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Northwest Business Litigation Blog Northwest Business Litigation Blog

Resource for in-house counsel, business executives, human resource managers and others who monitor litigation and legal issues affecting Northwest USA businesses.
By Ater Wynne LLP

Post Frequency: 2.1/day

Last Entry: May 17, 2015 at 13:17:00

Recent Entries: 307

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Oregon Court of Appeals rejects product line exception to successor liability

Posted on May 17, 2015
If the manufacturer of a defective product sells its assets and goes out of business, can a party injured by the product sue the purchaser of the assets on a products liability theory? The general rule of successor liability is...

Enforcement of voidable noncompete is not tortious, Oregon Court of Appeals holds

Posted on May 14, 2015
Under Oregon law, a noncompetition agreement is "voidable," as opposed to void, if the employer fails to give notice two weeks before an employee starts work that the agreement is a condition of employment. In Bernard v. S.B., Inc., the...

Arbitrator may order remedies beyond the agreed scope of arbitration

Posted on April 27, 2015
If parties involved in an arbitration agree to resolve only the issue of liability, may the arbitrator issue an order determining not only liability but the appropriate remedies as well? According to the Oregon Court of Appeals, the answer is...

What's the Fuss About Electronic Discovery?

Posted on April 08, 2015
The decade-old Zubulake v. UBS case set off a seismic shift in electronic discovery that many lawyers and litigants still don't fully comprehend. One lesson many have learned the hard way is that the electronic discovery rules and practices that...

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NLRB issues further guidance on employment policies

Posted on March 22, 2015
On March 18, 2015, the General Counsel for the NLRB issued a new memo providing guidance on common employer rules and policies that run afoul of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. The memo is divided into two...

Pom?s Wonderful Start to the New Year

Posted on January 05, 2015
A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court decision denying Pom Wonderful?s request for injunctive relief from market competitor, Pur Beverages.

Oregon Supreme Court refines the "same nine" rule for jury verdicts

Posted on December 16, 2014
The Oregon Constitution and Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure 59G(2) both state that "in civil cases three-fourths of the jury may render a verdict." The "same nine" rule requires that, if the questions presented to a jury are interdependent --...

Oregon Supreme Court on statutory immunity of LLC members and managers

Posted on October 09, 2014
Members and managers of a limited liability company are shielded from vicarious liability for the LLC's torts, but can be held personally liable if they either knew of the tortious acts or participated in them. That was the conclusion of...

Oregon Court of Appeals recognizes the inconvenient-forum doctrine

Posted on October 08, 2014
Addressing an issue of first impression, the Oregon Court of Appeals today held that the inconvenient-forum doctrine, or forum non conveniens, is available as a basis to dismiss a lawsuit in state court. In Espinoza v. Evergreen Helicopters, Inc., the...

Oregon Court of Appeals: Transfer of business violated fraudulent transfers law

Posted on October 07, 2014
Business owners violated the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (ORS 95.200 to 95.310) when they dissolved one business and transferred the assets and operations to a newly-formed entity, according to the Oregon Court of Appeals. In Norris v. R&T Manufacturing, LLC,...

California will require supervisor training to prevent workplace bullying

Posted on September 30, 2014
California recently became the second state to pass a law acknowledging the problem of workplace bullying. The first state to do so was Tennessee. Effective January 1, 2015, California?s existing law mandating sexual harassment training for supervisors must include training...

Oregon Supreme Court recognizes law firm "in house" privilege

Posted on June 06, 2014
The Oregon Supreme Court held last week that the attorney-client privilege applies to communications between a law firm's lawyers and the firm's in-house counsel. In Crimson Trace Corp. v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, plaintiff sued its lawyers for malpractice, and...

Angencies continue to attack restrictions on employee speech: Part 3 -- Lessons for employers

Posted on May 27, 2014
As discussed in our earlier posts (Part 1 and Part 2), the EEOC and NLRB have in recent years targeted employers who impose restrictions on employee speech and conduct that could chill employees' exercise of their rights under the NLRA...

Agencies continue to attack restrictions on employee speech: Part 2 -- NLRB

Posted on May 25, 2014
The EEOC?s recent lawsuits against employers described in Part 1 follow the NLRB?s similar attempts in recent years to rein in employer restrictions that could impact employee speech and other employment rights under federal labor law. The focus of the...

Agencies continue to attack restrictions on employer speech: Part 1 - EEOC

Posted on May 23, 2014
The EEOC and NLRB continue to target employers who restrict employee speech and conduct, especially when those restrictions could impact employees? rights under labor and employment laws. The EEOC recently filed suit attacking the use of certain terms in employer...

Direct competition not required to assert Lanham Act false advertising claim

Posted on April 02, 2014
There is little debate that the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1125(a), entitles direct competitors to sue each other for false advertising, while consumers (including business consumers) lack standing to sue under the Act. For parties that are neither competitors nor...

Target of social media criticism can sue for defamation, Oregon Court of Appeals holds

Posted on March 31, 2014
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently held that a business owner can pursue a defamation claim against an individual who posted a negative on-line review. In Neumann v. Liles, plaintiff, who operates a wedding venue, was the target of a...

Oregon Supreme Court addresses seller's UCC remedies

Posted on March 28, 2014
When a party refuses to perform its contract to purchase goods, the Uniform Commercial Code entitles the aggrieved seller to sell the goods to another buyer and recover damages from the defaulting party. Often the buyer must sell at less...

EEOC files suit challenging employer's standard settlement terms

Posted on February 19, 2014
The EEOC has filed suit in Chicago against pharmacy giant CVS to stop it from using certain terms in its settlement agreements with employees. The EEOC claims that the company unlawfully violated employees' rights to communicate with the EEOC and...

NLRB Abandons Controversial Posting Rule

Posted on January 09, 2014
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced this week that it will not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of two Court of Appeals decisions invalidating its controversial posting rule. The rule required most private sector employers to post a notice...

Oregon Court of Appeals Adopts Broad Definition of "Employee" for Minimum Wage Statute

Posted on January 06, 2014
Last month, in Cejas Commercial Interiors, Inc., v. Torres-Lizama, the Oregon Court of Appeals adopted the ?economic realities test? for determining whether an individual is an employee under Oregon's minimum wage statute. The statute, ORS 653.025, provides that ?no employer...

Oregon Court of Appeals holds the line on pleading prejudgment interest

Posted on January 02, 2014
Last week the Oregon Court of Appeals reinforced the challenges facing parties seeking prejudgment interest. In Davis v. F.W. Financial Services, Inc., defendant asserted a counterclaim for conversion of funds, and sought interest accruing on that sum of money through...

Oregon Supreme Court disavows precedent on personal jurisdiction

Posted on December 31, 2013
The Oregon Supreme Court earlier this month refined its test for personal jurisdiction, rejecting thirty-year-old precedent and adopting a flexible approach consistent with more recent U.S. Supreme Court case law. Robinson v. Harley-Davidson Motor Co...

Free, hands-on Cover Oregon training for businesses and individuals

Posted on October 16, 2013
State Representative (and Ater Wynne attorney) Shemia Fagan is hosting a free Cover Oregon training for businesses and individuals interested in learning about the new online health insurance marketplace. This hands-on training will be more extensive than the presentations Cover...

Justice questions Oregon Supreme Court's remedy clause jurisprudence

Posted on September 30, 2013
Last week the Oregon Supreme Court invalidated a statutory cap on noneconomic tort damages. The plaintiffs in Klutschkowski v. PeaceHealth asserted a medical malpractice claim to recover for injuries their son had sustained during birth. Plaintiffs contended that the damages...

Register for Ater Wynne's Seminar on Gender Equality: Emerging LGBT Issues in the Workplace

Posted on September 18, 2013
Ater Wynne invites you to attend its next employment law seminar, on Thursday, September 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Portland's World Trade Center. A panel will discuss Gender Equality: Emerging LGBT Issues in the Workplace. For details and...

Oregon Court of Appeals invokes imputed knowledge doctrine to defeat rescission claim

Posted on September 04, 2013
The Court of Appeals last week thwarted an effort to unwind a sale of real property, holding that the disappointed purchaser had imputed knowledge of problems with the property at the time of the sale. In Atkeson v. T&K Lands,...

Seattle City Council restricts criminal background checks

Posted on August 27, 2013
Starting in November 2013, a new Seattle ordinance will severely restrict when and how a private employer may ask about and use the criminal conviction history of its job applicants and employees. The new law applies to all employees who...

Judge orders Clackamas County to assist TriMet in completing Portland-Milwaukie light rail

Posted on July 02, 2013
In a case involving issues of statutory interpretation, the scope of the initiative power, and the prohibition on impairment of contract, a judge yesterday ordered Clackamas County to cooperate with TriMet in the construction and operation of the Portland-Milwaukie light...

U.S. Supreme Court won't undo arbitration clause preventing class action

Posted on June 21, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday enforced an arbitration agreement prohibiting class arbitration of antitrust claims, even though the plaintiffs showed that it was uneconomical for them each to pursue claims individually. In American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant, a group...

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