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Commercial Law

[08/28] California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland
Affirming a Court of Appeals judgment that article XIII C of the California Constitution, limiting the ability of local governments to tax, does not constrain voter constitutional powers to propose and adopt initiatives or raise taxes by such initiatives in the case of a city ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries and requiring an annual licensing and inspection fee of $75,000.

[08/07] Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition v. US
Affirming the Court of International Trade's decision affirming a Department of Commerce ruling in the administrative review of an earlier anti-dumping order, the court held that no error occurred in the determination that a Chinese saw blade manufacturer was seeking to sell their products at less than fair market value in the United States.

[08/02] US v. Stone
Affirming the district court's rulings in the case of a mortgage fraud scheme where the defendant alleged a conflict of interest but the court found that the interest was not significant and the court's judgment would not substantially affect the companies involved and because the sentence and restitution order were not an abuse of discretion.

[08/02] Olagues v. Icahn
Affirming the judgment of the District Court dismissing the plaintiff's claims seeking the disgorgement of 'short-swing' profits under the Securities Exchange Act from three companies owned by a single individual because the plaintiff had not plausibly alleged that the defendant had failed to disgorge all of the premiums he received for selling the put options at issue.

[07/28] Conroy v. Wells Fargo Bank
Affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a couple being foreclosed against alleging that there was misrepresentation and negligence associated with their contract with the lender and that the company never designated a single point of contact, as well as other contracts claims, but many of the causes of action were derivative to other causes of action that failed to plead reliance or damages and were not viable.

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Insurance Law

[09/08] Global Modular, Inc. v. Kadena Pacific, Inc.
Affirming the determination that an insurance policy for the subcontractor was liable for damages resulting from the subcontractor's acts and that the contractor was entitled to attorney's fees, but reversing an offset order reducing the damages by a settlement payment made by the subcontractor because the payment did not compensate the contractor for the costs of its water remediation.

[09/08] King v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Reversing the district court grant of summary judgment in the case of a welfare benefit plan that denied a woman coverage when a back infection requiring surgery would exceed the plan's half-million dollar lifetime benefit maximum because although ERISA does not ban lifetime benefit maximums for certain retiree-only plans the defendants violated ERISA's statutory and regulatory requirements by providing a faulty summary of modifications in 2010 and genuine disputes of material fact bar summary judgment on breach of fiduciary duty claims.

[08/31] Montrose Chemical Corporation of California v. Canadian Universal Insurance Company, Inc.
Affirming the trial court determination that a chemical company seeking a method to compel payment by their insurer in claims for injuries relating to their production of DDT could not use an 'elective stacking' method relating to excess policies in favor of the 'horizontal exhaustion' method of determination because the elective stacking method is inconsistent with at least some of the more than 115 excess policies at issue, but limiting the application of the horizontal exhaustion doctrine, resulting in a partial reversal.

[08/30] Pulte Home Corporation v. American Safety Indemnity Company
Affirming the substantive rulings in the case of an insurer's appeal of a judgment finding them liable for breaching its covenants in refusing to defend a construction company in covered construction defense lawsuits that resulted in ruling finding them liable for punitive damages and attorney fees but reversing the award of attorney fees and punitive damages because the amount claimed was greater than the amount of attorney fees originally set by the lawyer.

[08/23] Los Angeles Lakers Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company
Affirming the district court dismissal of an action brought under diversity jurisdiction by the LA Lakers against an insurer when it denied coverage and declined to defend them in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because the court agreed that the lawsuit was an invasion of privacy suit that was specifically excluded from coverage.

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Oil & Gas

[08/23] Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. US Army Corps of Engineers
Denying a petition for the review of the decision of the US Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit approving the project of a gas pipeline company to build an interstate pipeline project rather than use the 'compression' alternative, but the court agreed that the alternative had been considered but rejected for reasons supported in the record and that it was entitled to make a policy choice between environmental tradeoffs.

[07/19] In Re SemCrude L.P.
Affirming a summary judgment for downstream purchasers of oil in a Chapter 11 case where the downstream purchasers took measures to protect themselves against the company's insolvency while oil producers failed to do so, holding that the precautions taken by the downstream purchasers did not entitle the oil producers to the full repayment received by the downstream purchasers.

[07/03] Tustin Field Gas Food Inc. v. Mid Century Insurance Company
Affirming the trial court's ruling that the splitting of an improperly installed fiberglass sheath on a gas station's underground gasoline storage tank after 16 years did not constitute a collapse as defined by the law and was not entitled to coverage under an insurance policy that failed to define collapse.

[06/13] Autoridad de Energia Electrica v. Vitol SA Services, LLC
In a suit brought under a Puerto Rico 'Law 458', which prohibits government instrumentalities and public corporations from awarding bids or contracts to persons (including juridical persons) who have been convicted of 'crimes that constitute fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds listed in section 928b of this title,' P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 3, section 928, the district court's judgment remanding the case to the Commonwealth Puerto Rico Court of First Instance is affirmed where the forum selection clauses at issue were enforceable, and that the unanimity requirement of 28 U.S.C. section 1446(b)(2)(A) therefore could not be satisfied.

[06/12] SolarCity Corp. v. Salt River Agricultural Improvement and Power Dist.
In an antitrust lawsuit alleging a power district had attempted to entrench its monopoly by setting prices that disfavored solar-power providers, defendant's appeal of the district court order denying its motion to dismiss the suit based on the state-action immunity doctrine, is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where the collateral order doctrine does not allow an immediate appeal of an order denying a dismissal motion based on state-action immunity.

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