A D.C. Circuit panel on Tuesday threw out a $120 million judgment levied against Iraq for its refusal to pay a Pennsylvania defense contractor for rebuilding the country's military equipment, ruling after more than a decade of litigation that Iraq is immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2024 Law360 iOS App Law360 Android App Follow Law360 on Facebook Follow Law360 on LinkedIn Follow Law360 on Twitter

TOP NEWS

DC Circ. Says Iraq Immune To $120M Contract Row

By Ali Sullivan

A D.C. Circuit panel on Tuesday threw out a $120 million judgment levied against Iraq for its refusal to pay a Pennsylvania defense contractor for rebuilding the country's military equipment, ruling after more than a decade of litigation that Iraq is immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.

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Influencer's Forest Pics Not 'Work Activity,' 10th Circ. Rules

By Daniel Ducassi

A Tenth Circuit panel on Tuesday reversed a social media influencer's conviction for unauthorized work on National Forest Service property after he posted Instagram photos of himself snowmobiling on closed NFS land, finding that the influencer didn't have fair warning that what he was doing might be considered a federal crime.

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Fed. Circ. OKs Judge Connolly's Fine Against IP Biz Owner

By Andrew Karpan

A precedential ruling from the Federal Circuit on Tuesday found that Delaware's top judge has the right to fine a Texas paralegal who is the sole owner of patent litigation outfit Backertop Licensing LLC $200 a day for refusing to show up in court as part of the judge's investigation into whether Backertop and others hid their connection to big-name intellectual property consulting firm IP Edge.

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5th Circ. Preserves Class Cert. In Fringe Benefits Fee Fight

By Kellie Mejdrich

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court's decision to certify a mega class of more than 290,000 workers in a suit against several benefits administration companies alleging mismanagement of their non-union fringe benefits, but found the action should proceed as opt-out and not mandatory class action.

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DC Circ. Knocks La. Site FERC Order, Tosses LNG Export Row

By Tom Lotshaw

Two D.C. Circuit panels on Tuesday ruled the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission inadequately explained a failure to assess the significance of greenhouse gas emissions for proposed liquefied natural gas facilities in Louisiana, dismissing a challenge of approvals allowing a Texas project to send more of its LNG exports to nonfree trade agreement countries.

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7th Circ. Says Foreign Retirement Not Shielded In Bankruptcy

By Anna Scott Farrell

A professor who filed for bankruptcy in Illinois can't protect his Canadian retirement account from creditors because the account is ineligible under a state law shielding accounts that qualify as retirement plans under the Internal Revenue Code, the Seventh Circuit ruled Tuesday.

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Fed. Circ. Denies US Cos. Interest From Late Duty Payments

By Alyssa Aquino

Domestic companies that are entitled to antidumping and countervailing duty payments under the now-defunct Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act aren't entitled to the interest that accrues when the tariff is paid late, the Federal Circuit ruled.

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5th Circ. Hands Loss To Canadian Standards Group In IP Fight

By Adam Lidgett

A split Fifth Circuit panel said a lower court improperly gave a win to the Canadian Standards Association in a copyright suit over electrical codes, telling the lower court to give a win to P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. in the case. 

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Ex-Trump Counsel Has Advice For GOP On Judicial Noms

By Courtney Bublé

A former Trump White House official who worked on judicial nominations has advised a potential future Republican administration to be aggressive, proactive and not to compromise on circuit court picks.

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DIVERSITY SNAPSHOT

The 2024 Diversity Snapshot: What You Need To Know

By Xiumei Dong

Law firms' ongoing initiatives to address diversity challenges have driven another year of progress, with the representation of minority attorneys continuing to improve across the board, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. Here's our data dive into minority representation at law firms in 2023.

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These Firms Have The Most Diverse Equity Partnerships

By Gerald Schifman

Law360’s law firm survey shows that firms' efforts to diversify their equity partner ranks are lagging. But some have embraced a broader talent pool at the equity partner level. Here are the ones that stood out.

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SUPREME COURT

States, Legal Orgs. Urge Justices To Halt Biden's Debt Relief

By Ali Sullivan

A U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Biden administration's latest student debt relief program received backing from seven Republican-led states and a trio of legal groups that assert the estimated $475 billion plan exceeds the executive branch's authority.

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Cannabis Patients And DOJ Offer Dueling Reads On Rahimi

By Sam Reisman

A group of Floridians and the U.S. Department of Justice have advanced dueling interpretations of whether a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gun laws justifies stripping medical cannabis patients of their right to bear arms.

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Cohen Asks Justices To Hear Claim Trump Put Him In Prison

By Elliot Weld

Donald Trump's former attorney-turned-critic Michael Cohen has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look at his suit claiming the former president had him imprisoned in retaliation for his plans to portray Trump negatively in his book.

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FEDERAL CIRCUIT

Fed. Circ. Rejects APA Challenge To PTAB Panel Makeups

By Dani Kass

The Federal Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's invalidation of Arbor Global Strategies' processor module patent claims, shooting down the company's position that the board violated the Administrative Procedure Act when making its decision.

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Columbia U. Aims To Keep $600M Patent Win Over Norton

By Emily Sawicki

Columbia University has urged the Federal Circuit to preserve its $600 million willful patent infringement judgment against NortonLifeLock Inc., telling the court that Norton's "kitchen-sink" appeal "raises a slew of issues, hoping something will stick" and challenging Quinn Emanuel's appeal of a civil contempt ruling as "baseless and, ultimately, academic."

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FOURTH CIRCUIT

Brief

Full 4th Circ. Won't Hear Student Loan Biz's Sealed Docs Case

By Travis Bland

The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday declined to grant a full court rehearing to a student loan provider that wanted to shield court filings from a filmmaker after a panel found he had a First Amendment right to the information.

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Brief

4th Circ. Rejects 'Untimely' Redo Request In Coverage Fight

By Hayley Fowler

The Fourth Circuit has flatly rejected a request to reconsider whether an insurer must cover the maker of a wood treatment product in a suit over a man's cancer diagnosis following decades of exposure to the chemical, calling the motion "untimely."

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FIFTH CIRCUIT

KBR Whistleblower Loses $1.1M Settlement Award At 5th Circ.

By Rae Ann Varona

The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday reversed a KBR Inc. whistleblower's $1.1 million share of a False Claims Act settlement over alleged Iraq War contract kickbacks, agreeing with the federal government that the now-deceased whistleblower's estate deserved nothing since none of his claims were settled.

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Feds Contest Texas DA's Immunity In Migrant Arrest Law Fight

By Britain Eakin

Nonprofits challenging Texas' migrant arrest law have urged the Fifth Circuit to reject Texas District Attorney Bill Hicks' claim of immunity, saying his argument that the Fifth Circuit's ruling in a separate case over changes to the state's election code is meritless.

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SIXTH CIRCUIT

6th Circ. Says Credit Union Can't Sue T-Mobile Over Cell Scam

By Katryna Perera

The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday ruled that a lower court was correct in tossing a lawsuit in which Michigan First Credit Union sued T-Mobile to recover the reimbursement fees the credit union paid to customers after they suffered unauthorized electronic transfers of money from their accounts due to cellphone scams.

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Enbridge Seeks 6th Circ. Rehearing In Venue Dispute

By Joyce Hanson

Enbridge Energy LP has asked the full Sixth Circuit to rehear an appellate panel's decision to send the company's pipeline dispute with Michigan's attorney general back to state court, arguing that the opinion creates a conflict within the circuit over when the removal clock starts running.

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SEVENTH CIRCUIT

7th Circ. Backs Manufacturer Win In Worker's Retaliation Suit

By Emmy Freedman

The Seventh Circuit declined Tuesday to reinstate a lawsuit from a Black worker accusing a manufacturing company of firing him in retaliation for complaining about race discrimination with his union, saying there's no error in the lower court's decision despite it relying on his former plant manager's flubbed testimony.

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EIGHTH CIRCUIT

FCC's Media Ownership Rules Are 'Relics,' 8th Circ. Told

By Christopher Cole

Broadcasters are pressing the Eighth Circuit to unravel the Federal Communications Commission's latest local media ownership rules, saying they are based on views of the industry that are long outdated.

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CALIFORNIA

Gilead Asks Calif. Supreme Court To Ax 'Disastrous' Decision

By Bonnie Eslinger

Gilead Sciences on Monday urged the California Supreme Court to overturn an appellate panel's decision that the company can't ditch claims it held back a safer HIV drug to maximize profits on an older medication, saying that holding manufacturers liable for non-defective products would "yield disastrous policy consequences."

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PENNSYLVANIA

No Immunity For Philadelphia Transit In Bus-Stop Injury

By Jonathan Capriel

The Philadelphia-area transit system can't escape a lawsuit accusing one of its bus drivers of refusing to lower a handicap accessible ramp, resulting in a passenger twisting her leg while exiting the vehicle, a state appeals court ruled, saying the claims fall squarely with the motor-vehicle exception to sovereign immunity.

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Pa. Court Upholds $23M Value Of Vacant Hospital's Parking

By Jaqueline McCool

A vacant hospital's parking area in Pennsylvania was properly valued at $23.2 million, the state Commonwealth Court ruled, finding that a trial court had the discretion to apply the sales comparison approach to the valuation.

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NORTH CAROLINA

NC Panel Affirms Property Tax Valuation For Ashley Furniture

By Maria Koklanaris

About 300 acres of property belonging to Ashley Furniture in North Carolina were properly valued at about $60 million for tax years 2018 and 2019, a state appeals court panel ruled Tuesday in favor of the state property tax commission.

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GEORGIA

Ga. Panel Limits Insurer Pool's Collections For Workers' Comp

By Chart Riggall

The Georgia Court of Appeals on Tuesday limited the power of a state-sponsored insurance pool to recoup its expenses when filling in for an insolvent insurer, ruling that companies can't be forced to accept liability for an injured worker when they were placed into the position by a staffing agency.

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MICHIGAN

Judge's Emails To Prosecutor Unethical But Didn't Taint Trial

By Carolyn Muyskens

A judge should have recused herself after emailing the elected prosecutor during trial to complain that an officer "didn't do a very good investigation," but the ethical lapse didn't warrant a new trial, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

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WASHINGTON

Praying Coach's School Faces Skeptical Judge In Fee Fight

By Rachel Riley

A Washington state appellate judge struggled Tuesday to follow a school district's argument that its insurer should cover a nearly $1.8 million legal bill for a praying football coach's U.S. Supreme Court win, pointing to a policy exclusion for certain adverse judgments.

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Judges Press Amazon On Its Duty To Guard Against Suicide

By Greg Lamm

Washington appellate judges on Tuesday challenged Amazon's argument that the e-commerce giant should be free from liability for selling sodium nitrite that buyers used to kill themselves, with one judge asking what other use a "small bottle" of nearly pure poison would have.

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EXPERT ANALYSIS

Series

After Chevron: Piercing FEMA Authority Is Not Insurmountable

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency's discretionary authority continues to provide significant protection from claims under the Administrative Procedure Act, Loper Bright is a blow to the argument that Congress gave FEMA unfettered discretion to administer its own programs, says Wendy Huff Ellard at Baker Donelson.

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Opinion

High Court Made Profound Mistake In Tossing Purdue Deal

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to throw out Purdue Pharma's Chapter 11 plan jeopardizes a multistate agreement that would provide approximately $7 billion in much-needed relief to help fight the opioid epidemic, with states now likely doomed to spend years chasing individual defendants across the globe, says Swain Wood at Morningstar.

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Big Business May Come To Rue The Post-Administrative State

Many have framed the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions overturning Chevron deference and extending the window to challenge regulations as big wins for big business, but sand in the gears of agency rulemaking may be a double-edged sword, creating prolonged uncertainty that impedes businesses’ ability to plan for the future, says Todd Baker at Columbia University.

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What Happens After Hawaii Kids' Historic Climate Deal

Implications of the Hawaii Department of Transportation's first-of-its-kind settlement with youth plaintiffs over constitutional climate claims may be limited, but it could incite similar claims, says J. Michael Showalter and Robert Middleton at ArentFox Schiff.

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Differences In Enforcing Oral Settlements In NJ And Pa.

New Jersey mediations should incorporate new best practices for settlement agreements after a recent state appellate court ruling eliminated the enforceability of oral-only settlements, setting New Jersey at odds with Pennsylvania’s established willingness to enforce unwritten agreements that were clearly intended to be binding, say Thomas Wilkinson and Thomas DePaola at Cozen O'Connor.

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Series

Serving In The National Guard Makes Me A Better Lawyer

My ongoing military experience as a judge advocate general in the National Guard has shaped me as a person and a lawyer, teaching me the importance of embracing confidence, balance and teamwork in both my Army and civilian roles, says Danielle Aymond at Baker Donelson.

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LEGAL INDUSTRY

Analysis

3 Reasons Why 2nd Menendez Bribery Case Was The Charm

By Carla Baranauckas

Nearly seven years after the government's first bribery case against longtime U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez collapsed in a hung jury, prosecutors avenged that loss Tuesday by sealing a conviction on a new round of corruption charges.

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Menendez Guilty Of 'Shocking Corruption,' Urged To Resign

By Cara Salvatore, Pete Brush and Carla Baranauckas

A New York federal jury found U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez guilty on Tuesday of taking gold bars, cash and a Mercedes-Benz as bribes from three businessmen, handing a victory to the government on its second try to convict the embattled New Jersey Democrat on corruption charges and prompting calls for his resignation.

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Trump Special Prosecutor Ruling Could Find Favor On Appeal

By Carolina Bolado

When U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the criminal case against former President Donald Trump in Florida over what she said was an unconstitutional appointment of a special prosecutor, she staked out a position that few other jurists have taken, but that could find support among some appellate judges, experts said.

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Smirnov Wants David Weiss DQ'd After Trump Docs Ruling

By Hailey Konnath

Former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov said Monday that a Florida federal judge's order disqualifying the special prosecutor in the Donald Trump classified documents case means special counsel David Weiss should also be disqualified from Smirnov's case, according to a motion filed in California federal court.

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Musk Says X, SpaceX Moving To Texas Over Calif. Gender Law

By Lauren Berg

Elon Musk took to X Tuesday to announce he will be moving the headquarters of the social media company and his astronautics company, SpaceX, out of California to Texas, after Golden State Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that bars policies mandating that teachers notify parents about students' gender identity.

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$4.5M Davis Wright Deal In Ore. Fraud Suit Gets Final OK

By Sydney Price

An Oregon federal judge has fully adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to sign off on a $4.5 million deal resolving investor claims against law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP for its work representing entities involved in an alleged real estate securities fraud scheme, while two banks were dismissed from the case.

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Tesla Swaps Cravath Out, WilmerHale In For Antitrust Defense

By Lauren Berg

WilmerHale has taken over from Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP as counsel for Tesla in a proposed class action in California federal court alleging the company runs an unlawful monopoly on parts for its electric vehicles.

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ACLU Legal Director Leaving For Expanded Georgetown Role

By Kevin Penton

The American Civil Liberties Union's national legal director plans to step down from a role he has held for eight years, the organization confirmed Tuesday.

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Groups Slam UC Berkeley's 'Misreading' Of Antisemitism Case

By Jake Maher

Jewish organizations suing the University of California, Berkeley, and its law school for allegedly tolerating an antisemitic culture on campus fought to keep their suit alive this week in the face of a motion to dismiss, maintaining their claims are ripe despite UC Berkeley's "bold misreading" of the case.

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LAW FIRMS IN TODAY'S NEWS

Akin Gump

Altshuler Berzon

ArentFox Schiff

Arnold & Porter

Atheria Law

Atkinson Andelson

Baker Botts

Baker Donelson

Berry Appleman

Best Best & Krieger

Boies Schiller

Bookoff McAndrews

Boyle Leonard

Bruckner Burch

Buchalter APC

Buckley LLP

C.A. Goldberg PLLC

Cahill Gordon

Carlton Fields

Carstens Allen

Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Cleary Gottlieb

Clement & Murphy

Coburn & Greenbaum

Consumer Litigation Associates

Continental PLLC

Cooley LLP

Corrie Yackulic Law Firm

Cozen O'Connor

Cravath Swaine

Crowell & Moring

Cuneo Gilbert

Davis & Wright

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Diaz Reus

Dickinson Wright

Ellis George LLP

Eraclides Gelman

Esler Stephens

Esner Chang

Farella Braun

Feinberg Jackson

Finger & Slanina

Finnegan

Fish & Richardson

Fragomen Del Rey

Freed Kanner

Fullerton Beck

Gibbons PC

Gibson Dunn

Gilbert LLP

Gingras Cates & Wachs

Glancy Prongay

Gorby Peters

Gordon Tilden

Grant & Eisenhofer

Gross Klein

Habba Madaio

Hogan Lovells

Holifield & Janich

Holland & Knight

Holzman Law PLLC

Irell & Manella

Jackson Walker LLP

Jones Day

Jones Walker

K&L Gates

Kasowitz Benson

Keker Van Nest & Peters

Kershaw Talley

King & Spalding

Kirkland & Ellis

Knobbe Martens

Kramer Levin

Kudman Trachten

Larkins Vacura

Latham & Watkins

Law Offices of Daniel Weltin

Lozano Smith

Manning & Kass

Maynard Nexsen

McMahan Law Firm LLC

Morningstar Law Group

Morrison Foerster

Munger Tolles

Nelson Mullins

Nossaman LLP

Orrick Herrington

Parker Poe

Paternoster Farnell

Paul Hastings

Pearson Warshaw

Perkins Coie

Powers Pyles

Quinn Emanuel

Riley Safer

Roig Lawyers

Saveri & Saveri

Schneider Wallace

ScottHulse

Seed IP

Shutts & Bowen

Soha & Lang

Sorrentino Burkert

Speed Seta

Springstead Bartish

Squire Patton

Steptoe LLP

Sterne Kessler

Stoll Berne

Sullivan & Cromwell

Summit Law Group

Sweeny Wingate

Talmadge Fitzpatrick

The Bristol Group PLLC

The Law Firm of Cesar de Castro

Thompson Coburn

Tostrud Law Group

Trammell PC

Waymaker LLP

White & Case

Whiteford Taylor

Willkie Farr

WilmerHale

Wilson Sonsini

Winston & Strawn

Withersworldwide

Wong Fleming

Zuber Lawler

COMPANIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

Aetna Inc.

Amazon.com Inc.

American Civil Liberties Union

American Gateways

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.

Ashley Home Stores Ltd.

Balentine

Center for Biological Diversity Inc.

Chester Water Authority

Chevron Corp.

Citigroup Inc.

Cottrell Inc.

Covidien PLC

Dow Corning Corp.

Enbridge Energy Partners LP

Gen Digital Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc.

Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC

Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc.

Instagram Inc.

Johns Manville Corp.

KBR Inc.

Koppers Holdings Inc.

LinkedIn Corp.

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC

Morningstar, Inc.

National Association of Broadcasters

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

National Rifle Association of America

National Taxpayers Union

Natural Resources Defense Council

Nelnet Inc.

New Civil Liberties Alliance

Nexstar Media Group Inc.

NortonLifeLock Inc.

Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc.

Public Citizen Inc.

Purdue Pharma LP

Regents of the University of California

Riverview Bancorp Inc.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Sierra Club

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Sunoco LP

T-Mobile US Inc.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

Tesla Inc.

United Refining Co.

United Steelworkers

XPO Logistics Inc.

Xilinx Inc.

Zep Inc.

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

California Supreme Court

City of New York

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Federal Reserve System

Federal Trade Commission

Food and Drug Administration

Georgia Court of Appeals

Hawaii Department of Transportation

Michigan Attorney General's Office

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Missouri Attorney General's Office

Montana Legislature

National Labor Relations Board

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas

U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court

World Health Organization