January 01, 2010

Happy New Year! On behalf of all the Jenner & Block LLP Spotlight Litigation contributors, we wish you our very best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and successful 2010. We look forward to providing you with monthly litigation updates across several different areas of law in the coming year. We begin the new year with our latest edition of the Litigation Spotlight which contains information that will be helpful to your practice.

This month’s Litigation Spotlight addresses new developments across sixteen practice areas. We are proud to include for the first time in this publication notable contributions from our Environmental and Insurance Practice Groups. In the former, we discuss the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, finding that non-settling potentially responsible parties can intervene in a CERCLA consent decree (United States. v. Albert Inv. Co.); and the District Court of South Carolina’s holding to bar environmental tort claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (Oxendine v. United States). In the latter, we discuss a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Rivelli v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co.) which presents a cautionary tale for any prospective policyholders confronted with a request to sign a warranty letter. The remaining content in this edition of the Litigation Spotlight includes some of the following areas:

We discuss a number of cases involving attorney-client privilege issues. In Appellate and Supreme Court, we note Justice Sotomayor’s first published opinion in which the Supreme Court held that a party may not immediately appeal a discovery order requiring the disclosure of materials (Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter).  In Privilege Issues, we discuss a decision holding that although an employee’s use of the company’s email system waived her privilege, it did not waive the privilege of her co-clients who received her emails (Alamar Ranch, LLC v. County of Boise); and an order sanctioning a party for discovery abuse by finding that all of its privileges had been waived (Novelty, Inc. v. Mountain View Marketing, Inc.).

Additionally, we note in White Collar & Investigations that the Department of Justice is committed to seeking asset forfeiture as an enforcement tool in Federal Corruption Practices Act cases (United States v. Shea), while the Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to penalize CEOs under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in instances in which the CEOs were not personally involved in the wrongdoing.

In the area of electronic discovery, we discuss the opinion of one court, finding that metadata is an integral and producible part of any document (Lake v. City of Phoenix), and another, holding that the restoration of back-up tapes was not required as it was too burdensome (Calixto v. Watson Berman Acme Corp.) 

Finally, this month’s “In the Spotlight” section profiles Susan J. Kohlmann, a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department and chair of the Unfair Competition, False Advertising and Lanham Act Practice. Ms. Kohlmann currently represents client Viacom in its copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google and recently successfully represented the Estate of Elaine Steinbeck in a dispute involving termination rights under the U.S. copyright laws over the rights to John Steinbeck’s literary works such as Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.

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