In House: Litigation Archives
In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in Litigation Category

In case you haven't been reading the tabloids lately, Gawker, the Internet gossip site, is currently facing a $100 million lawsuit by Hulk Hogan, the 80's professional wrestling superstar.

Gawker, you see, posted an illicit video of Hogan having sex with a friend's wife, but the real shocker is how poorly Gawker's editors performed when deposed. Gawker's terrible showing is a helpful reminder to the rest of us: never cut corners when it comes to prepping high-level employees for litigation.

Last September, just as the Volkswagen emissions fraud was being revealed, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates declared that there would be significant changes to the way the Department of Justice handled corporate misdeeds. That memorandum, now known as the Yates Memo, made it clear that when corporations break the law, individuals will be held accountable.

Now, six months later, we're starting to see just how that might play out, and it could end up reducing corporate cooperation in enforcement actions.

For the first time ever, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits over sexual orientation discrimination.

Both suits are brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which does not explicitly prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Rather, the suits rely on the EEOC's relatively new interpretation that Title VII's prohibition on sex-based discrimination also covers anti-LGBT bias.

Perhaps you've been following #FreeKesha on Twitter, or seen her recent contract dispute pop up in the tabloids. Kesha, the pop star, recently lost a minor legal battle in her suit against Lukasz Sebastian, the record producer known as "Dr. Luke."

But don't write off the dispute as something just for the tabloids. There are important lessons for in-house counsel in there, too, we swear.

When it comes to high-profile litigation, the court of public opinion moves much faster than the courts of law. Managing your corporate reputation in such times is essential to mitigating potential damages to the company's brand. No one disagrees about that.

Yet, when it comes to protecting the corporate rep., many senior legal officers have outdated strategies or no strategies at all, according to the inaugural edition of Greentarget's Litigation Communication Survey.

Arbitration remains an essential litigation prevention tool, and one that's regularly been given favorable legal treatment by the Supreme Court and Congress.

But two recent opinions, one from the Supreme Court and one from the Fourth Circuit, serve as an important reminder of some of the limits to arbitration agreements, at least when it comes to choice of law provisions. Here's a quick review.

Life Will Get Tougher With E.U.'s New Patent Court

Most of the EU member state-countries have already signed on to ratify the Unified Patent Court agreement and only a few more states are left before this thing becomes reality. Rumor has it that Germany and the UK are already inking up and the UPC will be up and running by 2017.

Are You a Trademark Bully?

By now, we've all heard of patent trolls, but now is a good time for us to visit its lesser known cousin, the trademark bully. And yes, just like copyright bullies and the patent troll, they're not particularly loved. The reasons for their existence, unsurprisingly is related to the complexities of Intellectual Property practice.

Are you (or your company) a trademark bully? To find out, take a look at the list of symptoms below.

A former Yahoo manager is challenging the tech company's famous -- or infamous, depending on where you stand -- employee ranking system in federal court. Gregory Anderson, a former Yahoo editor, sued the company on Monday, alleging that the ranking system was used to violate both California and federal employment law.

A hallmark of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's reign at the company, the system requires supervisors to rank every employee on a scale of one to five, with those on the bottom often shown the door. But, Anderson's suit alleges, that merit-based ranking is often a smokescreen for getting around mass layoff laws.

It was a rough start and quick finish for the first trail over General Motors' defective ignition switches, which have left over 124 dead and many more injured. The first bellwether case fell apart last week as evidence emerged that the plaintiffs had lied about the extent of their injuries. The plaintiff dismissed his claim on Friday, after Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Furman said he had committed "a fraud on the court and on the jury."

So, what went wrong for the plaintiffs and so right for GM?