Business Litigation Report: May 2012

05/30/2012 / Business Litigation Practice Group

 

 


I The May Issue:


Arrest and Conviction Records – The EEOC Rolls Out New Enforcement Guidelines
By Christopher J. Harristhal

 

On April 25, 2012, the EEOC issued a new “Enforcement Guidance” on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions. Although the Enforcement Guidance largely consolidated a variety of prior EEOC analyses on the subject, it also went further and adopted an even more zealous cautionary instruction regarding the use of criminal records.

Since the federal government has no legislation that expressly prohibits the use of criminal background information, the EEOC has taken it upon itself to discourage employers from using such information and cautioning that the use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions “may, in some instances, violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” 
 
 

 


NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation: Emerging Trends in Multidistrict Litigation
By Melissa Hagstrum Bayne
 

In July 2011, seventy-five former NFL players and fifty-one spouses filed a lawsuit against the NFL, NFL Properties, and Riddell and Easton-Bell related companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and sell football equipment, including helmets.  This first lawsuit was filed in California state court.  Over the next ten months, eighty similar lawsuits were filed across the country by other former NFL players and their spouses.  To date, the lawsuits involve more than 2,200 former NFL players and many of their spouses.

 

Product designers and manufacturers are watching the former NFL players’ concussion injury litigation closely for emerging trends in multidistrict litigation.  Product liability litigation is one of the two most prevalent types of litigation where separate lawsuits pending in different federal district courts may be consolidated into a single federal district court for pretrial proceedings.  Upon completion of pretrial proceedings, the cases are transferred back to the different federal district courts for trial.  To read more, click here.
 

The Federal Circuit Directs the Eastern District of Texas to Reconsider Motions to Sever
By Glenna L Gilbert

 

 

On petition for a writ of mandamus, the Federal Circuit recently directed the Eastern District of Texas to reconsider motions to sever in light of the test for joinder set forth by the Federal Circuit in In re EMC Corp., Misc. No. 100 (Fed. Cir. May 4, 2012).
 

Petitioners in In re EMC Corp. were eight of eighteen companies named as defendants in a single complaint filed by Oasis Research LLC. Oasis asserted method claims from four patents, all of which dealt with off-site computer data storage. The defendants were all alleged to have offered services that provide online backup and storage for home or business computer users. Defendants moved to sever and transfer the claims against them, arguing that because there was no concert of action, the claims against them did not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, as required by Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. To read more, click here.
 

 


Business Litigation Department Attorneys:

Email 
952-896-3280
 


Kenneth

Corey-Edstrom

Email
952-896-3380

 

Richard J. "Jay" Reding

952-896-6704

 
John A. Kvinge
Email
952-896-1554

Email 
952-896-3340


Cynthia M. Klaus

Email
952-896-3392

 

 


L. Kathleen Harrell-Latham

Email
952-896-1544

 
Susan E. Tegt
Email
952-896-3325

Email 
952-896-3275 
 

 

Email
952-896-1572

 

 


Michael C. Jackman

Email
952-896-3374 

James A. Godwin
Email
952-896-6701

Email
952-896-3312

 

Email
952-896-3318

 

 

952-896-3353

Email 
952-896-3288

 
 

Lauris A. Heyerdahl
Email
952-896-1529 

 


Glenna L. Gilbert
Email
952-896-3283

This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.