Expert Analysis

Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: May Lessons

In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy discusses four notable circuit court decisions on topics from automobile insurance to securities — and provides key takeaways for counsel on issues including circuit-specific ascertainability requirements and how to conduct a Daubert analysis prior to class certification.

New TSCA Risk Rule Gives EPA Broad Discretion On Science

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent final amendments to its framework for evaluating the risks of chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act give it vast discretion over consideration of scientific information, without objective criteria to guide that discretion, say John McGahren and Debra Carfora at Morgan Lewis.

Trauma-Informed Legal Approaches For Pro Bono Attorneys

As National Trauma Awareness Month ends, pro bono attorneys should nevertheless continue to acknowledge the mental and physical effects of trauma, allowing them to better represent clients, and protect themselves from compassion fatigue and burnout, say Katherine Cronin at Stinson and Katharine Manning at Blackbird.

The Fed. Circ. In May: The Printed Matter Doctrine's Scope

The Federal Circuit’s recent ruling in Ioengine v. Ingenico, which addressed the scope of the printed matter doctrine as applied to transmitted data or program code, restores the doctrine’s status as a relatively narrow part of patent law, say Jeremiah Helm and Sean Murray at Knobbe Martens.

CFPB's Expanding Scope Evident In Coding Bootcamp Fine

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent penalty against a for-profit coding bootcamp that misrepresented its tuition financing plans is a sign that the bureau is seeking to wield its supervisory and enforcement powers in more industries that offer consumer financing, say Jason McElroy and Brandon Sherman at Saul Ewing.

Tips For Advising CRE Owners Affected By Houston Storms

As Houston residents begin the arduous process of recovery after this month's devastating storms, attorneys should guide commercial real estate owners and managers toward immediate action under their insurance coverage to facilitate restoration and a return to normalcy, says Justin Ratley at Munsch Hardt.

What Updated PLR Procedure May Mean For Stock Spin-Offs

A recently published Internal Revenue Service revenue procedure departs from commonly understood interpretations of the spinoff rules by imposing more stringent standards on companies seeking private letter rulings regarding tax-free stock spinoff and split-off transactions, and may presage regulatory changes that would have the force of law, say attorneys at Skadden.

Fintech Compliance Amid Regulatory Focus On Sensitive Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent, expansive pursuit of financial services companies using sensitive personal information signals a move into the Federal Trade Commission's territory, and the path forward for fintech and financial service providers involves a balance between innovation and compliance, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini.

And Now A Word From The Panel: Watch The MDL Calendar

One of the most fascinating features of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation's practice is the regularity of its calendar, which can illuminate important timing considerations, says Alan Rothman at Sidley.

Cos. Must Stay On Alert With Joint Employer Rule In Flux

While employers may breathe a sigh of relief at recent events blocking the National Labor Relations Board's proposed rule that would make it easier for two entities to be deemed joint employers, the rule is not yet dead, say attorneys at ​​​​​​​Day Pitney.

Key Insurance Considerations After $725M Benzene Verdict

The recent massive benzene verdict in Gill v. Exxon Mobil will certainly trigger insurance questions — and likely a new wave of benzene suits — so potential defendants should study Radiator Specialty v. Arrowood Indemnity, the only state high court decision regarding benzene claim coverage, says Jonathan Hardin at Perkins Coie.

5th Circ. Bond Claim Ruling Shows Creditors Must Be Vigilant

In Raymond James & Associates v. Jalbert, the Fifth Circuit recently held that the bankruptcy debtor's indemnification obligations were discharged by the confirmed plan because the indemnified party failed to speak up, demonstrating that creditors must proactively protect their rights, says Joshua Lesser at Bradley Arant.

4 Arbitration Takeaways From High Court Coinbase Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court's May 23 decision in Coinbase v. Suski, which provides clarity to parties faced with successive contracts containing conflicting dispute resolution provisions, has four practical impacts for contracting parties to consider, say Charles Schoenwetter and Eric Olson at Bowman and Brooke.

Fed. Circ. Scrapping Design Patent Tests Creates Uncertainty

The Federal Circuit last week discarded established tests for proving that design patents are invalid as obvious, leaving much unknown for design patent applicants, patentees and challengers, such as what constitutes analogous art and how secondary references will be considered and applied, say attorneys at Sterne Kessler.


Playing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

My deep and passionate involvement in playing, writing and producing music equipped me with skills — like creativity, improvisation and problem-solving — that contribute to the success of my legal career, says attorney Kenneth Greene.

Contractors Must Prep For FAR Council GHG Emissions Rule

With the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council expected to finalize its proposed rule on the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risk this year, government contractors should take key steps now to get ready, say Thomas Daley at DLA Piper, Steven Rothstein at the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, and John Kostyack at Kostyack Strategies.

3rd Circ.'s Geico Ruling May Encourage Healthcare Arbitration

The Third Circuit's recent decision in Geico v. Mount Prospect, finding that claims under New Jersey's Insurance Fraud Prevention Act can be arbitrated, strengthens arbitration as a viable alternative to litigation, even though it is not necessarily always a more favorable forum, say Khaled Klele and Jessica Osterlof at McCarter & English.

Lessons In High-Profile Jury Selection Amid NY Trump Trial

Richard Gabriel and Michelle Rey LaRocca at Decision Analysis consider how media exposure can affect a prospective juror in a high-profile case, the misunderstood nature of bias, and recommendations for jury selection in these unique situations as the Trump hush money trial continues in New York.

Proposed Cannabis Reschedule Sidesteps State Law Effects

The U.S. Department of Justice's recent proposal to move cannabis to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act provides certain benefits, but its failure to address how the rescheduling would interact with existing state cannabis laws disappointed industry participants hoping for clarity on this crucial question, says Ian Stewart at Wilson Elser.

How AI Cos. Can Cope With Shifting Copyright Landscape

In the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, recent legal disputes have focused on the utilization of copyrighted material to train algorithms, meaning companies should be aware of fair use implications and possible licensing solutions for AI users, say Michael Hobbs and Justin Tilghman at Troutman Pepper.

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Special Series

Prosecutor Pointers

As new trends enter the courtroom, this Expert Analysis series features prosecutors' practice tips — some time-tested, some newly updated — for every stage of the jury trial, from voir dire to closing statements.

My Hobby Makes Me A Better Lawyer

Attorneys discuss how their unusual extracurricular activities enhance professional development, providing insights and pointers that translate to the office, courtroom and beyond.


Del. Needs To Urgently Pass Post-Moelis Corporate Law Bill

After the Delaware Chancery Court's decision in West Palm Beach Firefighters' Pension v. Moelis sparked confusion around governance rights, recently proposed amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law would preserve the state's predictable corporate governance system, says Lawrence Hamermesh at Widener University Delaware Law School.

NY Should Pass Litigation Funding Bill To Protect Plaintiffs

New York state should embrace the regulatory framework proposed in the Consumer Litigation Funding Act, which would suppress the unregulated predatory lenders that currently prey on vulnerable litigants but preserve a funding option that helps personal injury plaintiffs stand up to deep-pocketed corporate defendants, says Alan Ripka at Alan Ripka & Associates.

Access to Justice Perspectives

Public Interest Attorneys Are Key To Preserving Voting Rights

Fourteen states passed laws restricting or limiting voting access last year, highlighting the need to support public interest lawyers who serve as bulwarks against such antidemocratic actions — especially in an election year, says Verna Williams at Equal Justice Works.

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