer denies she has them”: Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, “When they do their jobs right, court stenographers attract little attention. They tap quietly on a shorthand machine at more than 200 words a minute to make a record of testimony or repeat verbatim everything said in court into a tape recorder. But among the cast of characters, they seldom play a starring role. Jeanne Lentini, however, is getting a close-up, and not a flattering one. After working in the state courts under contract for eight years, she left Massachusetts in the spring of 2007 with tape recordings she made of 17 criminal and civil trials, court officials said. Despite demands to provide transcripts or return the tapes, which belong to the state, the officials said, she has sent back only seven recordings and some blank tapes. Transcripts are the lifeblood of the appeal process, so the missing tapes have stymied litigants in 10 criminal and civil cases, preventing them from challenging the verdicts.”

Posted at 1:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Calif. Justices Seem Skeptical About School’s Responsibility for Lost Cadaver; Lawsuit against University of California Regents alleges that UC-Irvine lost track of a body donated under the ‘willed body program'”: provides this report.

Posted at 1:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Three Strikes and You’re Out? Critics Seek Juror-Dismissal Cap.” Today in The Wall Street Journal, Nathan Koppel has an article that begins, “In the interest of fair trials, attorneys can dismiss people from jury pools for dressing strangely, for being fat, even for just looking at them funny. What lawyers can’t do is dismiss potential jurors based on their race, gender or ethnicity. Yet, attorneys and academics say, it happens all the time. To root out discrimination in the jury room, critics have called for a radical solution: Get rid of peremptory strikes, which typically allow lawyers to dismiss a limited number of jurors, no questions asked.”

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a statewide ballot initiative that was passed by a majority of California voters in November 2008”: So notes the web page of the California Channel, which will be offering a live webcast of today’s oral argument. The court’s web site also notes another online viewing option.

The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article headlined “March in the Castro on eve of Prop. 8 hearing.”

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Gay couples hold vigils urging justices to end Prop. 8; As opponents stage events across the state, backers prepare for today’s state Supreme Court hearing on November ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.” The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled “Gay marriage’s day in court: The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on Proposition 8.”

The Sacramento Bee reports that “Supreme Court hears Prop. 8 debate today.”

The San Jose Mercury News reports that “Gay-rights activists march in San Jose and San Francisco on eve of legal arguments.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “Gay-marriage supporters rally against Proposition 8.”

The New York Times reports that “California Court to Weigh Gay Marriage Ban.”

Yesterday’s edition of The Orange County Register contained an article headlined “Shifting values influence court rulings on gay marriage; Prop. 8’s ban on gay marriage goes before state Supreme Court on Thursday as homosexuals are gaining more rights.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Gay activists march in Calif. ahead of showdown.”

Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman