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Above the Law and Kaplan Bar Review are heading to Washington, D.C., for trivia night on Thursday, November 6. If you missed us last time, here’s your chance to have some fun. Drink up, prove your smarts, and get a chance to win mini iPads for your team (maximum of five per team).

Here are the details…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Prove How Smart You Are By Joining Us For Trivia In D.C.”

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In Pennsylvania, testifying experts usually are not deposed before trial; typically, their written reports are provided in advance of trial and delineate the substance and scope of their testimony. Attorneys often wish to communicate with their client’s expert and comment on drafts of the reports. Until April 2014, the law was not clear whether these communications were discoverable. This uncertainty made it problematic and potentially perilous for a party’s attorney to communicate with the party’s testifying expert, particularly in advance of the disclosure of the expert’s report. In Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hosp. of the Sisters of Christian Charity, No. 2014 WL 1688447 (Pa. Apr. 29, 2014), the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania took up the issue of the discovery of attorney-expert communications and split 3-3. This left intact the Superior Court’s bright-line rule preventing discovery of attorney-expert communications—a rule now to be applied by Pennsylvania trial courts.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are Attorney-Expert Communications Discoverable in Pennsylvania? (Almost never) — Some Clarity from the Appellate Courts”


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Last Friday, in the wake of numerous data breaches, President Obama signed a new Executive Order that will change how federal agencies use payment cards and allow access to certain government portals. Those changes include the adoption of chip-and-PIN (also known as EMV) payment terminals and cards, and the implementation of multi-factor authentication on digital applications where consumers can access personal information.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Chip-and-PIN is Coming…To the US Government”

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As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that prohibit or otherwise restrict customers or anyone else (such as current employees) from communicating with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA, or any federal or state regulatory authority regarding a possible securities law violation.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers”

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The California Court of Appeal recently provided rare guidance regarding a third party’s obligations to produce electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a subpoena. In Vasquez v. California School of Culinary Arts, Inc. (Sallie Mae) (August 27, 2014, B250600) Cal.App.4th (2014 WL 4793703), the court defined subpoenaed parties’ obligations to extract existing data from computer systems and upheld an award of attorneys’ fees against the recalcitrant third party. The court concluded that it is unreasonable for a third party to withhold ESI that exists in its computer systems on the basis that outputting the ESI entails creating a “new” spreadsheet.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Refuse to Provide Electronically Stored Information in Response to a Subpoena? You Could Face Sanctions”

Philadelphia_skyline_from_south_street_bridgeIt’s only a couple weeks away. ATL is heading to Philadelphia, and if you’re a law student, we want to get you a drink after class. We’ve visited a bunch of cities before but somehow we’ve always missed Philadelphia. No longer, thanks to our friends at Kaplan Bar Review.

Details and a form to officially RSVP are below.

Tell your friends and come on down…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Philly Law Students: Come Hang Out November 5th”

bankruptcy booksEd note: This post originally appeared on Bankruptcy Law Insights.

The perception that public employee pension obligations cannot be impaired in bankruptcy suffered a damaging blow several months ago in the City of Detroit bankruptcy case, and has now been fatally wounded by the recent ruling of Judge Christopher Klein in the Chapter 9 case of Stockton, California. Although Judge Klein’s decision is not likely to lead to a spate of municipal bankruptcy filings in an effort to escape burdensome pension liabilities (indeed, it may not even lead to the actual diminishment of pension claims in the Stockton case itself), this is an important decision. Unless reversed on appeal, it will alter the legal landscape for distressed municipalities. Together with the similar Detroit decision, the Stockton ruling will affect negotiations among municipalities, employee unions, pension system representatives and financial creditors across the country.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stockton Judge: Pension Obligations Are Not Impervious to Impairment In Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. What Comes Next?”

Lisa Blatt and Tom Goldstein

On Monday, October 27, at 6 p.m., we’ll be hosting an awesome Above the Law event in Washington, D.C.: a look at the current Term of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Our managing editor, David Lat, will moderate a discussion featuring two of the nation’s foremost Supreme Court advocates: Lisa Blatt, head of the appellate and Supreme Court practice at Arnold & Porter, and Tom Goldstein, partner at Goldstein & Russell and publisher of SCOTUSblog. Blatt and Goldstein have collectively argued more than 60 times before the Court.

There are many SCOTUS previews taking place around town over the next few weeks, but we promise you that the ATL event will be especially fun and lively. We will offer food, drink, and excellent company.

This event is free of charge. If you’d like to attend, please request an invite below. Thanks!

Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

Could the third time be the charm? Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari filed in May 2014 by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Texas DHCA) in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

The case gives the Supreme Court its third opportunity since 2012 to rule on the issue of whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. The prior two cases, Twp. Of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. and Magner v. Gallagher, were both settled after the completion of briefing but before the Court could hear oral argument and answer the question presented. This time around the Court granted the certiorari petition without first soliciting the views of the Solicitor General.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari (again) in FHA disparate impact case”

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