Blank Rome LLP Partner Nicholas C. Harbist recently spoke on “Lyin’, Cheatin’, Stealin’: The Perils of Dealing with Whistleblowers under the False Claims Act” at Seton Hall Law’s U.S. Healthcare Compliance Certification Program, on June 12, 2017, at Seton Hall Law School. Continue reading “The Perils of Dealing with Whistleblowers under the False Claims Act”
Suppose there is a hit-and-run in a sparsely populated area. You are retained as counsel to represent the victim, who sustained significant property damage to her vehicle and debilitating personal injuries. After a preliminary investigation, you learn that there are no witnesses to the incident, but there is a nearby gas station equipped with video cameras that may have footage of the hit-and-run and from which you may be able to identify the other driver. The gas station refuses to share its video footage with you. At this point, you could file a “John Doe” complaint and then serve a subpoena on the gas station. But the fastest and cheapest way to obtain the video is by filing a petition for pre-suit discovery under New Jersey Rule 4:11-1. Continue reading “Pre-Complaint Discovery: An Underutilized, Underrated and Unknown Tool”
On May 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued an 8-0 decision, which will have a significant impact on the number of patent infringement cases filed in districts in States in which large or technology-based companies, or other frequent targets of patent litigation, are incorporated. This includes New Jersey, Delaware, California, and Illinois.
The patent infringement litigation venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1400(b), provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has regular and established place of business.” In TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, No. 16-341, 581 U.S. __(2017), the Supreme Court held that for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), as applied to domestic corporations, “‘reside[nce]’ in § 1400(b) refers only to the State of incorporation.” Continue reading “Supreme Court Restricts Venue in Patent Infringement Cases”
Internal investigations have become commonplace in corporate America. From Fox’s Bill O’Reilly to the General Motors investigation, companies often hire law firms as a signal to shareholders that they are taking a crisis seriously, as well as a signal to the government that they are able to clean house. Apart from these high profile scandals, internal investigations are routinely done in order to ferret out wrongdoing within companies which have been victimized by employees. In cases where companies are victims, they often use internal investigations to root out the mechanics of the fraud as well as the responsible employees in order to turn them over to the authorities. In these instances, the provisions of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(2) require a court to order restitution for a victim’s “actual loss directly and proximately caused by the defendant’s offense of conviction.” A recent case from the Fifth Circuit demonstrates the reach of the MVRA.
On May 9, 2017, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced two new, short-term initiatives to combat public corruption: the Anti-Corruption Whistleblower Program and the Anti-Corruption Reward Program. The Attorney General’s Office expects both programs will help generate initial leads to uncover and prosecute public corruption crimes, as these types of cases are characteristically difficult to expose because they are often document intensive and involve sophisticated actors. Both programs are offered for only a limited time—until August 1, 2017. The Attorney General’s Office indicates that the temporary availability is intended to generate quick results; however, these programs will also allow the Attorney General’s Office to evaluate the efficacy of such programs to determine whether to offer similar programs in the future.
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently held in Conley v. Guerrero that the method of delivery requirements in the attorney review provision of a standard form real estate contract should not be strictly enforced. In what was an anticipated decision by lawyers and real estate professionals, the Court recognized that the delivery can be accomplished through email, facsimile and overnight delivery, in addition to the already sanctioned methods of certified mail, telegram (yes, telegram), and personal delivery. Continue reading “The Future Is Now—NJ Supreme Court Permits Notice by Email”
Blank Rome Partner David Kistler will be a panelist at the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s “Hot Topics in Federal Practice” program on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT, at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, NJ. Continue reading “Hot Topics in Federal Practice”