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Last November, the government indicted Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, for conspiracy to violate the Mine Safety and Health Act at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died in an explosion in April 2010; conspiracy to defraud the United States by concealing mine-safety violations at UBB; making a false statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission based on a company statement to shareholders; and securities fraud as a result…
Let me see if I understand this. In AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011), decided by the United States Supreme Court in April, the Court held in a 5-4 decision that the Federal Arbitration Act preempted California’s judicial rule prohibiting class-wide arbitration waivers, such as AT&T’s, on the grounds they were unconscionable. So AT&T’s position, endorsed by the Court, was that a consumer must (1) arbitrate, not litigate, his or her claim against…
Late in its January Term, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued a decision dealing with the well-known, but somewhat misunderstood, or at least misapplied, doctrine of forum non conveniens. In essence, the doctrine allows a court to decline to assert jurisdiction over an action before it if another, more appropriate forum exists for its resolution. In Mace v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2011 WL 2446644 (W.Va., June 16, 2011), Kathy Mace, a…
The Honorable M. Blane Michael, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and one of the most illustrious members of  West Virginia’s legal community, died yesterday. Here is the story in the Saturday Gazette-Mail and his biography on the Fourth Circuit’s website. The Washington Post has this story from the Associated Press. Judge Michael received his undergraduate degree from West Virginia University, where he was student body…
The link to the National Law Journal article referenced in yesterday’s post may require you to register for the site, which is free, rather than take you to the article. This link should work. Also, the alleged link to the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ docket sheet takes you to the court’s site, where you can search for information.If you want to review the docket sheet, you can enter any of these case numbers and…
In the course of writing about Stan Chesley’s travails, I was curious to find out what happened in the case described in the final paragraph of the National Law Journal’s story about Chesley: Earlier this month, the Kentucky Court of Appeals vacated a $42 million summary judgment in favor of the 431 fen-phen plaintiffs against Chesley, Cunningham, Gallion and another attorney in the case. The court said that the lawyers had presented an issue…
Over the next few posts, I want to follow up on some earlier posts and also talk about Supreme Court of Appeals decisions that, for one reason or another, I have overlooked. You may remember that a couple of years ago, as a result of criminal charges that a trio of plaintiffs’ lawyers took an extra $65 million from the settlements of 440 plaintiffs they represented in Fen-Phen litigation, two of the lawyers, Shirley A.
Chances are you’ve visited or at least heard of The Huffington Post, the eponymous blog and news-aggregation site started by Arianna Huffington and others, which has expanded to include in-depth coverage on an ever-growing number of subjects. In the February issue of Vanity Fair, William D. Cohan writes about a dispute over who is responsible for the success of HuffPost, which Cohan says is worth an unconfirmed $350 million, based on projected 2011…
In my post from a couple of weeks ago about the implementation of the Revised Rules of Appellate Procedure at the Supreme Court of Appeals, I neglected to mention a couple of other changes. First, you’ll see on the calendar that in addition to the links for argument dockets, there are now links to Order Lists, which are released at various times during the month. Here is the Order List from January 14, which indicates…
H. Scott Johnson, Jr., one of the authors of the Virginia Business Law Update, wrote last week about a recent Virginia federal court decision which held that Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009), does not apply to a defendant’s affirmative defenses. Iqbal, you will recall, is the United States Supreme Court’s decision that “requires that allegations in a claim for relief include enough factual matter, taken as true, to plausibly suggest…