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Fryer and the Alliance for Water Efficiency collaborated on a study about drought. The Alliance worked on funding. Fryer circulated a draft of the report. The Alliance expressed concern with the methodology and sued Fryer under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101. Under a settlement Fryer agreed to turn over his data from public utilities in exchange for $25,000. If any utility had disclosed data with a confidentiality agreement, the Alliance was required to secure a release. Each party could publish a report, but could not acknowledge the other’s involvement. The parties have litigated ever since. The district court concluded that the Alliance was entitled to specific data and that Fryer was bound by the settlement to refrain from acknowledging disputed organizations unless they contacted him first and asked to be recognized. The judge required the Alliance to provide those organizations with Fryer’s contact information. The Seventh Circuit reversed solely on the acknowledgment issue. Fryer returned to the district court, seeking restitution for injuries caused by the court’s erroneous injunction and attorney’s fees under section 505 of the Copyright Act for having prevailed in the first appeal. The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial of both motions. Fryer does not present genuine claims for restitution; he seeks to relitigate unrelated claims for breach of the settlement. He did not prevail on the Alliance’s copyright claim. View "Alliance for Water Efficiency v. Fryer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court quashing an execution previously issued by the Rhode Island Superior Court on a State of Utah District Court judgment and dismissing George Hawes’s petition to enforce the Utah judgment on the grounds that Utah did not have personal jurisdiction over Daniel Reilly. InnerLight Holdings, Inc. filed a complaint in state court in Utah against several defendants, including Reilly and Hawes. Hawes filed a cross-claim against Reilly and others. Reilly moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Utah did not have personal jurisdiction over him. The Utah District Court denied the motion to dismiss. Thereafter, a default judgment on Hawes’s cross-claim was entered against Reilly. Hawes filed a petition to enforce a foreign judgment in the Rhode Island Superior Court. The hearing justice denied the petition, concluding that Utah did not have personal jurisdiction over Reilly. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Utah order denying the motion to dismiss was not entitled to full faith and credit; (2) Utah did not have personal jurisdiction over Reilly; and (3) Reilly did not forfeit his defense of lack of personal jurisdiction. View "Hawes v. Reilly" on Justia Law

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Natasha Reiger appealed a district court judgment granting primary residential responsibility of J.Z. to Matthew Zuraff. Social services first became involved with the family because of a positive methamphetamine screening when J.Z. was born. Both Zuraff and Reiger had a history of methamphetamine use, although Reiger testified to being sober for approximately ten months and Zuraff testified he was sober for over three years. Both parents had criminal histories related to drug use, and Zuraff was incarcerated for approximately seven months after J.Z. was born. The North Dakota social worker assigned to J.Z. declined to recommend who should be awarded primary residential responsibility, but noted Zuraff was previously the more appropriate and stable option. After review of the district court record, the North Dakota Supreme Court determined the district court did not abuse its discretion granting primary residential responsibility to Zuraff. View "Zuraff v. Reiger" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed this interlocutory appeal brought by Defendants challenging the superior court’s denial of their motion to seal or strike, holding that Defendants did not demonstrate the irreparable harm necessary for appellate review of the court’s interlocutory order. Plaintiff, the respondent in an attorney discipline proceeding, filed a complaint against Judge Marian Woodman and Judge Nancy Carlson based on their actions and involvement in the disciplinary proceeding. Defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaint and sought imposition of sanctions. After Plaintiff filed a response to the motions the judges filed a motion to seal or strike certain paragraphs of Plaintiff’s response, in which Plaintiff made assertions about the judges and a family member of one of them. The superior court denied the motion. The judges appealed. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the appeal did not fall within an exception to the final judgment rule. View "Carey v. Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a motion to dismiss Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus challenging the Industrial Commission’s determination that it had continuing jurisdiction to reconsider a previous order denying a claim for death benefits because of a clear mistake of fact regarding how the decedent worker died, holding that the complaint did state a claim for relief. Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus alleged that the Commission abused its discretion in determining that the staff hearing officer had based the disallowance of the claim for death benefits on a clear mistake of fact. Because this question involved whether there was a factual mistake sufficient to invoke the continuing-jurisdiction provisions of Ohio Rev. Code 4123.52, the question was a proper subject matter for an action seeking a writ of mandamus. Therefore, the court of appeals erred in dismissing the action on the basis that the Commission’s decision to exercise its continuing jurisdiction was appealable to the court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Belle Tire Distributors, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff entered into a joint stipulation with NHMA purporting to voluntarily dismiss a 42 U.S.C. 1981 claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1) and then moved the district court to enter final judgment on her remaining employment-related claims. The district court denied the motion because it no longer had jurisdiction over the action after plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her lone remaining claim. The Eleventh Circuit reversed, holding that the parties' joint stipulation of dismissal was invalid where Rule 41(a)(1) permitted voluntary dismissals only of entire actions, not claims. Therefore, the court held that the invalid joint stipulation did not divest the district court of jurisdiction over the case. View "Pamela M. Perry, M.D. v. The Schumacher Group of Louisiana" on Justia Law

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Wife Rachelle Spector filed a request for a temporary order for spousal support and professional fees. The parties filed their respective briefs with supporting declarations and evidence in advance of a February 17, 2017, hearing. The court issued its ruling on February 21, and served the order on the parties via e-mail the next day. The court ordered, among other things, husband to pay wife temporary spousal support and certain professional fees. The first temporary spousal support payment was due on March 1, 2017. Shortly after receiving the 2/21 Order on February 22, husband Phillip Spector sent an email to the judge with a copy to wife, stating “there appears to be an error in your arithmetic” regarding the monthly temporary spousal support figure. Husband, wife, and the judge engaged in several e-mail exchanges regarding the calculations and the effect of the monetary awards and requirements in the 2/21 Order. Husband suggested “that the court relabel it’s [sic] ruling to instead be a Tentative Ruling and let us each argue before making it final.” On February 23, the judge responded, “[q]uite frankly I have the authority to modify the orders and am considering doing so.” She further stated “[w]e can call the notice and orders tentative,” and invited the parties to argue the issues but indicated she “prefer[red] a 5 page written argument from each of [them].” The issue this case presented for the Court of Appeal’s review was whether the trial court had the inherent authority to reconsider its own orders and make them effective retroactively. Wife argued the trial court was precluded from doing so pursuant to Family Code sections 3603, 3651(c), and 3653(a), and the various cases interpreting those statutes. The Court of Appeal concluded the court had inherent authority to reconsider its prior order and to apply its modified decision retroactively. Finding no merit in wife’s argument that the court violated her due process rights when it exercised this authority, the appellate court affirmed. View "Marriage of Spector" on Justia Law

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JCI is a manufacturing company with its principal place of business in Illinois. The Shein Law Center is a law firm based in Pennsylvania. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett is a law firm based in Texas, with offices in Texas and California; its partners and shareholders are residents of those states. The two firms sued JCI on behalf of their clients in Pennsylvania, California, and Texas state courts. JCI alleges these suits were part of a conspiracy to defraud JCI because the firms concealed information during discovery regarding their clients’ exposure to asbestos from other manufacturers’ products so that they could extract larger recoveries. The other manufacturers are bankrupt. After winning verdicts against JCI, the defendants allegedly filed claims against the bankrupt manufacturers’ trusts. JCI filed lawsuits against the law firms in the Northern District of Illinois alleging fraud, conspiracy, and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, The district court dismissed the cases for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The law firms sent allegedly fraudulent communications to JCI through JCI’s local counsel in Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. Those communications were incidental to the litigation, which is the basis of JCI’s claims, so the communications were not enough to establish specific personal jurisdiction in Illinois. View "John Crane, Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett" on Justia Law

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This case concerned a discovery dispute arising out of an automobile accident in which Gary Griggs, a driver insured by State Farm, injured Susan Goddard and several others. State Farm sought a declaratory judgment that Griggs breached the contractual duties set forth in his insurance policy by executing a settlement agreement pursuant to Nunn v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., 244 P.3d 116 (Colo. 2010), in which he waived a jury trial, consented to arbitration, and assigned to Goddard any rights that he had against State Farm. Goddard counterclaimed, asserting, among other things, that State Farm acted in bad faith by refusing both to settle her claims against Griggs and to indemnify Griggs for the judgment entered against him after the arbitration to which Griggs had consented. The district court determined State Farm impliedly waived the attorney-client privilege protecting communications between it and its former counsel when it submitted an affidavit from that former counsel to rebut allegations of discovery misconduct. The Colorado Supreme Court concluded after review that the attorney affidavit submitted in this case did not place any privileged communications at issue. Accordingly, the district court erred in finding that State Farm impliedly waived its attorney-client privilege. View "State Farm v. Griggs" on Justia Law

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The United States District Court for the District of Colorado certified a question of law to the Colorado Supreme Court. The question asked for an interpretation of the meaning of the words “suicide, sane or insane,” when used in life insurance policies. The Colorado Supreme Court concluded that, under Colorado law, a life insurance policy exclusion for “suicide, sane or insane” excluded coverage only if the insured, whether sane or insane at the time, committed an act of self-destruction with the intent to kill himself. View "Renfandt v. New York Life Insurance Company" on Justia Law