This past month, the Supreme Court avoided providing guidance on “cy pres” class-action settlements—instead, it reaffirmed the importance of its Spokeo decision (Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016)) in class action jurisprudence and deferred the complicated cy pres issues for another day.  See Frank v. Gaos, 139 S. Ct. 1041 (2019).[1]

The Court had granted review in Frank to review whether so-called “cy pres” class-action settlements—settlements that distribute monetary relief to public interest organizations instead of the plaintiffs—are proper ...

I generally end our long-running KMK Legal Update presentation, 10 Cases Every In House Counsel Should Know, with a case about sports. This year, I’m concluding with a blog about the case of Phee v. Gordon & Niddry Golf Club from across the pond in Scotland. Golfing accidents unfortunately produce a lot of litigation in the United States and abroad, but for lawyers, they also provide a good summary of negligence law and tort concepts which are helpful to review.

Once a company owns a trademark, it must police the mark for unauthorized use, or risk losing its rights. As a result, companies will send “cease and desist” letters to enforce and protect their marks. At times, however, legal rights are only one consideration. Public opinion and consumer perception are also part of the equation, as the Aloha Poke Co. (“Aloha Poke”), a Chicago based restaurant, recently learned firsthand.

G-Day is May 25, 2018, the day when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR) is set to go into effect.  Even though the Regulation has been approved and available for review for more than a year, most companies are still working to determine whether GDPR applies and, if so, how to become GDPR compliant.  The litigators from KMK’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Team have prepared a Legal Alert which helps companies answer both questions. 

On January 25, 2018, the SEC filed a sealed civil Complaint in federal court in Dallas against AriseBank and its founders. The Complaint alleged that the defendants had committed securities fraud in raising more than $600 million in an initial coin offering ("ICO") of AriseCoin, starting in December 2017. The SEC immediately made a series of rapid legal moves designed to gain control of AriseBank and its assets.

Giga Watt, Inc. and a related entity got a late Christmas present on December 28: a lawsuit alleging that Giga Watt violated federal securities laws in its initial coin offering (“ICO”). The plaintiff seeks more than $5,000,000.

Last week, the D.C. Circuit joined an increasing number of federal courts applying a broad interpretation of the degree of harm required to satisfy Article III standing and expanding the holding of last summer’s Spokeo, Inc. v. Robbins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016).

Last week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the district court’s approval of the class action settlement in the Target data breach litigation. See In re Target Corp. Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig., 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 1767 (8th Cir. Feb. 1 2017). 

The Ninth Circuit recently issued a decision that increases the level of antitrust risk exposure faced by companies. 

Last week, the Ninth Circuit deepened the divide among the Circuits regarding ascertainability in class certification. In Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 20 (9th Cir. Jan. 3, 2017), the Ninth Circuit rejected the Third Circuit’s line of authority (see Carrera v. Bayer Corp., 727 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. 2013) and Byrd v. Aaron’s Inc., 784 F.3d 154 (3d Cir. 2015)) which requires plaintiffs’ counsel to show ascertainability by demonstrating an administratively feasible and reliable method to determine class membership at the class certification stage.

Blog Contact:  Joseph Callow, Litigation Partner
jcallow@kmklaw.com or 513.579.6419

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