Business Law Update, July 2009





Supreme Court Upholds Application of Bankruptcy Court Injunction Barring Further Litigation or Recovery Directly from the Insurance Company of the Debtor
By L. Kathleen Harrell-Latham

On June 18, 2009, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit in Travelers Indemnity Co. et al. v. Bailey et al. and upheld the Bankruptcy Court’s decision to enjoin all litigation against the former insurance company of the debtor arising from breaches of its alleged independent statutory and common law duties to warn the public of the risks of asbestos.  Continue

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Bankruptcy Code Restrictions on Pre-Bankruptcy Planning Advice by Attorneys
By L. Kathleen Harrell-Latham

On June 8, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted the petitions for writ of certiorari of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A., et. al. v United States of America that interpreted the potential application of the speech restrictions to attorneys that are imposed upon debt relief agencies by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act and the constitutionality of these restrictions (“BAPCPA restrictions”).  Continue

Supreme Court Sets Higher Burden for Plaintiffs in Age Discrimination Claims
By Julia H. Halbach and Paul M. Haverstock*

On June 18, 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc.  In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), an employee must prove that age was the cause of the employer’s discriminatory treatment, and not merely one motivating factor.  The Court also stated that, unlike in Title VII cases, the burden of proof never shifts to the employer in age discrimination claims under the ADEA.  Continue

Supreme Court Requires Recusal When Invested Party Contributed $3 Million to Judge’s Campaign
By Chris M. Heffelbower & Breanna L. Christensen*

The United States Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., No. 08-22 (2009), requiring elected judges to recuse themselves on cases where an invested party contributed substantial campaign money.  This is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on the power of the Constitution to review the influence that contributions to judicial campaigns may have on judges.  The decision could affect the way cases are heard in states like Minnesota where most judges are elected to their positions.  Continue

Supreme Court Holds That Disregarding Test Results Discriminated Against White Firefighters
By Bruce J. Douglas and Chris M. Heffelbower

The Supreme Court ruled on June 29, 2009 that the City of New Haven violated Title VII when it threw out the City’s firefighter examination because the test results had a disparate impact on minority firefighters.  The decision in Ricci, et al. v. Destefano, et al. (No. 07-1428) reversed the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, which held that the City had properly certified the test results.  This Supreme Court decision was much anticipated because Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor was part of the Second Circuit panel that had decided in favor of the City.  Continue

Contact our Business Litigation Attorneys:  

Jon S. Swierzewski

John A. Cotter
Email 952.896.3340

Dayle Nolan                     
Email 952.896.3275           
Christopher J. Harristhal  
Email 952.896.3312
Bruce J. Douglas  
Email 952.896.1569
Daniel J. Ballintine  
Email 952.896.3288

Kenneth Corey-Edstrom
Email 952.896.1719

Cynthia M. Klaus
Email 952.896.3392

Chris M. Heffelbower    
Email 952.896.1543
Sejal Desai Winkelman     
Email 952.896.3325
Carrie L. Zochert    
Email 952.896.3353
Julia H. Halbach    
Email 952.896.3264

L. Kathleen Harrell-Latham 
Email 952.896.1544

Michael C. Jackman
Of Counsel
Email 952.835.3800          Attorneys             Firm News             Events

This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates.  While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.