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Tesla Board Member Vows Defamation Action

Every lawyer knows that defamation cases are hard to win -- especially if your client is a public figure.

You have to get over the First Amendment, New York Times v. Sullivan, and all those privileges you learned in law school. Even if you can prove actual malice, the ultimate question is damages.

"It's not about the money," some clients say. But let's face it, some lawsuits are just not worth it.

CNN Faces Repeat of Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

If at first you don't succeed, add more plaintiffs?

That's apparently part of the strategy in re-filing a class action against CNN for racial discrimination. Atlanta lawyer Daniel R. Meachum sued the broadcast company earlier this year, only to have a federal judge dismiss it.

Meachum says he has 30 more plaintiffs to add to the original 175. But the judge didn't say it was about the numbers.

Grubhub Case With Implications for Gig Economy Is Bumping to a Close

It's not a good sign when the judge interrupts your argument to call your client a liar.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, suing Gubhub over how it pays drivers, was closing in the closely-watched case. If she wins, it could have deep impact on the gig economy.

The lawyer will have to get past the judge, however, who jumped in to say her client was untruthful and the "decision would reflect that." It's not over 'till it's over, but this seems like a pretty significant foreshadow.

Tort Reformers Dig at 'Judicial Hellhole'

New York City has a few nicknames.

"The Big Apple." "The Big City." "Hong Kong on the Hudson." And then there's "Judicial Hellhole."

That last one is courtesy of the American Tort Reform Association and businesses mired in asbestos litigation. ATRA, joining an amicus brief in a New York appellate division, has a problem with a recent order affecting asbestos cases there.

Corporate Liability for Overseas Torts -- Finally?

It 'beggars all belief,' attorney Paul Clement told the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawyer dragged out the medieval phrase to rail against a centuries-old law, the Alien Tort Statute. It was enacted in 1789, and Clement said it was unbelievable that his corporate client was being sued for torts abroad under the statute.

Corporations may have to become believers, however. Even though the Supreme Court has scaled back corporate liability recently, the justices listened carefully to arguments in Jesner v. Arab Bank.

L.L. Bean Sued for 'Outsider' Campaign

L.L. Bean, the 5,000-employee megastore, sells annually about $1.5 billion in boots, clothing, and outdoor equipment.

Alfwear, a 60-employee competitor, sells enough outdoor clothing to keep growing in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah.

So why is the little-known company suing the household name? Because the upstart owns "The Outsider" trademark, and L.L. Bean's ad campaign says, "Be an Outsider."

Oracle Sued for Unequally Paying Women

Altshuler Berzon, a small San Francisco firm, has taken on some giants in the Silicon Valley recently.

The 25-lawyer firm sued Google last month, alleging gender and pay discrimination. Not ones to rest on their pleadings, the attorneys are also suing Oracle on gender grounds. In some ways, the tech giants are easy pickings because the government made similar accusations against them last year.

Rasta Imposta, the makers of a generic banana costume, like the one made popular by the Peanut Butter Jelly Time flash video that took the internet by storm over a decade ago, has sued Kmart over their decision to sell a different generic banana costume. Rasta Imposta became a major player in the costume industry after creating the Rastafarian hat with attached dreadlocks. 

The lawsuit alleges that the competing generic banana costume infringes on the copyrights of Rasta Imposta, as well as forms the basis of unfair competition, trade dress infringement, and false advertising claims. However, central to the lawsuit will be the question of whether Rasta Imposta's generic banana costume's design is so generic that it is not entitled to copyright protection.

In a recently filed employment lawsuit against social media behemoth Facebook in the Northern District Court of Illinois, an employee is seeking class action status to pursue FLSA claims of overtime theft due to employee misclassification. Basically, the lawsuit alleges that Facebook's "Customer Solutions Managers," "Client Solutions Managers," "Account Managers," and other similar "manager" jobs, were not actually management jobs at all.

The plaintiff claims the jobs should not qualify for exempt status, and thus, these alleged "managers" should have been receiving overtime. If successful, many other media-type businesses might need to re-review employment classifications for similar positions.

Judge Greenlights Data-Breach Case

When Verizon bought Yahoo, it had to know that the mega data breach would come back to haunt the company.

Yahoo revealed during the acquisition that hackers got into 1.5 billion email accounts, including user information, passwords and other personal information. It translated into a discount purchase price from $4.83 billion to $4.48 billion -- but who's counting?

Apparently, 1.5 billion Yahoo account holders are counting. They have sued over the data breach, and a judge says they all have a case.

"All plaintiffs have alleged a risk of future identity theft, in addition to loss of value of their personal identification information," Judge Lucy Koh said.