Manufacturers Expect Revenue To Grow 4.4 Percent in 2014, ISM Says
Dec. 10 –Manufacturers are moderately upbeat about their business prospects for 2014, with 69 percent expecting their revenues will be greater next year than in 2013, the Institute for Supply Management said Dec. 10.
Purchasing and supply executives surveyed by the ISM expect a 4.4 percent net increase in overall revenues next year, compared to a 4.6 percent increase for this year over last. Sixteen industries look for revenues to rise next year.
Lawsuit Threatened Over New York’s Fracking Approval Delay, Impact Statement
Dec. 5 –The trustee for a bankrupt energy company is preparing to sue New York state to compel it to issue a long-awaited environmental impact statement on the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking.
Attorneys for the trustee for Norse Energy Corp. USA sent a letter to the environmental conservation commissioner Dec. 2, asking him to respond within two weeks or face a lawsuit to compel finalization of the statement.
House Republicans Reiterate Concerns Over Treatment of Unions Under ACA
Dec. 6 –House Republicans once again are demanding information from the Obama administration on what they say are its intentions to provide special treatment under the Affordable Care Act for Taft-Hartley plans, also known as multiemployer plans.
Plaintiffs’ Counsel Sanctioned Over ‘Frivolous’ Complaint’ in AOL Dispute
Dec. 6 — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Dec. 5 sanctioned counsel for the plaintiffs in a would-be class securities fraud suit against AOL Inc. (AOL)over the stock repurchase program it carried out during the months before it announced a $1.056 billion patent sale to Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) (In re AOL Repurchase Offer Litigation, S.D.N.Y., 12 Civ. 3497 (DLC), 12/5/13).
Debtor’s Material Fraud Discovered Later Justifies Revocation of Chapter 7 Discharge
Dec. 6 –A material fraud, which would have resulted in the denial of a debtor’s Chapter 7 discharge had it been known at the time of such discharge, can justify subsequent revocation of that discharge under Bankruptcy Code Section 727(d)(1), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Dec. 2 (Jones v. U.S. Tr., 2013 BL 335345, 9th Cir., No. 12-35665, 12/2/13).
Facebook Rant Ends in Firing for Nurse; Court Nixes Contract, Free Speech Claims
Dec. 5 –A nurse who wrote an angry Facebook post before heading off to work at a California hospital could not prevail on claims her employer fired her in breach of a collective bargaining agreement, state law, or the state constitution, a federal judge held Dec. 2 (Guevarra v. Seton Med. Ctr., 2013 BL 333932, N.D. Cal., No. 4:13-cv-02267, 12/2/13).
Patent Troll’s ‘Hub And Spokes’ Conspiracy To Monopsonize Claims Survive Dismissal
Dec. 4 –A patent troll’s second try at pleading a hub-and-spokes conspiracy among Android device manufacturers to refuse to license the company’s patents succeeds in stating claims under both Sherman Act §1 and §2 for a conspiracy to monopsonize, according to a Dec. 3 opinion from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., N.D. Cal., No. 4:12-cv-01143-YGR, 12/3/13).
EU Regulator Levies Record Cartel Fines On Six Banks Guilty of Rigging Euribor, Libor
Dec. 4 –The European Union antitrust authority, in record fines for an illegal cartel, hit six European and U.S.-based investment banks, including Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., as well as one broker, with $2.32 billion worth of financial penalties for rigging Euribor and Libor inter-bank lending interest rates for derivatives.
Argentina Increases Taxes on Purchases Abroad to Counter Drop in Foreign Reserves
Dec. 3 — Seeking to halt a steep drop in foreign reserves, Argentina raised to 35 percent from 20 percent the Income and Personal Assets taxes levied on credit and debit card purchases made outside the country.
Additionally, the 35 percent charge will also be applied to foreign currency purchases made for travel and tourism purposes, according to General Resolution No. 3550 issued by the Federal Administration of Tax Revenues (AFIP) and published Dec. 3 in the official gazette.
No Error in Default Judgment Award Against Operator of Website Selling Counterfeit Goods
Dec. 3 –The district court did not commit reversible error when it declined to vacate a default judgment against a defendant who was found liable for wilful trademark infringement for operating a website that sold counterfeit Louis Vuitton products, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held Dec. 2 (Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Mosseri, 11th Cir., No. 12-12501, 12/2/13).
Nine of 10 Very High Blood Lead Levels Due to Occupational Exposure, Study Finds
Dec. 2 –Occupational exposure accounted for nine out of 10 cases of very high lead levels in the blood of adults tracked in a government study published Nov. 29.
Half of the 7,000 adults with very high blood lead levels–defined as 40 micrograms per deciliter–because of occupational exposure worked in manufacturing and a quarter were employed in construction, according to an analysis of data recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program and published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Judge Says Detroit Eligible for Bankruptcy Filing, Pension Impairment Is Constitutional
Dec. 3 –The City of Detroit may go forward with its plan to restructure under Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the judge overseeing the proceeding said, as the city met all the criteria necessary for eligibility (In re City of Detroit, Bankr. E.D. Mich., No. 13-53846, opinion 12/13/13).
States Vary in Tax Treatment Of Medical, Recreational Marijuana
Nov. 29 — Slightly more than half the states that have authorized the use of medical marijuana impose a tax on sales of the substance, but the amount of revenue generated so far has been low and has generally been used to cover the cost of administering the program or to fund other public health priorities.
Hedge Fund Suit Fails, but Court Predicts N.Y. Courts Would Recognize ‘Holder’ Claim
In yet another chapter of long running litigation involving Ponzi fraudster Bernard Madoff, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Nov. 22 dismissed an Israeli charity’s claims over an alleged failed hedge fund investment (Matana v. Merkin , 2013 BL 326842, S.D.N.Y., 13 Civ. 1534 (PAE), 11/22/13).
Failure to List Blog on Bankruptcy Schedule Dooms Copyright Lawsuit, Court Holds
Nov. 25 –An author who did not list her blog on a bankruptcy schedule lacks standing to bring a copyright infringement suit because she lost her rights in that asset, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona held Nov. 21, dismissing in part her lawsuit (Levingston v. Earle, 2013 BL 326748, D. Ariz., No. 3:12-cv-08165-JAT, 11/21/13).
E-Mail Calling Cartoon Offensive to Muslims ‘Wonderful’ Not Religious Belief Expression
Nov. 29 –An Indiana state employee fired for forwarding an e-mail containing a cartoon offensive to Muslims with the comment, “I think this is wonderful,” does not have a plausible religious discrimination claim, a federal district court in the state ruled Nov. 20 (Ogle v. Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 2013 BL 326449, S.D. Ind., No. 1:13-cv-00556, 11/20/13).
Outstanding Questions Prevent Summary Judgment on Assertions of TM Abandonment
Nov. 26 –Evidence that a trademark holder’s goods were meant to have a long shelf life and that they could maintain a market presence through clients’ use even during a three-year period in which the trademark holder itself made no sales was sufficient to create a triable question on the issue of trademark abandonment, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled Nov. 14 (Health & Sun Research, Inc. v. Australian Gold, LLC, 2013 BL 316525, M.D. Fla., No. 8:12-cv-02319-VMC-MAP, 11/14/13).
D.C. Cir. Affirms $310K Penalty Over Broker’s Supervisory Violations
Nov. 26 — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Nov. 26 affirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission did not abuse its discretion in penalizing a broker $310,000 for failing to supervise a subordinate who engaged in securities law violations (SEC v. Collins, D.C. Cir., No. 12-1241, 11/26/13).
Clerk Denied Benefits for Same-Sex Partner Awarded Back Pay by Ninth Circuit Council
Nov. 26 –Denying health benefits for a former law clerk’s same-sex domestic partner violated the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon’s Employment Dispute Resolution Plan and the U.S. Constitution, a committee of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided Nov. 25 (In re Fonberg, 9th Cir., No. 13-002, 11/25/13).
Purchaser at Auction Lacks Standing To Reopen Debtor’s Case; Sale of Assets Void
Nov. 21 — The appellee surveying company was not an “interested party” within the meaning of Bankruptcy Code Section 350(b), and therefore had no standing to reopen the debtor’s bankruptcy case, and as a result, any sale of the debtor’s assets to the appellee at a subsequent auction is void, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held Nov. 7 (Alexandria Surveys, LLC v. Alexandria Consulting Grp. (Alexandria Surveys Int’l LLC), 2013 BL 309478, E.D. Va., No. 1:13-cv-00891-LO-TCB, 11/7/13).