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Civil Rights Suit Against an Arbitration Firm, Plus Constitutional Challenge to the New Jersey's Truth In Music Act

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By FindLaw Staff on August 06, 2010 7:06 PM

Singer Mgmt. Consultants, Inc. v. Milgram, 09-2238, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for attorney's fees, arising from plaintiff's suit seeking a TRO and preliminary injunction to restrain the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey from her allegedly unconstitutional enforcement of the New Jersey Deceptive Practices in Musical Performances Statute (Truth in Music Act).  In vacating the decision, the court remanded the matter for an order awarding reasonable attorney's fees and costs as the district court erred in holding that plaintiff was not a prevailing party because it "voluntarily" changed its interpretation of the Truth in Music Act.

Great W. Mining & Mineral Co. v. Fox Rothschild LLP, 09-3189, involved a plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a law firm and an alternative dispute resolution entity, claiming that its state-court losses were the result of a corrupt conspiracy between defendants and members of the Pennsylvania state judiciary to exchange favorable rulings for future employment as arbitrators with the arbitration firm.  In affirming the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim and denial of its motion for reconsideration and motions for leave to amend its complaint, the court held that the defendants' argument that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes the exercise of subject matter jurisdiction over this case is rejected as plaintiff is not complaining of injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and rejection of those judgments, but rather, plaintiff asserts an independent constitutional claim that the alleged conspiracy violated its right to be heard in an impartial forum.  Further, granting plaintiff leave to amend would have proved futile as even the final version of its complaint failed to plead facts plausibly suggesting a conspiratorial agreement.

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