Perkins Coie LLP

As you all know, the Northern District of California jury found earlier this week that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide product was a “substantial factor” in causing a plaintiff’s non Hodgkin lymphoma. The defendants and industry were all very optimistic that the trial, which focused solely on causation and not knowledge or company conduct, would result in an impartial scientific analysis. Unfortunately, the jury ignored a very substantial body of literature that glyphosate, the active ingredient in…
U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC Chairman Clayton Explains that an Asset Can Lose Its Status of Being Labeled a Security U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Jay Clayton appears to have confirmed SEC-staff analysis of the classification of decentralized digital assets.  Last year, SEC Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman said during a speech that decentralization impacts the classification of digital assets and that, by way of example, Ethereum did not exhibit the properties…
Mortgage service companies (and their lawyers) got a big boost on March 20, 2019, when the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, holding that a business engaged in no more than nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA or Act), except for the limited purpose of §1692f(6). This decision will prevent needless and unfair litigation by borrowers seeking to…
The court of appeal held that a fire district’s resolution to dissolve the district was not a legislative act subject to voter referendum. Southcott v. Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, No. D074324 (4th Dist., Mar. 7, 2019). The Fire Protection District Law, which authorizes the formation of fire districts, mandates compliance with the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 for any change in organization of the fire district, including dissolution. The Local Agency Formation…
During the week of March 4, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) issued two decisions in TC 1600.  One decision denied institution of a petition, and one decision was a final decision finding all claims unpatentable. Luitpold Pharm., Inc. v. Apicore US LLC, IPR2018-01640 (Decision Denying Institution Entered March 6, 2019): In Luitpold,…
Companies whose primary business purpose is to collect debts—whether or not they actually participate in the debt collection activities—suffered a setback recently. Despite a debt purchaser’s not having any direct contact with the consumer or even approving the debt collection agency’s communications with the consumer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found the debt purchaser to be a “debt collector” under the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and…
Many businesses rely upon social media to raise awareness and enhance visibility of a new product or new line of business.  Social media platforms such as Facebook are often used to generate buzz around an opening or a launch before it takes place.  Anticipatory use of social media, however, can complicate insurance coverage if the right policies are not already in place.  The Idaho Supreme Court recently upheld the denial of coverage to a business…
U.S. Developments Denver to Implement Blockchain-Based Elections for Overseas Voters Denver moves to become the second U.S. jurisdiction to implement a blockchain-based voting system for overseas voters. Active duty military and other eligible overseas voters will be able to use a mobile phone application in the next election to cast their vote on municipal issues. Denver plans to use Voatz, a mobile application used by West Virginia in the 2018 mid-term election, where an
The Ninth Circuit held that a local ordinance prohibiting short-term vacation rentals (such as those available on Airbnb and other websites) did not conflict with Congressional policies fostering development of the Internet or violate the First Amendment. Homeaway.com v. City of Santa Monica, No. 18-55367 (9th Cir., March 13, 2019). Finding that short-term rentals had negatively affected the quality and character of its neighborhoods, the City of Santa Monica passed an ordinance regulating the…
A court challenge to a local agency’s decision to grant a coastal development permit becomes moot when the Coastal Commission accepts an appeal of the decision, the California court of appeal ruled in Fudge v. City of Laguna Beach, No. G05571 (4th Dist., Feb. 13, 2019). In 2017, the Laguna Beach City Council approved a coastal development permit for the demolition of a house in the coastal zone. Fudge, a neighbor, filed an appeal…