March 2013 archive

Federal Claims Judge Approves AIG Classes in $55 Billion Class-action Lawsuit

In 2008, there were many complaints surrounding the US government bailout of AIG when it was on the verge of collapse and the disagreement as to whether that was the right course of action continues today. On Monday, March 11, US Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler approved two classes in what was initially …

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Seventh Circuit bars class certification because of damages

The Seventh Circuit decided Espenscheid vs. DirectSat, Inc., (No. 12-1943, February 4, 2013), upholding the district court’s decision to not certify a class of employees containing wage and hour law violations. The ruling is notable as class certification was denied because the class members had different amounts of claimed work that had not been properly …

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Warning: This Country Contains Daylight Saving Time

A 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is still being cited as evidence that lack of sleep that results from beginning daylight saving time increases traffic accidents. The Los Angeles Times referenced this study as part of a March 11, 2013 article that warned of the ill effects that result from …

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Should you feel threatened when you see a California license plate…or just annoyed?

I frequently hear complaints of bad California drivers grumbled by both Californians and non-Californians alike. The complaint seems to be increasingly common as the ongoing California exodus marches along, and the other 49 states see more and more California license plates crowding their freeways. Although you might feel annoyed by California license plates, data collected …

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Patent Infringement Damages Under Fire

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner is one of the foremost legal scholars in the United States, particularly on economic matters. He has written numerous influential opinions and almost forty books on law and economics, teaches at the University of Chicago Law School, and is widely respected in the legal community. And two of his recent …

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Has California’s tax on the rich driven out the poor and middle class?

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal identifies a paradox: (i) “conservative lore” predicted rich people would leave California in response to a massive tax increase, yet, in fact, (ii) poor and middle class people have left instead. As evidence, the article summarizes the following about those who have left the state: 1. Their …

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Context is Key in Judging RIM’s Corporate Name Change

On January 30, Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry mobile devices, announced that it had changed its corporate name to “BlackBerry.” Since the then, several news sources judged the success of the name change based on the subsequent price movement of the newly rebranded “BBRY” shares. Slate reports, for example, that “shareholders don’t …

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Another plaintiff patent damage expert gets excluded

In AVM Technologies vs. Intel Corporation, USDC for Delaware, case No. 10-610-RGA (February 21, 2013), Plaintiff’s damage expert witness was excluded entirely, thus gutting a case that the trial court acknowledged was otherwise worth $300 million or more. Recent patent cases emphasize the use of comparable licensees in determining a reasonable royalty, but have also …

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IRS cutting Whisteblower Awards

The far reaching implications of sequestration are affecting IRS whistleblower awards.  The IRS website contains the following announcement: “Pursuant to the requirements of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended, certain automatic reductions will take place as of March 1, 2013. These required reductions include a reduction to awards paid …

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An Example of “Useless” Research that Isn’t

Over the years, Federal funding for the social sciences has come under fire from critics of all sorts, including the House of Representatives, which passed an amendment in 2012 to completely cut the National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for political science in particular. The argument in favor of these cuts usually sounds something like what …

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