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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WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2024 Law360 iOS App Law360 Android App Follow Law360 on Facebook Follow Law360 on LinkedIn Follow Law360 on Twitter

TOP NEWS

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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'Excuse Me?': Judge Vexed By Defamation Claim In Ch. 7 Row

By Aaron Keller

A Connecticut bankruptcy judge on Tuesday appeared skeptical of defamation and tortious interference claims New York-based real estate investor EasyKnock Inc. filed against a trustee handling the Chapter 7 estate of a onetime homeowner, forcing company attorneys to at times to admit they cited no authority to support their case.

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SpaceX Loses Bid To Block Rival's Earth Station Renewals

By Jared Foretek

The Federal Communications Commission denied SpaceX's request to reconsider the agency's renewal of licenses for three earth stations from satellite communications company DBSD Corp., saying in a new order that SpaceX showed little to support its claim that DBSD was using "obstructionist" tactics to interfere with SpaceX operations.

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Apple's Slowed IPhone Derivative Deal OK'd After Tweaks

By Dorothy Atkins

A California federal judge said Tuesday she would approve Apple's non-monetary settlement to resolve a derivative-shareholder suit over claims it secretly slowed iPhones and award counsel $6 million in attorneys fees and expenses, after she rejected an earlier version of the deal because of the proposal's overbroad release of claims.

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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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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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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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POLICY & REGULATION

FCC Plans Vote To Expand AI Robocall Regulations

By Christopher Cole

The Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday that it plans to vote next month on a proposal to require robocallers to disclose their use of artificial intelligence to call recipients, among other potential new rules surrounding AI in telecommunications.

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Banks Say 'Ambiguity' Hampers FDIC's Digital Signage Rules

By Sarah Jarvis

Major banking trade groups have urged the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to clarify its new rule on how banks should display digital branding about deposit insurance to online customers, saying their compliance efforts have been hampered by "significant ambiguity" in the rule.

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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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FTC's In-House Kroger Case Delayed Until After Fed Suit

By Bryan Koenig

Kroger and Albertsons are getting a limited respite from the Federal Trade Commission's looming in-house merger challenge after an agency administrative law judge agreed to delay the case, but only until immediately after an Oregon federal court fight plays out.

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FCC Says Call Routing Protocols Need Better Security

By Jared Foretek

The Federal Communications Commission says it's stepping up its efforts to better secure the signaling protocols mobile telecom providers use to place and maintain calls, telling concerned lawmakers that carriers nationwide have implemented the commission's best practices for network security.

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ENFORCEMENT

Florida's 'Mother Teresa' Pleads Guilty To $190M Ponzi Scheme

By Carolina Bolado

Johanna Garcia, the former MJ Capital CEO known as "Mother Teresa" in Florida, pled guilty Tuesday to one count in the indictment accusing her of running a $190 million investment Ponzi scheme through the company.

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FCC Dings América Móvil For Lack Of Notice On Stock Reorg

By Nadia Dreid

Mexican mobile operator América Móvil has admitted to the Federal Communications Commission that it broke the rules by transferring control of certain FCC licenses and authorizations to a quartet of subsidiaries without informing the agency.

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LITIGATION

Tesla Says Chinese Co. Sells 'Dangerous' Charging Adapter

By Emily Field

Tesla said on Monday that a Chinese company sells a "dangerous" charging adapter that lets owners of non-Tesla electric vehicles charge at its network, saying in a suit filed in California federal court that the device could injure consumers and damage the power infrastructure.

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GNC Fights Claim 'Super Magnesium' Pills Are Subpar

By Rae Ann Varona

GNC Holdings urged an Illinois federal judge Monday to toss a proposed class action alleging it falsely touted "Super Magnesium" supplements as having 400 milligrams of magnesium despite having less than half that amount, saying a consumer lacked standing to sue by failing to allege his own purchase was deficient.

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Coinbase Scales Back Its SEC Request For Gensler Docs

By Aislinn Keely

Crypto exchange Coinbase said it will narrow its request for the communications of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler after the New York federal judge overseeing its enforcement suit warned that seeking private emails would be a "tough road to hoe."

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Complex Knew Of Rust Before CO Leak, Dallas Jury Hears

By Spencer Brewer

A worker told a Dallas jury via video Tuesday that he identified rust and corrosion on an apartment complex boiler's vent pipe a year before a carbon monoxide leak left two children with debilitating conditions, closing the second day of a trial over the property owner's culpability in the incident.

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EXPERT ANALYSIS

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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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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'Outsourcing' Ruling, 5 Years On: A Warning, Not A Watershed

A New York federal court’s 2019 ruling in U.S. v. Connolly, holding that the government improperly outsourced an investigation to Deutsche Bank, has not undercut corporate cooperation incentives as feared — but companies should not completely ignore the lessons of the case, say Temidayo Aganga-Williams and Anna Nabutovsky at Selendy Gay.

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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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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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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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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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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

Amin Wasserman

Arnold & Porter

Atheria Law

Atkinson Andelson

Baker Botts

Baker Donelson

Berry Appleman

Best Best & Krieger

Boies Schiller

Bookoff McAndrews

Buchalter APC

Buckley LLP

C.A. Goldberg PLLC

Cahill Gordon

Carlton Fields

Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Cleary Gottlieb

Coburn & Greenbaum

Continental PLLC

Cooley LLP

Corrie Yackulic Law Firm

Cravath Swaine

Crowell & Moring

Cuneo Gilbert

Davis & Wright

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton

Dechert LLP

Diaz Reus

Ellis George LLP

Esler Stephens

Esner Chang

Farella Braun

Finger & Slanina

Finnegan

Fragomen Del Rey

Freed Kanner

Fullerton Beck

Gibbons PC

Gibson Dunn

Glancy Prongay

Glenn Agre

Grant & Eisenhofer

Gross Klein

Hogan Lovells

Holland & Knight

Irell & Manella

Jones Day

Kasowitz Benson

Keker Van Nest & Peters

Kershaw Talley

Knobbe Martens

Kozyak Tropin

Kudman Trachten

Larkins Vacura

Law Offices of Daniel Weltin

Lemberg Law

Lozano Smith

Manning & Kass

Morrison Foerster

Munger Tolles

Murtha Cullina

Nelson Mullins

Nossaman LLP

Orrick Herrington

Paternoster Farnell

Paul Hastings

Pearson Warshaw

Perkins Coie

Riley Safer

Roig Lawyers

Saveri & Saveri

Schneider Wallace

Seed IP

Selendy Gay

Shutts & Bowen

Squire Patton

Sterne Kessler

Stoll Berne

Sullivan & Cromwell

Summit Law Group

Talmadge Fitzpatrick

Taylor Anderson LLP

Ted B. Lyon & Associates

The Law Firm of Cesar de Castro

Tostrud Law Group

Trammell PC

Wachtell Lipton

Waymaker LLP

Weil Gotshal

WeissLaw LLP

White & Case

Williams & Connolly

Willkie Farr

WilmerHale

Wilson Sonsini

Withersworldwide

Wong Fleming

Wright Close & Barger

Zuber Lawler

COMPANIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

Albertsons Cos. Inc.

Amazon.com Inc.

American Bankers Association

American Civil Liberties Union

Apple Inc.

Bank Policy Institute

Capri Holdings Ltd.

Chevron Corp.

Coinbase Global Inc.

Consumer Bankers Association

Cottrell Inc.

Deutsche Bank AG

Early Warning Services LLC

EchoStar Corp.

GNC Holdings Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc.

LinkedIn Corp.

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.

National Association of Broadcasters

National Rifle Association of America

National Taxpayers Union

Nexstar Media Group Inc.

Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc.

Regents of the University of California

Riverview Bancorp Inc.

Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Tapestry Inc.

Tesla Inc.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The Kroger Co.

Venmo LLC

Wells Fargo & Co.

eBay Inc.

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

California Supreme Court

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Dallas County, Texas

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Federal Reserve System

Federal Trade Commission

Food and Drug Administration

Missouri Attorney General's Office

National Labor Relations Board

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Texas Supreme Court

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

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

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

U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Department of Education

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 New York

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

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

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

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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

World Health Organization