Case and Legislative Updates

N.J. Justices: Data Fields in Extracted Emails Are Public Records

By Charles Toutant |

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that individual fields of data from electronically stored public records are subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act.

Glassdoor Resists Feds' Bid to Unmask Reviewers

By Ben Hancock |

Glassdoor has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to block an attempt by federal prosecutors to unmask reviewers as part of a grand jury investigation.

SCOTUS Will Take Up Cellphone Tracking Case

By Ross Todd |

The court announced Monday that it had granted certiorari in United States v. Carpenter, an appeal of a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Target to Pay $18.5M to States Over Data Breach

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The May 23 settlement came after a multi-state investigation led by the Connecticut and Illinois Attorneys General Offices.

National Security Agency headquarters

4th Circuit Grants 2nd Chance for NSA Spying Lawsuit

By Cogan Schneier |

A Maryland district court dismissed the case in 2015, agreeing with the government’s position that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

Andrew P. Gold and Dee Dee Fischer, with Akerman.

'Shared' Password Leads to $3.73M Verdict Against Florida Company

By Celia Ampel |

A jury found Compass iTech had misappropriated trade secrets, interfered with a contract and breached the terms of service of an analytics company.

Tech Wins Big in TC Heartland, but ‘A Lot of Fighting’ Remains

By Scott Graham |

The TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group decision means many tech companies won't have to defend patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas.

TransPerfect-Linked Group Wants to Know How Company Custodian Spent $18 Million

By Tom McParland |

The group is seeking to unseal documents relating to at least 32 confidential transactions undertaken by Skadden partner Robert B. Pincus since he was appointed custodian.

Judge OKs $10M Target Data Breach Settlement—Again

By Amanda Bronstad |

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson came out with an order approving class certification in a $10 million data-breach settlement.

Ex-New Jersey Judge, Colleagues Lose Bid to Dismiss Computer Hacking Suit

By Charles Toutant |

Former Essex County Superior Court Judge Carol Ferentz, Benjamin DelVento and DelVento's sons Benjamin Jr. and Matthew had moved to dismiss the suit by Maurice Donovan.

Next Stop for Waymo-Uber Fight Is the Federal Circuit

By Scott Graham |

The former Google employee at the center of the trade secrets case persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to slow things down.

E. Barrett Prettyman Court House.

Fight Over 2 Big Law Accounts Sparks Legal Tech Court Case

By Cogan Schneier |

eSentio Technologies says a former employee stole two Big Law clients when he defected to rival technology provider HBR Consulting.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Twitter Sues Feds, Refuses to ID Anti-Trump Tweeter

By Ross Todd |

@ALT_USCIS claims that it is run by an individual currently employed by the federal government, in this instance the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

(clockwise from top left): Instagram, Foodspotting, Path, and Twitter.

Twitter, Yelp Strike $5.3M Settlement in App Privacy Case

By Ross Todd |

The suit accused the apps of inappropriately accessing the address books of customers using Apple mobile devices.

Privacy Litigation Against Coca-Cola Goes Flat

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge held that Coca-Cola had no responsibility to prevent its employees' personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Facebook Photo of Judge Holding Beverage Is Not Proof of DWI Release Violation, Judge Says

By Joel Stashenko |

City Court Judge Leticia Astacio had previously been suspended since her 2016 conviction for driving while intoxicated.

Who Has the Keys to Self-Driving Cars?

By Amanda Cicatelli, InsideCounsel |

The Waymo v. Uber case is one of the first major battles over driverless car technology, and it will be a real food fight.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

In Uber Appeal, Another Test for Digital Arbitration Pacts

By Andrew Denney |

Second Circuit judges are considering whether to sign off on an arbitration agreement that Uber wrapped into its app terms of service.

Companies Challenge Secrecy Protocols for FBI National Security Letters

By Ben Hancock |

The companies say the potentially indefinite gag orders about the letters are an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech.


Cybercrimes in Civil Litigation: Using the CFAA To Go 'On the Offensive'

By Shain Khoshbin, Munck Wilson Mandala |

There is a split among federal circuit courts of appeals regarding the meaning of the phrase "unauthorized use" in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

3rd Circuit Upholds Contempt Ruling for Man Who Didn’t Unlock Devices

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The appeals court decision affirmed a civil contempt order against a John Doe defendant, who refused to provide law enforcement with passwords to some of his devices while doing so for others.

Mobile phones and digital tablets

Ninth Circuit Weighs Privacy in Police Cellphone Tracking Case

By Ross Todd |

Judges Mary McKeown and Jay Bybee expressed concern over the growing frequency and precision with which cellular providers can track their customers.

Google Is Not Generic for Internet Searching—But the Day May Be Coming

By Scott Graham |

Lawyer Richard Wirtz argues that so many people say "google" when they mean "search the internet" regardless of search engine.

Bharara Relying on Little-Used Cyberstalking Law in Bomb Threat Prosecution

By Andrew Denney |

The statute is "relatively new and untested," said Shari Claire Lewis, a partner at Rivkin Radler.

Amazon Echo.

Amazon, Avoiding First Amendment Clash, Drops Objections to Echo Warrant

By Ben Hancock |

Amazon Inc. has agreed to hand over recordings from an "Echo" device that was in the home of a murder suspect in Arkansas.

Magistrate Judge Peck

Judge Peck Is Fed Up With Lazy Discovery Responses

By Mark Hamblett |

“It is time, once again, to issue a discovery wake-up call to the bar in this district,” Peck wrote in Fischer v. Forrest.

Amazon Echo.

Fighting Echo Warrant, Amazon Has Scant Law to Draw On

By Ben Hancock |

The tug of war between Amazon and law enforcement is seen by many as the next battleground over digital privacy.

Social Media Gets Some Respect from SCOTUS in First Amendment Case

By Tony Mauro |

In Packingham v. North Carolina, a North Carolina man was convicted for posting on Facebook while on the state’s sex offender registry.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

What to Make of Google-Uber Spat Over Driverless Cars

By Scott Graham |

Last week, Alphabet subsidiary Waymo LLC sued Uber Technologies Inc., alleging stolen trade secrets and patent infringement.

Judge Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

District Judge, Set to Rule on Online Actor-Age Law, Spars With Its Defenders

By Ross Todd |

U.S District Judge Vince Chhabria made clear Thursday morning that he thought the law violated the First Amendment, although he held off ruling from the bench.

Ericsson, TCL Battle Over FRAND Patents in 'Cutting-Edge' Case

By Scott Graham |

TCL is asking Judge James Selna to set a FRAND rate and award damages for Ericsson's alleged breach of FRAND commitments.

Microsoft Offers 'Umbrella' to Customers Sued Over Azure Cloud Innovations

By Scott Graham |

Microsoft will make 10,000 patents available to customers who face lawsuits over innovations that run on Azure.

Pokemon Go

Gamers Hope a Snapchat Lawsuit Will Drive Pokémon GO Back to Full Functionality

By Richard Binder |

A recent decision in a lawsuit against Snapchat has Pokémon GO players buzzing.

In PACER Suit, a Class Action Even Defense Lawyers Can Love

By Amanda Bronstad |

The case alleges that the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system overcharges for online access to court dockets and documents.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington.

SEC's Yahoo Data Breach Probe Could Set a Precedent, Defense Lawyers Say

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Attorneys say Yahoo’s situation underscores challenges public companies face knowing what to say in their disclosures and when to say it.

Alan Dershowitz.

Tempers Fray as Dershowitz Argues Forced Sale of TransPerfect is Unconstitutional Taking

By Tom McParland |

The translation and discovery technology company, used heavily in legal, is at the center of a dispute between former co-founders Liz Elting and Phil Shawe.

UC Irvine School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky

Chemerinsky on the ‘Astounding Time’ in Supreme Court History, its Stance on Technology

By Zach Warren |

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, will be the January 31 keynote speaker at the Legaltech portion of Legalweek the Experience.

IRS Probe of Bitcoin Accounts Sparks Legal Showdown

By Ross Todd |

The Coinbase case could be "the first major tax case for the industry."

Amazon Echo.

Search Warrants for IoT Data Spur Legal, Privacy Complications

By Ricci Dipshan |

Law enforcement attempts to access Amazon Echo raise questions over the viability of IoT data in investigations and the vulnerability of private information.

Justices Ground Startup Flytenow, the 'Uber of the Sky'

By Marcia Coyle |

Flytenow argued that pilots using Flytenow’s online platform are not “common carriers” who must satisfy more stringent aviation rules.

Ashley Madison website.

Ashley Madison Data Breach Claims Should Be Arbitrated, Company Says

By Amanda Bronstad |

The plaintiffs counter Avid’s “shoddy record-keeping practices” made it difficult to know whether the plaintiffs signed arbitration agreements.

Pokemon Go.

Pokemon, Go? Augmented Reality Technology Faces Legal Reckonings in 2017

By Ricci Dipshan |

Clarity on Pokémon Go’s pending legal and privacy challenges, as well as underlying intellectual property concerns, will define augmented reality’s trajectory in the near future.

Apple Gets Temporary Victory With Touchscreen Patent

By Scott Graham |

The court said the patent office failed to sufficiently explain why Apple’s method for reconfiguring touchscreen icons is unpatentable due to obviousness.

Data Breaches, Augmented Reality Among Top California Cases to Watch in 2017

By Ben Hancock and Ross Todd |

The Yahoo and Pokemon Go cases could have far-reaching implications for tech companies.

Facebook Post Dashes Woman's Med Mal Suit

By Max Mitchell |

Judge Jacqueline O. Shogan cited two Facebook posts that undercut the plaintiff's statute of limitations argument.