Supreme Court

In a short, unanimous opinion on April 12, 2024, the Supreme Court shut the door on “pure omission” claims under Rule 10b–5 and made clear that the Rule is limited to claims based on false or misleading statements.

The case, Macquarie Infrastructure Corp. v. Moab Partners, L.P., concerns alleged omissions in Defendant Macquarie’s SEC filings related to its subsidiary’s operation of bulk liquid storage terminals.  In 2016, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization issued a regulation limiting this subsidiary’s ability to store high-sulfur fuel oil, its single largest product. Though the regulation was set to take effect in 2020, Macquarie did not discuss the regulation in its public filings.Continue Reading Supreme Court rejects pure omission claims under SEC Rule 10b–5

Pennsylvania law requires foreign corporations to register to do business in the Commonwealth and provides that all registrants are subject to suit on “any cause” in the Commonwealth’s courts, regardless of a connection to the jurisdiction. In a split decision, the Supreme Court reversed a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision finding that this general jurisdiction provision violated the Due Process Clause. Mallory v. Norfolk So. Railway Co., 600 U.S. __ (2023) (slip op. available here).Continue Reading Split Supreme Court Weighs in on Corporate Consent to Personal Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 ruling, has resolved a circuit split on the issue of litigation stays pending appeal of denials of motions to compel arbitration.  In the underlying putative class action, Bielski et al v. Coinbase, Inc., 3:21-cv-07478 (N.D. Cal.), Coinbase moved to compel arbitration of the plaintiffs’ claims, but the motion was denied by the district court.  The Ninth Circuit—in a split from several other Circuits—declined to stay the district court proceedings while the appeal was pending.  The Supreme Court now has ruled that a district court must stay proceedings while an interlocutory appeal on the question of arbitrability is ongoing.  The decision means that defendants should be able to minimize ongoing litigation costs while an appeal of an adverse arbitration decision is pending.Continue Reading Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split to Require Stays Pending Appeal of Refusals to Compel Arbitration

We previously covered the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC, 975 F.3d 1244 (11th Cir. 2020), in which the Eleventh Circuit relied on two Supreme Court decisions from the 1880s to prohibit courts from awarding incentive or service awards to class representatives in class settlements.  Id. at 1255 (citing Trustees v. Greenough, 105 U.S. 527 (1881), and Cent. R.R. & Banking Co. v. Pettus, 113 U.S. 116 (1885).  Although the Eleventh Circuit was the first federal appellate court to bar these awards in all circumstances, a recent Second Circuit decision agreed that these awards are “likely impermissible” under Supreme Court precedent, while observing that it would take the entire Second Circuit to overturn prior precedent upholding incentive awards.  See Fikes Wholesale, Inc. v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 62 F.4th 704, 721 (2nd Cir. 2023).  The Department of Justice has likewise implied that it agrees with the Eleventh Circuit’s position, relying on the Johnson decision in an effort to block incentive awards from a class settlement in a District of Columbia court.  Continue Reading Supreme Court Denies Cert on Incentive Awards

In a one-line order issued last week, the Supreme Court dismissed In Re Grand Jury, No. 21-1397, one of the most significant cases about the attorney-client privilege in decades.  The dismissal came just two weeks after oral argument.  The Court explained that the writ of certiorari had been “improvidently granted,” meaning the Court should

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in a case to resolve a circuit split that has serious implications for companies who are unsuccessful in their efforts to enforce arbitration provisions in federal district courts. 

In Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, No. 22-105, the defendant moved to compel arbitration in two putative class actions.  The motions to compel were denied, and the defendant sought stays while it appealed the denials—which the Federal Arbitration Act gives defendants an automatic right to do.  See 9 U.S.C. § 16.  Both motions to stay were denied, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed both decisions.Continue Reading SCOTUS Set to Resolve Circuit Split over Stays Pending Arbitration Appeal

On Monday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Gonzalez v. Google LLC, 2 F.4th 871 (9th Cir. 2021) on the following question presented:  “Does section 230(c)(1) immunize interactive computer services when they make targeted recommendations of information provided by another information content provider, or only limit the liability of interactive computer services when they engage in traditional editorial functions (such as deciding whether to display or withdraw) with regard to such information?”  This is the first opportunity the Court has taken to interpret 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”) since the law was enacted in 1996.Continue Reading Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Gonzalez v. Google, Marking First Time Court Will Review Section 230

On June 15, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, No. 20-1573, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) requires California courts to honor agreements to arbitrate individual claims under the California Labor Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, Cal. Lab. Code § 2698 et seq. (“PAGA”).  Although Viking River Cruises is a significant win for California employers, it remains to be seen whether and to what extent the full scope of that win will be durable.Continue Reading Supreme Court Hands California Employers a Significant (if Qualified) Win

On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court unanimously held that a party opposing arbitration is not required to demonstrate prejudice to show that the other party has waived its contractual arbitration rights. 

Before today’s decision, nine federal courts of appeals had adopted the rule that a “party can waive its arbitration right by litigating only when its conduct has prejudiced the other side.”  Morgan v. Sundance, 596 U.S. __ (2022).  Two other circuits had held no showing of prejudice was required.Continue Reading Supreme Court Decision Makes It Easier to Waive Right to Arbitration

Last year, in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 141 S.Ct. 2190 (2021), the Supreme Court confirmed that every class member must have Article III standing to recover damages in a class action.  As we have previously written, the Court’s decision – summed up as “[n]o concrete harm, no standing” – presents major obstacles to plaintiffs asserting class claims based on “bare procedural violation[s]” of statutes.  But Ramirez left unanswered some important questions about class action standing, and we offer some thoughts here on what the answers are likely to be.Continue Reading A Closer Look: Standing at Class Certification After TransUnion v. Ramirez