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    The Lawletter Blog

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: No Due Process Violation in Application of Collateral Estoppel

    ESTATE PLANNING: Lifetime Gifts of Closely Held Business Stock to Family Members

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: EPA Prohibits Using Prior Salary in Establishing Initial Pay

    CREDITOR’S RIGHTS: IRS Form 1099-C—Reporting Requirement or Debt Extinguishment Trap?

    BANKRUPTCY: Reluctant Judicial Enforcement of Prepetition Automatic Stay Waivers

    INSURANCE: Automatic Revocation of Beneficiary upon Divorce

    ESTATES: Succession to the Estate of Charles Manson

    EMPLOYMENT: Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Unfair Competition

    CRIMINAL LAW: Fourth Amendment Applies to Cell Site Location Information

    TAX: Sales and Use Tax: The End of the “Physical Presence” Test

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Convicted Domestic Abuser's Gun Rights Go Up in Smoke

    PROPERTY: Do Short-Term Vacation Rentals Violate Covenant Prohibiting Commercial Activity or Use?

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Submission of Materials Outside the Pleadings in Response to a Rule 12(b)(6) or Rule 12(c) Motion

    CIVIL RIGHTS: SCOTUS Overturns Lower Courts' Conclusions on Probable Cause And Qualified Immunity

    TORTS: Is Your Computer Tracking You?

    BANKRUPTCY: Effect of Prior Bankruptcies on Civil Litigation

    WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Exclusivity—Employer’s Failure to Obtain Insurance

    PROPERTY/LANDLORD TENANT: Can a Tenant Use the Exclusionary Rule When Fighting an Eviction?

    CRIMINAL LAW:  Second Circuit Upholds Restrictions on Removing "Premises Licensed" Handguns from Premises

    FAMILY LAW: Social Security Dependency Benefits and Alimony

    CONTRACTS: The Importance of Distinguishing a Contracting Party from a Stranger

    PROPERTY:  Landlords' Liability to Guest of Tenant for Dog Bite Injury

    TORTS:  Expanding Virginia's Anti-SLAPP Legislation

    CRIMINAL LAW:  Was Traffic Stop Unlawfully Prolonged in Violation of Rodriguez?

    CONTRACTS:  Obligation to Support Parent Under Taiwanese Law

    CONTRACTS:  Like Oil and Water: Contract and Tort Claims Don't Mix in Virginia

    ESTATES: Removal of an Executor or Trustee

    PROPERTY:  Construction of Structure Blocking a Neighbor’s View Not a Nuisance

    LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT: State Is Immune from Liability for Sexual Abuse by Adopted Child

    Civil Procedure:  Laches in Cases Where Suit Is Commenced

    TORTS: Social Host's Legal Duty to Render First Aid

    PERSONAL INJURY: Comparative Fault in Crashworthiness Cases

    FRAUD: CFTC Sues Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme Operator

    CREDITORS RIGHTS/CONTRACTS LAW: Revoking Contractual Consent to Receive Creditor Phone Calls

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Similar Incident Evidence Admissible in Unintended Acceleration Case

    PROPERTY: Expansion of Easements by Necessity in Virginia

    CRIMINAL LAW: No Right to Use Forfeited Substitute Assets to Pay for Appeal Counsel

    Civil Rights Litigation: The Supreme Court Further Restricts Bivens Actions

    TAX: U.S. Tax Court Quotes Show Business Celebrity

    PROPERTY: Landlord's Liability for Collapsed Deck

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Long-Term Leave Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation

    CRIMINAL LAW: Digital Cameras Held Outside Scope of Search Incident to Arrest Exception

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Third Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Recognizing Right to Record Police

    PERSONAL INJURY: Suicide as Intervening Event

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: International Service of Process via Twitter

    TRUSTS: Creation/Timing of Self-Proving Affidavits

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Issue Preclusion Between Claims Arising Under Two Different Statutes

    PERSONAL INJURY: Effect of Injured Party's Immigration Status

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Are Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Employees Protected from Discrimination Under Title VII?

    EDUCATION LAW: Scotus Offers Circuits Guidance as to Scope of 20 U.S.C. § 1415(l) and the Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

    CONTRACTS: Breach-of-Contract Claims in Medical Malpractice Cases Require Breach of Additional Promise

    TORTS/SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY: Foreign-Country Exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act

    PATENT LAW: Laches Defense No Longer Available in Patent Infringement Cases

    MARITIME LAW: Is Consumption of Fuel Stores During a Hijacking Event Covered by General Average?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Due Process Demands Return of Court Costs, Fees, and Restitution When Conviction is Overturned

    CONTRACTS—Arbitration: Nonexistence of Designated Arbitral Institution at Time of Dispute May Void Mandatory Arbitration Requirement

    CRIMINAL LAW: Texas Good-Faith Exception to Exclusionary Rule Applied to Illegal Drug Sniff

    TAX:  Corporate Income Tax Reform

    ATTORNEY AND CLIENT: Attorneys Must Preserve Confidential Information While Executing Judgment for Fees

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Effect of Dismissal Without Prejudice in Mortgage Foreclosure Suits

    PROPERTY: Landlord and Tenant: Landlord's Waiver of Right to Charge Penalty for Late Rent Payment

    PROPERTY: Realtor's Written Contract with a Co-Owner Binding on the Other Owners

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:  Maryland "Assault Weapon" Ban Upheld by Fourth Circuit

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Objecting to Requests for Production under the Federal Rules

    Vanguard Profiles NLRG

    Federal Tort Claims Act—Effect of State Time Limitations

    TAX: Legal Issues Arising from Tax-Related Identity Theft

    FAMILY LAW: Custody Is Determined in Child's Home State, Not State Where Divorce Is Filed

    TRUSTS: Charitable Trusts and Bankruptcy Proceedings

    CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: Ninth Circuit Adopts "Plain Hearing" Doctrine

    PROPERTY: Flipper's Folly—Virginia Supreme Court Rules That Buyer Not Entitled to Reimbursement After Improving Wrong Property

    FAMILY LAW: Imputing Investment Income for Purposes of Spousal Support

    CRIMINAL LAW: Sentencing—New Rule in Johnson Was Substantive as Applied to Advisory Sentencing Guidelines

    PROPERTY/MORTGAGES: Implied Duty of Good Faith: Impact of Loan Modification Request

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Causation in an Equal Pay Act Retaliation Case

    CONTRACTS: Statute of Frauds No Bar to Parent’s Claim for Student Loan Repayment

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Strictly Construing Service of Process Rules to Devastating Effect

    ESTATES: The Inheritability of Digital Music Files

    PERSONAL INJURY: Hospital's Liability for Malpractice Based on Apparent Agency

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: The Attorney Testimony Rule—Attorney Affidavits and Summary Judgment

    BANKRUPTCY: Puerto Rico Debt Restructuring

    FAMILY LAW: Business Valuation Upon Divorce—Goodwill

    GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS: Supreme Court Decision Aids Veteran-Owned Business

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: NLRB "Search-for-Work" and "Interim Employment"

    TAX: IRS v. Facebook

    FAMILY LAW: Enforcing a Child Support Obligation Through Constructive Trust

    CRIMINAL LAW: Use of Risk Assessment Tools in Sentencing Upheld . . . For Now

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Use of Cell-Site Simulator Constitutes a Search

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Manufacturer Not Strictly Liable for Sale of Product Containing Defective Components

    PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT: "A Law" Does Not Include an Agency Regulation

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Achieving "Proportionality" in Discovery

    BANKRUPTCY: Rejection or Assumption of Executory Contracts Under 11 U.S.C. § 365

    WILLS: Execution Evidence—Testator Incapacity Due to Permanent Mental Impairment

    PERSONAL INJURY: Punitive Damages Awarded Against a Decedent's Estate

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: FMLA: Individual Liability and the Need for Clear Communication

    APPELLATE BRIEF WRITING: Mistakes Can Be Fatal to Your Case

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Recent Equal Pay Developments

    ATTORNEY-CLIENT: Colorado Retains the "Strict Privity Rule" for Malpractice in Estate Planning

    TAX: Inversions—Apple's Complex Web of Subsidiaries

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies for Retaliation Claims

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Traffic Stop—Length of Detention

    FAMILY LAW: Time Limits on Divorce Hearings

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Help America Vote Act Creates Individual Right Enforceable Through § 1983

    MORTGAGES: Mortgagor Entitled to Truth-in-Lending Disclosures Even if Not Personally Liable on Loan

    TRUSTS: Hostility Between Beneficiary and Trustee as Ground for Removal of Trustee

    CORPORATIONS: Nonresident Trust Company Fiduciary Power Reciprocity Statutes

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Relief in Federal District Court from a Fraudulently Obtained Remand Order

    TRADEMARKS: The Slants and the Redskins—Federal Circuit Rules That Excluding "Disparaging Remarks" Violates First Amendment

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Pregnancy Discrimination Under PDA: Supreme Court's Interpretation of Same-Treatment Clause in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

    MORTGAGES: A 2009 Amendment to the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g), Is Not Retroactive

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: What Statute of Limitations Governs Breach-of-Warranty Claims for Personal Injury?

    WRONGFUL DEATH: Apportioning Wrongful Death Proceeds Between Decedent's Survival Claim and Beneficiaries' Wrongful Death Claim

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Scope of the Commercial Activity Exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Strict Liability—Definition of "Product User" Expanded

    FAMILY LAW: Court Obtains Jurisdiction Under UCCJEA When Action Is Filed, and It Can Exercise Jurisdiction Even After All Parties Leave State

    CHURCHES: Constitutional Law—Ministerial Exception

    FAMILY LAW: Constitutionality of Grandparent Visitation Statutes

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Do Termination Reports Constitute "Publication"?

    TAX: Qualified Tuition Plans (QTPs)

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Medical Marijuana Statute—Probable Cause to Search Based Solely on the Smell of Marijuana

    CONTRACTS: Agreements to Negotiate Distinguished from Agreements to Agree

    PROPERTY: Drafting the Renewal Clause in a Lease

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Involuntary Commitment Scheme Violates Due Process

    PROPERTY: Duty of Mineral Rights Lessee/Purchaser to Inform Lessor/Vendor About Deal in Place to Resell Rights to Third Party for Much Higher Price

    BANKRUPTCY: Reopening a Federal Bankruptcy Case

    WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Compensability—Employment-Related Travel in Employer-Provided Vehicle

    PERSONAL INJURY: Nuisance Claims—Recovery for Emotional Distress

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Intracorporate Conspiracy Doctrine

    LABOR LAW: More on Deflategate

    CIVIL RIGHTS: A Civil Rights Civil War: Religious Observance and Educational Rights of the Disabled

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Filing of Postjudgment Motion Tolls Deadline to Move for Attorney's Fees

    PROPERTY: Enforceability of Clause in Residential Property Lease Seeking to Shield Landlord from Liability for Injuries Caused by Mold or Fungus

    FAMILY LAW: Delegation of Power to Decide Custody and Visitation

    TAX: Carly Fiorina, Multistate Income Taxation, and the Dormant Commerce Clause

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Warrantless Procurement of Cell Site Location Information

    FAMILY LAW: Did Actions of Alleged Father in Response to Custody Petition Amount to Consent to Court's Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction?

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Denial of Medical Care for an Inmate Was Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Right to Appeal Dismissal of Case Consolidated for Pretrial Proceedings in Multidistrict Litigation

    PROPERTY: Stranger-to-the-Deed Rule Did Not Invalidate Right of First Refusal

    PERSONAL INJURY: Negligence—Innkeeper's Duty When Evicting Guests

    CRIMINAL LAW: Supreme Court Allows Use of Three-Year-Old Child's Out-of-Court Statements About Abuse

    ESTATES: Assets—Gold Bars, Bullion, and Coins—Tangible or Intangible Property?

    TRADEMARKS: Effect in Court of Decision by TTAB

    FAMILY LAW: Support Guidelines and Retirement Benefits

    ARBITRATION: FAA Preempts N.Y. Statute Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts

    PUBLIC LAW: Ability to Obtain Shelter Is a Major Life Activity

    IMMIGRATION LAW: Analyzing State Drug Paraphernalia Offense for Purposes of Removal Under INA

    WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Collection and Jurisdiction in Multistate Workers' Compensation Cases

    LANDLORD-TENANT: Apartment Tenant May Have Claim for Breach of Implied Warranty of Habitability Based on Another Tenant's Harassing Behavior

    APPELLATE PROCEDURE: How Not to Use Out-of-State Authority When Writing an Appellate Brief

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Probable Cause for Search in Light of—Enactment of Medical Marijuana Law

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Circuits Split on Showing Required in Reverse Discrimination Cases

    BANKRUPTCY: Finality—Appealability

    TRUSTS: Dean Smith Payments to Players—NCAA Violation

    PROPERTY: Does Seller of Real Property Have Duty to Disclose That Property Is Haunted?

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Fighting Words Are Not Protected Speech

    FAMILY LAW: Laws of State of Domicile Govern Divorce of Couple Married in Another State

    ANTITRUST: Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Active-Supervision Prong of State-Action Immunity Test

    TAX: State and Local Sales Tax on Internet Sales of Goods

    ESTATES: Depletion of Eventual Probate Estate Through Inter Vivos Transfers

    PERSONAL INJURY: Does Medical Monitoring in Absence of Present Physical Injury Merit Award of Damages?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search Warrants—Good-Faith Exception

    BANKING LAW: Credit Card Issuer Prevails in Class Action Brought Under Credit CARD Act of 2009

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Expert Testimony Based on Unfounded Assumption Inadmissible

    CRIMINAL LAW: Prosecutorial Misconduct in Closing Argument

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Simultaneous Involvement in Cobell Settlement Claim Bars Plaintiffs' Mineral Lease Complaint Against United States

    MORTGAGES: Notice of the Truth Shall Set You Free: Timely Assertion of the Right of Rescission Under the Truth in Lending Act

    FAMILY LAW: Spousal Support in No-Guideline States

    TAX: Assessed Value Dispute—Robert De Niro's Hudson Valley Compound

    CRIMINAL LAW: Punitive Effect of Retroactive Application of Sex Offender Registration Requirements

    CORPORATIONS: Minority Shareholders—Appraisal Rights

    PROPERTY: Is an Oil and Gas Lease Subject to the Implied Covenant of Good Faith?

    FAMILY LAW: Modification of Alimony Agreement

    CORPORATIONS: Does the Business Judgment Rule Apply to Corporate Officers?

    ATTORNEY-CLIENT: Attorney's Fees Awards for Prevailing Civil Rights Plaintiffs Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988—The Special Circumstances Exception...

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Keeping Employment Policies Apace with Developments in Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity Discrimination

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Notice—Use of the Internet

    TORTS: Defamation—Absolute Privilege—Statements to Media

    PENSIONS: What Severance Contracts Are Subject to Federal ERISA Law?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Cell Phone Location Tracking

    IMMIGRATION LAW: Standard for Evaluating Criminal Conviction in Removal Proceedings Based on Conviction

    BANKRUPTCY: Chapter 13

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Electing Between Legal and Equitable Remedies

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Nonmanufacturing Seller May Be Liable

    ELECTION LAW: Government Regulation—Gaming—Constitutional Law

    FAMILY LAW: Equitable Distribution of the Family Pet

    CRIMINAL LAW: Juvenile Sentences—Retroactivity of Miller v. Alabama

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Florida District Court Weighs In on Preemption by Title VII

    TAX: IRS Announces Its Position on Bitcoin

    CREDITORS' RIGHTS: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Disclosure Notice Could Be Given Orally

    CONTRACTS: Memorandum of Understanding Was Not a Binding Contract

    TAX: "Material Participation" Required to Avoid Passive Activity Loss Rules

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Federal Court Jurisdiction

    PERSONAL INJURY: Comparing Compensatory Damages Awards to Evaluate Excessiveness of Punitive Damages Awards

    ESTATES: The Scope of the Probate Exception to Federal Jurisdiction

    CRIMINAL LAW: Warrantless Search of Cell Phones

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Supreme Court Holds 2012 Recess Appointments to NLRB Invalid

    CONTRACTS: Harsh Arbitration Provisions May Be Found to Be Unconscionable Under State Law

    CRIMINAL LAW: Driving Under the Influence of a Proscribed Drug or "Its Metabolite"

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Refining "Clearly Established" Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

    EVIDENCE: Evidence of Product or Design Defect Essential to Prevailing on Strict Products

    FAMILY LAW: Children, Cars, and Equitable Distribution

    CONTRACTS: Breach—Super Bowl Tickets—Failure to Provide Seating

    PATENTS: "Patent Trolling"—Award of Fees

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Warrantless Search of Motor Vehicle

    FAMILY LAW: Husband's Attempt to Avoid a Maryland Divorce by Claiming That His Marriage Was Invalid Is Rejected by Maryland's Highest Court

    CONTRACTS: Supreme Court Again Enforces Arbitration Clause Prohibiting Classwide Arbitration

    MORTGAGES: Mortgagor's Standing to Challenge Enforceability of Mortgage Based on Alleged Violations of Pooling and Servicing Agreement

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Handgun Ordinances Survive Second Amendment Scrutiny

    PERSONAL INJURY: Attractive Nuisance Doctrine as Applied to Licensees

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Cell Phone

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Religious Harassment in Workplace—Cautionary Tale for Employers

    ADMIRALTY: Limitation of Liability—Third-Party Practice

    CONTRACTS: Forum-Selection Clause—Enforcing by 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) Motion to Transfer Venue

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: To Be "Clearly Established" or Not "Clearly Established": That Is the Question

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Free Speech in the Public Workplace

    BANKRUPTCY: Definition of "Defalcation" Under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4)

    PENSIONS: ERISA—State Law Waivers

    FAMILY LAW: Attorney's Fees—Delaying the Case

    CONTRACTS: Construction Contracts—Mechanic's Liens—Constitutionality

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Disability Discrimination in Public Employment: Circuits Split on Applicability of Title II

    FAMILY LAW: New York Court Recognizes Validity of Pakistani Talaq Divorce

    CONTRACTS: Florida Limits "Economic Loss Rule" to Products Liability Cases

    PROPERTY—ANTIASSIGNMENT CLAUSES: Provision in Oil and Gas Lease Enforceable Even Though Lessors Cashed Royalty Checks After Assignment

    PERSONAL INJURY: Injured Student Assumed Risk of Voluntary Recreational Activity

    WILLS & ESTATES: Unadopted Stepchildren as Intestate Heirs

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Consent to Search—Cotenants of Leased Property

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA")

    TORTS: Economic Loss Doctrine as a Bar to Negligent Misrepresentation Claims

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Reading a Product Warning Constitutes "Use" of the Product

    CRIMINAL LAW: Limits on Prosecution of Consensual Sexual Relations

    PUBLIC LAW: Lanham Act's Prohibition of Trademarking Governmental Insignia Applies Even to the Governmental Entity Itself

    CONTRACTS: Cyberlaw—Signed Email Constitutes Binding Legal Agreement

    FAMILY LAW: Is DOMA § 2 Next?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Retroactivity of Supreme Court Decision in Padilla v. Kentucky

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Does Title VII Permit Claims Against Supervisory Individuals in Their Official Capacities?

    LABOR LAW: "Living Wage" and the Fair Labor Standards Act

    ESTATES: Estate Plan of James Gandolfini

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Pleading a "Plausible" Claim in Federal Court: The Proper Application of the Plausibility Requirement

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: No False Imprisonment Claims for Teacher Arrested for Grabbing First

    PROPERTY: Farmer's Music Concerts on His Farm Were Not Protected by the Tennessee Right to Farm Act

    WILLS & ESTATES: Same-Sex Couples

    TAX: Representing the "Innocent Spouse"

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure: Taking of DNA Samples from Criminal Suspects

    PERSONAL INJURY: Applying the "Golden Rule" to Liability Arguments

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Comprehensive Employment Policies: A Necessary Tool to Avoiding Damages and Liability

    FAMILY LAW: Hague Convention—When Children Are at Risk of Abduction to Nonsignatory Countries

    CRIMINAL LAW: False Confessions—Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Remittitur

    MORTGAGES: Standing of Mortgagee Assignee to Bring Foreclosure Action

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search Warrant Requirement—Drunk Driving—No Per Se Exigency for Exception to Warrant Requirement

    COPYRIGHTS: First-Sale Doctrine—Importation

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY UPDATE: The "Other Property" Exception to the Economic Loss Rule in Tort Claims

    Choice-Of-Law Issues After United States v. Windsor

    TAX & ESTATES UPDATE: IRAs—Designation of Beneficiaries

    TAX: Sales—Lap Dance Fees

    FAMILY LAW: Proving the Consumer Price Index

    PERSONAL INJURY: Tort of Malicious Prosecution Is Expanded in Hawaii

    ESTATES: Intestate Distribution—Timing of Application of Half-Blood Reduction-in-Share Statute

    CRIMINAL LAW: Gun Restrictions

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: District of Columbia Circuit Holds 2012 Recess Appointments to NLRB Invalid

    TAX: Tax-Free Rollover into an Individual Retirement Account

    CRIMINAL LAW: Driver Using Cell Phone Convicted of Negligent Homicide

    CONSUMER PROTECTION: A Merchant Could Be Liable for Requiring a Customer Using a Credit Card to Give His or Her ZIP Code

    PERSONAL INJURY LAW UPDATE: "Baseball Rule" Does Not Apply in Idaho

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Silence Is Not Obstruction of Police

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Right to Effective Counsel During Plea Negotiations

    BANKRUPTCY: Judicial Estoppel in Post-Bankruptcy Court State Court Actions

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Yackety-Yack, Don't Talk Back—Criticism of a Police Officer

    CRIMINAL LAW: Determining the Reliability of Eyewitness Identification Under the Rules of Evidence

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Florida Court Treats Independent Contractor as Employee for Purposes of Enforcing Covenant Not to Compete

    TRUSTS & ESTATES AND TAX LAW UPDATE: IRS Recognition of a Postmortem Modification or Reformation of a Decedent's Trust

    BUSINESS LAW UPDATE: New or Proposed State Legislation Impacting Businesses

    FAMILY LAW UPDATE: Modification of Orders Setting the Date of Valuation

    WILLS: Will Substitutes—Duplication of Gift

    COPYRIGHT: Statutory Damages—Limit on Punitive Damages Award

    FAMILY LAW: Use of Options in Dividing Marital Property: The Question of Time

    CIVIL RIGHTS: The EEOC's Presuit Conciliation Obligation—When Is It Satisfied?

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY UPDATE: U.S. District Court in Texas Considers Numerous Choice-of-Law Issues in Applying Hawaii Substantive Law to Plaintiffs' Claims

    COMMERCIAL LAW: Mortgagee Not Liable for Its Servicer's Truth-in-Lending Violation

    CRIMINAL LAW: Sentencing Guidelines—Ex Post Facto

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

    MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Montana Supreme Court Recognizes Cause of Action for Negligent Credentialing

    TRUSTS & ESTATES: Creation of Beneficial Interests Through Adult Adoption

    PROPERTY LAW UPDATE: A Brief Synopsis of RESPA's "Qualified Written Request"

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Recovery of Costs in Federal Court by Prevailing Party

    FAMILY LAW: Common-Law Marriage—Mistaken Belief in Validity of Marriage

    CRIMINAL LAW: GPS Device Placed on Car Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

    TAX: Expensing the Cost of Developing a Vineyard

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Reliability of Narcotics Dogs to Be Revisited by U.S. Supreme Court

    PERSONAL INJURY LAW UPDATE: Cause of Action for Wrongful Death of Nonviable Fetus

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Limited Federal Law Options for State Employee Claiming Disability Discrimination

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: How Not to Execute Service of Process

    CREDITORS' RIGHTS: Ability of Judgment Creditor to Garnish Protected Assets After Deposit into Debtor's Account

    SCHOOLS: The ABCs of IEPs: After-the-Fact Explanations Offered to Bolster Deficient Written Plans

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Reliability of Narcotics Dogs to Be Revisited by U.S. Supreme Court

    TORTS: Katrina Litigation and Governmental Immunity

    FAMILY LAW: Marital Property Titled in the Name of Third Parties

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Conflicting Ninth Circuit Equal Protection Analyses Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

    ESTATES: Who Keeps the Ring?—Effect of Termination of Engagement

    The Duty of a Trustee to Diversify Investments

    BUSINESS LAW UPDATE: MARS Rule—Federal Government Launches Concerted Action Involving Fraud and Corruption in the Bank Mortgage Industry, Including Activities by Loan Modification Companies and Attorn

    CRIMINAL LAW: Tracking Suspect by Cell Phone GPS

    WILLS: The Digital Will

    PERSONAL INJURY: Preinjury Release of Child's Personal Injury Claim Held Invalid

    CONTRACTS: "Plain Language" Versus "Legalese"

    ZONING: A Variance by Any Other Name . . . Is Not a Variance

    FAMILY LAW UPDATE: Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance

    TAX: Recreational and Social Clubs—Loss of Tax Exemption Due to Use by Nonmembers

    MORTGAGES: Servicer's Failure to Sign and Return Loan Modification Agreement Did Not Preclude Enforcement by Borrower

    FAMILY LAW: Paternity Fraud Action Allowed Where Payments Were Made Voluntarily

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Pleading Affirmative Defenses in Federal Court After Twombly and Iqbal

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY UPDATE: Sixth Circuit Finds Drug Manufacturer Entitled to Immunity Despite Claims of Fraud on the FDA

    PROPERTY LAW UPDATE: City Must Face Adverse Possession Claim . . . At Least for Now

    TRADEMARKS: Law of Competition—Unfair Competition

    CRIMINAL LAW: Long Reach of Immigration Laws

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: The Separation of Church and High School Graduation Under the Establishment Clause

    BANKING LAW: Expanded Money-Laundering Laws Unavailing to Bank Customers Seeking Private Right of Action

    PERSONAL INJURY LAW UPDATE: Establishing Liability for Invasion of Privacy

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Shopper Can't Sue Store for Racial Mistreatment Under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 or via a Claim for Emotional Distress

    FAMILY LAW: Divorcing Parties and Joint Tax Returns

    ESTATES: Escheat of Decedent's Estate

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Retaliation Exception to Exhaustion Requirement Ruled Not Abrogated by Morgan

    CRIMINAL LAW: Sentencing—Apprendi Applies to Criminal Fines

    TAX LAW UPDATE: Codification of the "Economic Substance Doctrine"

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Many More Successful Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings for Criminal Defendants Alleging Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

    TORTS: Tortious Interference with Parental Rights

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: State Law Claims Involving Hip Prosthesis Preempted by the Medical Device Amendments to the FDCA

    INSURANCE LAW: Elements of "General Average" Risk Applicable to Maritime Piracy

    FAMILY LAW: Child Support Guidelines Authorize Payment from Custodial Parent to Noncustodial Parent

    CRIMINAL LAW: Retroactivity of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Taxation of Fees for Electronic Discovery

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Police Can Be Sued Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Arresting Plaintiff in Safe Location and Releasing Her in Dangerous Neighborhood

    TAX: Postmortem Reformation of a Trust in Order to Preserve the Settlor's Intended Tax Objectives

    FAMILY LAW: Jurisdiction for Modification of Spousal Support Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

    BUSINESS LAW UPDATE: Developments in the Allocation of Risk and Liability in the Emerging Field of Green Construction

    FAMILY LAW UPDATE: Transfers for Grossly Inadequate Consideration: Gift or Sale?

    MORTGAGES: HAMP Provides No Private Right of Action to Struggling Homeowner Against Lender

    PROPERTY: RESPA Does Not Prohibit a Single Settlement‑Service Provider's Retention of an Unearned Fee

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Judge Doesn't "Like" Plaintiffs' Facebook Theory

    CHURCHES: Theories of Deciding Church Property Disputes

    CRIMINAL LAW: Habeas Corpus

    EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE: Legislation Banning Employer Requests for Social Media Information

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY UPDATE: U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms $16.5 Million Pain and Suffering Award to Injured User of Anti-Inflammatory Drug

    FAMILY LAW: Worthless Madoff Asset Not Deemed "Mutual Mistake" So As to Reopen Settlement Agreement Postdivorce

    CRIMINAL LAW: Federal Sentences—Ordering Sentence to Run Concurrently with or Consecutively to an Anticipated State Sentence

    CORPORATIONS: Limited Liability Companies

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Reach of the Federal Housing Act with Regard to Postacquisition Discrimination

    PROPERTY LAW UPDATE: Foreclosure, Removal, and Attorney's Fees: A Case Study

    PERSONAL INJURY & INSURANCE LAW UPDATE: Umbrella Liability Policies—Must They Provide UM/UIM Coverage?

    TORTS: Negligence/Liability of DNA Testing Laboratory

    TORTS: Trespass: Privileged Entry

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Federal Law Preempts Texas Fraud-on-the-FDA Rebuttal Statute

    FAMILY LAW: Referring Disputed Custody Issues to Guardians or Other Third Parties

    CRIMINAL LAW: Death Penalty—Use of Foreign Sodium Thiopental

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Graduate Student Can Bring Title IX Retaliation Claim

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel Extended to Plea Bargains

    FAMILY LAW: Paternity by Estoppel Enforced When in Best Interests of Child

    ELDER LAW: Standing to Sue the Attorney-in-Fact Named in a Power-of-Attorney Document

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Medical School Not Liable for Dismissal of Disabled Student

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: When Is a Procedural Rule "Jurisdictional"?

    TRUSTS & ESTATES, WILLS, AND TAX LAW UPDATE: Tax-Exempt Organizations: Political Activities

    BUSINESS LAW UPDATE: Enforceability of an Arbitration Agreement When the Specified Arbitrator Has Agreed to Cease Administering and Participating in All Consumer Arbitration

    PUBLIC LAW: Consumer Protection—Obligation to Arbitrate

    LABOR LAW: Fourth Circuit Holds FLSA's "Filed Any Complaint" Clause Applicable to Intracompany Complaints

    INDIAN LAW: Indian Tribe Sovereign Immunity

    CORPORATIONS: A Manager's Fiduciary Duty Under the Delaware LLC Act

    PENSIONS: ERISA—Effect of Designated Beneficiary's Waiver of Benefits

    FAMILY LAW: Proceeds of Fraud as Marital Property

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Availability of a Cause of Action Under §§ 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Attachment by Police of GPS Device to Vehicle Constitutes a Search

    Fifth Circuit Reverses District Court's Judgment That Hip Replacement Claims Were Preempted by Medical Device Amendments

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Screening of Airline Passengers Withstands Constitutional and Statutory Challenges

    TORTS: Negligent Misrepresentation—Economic Loss Rule

    CRIMINAL LAW: Discovery

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Sovereign Immunity of Virginia Water Authorities

    "It's Not Delivery. It's DiGiorno®."—A Short Note on TILA's Notice and Delivery Requirements

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Illegal Workers Law Against Preemption Challenge

    TAX: IRS's Right to Examine a Taxpayer's E-Mails

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Business Could Be Liable Under Privacy Law for Secret Monitoring of Calls Between Employees and Customers

    PROPERTY: Seller of Home May Be Liable to Purchasers for Failure to Disclose a Murder-Suicide Involving the Home's Prior Owners

    PERSONAL INJURY LAW UPDATE: Medical Malpractice—Effect of Treatment Expense on Potential Liability

    PUBLIC LAW UPDATE: Bulk Purchases of Drivers' Records Okay Under Federal Privacy Law

    HEALTH LAW: Patient Privacy Interests: At Odds with Medical Advancement?

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: The Difference Between "Legislative Prayer" and "School Prayer"

    CRIMINAL LAW: Third Circuit Court of Appeals First to Consider Sentence Enhancement Under 18 U.S.C. § 3147

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Determining Federal Preemption in a State Tort Passenger Seatbelt Action

    Criminal Fines—Applicability of Apprendi v. New Jersey

    CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE: Eyewitness Identification

    BUSINESS LAW UPDATE: Effect of Corporate Bankruptcy Filing on Creditor's Alter Ego Claims

    TRUSTS: Judicial Evaluation of a Trustee's Exercise of Discretion

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Overtime Compensation: Factual Specificity Required to State a Claim in the Wake of Twombley and Iqbal

    BANKRUPTCY: Jurisdiction

    FAMILY LAW: Stock Options—Classification

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Federal Law Preempts State Laws Requiring Generic Drug Manufacturers to Change Labels on Drugs

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: New NLRB Rule Mandates Posting of Employee Union Rights

    CRIMINAL LAW: Timing Issues Regarding the Fair Sentencing Act

    PROPERTY: Adverse Possession—Assertion of a "Claim of Right"

    PROPERTY LAW: What Constitutes Unearned Fees Charged to Borrowers Under RESPA § 8(b)?

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: New NLRB Rule Mandates Posting of Employee Union Rights

    INSURANCE LAW: Survivor's Benefits Under the Black Lung Benefits Act

    PUBLIC LAW: Bullying of Disabled Student May Violate Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: No Violation of Right of Association When Disciplined Public Employee Hires Lawyer

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Supreme Court Rejects General Jurisdiction over Nonresident Defendants Under "Stream of Commerce" Theory

    FAMILY LAW: Parental Relocation

    PROPERTY: Vendor's Purchase-Money Mortgage Priority over Third-Party Purchase-Money Mortgage

    CONTRACTS: Internet Job Posting Ruled Not Solicitation or Inducement

    WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Workplace Stress-Induced Suicide May Be Compensable Under Workers' Compensation Law

    SCHOOLS/SOCIAL NETWORKING: MySpace: A 2011 Odyssey—School-Imposed Discipline for Off-Campus Internet Speech

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Is the Statute of Limitations in Individual Products Liability Actions Equitably Tolled During the Pendency of a Class Action in Another Jurisdiction?

    PROPERTY: RESPA Prohibition Against Charging of Fees Except for Services Actually Performed May Not Require Multiple Service Providers

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Warrantless Use of GPS Device on Defendant's Vehicle Found to Be a "Search"

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Retaliation for Opposition to Discrimination

    FAMILY LAW: Tax Savings as Marital Property

    WILLS: Integrated Documents as a Valid Will

    BANKRUPTCY: Unsecured Claims—"Chapter 20" Cases

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Court of Another State Was Not an Alternate Forum

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Employer Not Liable for Age Discrimination Under "Cat's Paw" Theory

    PROPERTY: Nonconforming Use Zoning Controversy Hinges on Whether Use Was Permissive, Adverse, or Trespass

    TORTS: Negligence—Hotel's Liability for Theft of Guest's Vehicle

    CRIMINAL LAW: Supreme Court Rules Children Entitled to More Than Standard Miranda Warnings

    PROPERTY LAW: Mortgages, Merger, and Mayhem: Foreclosing Mortgagee's Omission of Junior Lienholder

    TAX: Waiver of 60-Day Limitations Period on a Tax-Free Rollover from an IRA Because of an Error by the Taxpayer's Financial Advisor

    PROPERTY: Nominal Damages May Support Award of Punitive Damages in a Harmless but Intentional Trespass Action

    FAMILY LAW: Grandparents' Petition for Visitation with Adopted Grandchild Denied

    CONTRACTS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION: Supreme Court Weighs in on Enforceability of Arbitration Clause Prohibiting Classwide Arbitration

    UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: Emotional Distress Claimant Qualifies for Benefits

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Statute of Limitations Not Triggered by Earlier-Discovered Disease

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Obtaining Service of Process on a Foreign Defendant

    BANKRUPTCY: Student Loans: When Is the Debt Dischargeable?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Fourth Amendment: Government Access to Private E-Mails

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Accommodating Employees' Religious Observances and Practices

    CRIMINAL LAW: Search and Seizure—Dog "Sniff Test" at Front Door of Private Residence

    FAMILY LAW: Equalizing Monetary Awards

    WILLS: Relaxation of Requirements for Executing a Will

    COMMERCIAL LAW: Mortgage Foreclosure—Stay

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Supreme Court Applies Proximate Cause Analysis to USERRA "Cat's Paw" Case

    INSURANCE: Life Insurance—Insurer's Right to Rescind After Incontestability Period Ends

    INSURANCE: The MCS-90 Motor Carrier Insurance Surety Endorsement

    PROPERTY: Intentional Damage to Neighbor's Easement Leads to Charge of Malicious Mischief Against Property of Another

    CRIMINAL LAW AND CIVIL RIGHTS: Due Process—Posttrial Right to Access Evidence for DNA Testing in Civil Rights Action

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: Educational Warnings Regarding Drug Discussed in the Context of Removal

    PROPERTY: No Private Right of Action Under the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP")

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Is Denial of Summary Judgment Appealable After Trial on the Merits?

    EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Employer Can't Force Discrimination Plaintiffs to Submit to Testing of Personalities and Emotional States

    PROPERTY: Acquisition of a Prescriptive Easement by a Class of Persons

    PERSONAL INJURY: The Effect of a Patient's Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: State Law Failure-to-Warn Claims Not Preempted by FDCA

    ARBITRATION: Judicial Intervention

    SCHOOLS: School Districts' Standing to Seek Redress from States Under IDEA

    SCHOOLS: Teacher Immunity—In-School and on Field Trips

    PUBLIC LAW: Large Class Size as Disability Discrimination Against Teachers

    Convicted Defendants' Access to DNA Evidence

    WILLS: Contests: Relationship Between Undue Influence and Fraud

    CRIMINAL LAW: Supreme Court Applies Strict Standard to Federal Habeas Corpus Review of State Conviction

    BANKRUPTCY: Qualification of Debtor—Means Test

    FAMILY LAW: Errors on Mandatory Financial Statements

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Allocating Fees for Frivolous Claims

    CRIMINAL LAW: More on the Confrontation Clause from the U.S. Supreme Court

    WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Workers' Compensation as Exclusive Remedy for Terminated Employee

    LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Church Building Saved by Historic District Designation

    CRIMINAL LAW: Unlawful Access of Computers

    ADMIRALTY: The Reverse-Erie Doctrine: Saving to Suitors Clause

    CYBERLAW: Potential Liability for Operating a Website

    SCHOOLS: Preinjury School Trip Release Unenforceable

    PROPERTY: RESPA Prohibition Against Charging of Fees Except for Services Actually Performed May Not Require Multiple Service Providers

    CONTRACTS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION: Enforceability of Arbitration Clause Prohibiting Classwide Arbitration

    STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: The Shaky Ground of the Citizens-Only Provision of Virginia's Freedom of Information Act

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Town Hit with Judgment Under Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

    TORTS: Parental Immunity Bars a Suit Against Parent for Negligent Supervision in Daughter's Drowning

    ESTATES: Impact of Repeal of Federal Estate Tax on Exemption—Calculated Bypass Trusts

    EMINENT DOMAIN: What's an Easement Worth?

    CRIMINAL LAW: Inmate's § 1983 Claim to Postconviction DNA Testing

    EMPLOYMENT LAW: Physical Attractiveness and Sex Discrimination Under Title VII

    ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Grounds for Vacating, Modifying, or Correcting Arbitration Award

    CRIMINAL LAW: Unreliable Confessions

    PROPERTY: Exculpatory Clause in Home Inspection Contract Is Void

    AVIATION LAW: Federal Preemption of Tort Claims Against Airlines

    CRIMINAL LAW: Bar Cautions Against Concealment of Identity of Material Witness as Condition of Plea Offer

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Pledge, Patriotism, and Pupils: Failed Attacks on State Pledge Statutes

    CIVIL PROCEDURE: Creative Use of Rule 12(f) Backfires

    PRODUCTS LIABILITY: No Duty to Warn re Hot Coffee

    TAX: Fate of the Estate Tax in the Lame-Duck Session

    BANKRUPTCY: Secured Treatment of Negative Equity

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Employment Law - Exhaustion of Administration Remedies

    CORPORATIONS: Delaware Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling

    INSURANCE: Coverage for Manufacturer's Economic Loss

    MORTGAGES: Claims Under the Home Affordable Mortgage Program

    CIVIL RIGHTS: Heightened-Scrutiny Test Applied in Fair Housing Act Case

    FAMILY LAW: Discovery of Hard Drives

    MORTGAGES: MERS May Have Standing to Foreclose on a Mortgage Even If It Does Not Own the Mortgage

    TRADEMARKS: Infringement—Initial Interest Confusion

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