Washington

  • April 11, 2024

    State Rules Can't 'Obliterate' Federal Rights, Justices Told

    The U.S. Supreme Court must clarify that states are categorically prohibited from requiring plaintiffs to exhaust local administrative remedies before pursuing claims that state officials violated federal rights, several Alabamans told the court Thursday, warning that state prerequisites obliterate federal rights.

  • April 11, 2024

    Chipotle Pays $2.9M To End Seattle Wage Violation Probe

    Fast-food chain Chipotle has agreed to pay nearly $2.9 million to more than 1,800 workers at eight of its restaurants in Seattle to resolve the city's investigation into employees' allegations that the employer violated local ordinances governing sick pay and scheduling, a city labor agency announced Thursday.

  • April 11, 2024

    Hospitals Responsible For Contract ER Docs, Justices Say

    Washington state's high court ruled on Thursday that hospitals may be held liable for alleged neglectfulness of contracted doctors working in their emergency rooms, reviving negligence claims against the medical center brought by the estate of a woman killed by a flesh-eating disease that ER caregivers allegedly failed to diagnose.

  • April 11, 2024

    9th Circ. Nixes 'Super Snap Removals' In Dexcom Suits

    The Ninth Circuit won't let Dexcom Inc. remove three suits alleging its glucose monitoring system is defective to federal court, saying its "super snap removal" motions were premature as they were filed before any of the cases actually commenced.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer Says Firm Not Covered For Bogus Check Scheme

    An insurance firm has filed a complaint in Washington federal court seeking a declaration that it doesn't owe coverage to a Seattle-area firm and its sole attorney, who are embroiled in litigation with a bank after the firm fell prey to a counterfeit check scheme.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Won't Rethink Ax Of Tribes 'Cultural Resource' Claims

    A Washington federal judge has refused to rethink his dismissal of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's claims for "tribal service losses" stemming from a smelter's Columbia River pollution, saying the tribes did not meet the standard required for reconsideration.

  • April 10, 2024

    Wash. Healthcare Workers Owed $100M In Wages, Jury Told

    Counsel for two classes encompassing more than 30,000 current and former healthcare workers told a Washington state jury on Wednesday that Providence Health & Services should pay nearly $100 million in damages for using an illegal time clock rounding method that shortchanged employees and failing to provide required meal breaks.

  • April 10, 2024

    Full 9th Circ. Asked To Rethink Tanker Seizure Ruling

    Several operators of liquid petroleum gas carrier vessels have petitioned the full Ninth Circuit to rethink a circuit panel ruling that a nearly 800-foot crude oil tanker cannot be seized to enforce approximately $10 million in arbitral awards against a defunct gas shipping company.

  • April 10, 2024

    Wash. Tribe Says $1M Fine Not Enough To Settle CWA Claims

    A Washington tribe is opposing a proposed consent decree that would settle Clean Water Act claims against a hydroelectric dam operator, arguing that a $1 million penalty is vastly too low for violations of the law when the damage continues.

  • April 10, 2024

    Colo. AG Says Kroger Divestiture Plan Is Best Left For Trial

    Colorado's attorney general wants a state judge to block Kroger and Albertsons from presenting evidence about a new divestiture plan at an upcoming hearing on the state's motion to temporarily block the grocers' merger, claiming the yet-to-be revealed plan is a strategy to "win by ambush."

  • April 10, 2024

    Milliman Tells Trial Judge It Has No Liability For 401(k) Losses

    Milliman Inc. said its directors had a limited duty related to alleged risky investments in employee retirement plans because responsibilities were delegated to a committee, in response to the Seattle federal judge who questioned during a trial's closing arguments Wednesday why the board "really didn't do much of anything."

  • April 10, 2024

    9th Circ. Mostly Affirms Industry Ban For COVID PPE Delays

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday largely upheld a district court's ruling requiring personal protective equipment suppliers to pay over $3 million after finding that they misrepresented the shipping times of hand sanitizer products at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while reversing the Federal Trade Commission's injunction against one of the companies' owners.

  • April 10, 2024

    Emissions Rules' Foes May Be Forced To Yield To Automakers

    Potential challengers of vehicle emissions rules were shown they're not necessarily in the drivers' seat on the issue when the D.C. Circuit upheld California's authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and run a zero-emission vehicles program while citing the auto industry's peace with the regulations.

  • April 10, 2024

    Skadden, Fenwick Lead $4.9B Alpine Immune Sciences Sale

    Biotechnology company Alpine Immune Sciences Inc., advised by Fenwick & West LLP, on Wednesday revealed that it has agreed to be bought by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., led by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, in a $4.9 billion cash deal.

  • April 10, 2024

    9th Circ. Doubts Calif.'s Standing In DOL Union Transit Fight

    The Ninth Circuit appeared open Wednesday to restoring the U.S. Department of Labor's power to deny California transit funding because of a perceived conflict between state pension law and bargaining rights, focusing on the state's standing in a dispute that began between the DOL and a union.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Coupang Atty Fights Bid To Toss Whistleblower Suit

    A former in-house attorney at South Korean conglomerate Coupang told a Washington federal judge this week that his whistleblower claims against the company are valid according to the terms of his employment contract.

  • April 10, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Arbitration Carveout Doesn't Apply To Cos.

    Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act only applies to humans, not companies, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Wednesday, affirming a Washington federal court decision shipping three Amazon workers' misclassification suit to arbitration.

  • April 10, 2024

    BCLP Adds Former Prosecutor As Trial Partner In Seattle

    One week after combining with a 12-member Seattle litigation group, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has added a litigation and investigations partner in the Emerald City, the firm said Wednesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Hotel, Restaurant Virus Losses Not Covered

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday said two groups of Washington state restaurants and hotels can't claim COVID-related business losses under their insurance policies because they failed to show they physically lost functional use of their properties as a result of the virus.

  • April 09, 2024

    Starbucks' Calif. Stores Lack Lactation Spaces, Suit Says

    A Starbucks employee brought a proposed class action in California state court on behalf of similarly situated workers in the Golden State over the coffeehouse chain's "systemic failure" to provide adequate lactation spaces and sufficient pumping time for nursing employees.

  • April 09, 2024

    Judge Says He'd Be Spooked By Mercedes Recall Notice

    A Washington federal judge hinted on Monday that a Mercedes-Benz driver likely had standing in a proposed class action after getting a recall notice about a potentially dangerous brake issue, with the judge remarking that such a warning would make him afraid to take his car on the road until an inspector cleared it.

  • April 09, 2024

    Wash. High Court Leaves Gun Magazine Ban In Place

    The Washington state Supreme Court has paused a judge's ruling that the state's law banning the sale of large-capacity magazines for firearms is unconstitutional.

  • April 09, 2024

    Carpenters Urge 9th Circ. To Restart Union Retirement Fight

    A group of carpenters urged the Ninth Circuit to revive allegations that their union's retirement plan trustees played fast and loose with their savings, saying Tuesday that the trustees should face claims that their risky investment choices caused two retirement plans to plummet in value when the pandemic hit.

  • April 09, 2024

    16 States Seek To Defend EPA Particulate Matter Rule

    A coalition of 16 states, New York City and Washington, D.C., has pushed to intervene before the D.C. Circuit in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent final rule tightening federal standards for fine particulate matter pollution, as it faces challenges from industry groups and Republican-led states.

  • April 09, 2024

    California Can Set Own Emissions Standards, DC Circ. Says

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles and run a zero-emission vehicles program, rejecting challenges filed by red states and industry groups.

Expert Analysis

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • What To Know About State-Level Health Data Privacy Laws

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    Companies that handle consumer health data, including those in the retail sector, should take a conservative approach when interpreting the scope of new health privacy laws in Washington, Nevada and Connecticut, which may include development of privacy notices, consent procedures, rights request response processes and processor contracts, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • How Activision Ruling Favors M&A Formalities Over Practice

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    The Delaware Chancery Court’s recent nod to a proposed class action, alleging shareholder notice violations in Activision Blizzard’s sale to Microsoft, puts practitioners on notice that customary merger and acquisition market practices do not offer protection from potential liability, say John Stigi and Eugene Choi at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Where 9th Circ. Lowe's Ruling Leaves PAGA Jurisprudence

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    Leah Kennedy and Carolyn Wheeler at Katz Banks discuss the legal landscape and controlling precedent around the Private Attorneys General Act that led to the Ninth Circuit's Johnson v. Lowe's decision last month on individual PAGA wage claims, and explore the open questions that it leaves.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Infringement Policy Lessons From 4th Circ. Sony Music Ruling

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    The Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Sony Music v. Cox Communications, which in part held that the internet service provider was liable for contributing to music copyright infringement, highlights the importance of reasonable policies to terminate repeat infringers, and provides guidance for litigating claims of secondary liability, say Benjamin Marks and Alexandra Blankman at Weil.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • Legal Considerations For Circular Economy Strategies

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    As circular economy goals — generating revenue at multiple points in a product's life cycle — become nearly ubiquitous in corporate sustainability practices, companies should reassess existing strategies by focusing on government incentives, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, say Rachel Saltzman and Erin Grisby at Hunton.

  • Opinion

    9th Circ. Nazi Art Theft Ruling Is Bad For Repatriation Cases

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    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation, holding that a Spanish museum doesn't have to return a Nazi-stolen painting to the original Jewish owners, spells trouble for future heirloom repatriation cases, which hinge on similar archaic laws, say Andrea Perez and Josh Sherman at Carrington Coleman.

  • Business Litigators Have A Source Of Untapped Fulfillment

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    As increasing numbers of attorneys struggle with stress and mental health issues, business litigators can find protection against burnout by remembering their important role in society — because fulfillment in one’s work isn’t just reserved for public interest lawyers, say Bennett Rawicki and Peter Bigelow at Hilgers Graben.

  • Series

    Skiing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    A lifetime of skiing has helped me develop important professional skills, and taught me that embracing challenges with a spirit of adventure can allow lawyers to push boundaries, expand their capabilities and ultimately excel in their careers, says Andrea Przybysz at Tucker Ellis.

  • Disney Copyright Expiration Spurs Trademark Questions

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    While the recent expiration of Disney’s Steamboat Willie copyright is not likely to have an immediate impact, it could provide clarity on the extent to which trademark rights in character names and appearance affect what others can do with characters from works whose copyright has expired, says Bryan Wheelock at Harness IP.

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