SDNY Blog

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

In an opinion today, Judge Furman ruled that, under the Due Process Clause, it is the Government that must bear the burden, in immigration proceedings, to justify the continued detention of people subject to deportation. He found that, in weighing the Government’s interests of ensuring an appearance by the person subject to deportation against that person’s liberty interests, “the greater risk of error” should fall to the Government, and that “[s]everal other considerations” reinforced the…
Last week, Judge Broderick denied a motion to dismiss a case brought by the copyright holders for the song “A New Day is Here at Last,” written by Perry Kibble in 1969 and performed by J.C. Davis.  The suit alleged that Justin Timberlake’s 2006 hit song “Damn Girl” sampled “A New Day is Here at Last” without seeking permission from the copyright holder, a company managed by Kibble’s sister.  Timberlake released the song in 2006…
This week, Judge Furman ordered U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. to sit for a deposition in a case challenging the constitutionality of adding a question about citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. census questionnaire.  The question had not appeared on the census questionnaire since 1950; according to the complaint, the question was purposefully added to decrease the response rate among immigrant communities, leading to fewer public services and less Congressional representation in…
Yesterday, Judge Rakoff sanctioned an attorney for an objector to the $3 billion Petrobras securities litigation settlement (see our full coverage of the Petrobras litigation here).  Judge Rakoff had approved the settlement over the objections, after which the objectors filed an appeal.  According to the class plaintiff, the appeals were part of an “extortionist agenda” to extract a monetary settlement in exchange for dismissing their appeals. Judge Rakoff warned against the rise of frivolous…
In an opinion yesterday, Judge Castel denied in part a motion to compel certain drafts of sales and marketing documents withheld as privileged in an antitrust case.  The plaintiff argued that the attorneys were not providing legal advice but, instead, “‘scrubbing’ or ‘vetting’ these documents ‘to avoid having a jury see the unvarnished truth.”  Judge Castel disagreed, and emphasized that it is perfectly appropriate for lawyers to review documents before any wider circulation:…
Last week, Jeffrey Atkins (better known as Ja Rule) asked Judge Castel to dismiss claims against him stemming from the “Fyre Festival,” a 2017 music festival in the Bahamas that descended into chaos after organizers were unable to deliver the luxury accommodations, celebrity chefs, and musical acts that attendees were expecting (see NYT coverage here).  Plaintiffs accused Atkins specifically of making two social media posts upon which the plaintiffs relied – promising that the festival would be “the…
In an opinion yesterday, Judge Pauley denied summary judgment in a case alleging that a certain rodent repeller devices are ineffective, contrary to the defendant’s allegedly false representations. He noted that the parties had filed over 40,000 words in briefing the issues, but that three photos (including the one below) were sufficient to decide the motion.  The photos showed that “mice can apparently relax comfortably under a Repeller and even appear to be so drawn…
Last week, Airbnb filed a complaint challenging the city’s new ordinance requiring homesharing platforms to share data about hosts and guests to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.  According to Airbnb, the new ordinance allows the city to collect wide-ranging categories of non-public information: “[T]he Ordinance requires Internet homesharing platforms to turn over personal information about their hosts, much of which is not made public through the platforms. The Ordinance also requires homesharing platforms to turn…
In an opinion last week, Judge Stanton granted video game manufacturer Take-Two’s request for an injunction against the creator of two software programs that allowed users to cheat at Take-Two’s “Grand Theft Auto V” video game.  Among other functions, the computer programs allow users to use an unlimited amount of in-game currency that otherwise had to be purchased from Take-Two.  Take-Two alleged that the cheat software violated Take-Two’s copyright in “Grand Theft Auto V” and…