SDNY Blog

A Steptoe blog about civil litigation in the Southern District of New York

In a complaint filed today, Woody Allen’s company sued Amazon for cancelling a multi-film distribution contract.  Amazon appears to have relied on the contract law doctrine of “frustration of purpose,” telling Allen’s lawyers in an email: Amazon’s performance of the Agreement became impracticable as a result of supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated…
In a 277-page decision today, Judge Furman vacated the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, finding that the decision was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.  (Our prior posts on the case are here.) Judge Furman found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross justified the new question based on a rationale – that doing so would enhance enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) – that was clearly…
In an opinion today, Judge Engelmayer prelminarily enjoined  New York City’s new ordinance requiring homesharing platforms to share data about hosts and guests to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), adopted to help enforce a law prohibiting short term rentals in certain “multiple dwelling” buildings.  (See our prior coverage here.) He concluded that the Fourth Amendment applied to the compelled production of the data, and that the ordinance was overly broad:…
The Cardozo Law Review has published a special issue, inspired by a 2016 essay from Judge Marrero entitled The Costs of Rules, the Rule of Costs, focusing on the way modern practice and procedure have needlessly made litigation so expensive and slow.  The special issue includes (among other things) a follow up article from Judge Marrero entitled Motion to Dismiss: A Dismissal of Rule 12(b)(6) and the Retirement of Twonbly/Iqbal, proposing various reforms,…
In an opinion Friday, Judge Ramos, concurring with other federal courts in Pennsylvania, California and Illinois, found that an Executive Order in July 2017 aimed at so-called “sanctuary cities” was unlawful.  The Executive Order conditioned certain federal funds for state and local government law enforcement-related programs (such as drug treatment or witness programs) on those governments cooperating in various specific ways with federal enforcement of immigration laws. Judge Ramos concluded (among other things) that the…
In the ongoing saga of New York State’s attempt to prevent a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census, Judge Furman has yet again denied an attempt to stay the proceedings pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The request yesterday came on the heels of a request just before the trial in the case (see our coverage here).  According to the opinion, the present request was the twelfth time in as…
On Friday, the Supreme Court, as expected, granted certiorari in the challenge pending before Judge Furman over the addition of a citizenship question to the census.  The question presented concerns whether it is appropriate to order discovery outside the administrative record (such as the deposition Judge Furman had earlier ordered of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross). Judge Furman recently completed a bench trial in the case.  The Government this morning asked Judge Furman to halt
In an opinion today, Judge Cote denied a motion to compel brought by the defendants in an SEC enforcement action relating to one of the SEC’s witnesses.  The defendants claimed that the witness gave inaccurate deposition testimony about having been disciplined at work for having harassed a former romantic partner, and so wanted more documents about the incident, and an additional deposition.  Judge Cote, who chose not to identify the witness by name, emphatically denied…
In a handwritten memo endorsement today, Judge Gardephe denied a plaintiff’s request to force the defendants’ insurers to participate in mediation, concluding that the Court lacked the power to direct the actions of a nonparty: The Carriers are not parties before this Court. If Defendants believe that the Carriers are not meeting their responsibilities under the D + O policies, their remedy is to sue the carriers.…