Recent Appellate Representations by Year:

Related Practices

Recent Appellate Representations by Year

2014

State Center v. Lexington Charles Ltd. P’ship, 2014 WL 1245085 (Md. 2014)
Represented a private developer seeking to redevelop an area of Baltimore in a case alleging that the State of Maryland had violated state procurement laws.  The trial court ruled in favor of the objectors.  On appeal, Steptoe obtained reversal of the trial court’s decision.  Among other holdings, the Court of Appeals concluded that the procurement process was open and transparent.  The ruling dismissed the case with prejudice and allowed the developer’s project to proceed.
  Construction

Fields v. The Elected Officials’ Ret. Plan, 2014 Ariz. LEXIS 51 (Ariz. 2014)
Defended a state retirement plan in a constitutional challenge to newly-enacted state legislation that limited pension benefits.  The issue was whether the legislation reduced and impaired retirement benefits contrary to the Pension Clause of the Arizona Constitution.

  Financial Services

NACS, formerly known as Nat’l Ass’n of Convenience Stores v. Bd. of Governors of the Fed. Reserve Sys., --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 1099633 (DC Cir. 2014)
Represented merchant associations, including NACS, National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, and National Restaurant Association, in a challenge to rules imposed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to regulate the fees that may be charged for the swipe of a debit card.  This case involved multiple questions whether the rules were contrary to the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

  Financial Services

Macasa v. Dole Food Co., Inc., 2014 WL 1254688 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014)
Represented a pesticide manufacturer that was used on banana farms in the Philippines before 1980.  The plaintiffs alleged that exposure to the pesticide caused infertility.  The California Court of Appeal agreed that the lawsuit was time-barred and affirmed dismissal of the lawsuit.

  Food & Agriculture

Millennium Inorganic Chem. Ltd. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., --- F.3d ----, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3096 (4th Cir. 2014)
Steptoe represented an insurance company in a case involving a claim for more than $10 million contingent business interruption insurance.  The district court had granted summary judgment in favor of the insured, concluding that the policy was ambiguous.  After briefing and oral argument in the Fourth Circuit, the Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurers. 

  Insurance

Giza v. BNSF Ry. Co., 843 N.W.2d 713 (Iowa 2014)
Represented a railroad with appeal of jury verdict.  On appeal, the Supreme Court of Iowa reversed the jury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial, holding that federal law does not preclude the railroad from introducing statistical and other relevant evidence to establish an employee’s anticipated retirement date.

  Transportation

Kuhnel v. BNSF Ry. Co., 20 Neb. App. 884 (Neb. Ct. App. 2014)
Represented a railroad in appealing a jury verdict for an employee alleging personal injury.  Prior to Steptoe’s involvement, the Court of Appeals of Nebraska granted a new trial for the plaintiff.  After Steptoe’s assistance, the Supreme Court of Nebraska held that jury was adequately informed and reinstated a defense verdict for the railroad.

  Transportation

2013

Projects Mgmt. Co. v. DynCorp Int’l LLC, 734 F.3d 366 (4th Cir. 2013) 
Represented defense contractor in breach of contract action brought by subcontractor.  The district court dismissed the claim based on plaintiff’s repeated discovery abuses and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. 
 

Aerospace & Defense

Baker v. Chevron USA, Inc., 533 Fed. App’x 509 (6th Cir. 2013)
Represented a petroleum company in a property contamination action.  Steptoe obtained a decision from the Sixth Circuit affirming the district court’s decision granting summary judgment to defendants and imposing Rule 11 sanctions on plaintiffs’ counsel.
  Energy
Daley v. Mostoller, 717 F.3d 506 (6th Cir. 2013) (amicus)
Filed an amicus brief for Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.  This case involves the issue whether an individual’s use of IRA assets in violation of an account document deprived the individual of tax and bankruptcy protection.  Steptoe’s amicus brief argued that the presumption of protection overrides account documents.  The Sixth Circuit held that the individual had not engaged in a prohibited activity and found that the bankruptcy protection attached to his account. 
 

Financial

 Services

First Data Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 233 Ariz. 405 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013)
Represented a corporate taxpayer in challenging a determination that the gain from the sale of a wholly-owned subsidiary constituted business income for purposes of state income tax return. 
 

Financial

Services

Franchise Tax Bd. v. Superior Court of San Francisco County, 221 Cal. App. 4th 647 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013)
Represented a financial services company in a case raising the question whether a statute imposing penalties for the promotion of tax shelters could be applied retroactively.  The panel unanimously upheld the lower court’s finding that the statute could not be applied retroactively, and reduced the penalties from $27 million to $2,000. 
 

Financial

Services 

Allergan, Inc. v. Barr Labs., Inc., 501 Fed. App’x 965 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented a pharmaceutical company in an appeal in a patent infringement case regarding claim construction and non-obviousness in a patent for a drug used to treat glaucoma and reduce intraocular pressure.
  Healthcare 
<Astrazeneca LP v. Breath Ltd., 542 Fed. App’x 971 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented a pharmaceutical company in an appeal of a lower court determination that another company’s patents for treatment of asthma were either invalid or not infringed.
  Healthcare 
Biogen Idec, Inc. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, 713 F.3d 1090 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented pharmaceutical companies on appeal from the lower court’s decision of non-infringement by another company’s antibody product used in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 
  Healthcare 
Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Mgmt. Servcs., Inc., 731 F.3d 556 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc) (amicus)
Represented amici American Insurance Association, National Council of Self Insurers, and Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America in a case involving claims for workers’ compensation.  Employees brought RICO claims to assess their entitlement to workers’ compensation claims. 
  Insurance
New York Life Ins. Co. v. United States, 724 F.3d 256 (2d Cir. 2013)
Represented an insurance company in appealing a case involving Section 808 of the tax code, which permits a deduction for policyholder dividends “paid or accrued during the taxable year.” 
  Insurance
United States v. Great Am. Ins. Co. of New York, 738 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (amicus)
Represented amicus The Surety & Fidelity Association of America in a case involving the statute of limitations and requisite notice attendant to claims related to surety bonds provided to the U.S. government to secure payment of antidumping duties.
  Insurance
Aristocrat Techns. Australia Pty Ltd. v. Int’l Game Tech., 709 F.3d 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented gaming manufacturer in a patent infringement lawsuit filed against another manufacturer.  The district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement based on the then-current standard of MuniAuction to prove infringement.  While the appeal was pending, the Federal Circuit issued its ruling in Akamai, which overruled the MuniAuction standard.  The Federal Circuit vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment in this case, allowing the gaming manufacturer to pursue its patent infringement claim.
  Manufacturing
Ashley Furniture Indus., Inc. v. United States, 734 F.3d 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2013), rehearing en banc denied (amicus)
Represented amicus in a case involving a First Amendment challenge to the United States’s application of the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act.
  Manufacturing
NSK Corp. v. United States Int’l Trade Comm’n, 716 F.3d 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented a manufacturer in an action involving a second sunset review of an antidumping duty orders on ball bearings. 
  Manufacturing 
Randall Mfg. v. Rea, 733 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Challenged the validity of a patent for moveable bulkheads for partitioning cargo space in a shipping container by filing a request for inter partes reexamination of the patent.  This case is the second time in the history of inter partes reexaminations that the Federal Circuit has reversed a ruling by the Board of Patent Appeals.  Steptoe represented a manufacturer in challenging the Board’s finding that combining prior art references was not something that a person of “ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated” to do.  The manufacturer argued below that the combination of the prior art was obvious.  The Federal Circuit agreed, concluded that the Board ignored substantial evidence showing that the combination was obvious, and vacated the Board’s decision.
  Manufacturing 
Solid 21, Inc. v. Breitling USA, Inc., 512 Fed. App’x 685 (9th Cir. 2013)
Represented watch manufacturer in a trademark dispute regarding whether the mark was generic.
  Manufacturing 
Friend v. Holder, 714 F.3d 1349 (9th Cir. 2013) 
Represented a client seeking a declaratory judgment that he is a U.S. citizen because his father is a U.S. citizen and he was born in the Philippines. 
  Pro Bono
Moon v. 752 South Main Street, 2013 WL 1411834 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013)
Represented a tenant in an action against landlord for unlawful eviction.  The appellate court affirmed the tenant’s preliminary injunction that reinstated her tenancy and awarded costs.
  Pro Bono
Petrosyan v. Prince Corp., 223 Cal. App. 4th 587 (Cal. Dist. Ct. App. 2013)
In this dispute involving unpaid wages from a former employer, the employee represented himself pro se through an interpreter in the lower court.  The trial court twice declared a mistrial on the basis that the employee violated an in limine order.  Steptoe represented the employee on appeal, and the Court of Appeals found that the employee did not violate an in limine order and that, even if he had violated it, a jury instruction was the appropriate remedy and not dismissal with prejudice.
  Pro Bono
Tipsword v. Tipsword, 2013 WL 1320444 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013)
Represented a father in a custody dispute and obtained reconsideration of the parenting-time order.
  Pro Bono
Williams v. Fields, 535 Fed. App’x 205 (3d Cir. 2013) 
Represented a pretrial detainee who alleged that prison guards used excessive force during his confinement.  The district court granted judgment as a matter of law as to certain defendants on the excessive force claims.  Steptoe was appointed by the Third Circuit and obtained reversal and a new trial for the plaintiff.
  Pro Bono
Lamar Central Outdoor, LLC v. Cal. Dep’t of Transp., 221 Cal. App. 4th 810 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013)
Represented a company regarding the placement of an electronic billboard near a public highway.
  Real Estate
Hayes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25883 (9th Cir. 2013) 
On behalf of the employer in an employment action, Steptoe obtained a decision upholding dismissal of the case for plaintiff’s failure to prosecute.
  Retail
Cable One, Inc. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 232 Ariz. 275 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) 
Represented a cable system operator in a case raising the question whether it qualified as a “telecommunications company” and was thus subject to tax assessment by the State of Arizona.
 

Telecommunications

DISH Network Serv. LLC v. Laducer, 725 F.3d 877 (8th Cir. 2013) 
Represented a telecommunications company in an action seeking a preliminary injunction to enjoin a tribal court from conducting a trial on a claim by a member of the tribe alleging abuse of process.
 

Telecommunications

EchoStar Satellite LLC v. Fed. Commc’ns Comm’n, 704 F.3d 992 (DC Cir. 2013) 
Represented a telecommunications company in an appeal challenging the FCC’s authority to issue rules limiting which encoding methods a telecommunications service provider may use to prevent unauthorized access to their broadcasts.  The DC Circuit struck down the rules as exceeding the FCC’s statutory authority. 
 

Telecommunications

Harris Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 233 Ariz. 377 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) 
Represented a corporate taxpayer in challenging a proposed assessment of business income.
 

Telecommunications

Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. HTC Corp. & HTC Am., Inc., 732 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Represented a telecommunications company in an action challenging the enforceability of a patent due to inequitable conduct. 
  Telecommunications
Crompton v. BNSF Ry. Co., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 26063 (7th Cir. 2013)
Represented a railroad in appeal of a damages awarded by a jury to an employee alleging injury.
  Transportation
CSX Transp., Inc. v. Ala. Dep’t of Revenue, 720 F.3d 863 (11th Cir. 2013), petition for certiorari pending (amicus) 
Filed an amicus curiae brief for the Association of American Railroads in a case challenging the imposition of sales and use tax on the purchase of diesel fuel by railroads in the State of Alabama.  Steptoe’s amicus brief argued that the sales tax was discriminatory against rail carriers in violation of the 4-R Act because motor carriers and water carriers were exempt from the tax.  The Eleventh Circuit agreed and held that Alabama’s sales tax violated the 4-R Act.
  Transportation
Davila v. BNSF Ry. Co., 299 P.3d 798 (Kan. App. 2013)
Represented a railroad in challenging an award of damages to an employee alleging injury.
  Transportation             

2012

Alcala v. Monsanto Co., 498 Fed. App’x 717 (9th Cir. 2012)
Defended a chemical company in a product liability lawsuit.
  Advanced Materials & Chemicals       
Al Shimari v. CACI Int’l, Inc., 679 F.3d 205 (4th Cir. 2012) (en banc) Represented a government contractor in defense of tort claims brought by Iraqis alleging injuries suffered while in custody.  On appeal, Steptoe argued that the claims against the contractor were preempted by the Supreme Court’s decision in Boyle v. United Technologies and the DC Circuit’s decision in Saleh v. Titan Corp.  The en banc court held that it lacked interlocutory jurisdiction over the appeal.   Aerospace & Defense
City of Redding, Cal. v. FERC, 693 F.3d 828 (9th Cir. 2012)
In litigation arising from the California energy crisis of 2000 and 2001, represented an electric utility in a case before the United States Court of Federal Claims.  Steptoe then successfully defended before the Ninth Circuit the orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that formed the basis for the utility’s contract claims.
  Energy
Occidental Permian Ltd. v. FERC, 673 F.3d 1024 (DC Cir. 2012)
Represented an energy transmission project as intervenor in support of final orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granting the transmission project negotiated rate authority.  The DC Circuit agreed with arguments made in Steptoe’s brief that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and dismissed the case.
  Energy
Caswell v. Olympic Pipeline Co., 484 Fed. App’x 151 (9th Cir. 2012)
On behalf of petroleum companies, obtained a decision from the Ninth Circuit affirming the district court’s conclusion that Oregon’s statute of repose barred the plaintiffs’ product liability claims.
  Energy
Yost v. Cal. Pub. Employees’ Ret. Sys., 2012 WL 5266462 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Defended the California Public Employees’ Retirement System against a putative class action lawsuit challenging the System’s calculation of certain retirement benefits.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint.
  Financial Services
Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Shill, 206 Cal. App. 4th 1054 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Represented a business consulting company in litigation to enforce a previously obtained judgment against the former owner of an acquired firm.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the district court’s holding that, under California law, earnings of the former owner that had remained in his possession for more than 30 days lost their exempt status and subject to levy by the business consulting company. 
  Financial Services
Beeman v. Anthem Prescription Mgmt., LLC, 689 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 2012)
In litigation challenging the validity of a California statute on free speech grounds, represented pharmacy services companies.  The statute required clients to generate and disseminate studies about pharmacy pricing.
  Healthcare
Aguilar v. Goldstein, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1152 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Represented officers and board member of medical practice group named as defendants in a class action lawsuit.  Argued before the California Court of Appeal that the claims against Steptoe’s clients violated California’s strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute.
  Healthcare
Taheri v. Khadavi, 2012 WL 119976 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Defended doctors and surgery center against claims brought by former partner alleging intentional misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.
  Healthcare
Evans v. Chalmers, 703 F.3d 636 (4th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 98, 134 S. Ct. 617
In three civil rights lawsuits brought by former members of the Duke University lacrosse team, represented the City of Durham and various city officials and other non-City defendants.  Based on Steptoe’s interlocutory appeals, the Fourth Circuit, in a consolidated opinion, reversed the district court’s decision and dismissed all federal claims, as well as nearly all state law claims, against the City defendants.
  Insurance
Brown v. Cassens Transport Co., 675 F.3d 946 (6th Cir. 2012) (amicus)
Filed an amicus brief on behalf of the American Insurance Association, National Council of Self-Insurers, and Chamber of Commerce in case involving Michigan’s Worker’s Disability Compensation Act.
  Insurance
Sioux Honey Ass’n v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 672 F.3d 1041 (Fed. Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 126
Represented sureties named in class action lawsuit filed in the Court of International Trade.  The suit advanced common law claims against the sureties, including an allegation that the sureties negligently issued customs surety bonds.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that the Court of International Trade lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the common law claims against the sureties.
  Insurance
Hollander v. XL Ins. (Bermuda) Ltd., 2012 WL 4748956 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Obtained a win for the defendant in a case alleging bad faith.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of the case due to lack of personal jurisdiction.
  Insurance
Nardelli v. Metro. Group Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 277 P.3d 789 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012)
Represented insurance company in a case brought by vehicle owners alleging bad faith.  The trial resulted in a punitive damages verdict of $55 million.  Steptoe obtained a reduction of the verdict to $620,000, and represented the insurance company on appeal.  On appeal, the Arizona Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the higher punitive damages award and further reduced the award by 75%. 
  Insurance
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Ala. Gas Corp., 117 So.3d 695 (Ala. 2012)
Represented insurance company in a case alleging bad faith.  Steptoe argued before the Alabama Supreme Court the issue of whether a “Potentially Responsible Party” letter from the Environmental Protection Agency satisfied the “suit” requirement of a liability insurance policy.
  Insurance
Fiserv Solutions, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 943 N.Y.S.2d 1 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012)
Represented insurance company in a lawsuit brought by financial services company seeking declaration of coverage under a property valuation insurance policy.  On appeal, Steptoe obtained a favorable interpretation of a key provision of the policy, and the appellate court reversed in part the lower court’s decision.
  Insurance
Bennett v. Ins. Co. of the State of Pa., 2012 WL 424913 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012)
Represented insurance company in a case alleging bad faith.
  Insurance
Duran-Pichardo v. Attorney General of the U.S., 695 F.3d 282 (3d Cir. 2012)
Represented a native of the Dominican Republic and challenged order of removal from the United States issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
  Pro Bono
Gonzalez v. State of Arizona, 677 F.3d 383 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), aff’d, 133 S. Ct. 2247 (2013)
Working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, represented the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona in a challenge to Proposition 200, an Arizona voter initiative that required residents to show proof of citizenship when they registered to vote using federal registration forms.  The Ninth Circuit agreed that federal law preempted Arizona’s supplemental identification requirements, and the Supreme Court affirmed.
  Pro Bono
Burgess v. Bowen, 466 Fed. App’x 272 (4th Cir. 2012)
Obtained a win in an employment discrimination lawsuit.  Steptoe represented a former federal worker and challenged the district court’s dismissing the suit on summary judgment.  On appeal, the Fourth Circuit vacated the district court’s ruling and remanded for further proceedings.
  Pro Bono
Munguia v. Grelyn of Maui, LLC, 473 Fed. App’x 643 (9th Cir. 2012) Represented restaurant franchise in a premises liability lawsuit.   Real Estate
Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Norcutt, 274 P.3d 1204 (Ariz. 2012)
In a case presenting “an issue of first impression and statewide importance” regarding mortgage law and the legal doctrine of equitable subrogation, Steptoe represented a judgment creditor before the Arizona Supreme Court.
  Real Estate
Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. LY USA, Inc., 676 F.3d 83 (2d Cir. 2012)Steptoe prevailed at the trial level in a trademark infringement suit on behalf of an international fashion company.  The Second Circuit affirmed, resolving a split among the lower courts regarding the circumstances when a plaintiff seeking statutory damages in a trademark counterfeiting case may also recover legal fees under the Lanham Act.   Retail
Klein v. Chevron USA, Inc., 202 Cal. App. 4th 1342 (2012) (amicus)Filed amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America in a class action lawsuit regarding storage of motor fuel.    Retail
Home Depot USA, Inc. v. Arizona Dep’t of Revenue, 287 P.3d 97 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012)
Represented a store in an appeal challenging the denial of the store’s request for a refund of transaction privilege taxes paid to the State of Arizona on “bad debt” credit card transactions where the consumer ultimately defaulted.
  Retail

2011

Al Shimari v. CACI Int’l, Inc., 658 F.3d 413 (4th Cir. 2011), affirmed 679 f.3d 205 (4th Cir. 2012) (en banc)
Represented a government contractor in appealing the district court’s denial of a motion to dismiss tort claims by Iraqis for injuries allegedly suffered while in custody in Iraq.  The Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded to the district court with directions to dismiss the suit in its entirety.  The Court concluded that uniquely federal interests would be undermined by the application of state tort law.

 

Aerospace & Defense

Cafasso v. General Dynamics C4 Systems, Inc., 637 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2011)
Represented a defense technology company as a defendant in a qui tam case filed under False Claims Act.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the complaint and affirmed the denial of leave to amend.   
  Aerospace & Defense 

United States v. Slough, 641 F.3d 544 (DC Cir. 2011), petition for certiorari pending
Represented private security contractors charged with voluntary manslaughter and weapons violations arising out of a shooting in Iraq in appeal of district court’s dismissal of the indictments as tainted by immunized statements. 

  Aerospace & Defense 

Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, 131 S. Ct. 1436 (2011) (amicus)
Represented amici in a case involving whether Arizona’s individual tax credit for donations to private school tuition organization (STOs) violated the Establishment Clause.  Steptoe’s amici briefs in support of the constitutionality of the tax credit explained how STOs are formed and operate based on the private choices of taxpayers, parents, schools, and the STOs themselves, rather than any governmental endorsement of religion.  The Supreme Court dismissed the challenge to the tax credit, holding that plaintiffs lacked standing.  

  Education/Pro Bono 

Blackman v. District of Columbia, 633 F.3d 1088 (DC Cir. 2011) 
Steptoe and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health, as class counsel, obtained a fee award for fees related to monitoring the District of Columbia’s compliance with a consent decree addressing the shortcomings in the District of Columbia’s obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The DC Circuit agreed with Steptoe’s argument that the statutory fee cap was $4,000 per class member.  Since the class exceeded 6,000 members, the Court affirmed an attorneys’ fees award of $1.45 million.   

  Education 

California Wilderness Coalition v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, 631 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2011)
Represented power companies as respondent-intervenors in challenge to Department of Energy’s implementation of Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

  Energy 
Renegade Tech. Group, Inc. v. Pali Capital, Inc., 2011 WL 6885992 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2011)
Represented brokerage firm in litigation arising from promissory notes issued by plaintiff.  The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the brokerage firm on all claims.
  Financial Services

CBRE Realty Finance TRS, LLC v. McCormick, 414 Fed. App’x 547 (4th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Represented finance companies in a breach of contract case.  The Fourth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment for finance companies and affirmed the judgment holding  guarantors liable for more than $23 million in damages.  The Fourth Circuit also affirmed the lower court’s denial of guarantors’ motion to extend discovery.   

  Financial Services 

Hantges v. Carmel, 422 Fed. App’x 623 (9th Cir. 2011) (unpublished)
Represented Chapter 11 trustee in case affirming denial of plaintiff’s “keepsake” exemption claims in bankruptcy proceedings.  

  Financial Services 

Hantges v. Carmel, 422 Fed. App’x 624 (9th Cir. 2011) (unpublished)
Represented Chapter 11 trustee in case affirming order that bankruptcy estate property be turned over, as plaintiff lacked standing. 

  Financial Services 

Molina v. Board of Admin., California Public Employees’ Retirement Sys., 200 Cal. App. 4th 53 (Cal. Ct. App.  2011)
Steptoe represented the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in a case challenging CalPERS’s decision not to consider an employee’s wrongful termination settlement proceeds in his retirement pension calculation.  The California Court of Appeals agreed that settlement proceeds were not “compensation earnable” under statutory and case law. 

 

Financial Services

Scott v. Graphic Center, No. B219783, 2011 WL 2279522 (Cal. Ct. App. June 10, 2011) (unpublished)
Steptoe represented a company facing a proposed class of 391,000 retirees whose Social Security numbers were disclosed.  Steptoe argued that the representatives were not typical of the class they sought to represent, and the California Court of Appeals agreed. 

  Financial Services 

Serbin v. Rodman Principal Investments, LLC, 87 A.D.3d 870 (N.Y. App. Div. 2011)
Steptoe represented an employee alleging fraud in a suit against his former employer. 

  Financial Services 

TCF National Bank v. Bernanke, 643 F.3d 1158 (8th Cir. 2011) (amicus)
Steptoe represented a national group of merchants in a constitutional challenge by a national banking association to a Dodd Frank provision that limited charges for processing debit-card transactions.  In an amicus brief, Steptoe argued in support of the statute and the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that the banking association was unlikely to prevail on the merits. 

 

Financial Services

Canadian Wheat Bd. v. United States, 641 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2011)
Represented foreign purchaser and seller of grain and obtained a decision ordering a refund of all unliquidated, deposited duties paid on its wheat exports to the United States pursuant to antidumping and countervailing duty orders that were invalidated.   

  Food & Agriculture 

Wallace v. Bashas’ Inc. Group Disability Plan, 428 Fed. App’x 681 (9th Cir. 2011) (unpublished)
The Ninth Circuit affirmed an award of summary judgment in favor of Steptoe’s client, a group disability plan, in a case brought by a former employee alleging a denial of benefits under ERISA.  The court found that the plaintiff’s position lacked substantive merit and that there were significant procedural shortcomings in the plaintiff’s briefing. 

  Food & Agriculture 

Hebern v. American Cyanamid Co., No. A-3063-09T1, 2011 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 94 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 13, 2011) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Steptoe represented pharmaceutical companies in a suit alleging injury from a polio vaccine and loss of services and comfort.  The Appellate Division agreed with Steptoe’s arguments that plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and state law. 

 

Healthcare

Fiserv Solutions, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 84 A.D.3d 480 (N.Y. App. Div. 2011) 
Obtained unanimous reversal of trial court order denying client’s motion to compel discovery in insurance dispute. 

  Insurance 

Kirsten v. Smith, No. 10-0397, 2011 WL 5066581 (Ariz. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2011) (unpublished)
Represented an insurance agency and obtained a decision that vacated a trial court order requiring the insurance agency to pay expert witness fees to treating physicians designated as expert witnesses in personal injury actions.  The Court also vacated a finding that the insurance agency had acted in bad faith. 

  Insurance 

New York v. Wells Fargo Ins. Servs., Inc., 944 N.E.2d 1120 (N.Y. 2011) (amicus)
Representing national trade association of insurance agents and brokers, Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief challenging the New York Attorney General’s claim that insurance brokers have a common law fiduciary duty to disclose “contingency” compensation arrangements to their customers.  The Court affirmed dismissal of the complaint. 

 

Insurance

Rhodes v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 636 F.3d 88 (4th Cir. 2011)
Representing DuPont, Steptoe opposed a putative class action alleging that drinking water had been contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to DuPont on the plaintiffs’ common law claims for negligence, trespass, nuisance, and battery, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish any injury as a result of their exposure to PFOA.  The Court dismissed plaintiffs’ appeal of the denial of class certification on their claim for medical monitoring, concluding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue an appeal of the class’s claims.  

  Manufacturing 

SKF USA Inc. v. United States, 630 F.3d 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2011)
Represented exporters of ball bearings in decision vacating in part an antidumping ruling.  The Federal Circuit held that the Department of Commerce had failed to explain adequately its decision to change the methodology for calculating the exporters’ constructed value. 

  Manufacturing 
Sweeney v. Barker, 2011 WL 6157479 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011)Obtained decision reversing a civil harassment protective order entered against client.   Pro Bono

United States v. Angelos, 417 Fed. App’x 786 (10th Cir. 2011) (unpublished)
Represented criminal defendant asserting constitutional violations including ineffective assistance of counsel during plea negotiations and trial. 

  Pro Bono 

Krikorian Premier Theaters, LLC v. Westminster Central, LLC, 193 Cal. App. 4th 1075 (2011)
Steptoe represented a real estate developer and obtained a decision affirming an award of attorney’s fees and holding that its client was entitled to all of the costs it claimed. 

  Real Estate 

Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Norcutt, 258 P.3d 281 (Ariz. Ct. App. Aug. 2, 2011)
Represented client on appeal in a case involving the doctrine of equitable subrogation. 

  Real Estate 

Gordon v. Holder, 632 F.3d 722 (DC Cir. 2011) (amicus)
Steptoe represented amici curiae convenience-store associations in an appeal of the district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act. 

  Retail  

In re XMH Corp., 647 F.3d 690 (7th Cir. 2011)
Represented the purchasers of certain assets of a bankrupt suit maker.  Steptoe appealed the bankruptcy court’s decision that a services agreement could not be assigned without consent of a counter-party to the agreement.  The district court overruled the bankruptcy court’s decision and held that the agreement did not constitute a trademark license agreement.  The Seventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that the services agreement was not a trademark license and was freely assignable to Steptoe’s clients through the acquisition. 

  Retail 

Feldman v. Pro Football, Inc., 419 Fed. App’x 381 (4th Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Represented operator of professional sports stadium in suit by deaf and hard-of-hearing fans alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

  Sports 

Hypertouch, Inc. v. Valueclick, Inc., 123 Cal. Rptr. 3d 8 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011)
Steptoe represented an Internet service provider seeking to enforce California’s anti-spam law against an on-line marketing and advertising company.  Steptoe obtained a decision reversing grant of summary judgment.  The Court held that federal law did not preempt the California statute and that the California legislature intended to impose strict liability on advertisers like the defendant.   

 

Technology

Qimonda AG v. International Trade Comm’n, 407 Fed. App’x 449 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Represented intervenor technology companies in appeal from decision of US International Trade Commission. 

  Technology 

City of Peoria v. Brink’s Home Sec., Inc., 247 P.3d 1002 (Ariz. 2011) (en banc) (amicus)
Submitted amicus curiae brief in case involving whether telecommunications services provided by taxpayer were “interstate” or “intrastate.”

  Telecommunications 
N. Plains Res. Council, Inc. v. STB, 668 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. 2011)
Represented railroad as intervenor in a challenge to the Surface Transportation Board’s approval of the railroad’s application to construct a privately-financed railroad line.  Before the Ninth Circuit, Steptoe argued issues related to both NEPA and the APA.
  Transportation

CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Alabama Department of Revenue, 131 S. Ct. 1101 (2011) (amicus)
Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief for the Association of American Railroads, urging the Court to hold that CSX may challenge Alabama’s sales and use tax on diesel fuel that applies to rail carriers but exempts their competitors, i.e., interstate motor carriers and water carriers, under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976.  The Supreme Court agreed, holding that CSX may challenge Alabama’s sales and use tax under 49 U.S.C. § 11501(b)(4).   

  Transportation 

Vallejo v. BNSF Railway Co., 263 P.3d 208 (Kan. Ct. App. 2011)
Represented a railroad and obtained decision overturning jury verdict.  Although the trial court granted partial summary judgment that precluded a defense of contributory negligence, Steptoe argued on appeal that the plaintiff’s own trial testimony had re-injected the issue of contributory negligence into the case and required an appropriate jury instruction.  The Kansas Court of Appeals agreed and ordered a new trial. 

  Transportation 

United States v. Renzi, 651 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2011)
Represented former member of Congress on interlocutory appeal of district court’s disposition of motion to dismiss indictment. 

  White Collar 

United States v. Safavian, 649 F.3d 688 (DC Cir. 2011) (per curiam)
Represented the General Service Administration’s deputy chief of staff convicted of obstructing investigations and making false statements in an appeal challenging the addition of charges to a superseding indictment as prosecutorial vindictiveness. 

  White Collar 

United States v. Treacy, 639 F.3d 32 (2d Cir. 2011)
Represented criminal defendant in securities fraud case. 

  White Collar   

2010

Carioca Co. v. Sult, No. 09-0659, 2010 WL 2606623 ( Ariz. Ct. App. June 29, 2010) (unpublished)
Represented the sole proprietor of a business that specializes in hauling building and landscape material in a breach of contract and negligence case.  Obtained affirmance of superior court’s grant of summary judgment for our client. 
 

Construction   

Koch Industries, Inc. v. United States, 603 F.3d 816 (10th Cir. 2010)
Represented taxpayer in appeal concerning accounting method to record income received from long term commitment that state highway would meet performance standards over time. 
  Construction 
Gaujacq v. Electricite de France International, 601 F.3d 565 (DC Cir. 2010)
Steptoe represented a French utility, its U.S. operating arm, and its former CEO in a gender discrimination case brought by a former executive.  Steptoe obtained summary judgment for its client in the trial court and an affirmance on appeal.  The court described the plaintiff’s behavior as “ongoing antics” and “obstructionist” and affirmed a grant of summary judgment.
  Energy
Flint Hills Res. Alaska, LLC v. FERC, 627 F.3d 881, 2010 WL 4909462 (DC Cir. 2010)
Represented an oil pipeline company that owns an interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in an appeal of the FERC’s orders approving pipeline rates.
 

Energy 

In re Electric Refund Cases, 110 Cal. Rptr. 3d 117 (Cal. Ct. App.  2010)
Represented electric utility company in a contract dispute against energy cooperative alleging that the energy cooperative charged more than the lawful rates for wholesale electric power during the California energy crisis.  The Superior Court ruled that the electric utility companies had failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing suit.  On appeal, obtained a reversal of the lower court’s ruling. 
 

Energy 

Molina v. Shell Oil Co., No. B213451, 2010 WL 3862090 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 5, 2010) (unpublished)
Represented oil companies and obtained decision affirming the trial court’s instructions on causation in a product liability case.  This decision upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of defendants. 
  

Energy 

Southern Cal. Edison Co. v. FERC, 603 f.3d 996 (DC Cir. 2010)
Steptoe represented Southern California Edison in challenging FERC’s authority to set the measurement period for the sale of station power.  Reversing several years of contrary authority, the Court ruled that FERC did not have jurisdiction over electric sales to power generators for the electricity they consume at their facilities.

 

Energy

Town Pump Inc. v. LaPlante, No. 10-35090, 394 Fed. App'x 425 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010) (unpublished)
Represented the owner-operator of a gas station sued by a member of an Indian tribe in tribal court.  After years of litigation, Steptoe sought a declaration of no tribal jurisdiction in federal court. The district court agreed and granted a permanent injunction against further prosecution of claims in tribal court.  On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that there is a presumption against tribal court jurisdiction over nonmembers and the facts of the case did not satisfy any applicable exceptions to that general rule.
  Energy
Thai I-Mei Frozen Foods Co., Ltd. v. United States, 616 F.3d 1300 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
Represented a Thai shrimp exporter in an antidumping case regarding the Commerce Department’s determination of its governing statute. 
  Food & Agriculture 
EEOC v. Banner Health, No. 09-16019 (9th Cir. Nov. 2, 2010) (unpublished)
Obtained decision affirming the district court’s ruling that the EEOC had not established a prima facie case of age discrimination nor shown that defendant’s reasons for dismissing two employees were pretextual. 
 

Healthcare

Gannon v. American Home Prods., Inc., No. A-3936-07T2, 999 A.2d 522 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2010)
Represented pharmaceutical companies in appeal that raised issues of product identification and collateral estoppel. 
  

Healthcare

Moreno v. American Home Products, Inc., No. A-3935-07T2, NJ Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1537 (N.J. App. Div. 2010) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Obtained decision affirming the grant of summary judgment for three pharmaceutical companies.  Appellants argued that some form of collective liability should be imposed because they could not prove which of three polio vaccine producers supplied the particular product at issue.  We argued that collective liability would be unfair and bad policy in the context of childhood vaccines.  The Court agreed and affirmed the judgment.
 

Healthcare

Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Ass’n v. District of Columbia, 613 F.3d 179 (DC Cir. 2010)
As counsel for a national trade group that represents pharmacy benefits managers nationwide, Steptoe obtained a decision that ERISA preempts portions of a DC law seeking to impose fiduciary standards and disclosure obligations on pharmaceutical benefits managers performing administrative services for ERISA-covered plans.  

  Healthcare 
Estate of Mancini v. American Intern. Group, Inc., 2010 WL 1189637 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2010) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Steptoe represented a third party tenant in connection with a dispute regarding responsibility for remediation of an environmental problem.
 

Insurance

Quynh Truong v. Allstate Ins. Co., 227 P.3d 73 (N.M. 2010)
Steptoe represented an insurer in a class action alleging that the insurer’s use of certain claim processing software violated the Unfair Practices Act.
 

Insurance

Ricks v. Kentwood Oil Co., 38 So. 3d 363 (La. Ct. App.), cert. denied, 45 So. 3d 1112 (La. 2010)
Steptoe represented an insurance company in the Louisiana appellate courts.  The Louisiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s damages award and held that the insurance policies did not cover damages awarded for fear of developing cancer.  The Louisiana Supreme Court denied appellants’ application for a writ of certiorari. 

  Insurance 
Travelers Indem. Co. v. Orange & Rockland Utils., Inc., 73 A.D.3d 576 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010)
Represented insurance company in case regarding coverage under a pollution policy.  On appeal, obtained reversal of lower court’s summary judgment motion in favor of the insured party.  The court found that the insured had not given timely notice under their policy and that the insurer did not waive the right to disclaim coverage.  
  

Insurance  

Bodum USA, Inc. v. La Cafetière, Inc., 621 f.3d 624 (7th Cir. 2010)
Represented distributor of French-press coffee makers in a trademark case involving interpretations of French law.  The court found there was no trade dress rights violation by La Cafetière selling similar coffee makers to Bodum.  Each of the three panel members filed a separate opinion on proof of foreign law, but all ruled in favor of our client. 
 

Manufacturing

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court, 235 P.3d 21 (Cal. 2010) (amicus)
Co-counsel representing amici curiae on behalf of respondents in an appeal concerning whether public entities could be barred from compensating private counsel under a contingency fee arrangement in a public nuisance action against lead paint manufacturers. 
 

Manufacturing

Sunbeam Products, Inc. v. Homedics, Inc., 412 Fed. App’x 263 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (unpublished)
Represented consumer products maker in patent infringement case challenging district court’s claim construction.

  Manufacturing 
United States Steel Corp. v. United States, 621 f.3d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
Represented Corus Staal, an importer of hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from the Netherlands, in an antidumping case.  Domestic steel producers challenged the Department of Commerce’s revocation of the anti-dumping order against Corus Staal.  The Federal Circuit upheld the Department of Commerce’s determination.
  Manufacturing 
Catwell v. Attorney General of United States, 623 f.3d 199 (3d Cir. 2010)
Steptoe was appointed by the Third Circuit to represent a Guyanese immigrant seeking review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ final order of removal. 
 

Pro Bono 

Gonzalez v. Arizona, 624 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2010), rehearing en banc granted, 649 F.3d 953 (9th Cir. 2011)
Represented a non-profit organization in challenging Arizona’s Proposition 200, which required prospective voters to present documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.  The Ninth Circuit overturned the district court’s decision and found that the National Voter Registration Act preempts Proposition 200.  
  Pro Bono 
Jones v. Attorney General of United States, No. 07-2137, 397 fed.App'x 831 (3d Cir. Oct. 18, 2010) (unpublished)
Represented a Nigerian immigrant seeking review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ final order of removal and decision that he was not qualified under the Convention Against Torture for withholding of his removal order.  The Third Circuit agreed that the BIA had applied the incorrect standard of review and remanded the case.
  Pro Bono 
Lewis v. Wheeler, 609 F.3d 291 (4th Cir. 2010)
Represented petitioner in a capital case seeking federal habeas relief.  
  

Pro Bono 

Renchenski v. Williams, 622 f.3d 315 (3d Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 2100 (2011)
Steptoe was appointed by the Third Circuit to represent a Pennsylvania state inmate who was classified as a sex offender and ordered to enroll in a sex offender treatment program even though he was never convicted of a sexual offense.  The Third Circuit held that the classification violated the inmate’s procedural due process rights.
  Pro Bono 
Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. v. Rome Fastener Corp., 607 F.3d 817 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
Represented a law firm in appeal of an adverse ruling under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 based on that firm’s role in a district court patent infringement case.  On appeal, obtained a complete reversal of the lower court’s ruling as to the firm.
 

Professional Services

Concerned Residents of Hancock Park v. City of Los Angeles, No. B208439, 2010 WL 3672543 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2010) Represented Hancock Park residents in their challenge to the City of Los Angeles’ decision to allow a school with a conditional use permit to increase its hours of operation and list of people allowed to participate in their programs.  

 

Real Estate 

In re Nashville Senior Living, LLC v. Anderson Senior Living Prop., LLC, 620 F.3d 584 (6th Cir. 2010)
Represented debtors who co-owned property with non-debtors in a tenancy-in-common.  The Sixth Circuit held that the non-debtor’s case was statutorily moot under 11 U.S.C. § 363(m) because the property had already been sold and the statute applied to property where the parties have an undivided interest.   
  

Real Estate

Moore v. Pro Value Props., Inc., 2010 WL 2654641 (Cal. Ct. App. July 6, 2010) (unpublished)
Obtained affirmance of lower court decision awarding attorney fees to real estate developer.  The court found the attorney fees awarded to be well within the bounds of reason.  
 

Real Estate

Antounian v. Louis Vuitton Malletier, 189 Cal. App. 4th 438 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010)
Represented luxury goods manufacturers in obtaining ruling that their cause of action against a retailer for trademark infringement and counterfeiting did not amount to malicious prosecution. 
  

Retail 

Townsend v. Spitzer, 69 A.D.3d 1026 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010)
Steptoe represented petitioners seeking application of New York tax laws on sales of cigarettes and fuel to establishments operated by Indian tribes.
 

Retail

Hypertouch, Inc. v. Azoogle.com, Inc., No. 09-15943, 386 Fed. App's 701 (9th Cir. July 9, 2010 (unpublished) 
Represented internet service provider in lawsuit against spammers under state law. 
 

Technology 

Xilinx Inc. v. Comm’r, 598 F.3d 1191 (9th Cir. 2010) (amicus)
In a landmark tax appeal Steptoe represented amici in support of the taxpayer seeking panel rehearing.  The Ninth Circuit panel reversed itself and rendered a decision in favor of the taxpayer.   

  Technology 

AEP Texas North Co. v. STB, 609 F.3d 432 (DC Cir. 2010)
Represented railroad as intervenor in case concerning the agency’s decision not to recalculate the cost of equity capital for the years 1998 through 2005. 

  Transportation  
Medina County Environmental Action Association v. Surface Transportation Board, 602 F.3d 687 (5th. Cir. 2010)
In a win for one of Steptoe’s railroad clients, the Fifth Circuit affirmed regulatory approvals authorizing the construction of a railroad.  The regulatory permits had been issued after years of agency litigation and environmental review. A group of landowners argued that the Surface Transportation Board and the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act by not requiring a wildlife survey of all of the land leased for the quarry before issuing the railroad approval. Steptoe intervened in the Fifth Circuit in support of the agency decision.  The Court unanimously held that the agencies had acted within the scope of the law.
  

Transportation

Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, (2010) (amicus)
Steptoe submitted an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in Graham v. Florida.  Steptoe’s brief argued that proportionality review in the noncapital context was supported by the history and language of the Eighth Amendment. In its opinion, the Court held that the “concept of proportionality is central to the Eighth Amendment” and, in applying the proportionality review, relied on some of the arguments raised in Steptoe’s brief.
 

White Collar/Pro Bono 

United States v. Crane, 625 f.3d 568 (9th Cir. 2010)
Represented an intervenor challenging the district court order to the intervenor’s former counsel to produce documents.  The Ninth Circuit vacated the order and dismissed the appeal for mootness.   
 

White Collar/Tax 

2009

Saleh v. Titan Corp., 580 F.3d 1 (DC Cir. 2009), Saleh v. CACI Intl. Inc., No. 08-7001, 349 Fed. App'x 550 (DC Cir. Sep. 11, 2009)
Steptoe represented a government contractor that supplied interrogators to support the military’s mission in Iraq in litigation brought by detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.  The DC Circuit ruled in the contractor’s favor, holding that the federal interest in the prosecution of war was sufficiently strong to preempt the Iraqi plaintiffs’ state law tort claims where the civilian contractors were integrated into the military operation.  The Court also held that the plaintiffs had no claims under the Alien Tort Statute.

 

Aerospace & Defense

Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC, 576 f.3d 470 (7th Cir. 2009)
Represented utility and its affiliates that intervened in appeal of FERC’s orders concerning the reasonableness of the transmission rate design under the tariff administered by a FERC-approved Regional Transmission Organization.   

  

Energy 

Illinois Commerce Com’n v. FERC, 576 F.3d 470 (7th Cir. 2009)
Steptoe represented a power company client challenging a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning the reasonableness of rates for the transmission of electricity over facilities owned by utilities that belong to a power pool.

 

Energy 

Piedmont Environmental Council v. FERC, 558 F.3d 304 (4th Cir. 2009)
Represented electric utility as intervenor in support of FERC’s rulemaking decisions that implemented a new provision of the Federal Power Act.   

 

Energy 

United States v. Eurodif S.A., 555 U.S. 305 (2009)
Steptoe represented the United States Enrichment Corporation, which claimed that foreign companies were dumping enriched uranium in the U.S. market.  The issue was whether a contract for the enrichment of uranium was a contract for goods, which are subject to antidumping laws, or one for services, which are not. After the Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit rejected application of the anti-dumping laws, Steptoe wrote a petition for certiorari, which was granted, and then framed the merits briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court.  That Court unanimously reversed, embracing the argument that the antidumping laws permit the transaction to be seen as one for the sale of goods, subject to the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department.  The Court rejected any claim that the parties’ contractual characterization of their arrangement could control:  “public law is not constrained by private fiction.”  This is the first Supreme Court case to interpret the anti-dumping laws. 

 

Energy 

United States v. Navajo Nation, 556 U.S. 287 (2009) (amicus)
Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of an electric utility in support of the United States in seeking reversal of a Federal Circuit’s decision that awarded $600 million to the Navajo Nation for the Secretary of Interior’s approval of an Indian mineral lease.  The Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s damages award, holding that the Tribe had no basis for seeking money damages against the United States because the Secretary did not owe any fiduciary duties to the Tribe in approving the mineral lease. 

 
Energy
Arizona v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 208 P.3d 218 (Ariz. 2009)
Represented financial services company in appeal raising issues of first impression under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment regarding a state’s personal jurisdiction over a corporation’s wire transfers from other states to Mexico.  Obtained holding that the State of Arizona lacked personal jurisdiction to issue a warrant to seize out-of-state wire transfers.     
 

Financial Services  

Boccardi Capital Sys., Inc. v. D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, L.L.C., 355 Fed. Appx. 516 (2d Cir. Dec. 9, 2009) (unpublished)
One investment firm sued another alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a joint takeover bid for a casino.  Steptoe represented the defendant and on appeal, fended off all claims.  The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal and denied leave to amend.

 

Financial Services 

Capricorn Invs. III, L.P. v CoolBrands Intl., Inc., 66 A.D.3d 409 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009)
The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of Steptoe’s client in a breach of contract case, holding that the claims were untenable as a matter of New York contract law.  

 

Financial Services 

Hoosier Energy Rural Elec. Co-op, Inc. v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co., 582 F.3d 721 (7th Cir. 2009)
In one of the first published opinions involving a credit default swap (“CDS”) in the current financial crisis, Steptoe, representing creditor John Hancock, defended the enforceability of a CDS contract before the Seventh Circuit.  The opinion by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook affirmed the validity of the contracts with John Hancock as beneficiary, strictly limited the duration of a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement by John Hancock, and ordered the district court to increase the level of required security in the interim. The Court explicitly rejected the argument that the contracts were against public policy, noting that there is a strong public “policy of preventing people from getting other people’s property for nothing when they purport to be buying it.”
  Financial Services 

In re Kavoussi, 308 Fed. Appx. 51 (9th Cir. 2009) (unpublished)
Represented the Chapter 7 trustee in a case where the Ninth Circuit upheld a $4.1 million fraudulent conveyance judgment in a bankruptcy.  Steptoe previously obtained a nondischargeability judgment against the debtor/doctor. 

 

Financial Services

Matus v. Board of Admin. of California Public Employees’ Retirement System, 177 Cal. App. 4th 597 ( Cal. Ct. App. 2009)
Steptoe represented the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in a suit challenging CalPERS’s compliance with the state Administrative Procedures Act.  
  Financial Services 
M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. v. State ex rel. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 222 Ariz. 462 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2009)
Steptoe represented the taxpayer seeking a corporate tax refund on the basis that the state of Arizona improperly calculated the sales factor fraction of its corporate income tax apportionment formula.  Partially reversing the trial court, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the state should have considered only the net gains from the sales of mortgages and mortgage servicing rights.  The Court held that since the majority of the taxpayer's costs of generating the income from the sales of servicing rights were incurred in Colorado, the income from those sales should have been attributed to Colorado.  
  Financial Services 

Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan, 561 F.3d 123 (2d Cir. 2009)
Steptoe represented plaintiff Motorola in a long-running dispute with foreign businessmen.  The Second Circuit not only affirmed the district court’s refusal to grant 60(b) relief to the defendants, but commended the district court for its handling of the case, going so far as to warn the defendants that “further legal maneuvers designed to frustrate the orderly management of post-judgment proceedings will properly raise the question of whether the imposition of sanctions on counsel as well as defendants are appropriate or necessary to vindicate the interests of justice.”  

  Financial Services

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. Oneida Ltd., 562 F.3d 154 (2d Cir. 2009)
In a case of first impression involving a relatively new federal statute, Steptoe assisted the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) in obtaining a decision that its statutory premiums for termination of a pension plan during bankruptcy are not claims discharged in bankruptcy and are therefore payable in full by the reorganized entity.  The Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York had held that “Termination Premiums” were pre-petition contingent claims dischargeable in bankruptcy.  The Second Circuit reversed, holding that this interpretation would thwart the Congressional objectives of preventing the bankruptcy process from being used as a device to evade Termination Premiums. 

 

Financial Services 

State v. Western Union Fin. Services, 220 Ariz. 567, 208 P.3d 218 (Ariz. 2009)
Steptoe represented the plaintiff money transfer firm in a high profile constitutional case against the Arizona Attorney General.  Plaintiff challenged a state warrant authorizing the seizure of all wire transfers greater than $500 originating in 28 states outside Arizona and sent to Sonora, Mexico.  The Attorney General claimed that the sweeping warrant was needed to prevent financial support for illegal immigration and drug smuggling and argued that the State had the right to seize the “obligations” owed by the firm because it did business in the State.  Applying classic due process principles to law enforcement in a modern technological world, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed the intermediate state court and quashed the warrant.  It held that Arizona could not invoke a “fiction” about the location of intangible assets to exercise jurisdiction over money transfers that originated in other states and ended in Mexico. 

 

Financial Services 

Dowell v. Biosense Webster, Inc., 179 Cal.App.4th 564 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009)
Steptoe represented an employer defending the enforceability of particular noncompete and nonsolicitation clauses in certain employment agreements used in California. 

 

Healthcare 

Braswell v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 672 S.E.2d 103 (N.C. Ct. App. 2009)
On behalf of an insurance company, Steptoe obtained affirmance of summary judgment.  The Court agreed that the insurer had no duty to defend insured under the policy because insured was not acting in his official capacity when he sexually assaulted the female prisoners.

 

Insurance 

Chasan v. Farmers Group, Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 07-0323, 2009 WL 3335341 ( Ariz. App. Div. 2009) (unpublished)
Steptoe represented an insurance company in a bad faith denial claim.

 

Insurance 

Hager v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2007-CA-002599-MR, 2009 WL 3320938 (Ky. Ct. App. 2009) (unpublished), review denied, No. 09-0741 (Ky. Mar. 16, 2011)
Steptoe represented the defendant insurance company before the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  The plaintiff, who was involved in a 1997 car accident, not only challenged the handling of her insurance claim, but also brought a comprehensive challenge to the insurance company’s process, resulting in national publicity.  At trial, she sought $1.425 billion in damages.  In front of a jury, Steptoe’s trial team won a defense verdict.  On appeal, its appellate team obtained a 71-page opinion affirming the judgment.  In rejecting each of the plaintiff's 19 separate issues on appeal, the Court remarked on “the size of the record, which contains over 9,300 pages, countless exhibits, numerous depositions, a multitude of hearings, seemingly limitless sidebar hearings, two weeks of trial testimony, and a history spanning nearly ten years.”

 

Insurance 

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Hurlbut, 585 F.3d 639 (2d Cir. 2009)
Steptoe represented insurance companies in a constitutional challenge to retroactive changes in New York insurance regulations.  The challenge was premised on the basis that the retroactive effects of the provisions violated the Contracts, Takings, Due Process and Equal Protection provisions of the United States Constitution. 
  Insurance 
Union Carbide Corp. v Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 68 A.D.3d 534 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009)
Steptoe represented one of the insurers in complex multi-party litigation.  Partially reversing the trial court, the Appellate Division found that the insured’s position was untenable in that it sought to alter the plain terms of the parties’ contract by adding qualifiers that did not exist.  
  Insurance 
Ogle v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland, 586 F.3d 143 (2d Cir. 2009)
In Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 549 U.S. 443 (2007), the Supreme Court left open the much-disputed bankruptcy question of whether a creditor could assert an unsecured claim for attorneys’ fees arising after the petition.  In Ogle, Steptoe nailed this question down.  Steptoe represented an insurance company that had incurred attorneys’ fees enforcing its contractual rights after the filing of the bankruptcy petition.  The trustee opposed, claiming that these fees were not specifically allowed in the Code.  The Second Circuit accepted Steptoe’s argument that post-petition fees that were authorized by a prepetition contract could be asserted as unsecured claims because they were not specifically excluded. 
 

Insurance/Financial Services

Felix v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., 562 F.3d 1167 (Fed. Cir. 2009)
Represented truck manufacturer in suit filed by patent owner claiming infringement.  The Federal Circuit agreed with summary judgment holding there was no literal infringement and no infringement by equivalents. 

 

Manufacturing  

London-Marable v. The Boeing Co., 357 Fed. Appx. 61 (9th Cir. Nov. 19, 2009) (unpublished)
Steptoe represented the defendant corporation in this employment action.  The Court concluded that a memo given to the plaintiff did not constitute a contract which could form the basis of a breach of contract claim.  The Court also affirmed that the defendant’s conduct, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, did not constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress under Arizona law.   
  Manufacturing 

SKF USA, Inc. v. US Customs and Border Protection, 556 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2009)
Represented producer in constitutional challenge to distribution of antidumping duties collected by Customs pursuant to the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (the “Byrd Amendment”).  The Court concluded that domestic producer’s claim for antidumping distributions was not time barred and that the statute is constitutional. 

 

Manufacturing 

United States v. Textron Inc., 553 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2009), rehearing granted 560 F.3d 513 (1st Cir. 2009) (en banc)
Steptoe participated in the representation of Textron in a key decision on the scope of the work product doctrine.  The government sought Textron’s tax accrual workpapers.  These workpapers list issues that Textron determined could be challenged by the IRS on audit, and set forth Textron’s hazards-of-litigation assessment for each issue.  The government argued that the workpapers were prepared in the ordinary course of business and not in anticipation of litigation and, as a result, could not be protected under the work product doctrine.  The First Circuit rejected the government’s arguments and held that the work product doctrine protected tax accrual workpapers prepared by Textron in the course of preparing its financial statements. 

 

Manufacturing 

Republic of Iraq v. Beaty, 556 U.S. 848 (2009)
Steptoe participated in the representation of American citizens and family members who brought personal injury actions against the Republic of Iraq alleging torture and imprisonment during the Gulf War. 

 

Media  

Lake v. City of Phoenix, 218 P.3d 1004 ( Ariz. 2009) (amicus)
In this case, the issue was whether metadata embedded in electronic records constituted a “public record” available for inspection under Arizona law. Steptoe filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of news organizations, including The Associated Press, Gannett Co., Inc., The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and The E.W. Scripps Company, who sought access to the metadata.  Reversing the intermediate court in part, the Arizona Supreme Court held that metadata was a public record.  “It would be illogical, and contrary to the policy of openness underlying the public records laws, to conclude that public entities can withhold information embedded in an electronic document, such as the date of creation, while they would be required to produce the same information if it were written manually on a paper public record.”
  Media & Entertainment

In re Western United Nurseries Inc., 338 Fed. Appx. 706 (9th Cir. July 24, 2009) (unpublished)
Steptoe obtained a win for the defendant.  Reviewing the trial court’s assessment of a complex series of interlocking transactions, the Court determined that since the critical documents contained or incorporated New York choice of law provisions, New York law controlled under the analysis required by the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws.  Therefore the New York statute of limitations, rather than Arizona’s, applied. Consequently the Court affirmed the district court’s holding that the plaintiff’s claims were time barred. 

 

Natural Resources

Giles v. Kearney, 571 F.3d 318 (3d Cir. 2009)
Steptoe was appointed by the Third Circuit to represent a pro se plaintiff on appeal in his excessive force claim against prison guards.  The Third Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment against the prisoner, holding that no reasonable officer could agree that striking a subdued, nonresisting prisoner was reasonable under established law.

 

Pro Bono   

Horne v. Flores, 557 U.S. 433 (2009) (amicus)
Submitted brief on behalf of amici curiae regarding instruction of English-language learners under the federal Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974. 

 

Pro Bono 

Patterson v. Greeley, No. 05-15235, 325 Fed. App'x 541 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2009)
Represented an Arizona prisoner in appeal of dismissal of his suit for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 

  Pro Bono
Phillip Lewis v. Intersolutions Inc., 985 A.2d 462 (DC 2009)
Steptoe represented a homeless man in arguing that he did not receive proper notice of denial of his claim for unemployment compensation.  A Steptoe associate briefed and argued the appeal.  The Court of Appeals reversed the ALJ’s decision and remanded for an evidentiary hearing, finding that the record did not establish that the local agency satisfied the constitutional due process requirements in providing the client with notice of his appeal rights. 
  Pro Bono 

Strauss v. Horton, 46 Cal. 4th 364 (Cal. 2009) (amicus)
Steptoe filed a brief in the California Supreme Court on behalf of amici curiae California National Organization for Women, National Organization for Women, and the Feminist Majority Foundation.  Amici challenged Proposition 8 as unconstitutional under the California Constitution.  Proposition 8 was an initiative approved by voters that added a section to the state constitution providing: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”   

 

Pro Bono 

Strauss v. Horton, 207 P.3d 48 (Cal. 2009) (amicus)
Steptoe filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage in the state. 
  Pro Bono 

United States v. Hayes, 555 U.S. 415 (2009) (amicus)
This case concerned whether Section 922(g)(9) of the federal Gun Control Act makes it a crime for one to possess a firearm after having been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”  Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits on behalf of Senators Frank Lautenberg, Dianne Feinstein, and Patty Murray in support of the petitioner, addressing the legislative history of the statute and congressional intent.  The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision and concluded that the domestic relationship need not be a defining element of the predicate offense, although that relationship must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. 

  Pro Bono
Rudnick v. Rudnick, 179 Cal. App. 4th 1328 ( Cal. Ct. App. 2009)
Steptoe successfully defended a probate court’s order that a trustee’s objection to a proposed sale was not brought in good faith.  The California Court of Appeals agreed.  It also held that that under its general equitable power, the probate court had had the authority to award the fees and costs when a trust beneficiary instigated an unfounded proceeding against the trust in bad faith. 
  Real Estate 

Stevenson v. Tweedy, No. 1 CA-CV 07-0653, 2009 WL 388030 (Ariz. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2009) (unpublished)
Represented investors in appealing a jury verdict in a dispute with a commercial real estate broker to develop and lease commercial property. 

  Real Estate
Braden v. Wal-Mart, 588 F.3d 585 (8th Cir. 2009)
Represented employer in class action suit alleging fiduciary breach based on investment options available under an employee retirement plan.   
  Retail  
Jamison v. Morris, 684 S.E.2d 168 (S.C. 2009) (amicus)
After the plaintiff had illegally purchased alcohol from a convenience store, he ended up in a one-vehicle automobile accident.  He obtained a jury verdict finding the convenience store, and various corporate entities, vicariously liable for catastrophic injuries.  Steptoe filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores.  In a remarkable turn-around, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed in part, and vacated in part, setting aside the award in favor of the plaintiff.  This was a key win for convenience stores in ensuring that motor fuels distributors were not subject to liability for events outside their control. 
  Retail 
United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 566 F.3d 1095 (DC Cir. 2009) (amicus)
In this RICO suit against cigarette manufacturers and tobacco-related trade organizations, Steptoe filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores.  While affirming the judgment in most aspects, the DC Circuit vacated the portion that affected convenience stores. Citing the Steptoe brief, the Court instructed the district court to either abandon that portion of the order or revise it to protect the rights of innocent third parties such as convenience stores. 
 

Retail 

Xilinx, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service, 567 F.3d 482 (9th Cir. 2009) (amicus)
Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief seeking affirmance of a Tax Court decision interpreting federal regulations regarding the tax treatment of costs incurred in a joint venture to develop intangibles.   

 

Technology  

Directv, Inc. v. Levin, 907 N.E.2d 1242 (Ohio Ct. App. 2009), disc. appeal accepted, 908 N.E.2d 945 (Ohio 2009)
Represented satellite television provider in case challenging constitutionality of Ohio sales tax provisions under the dormant Commerce Clause.

 

Telecommunications 

Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 290 S.W.3d 638 ( Ky. 2009)
Steptoe represented a satellite television provider in a Commerce Clause challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s taxation scheme.

 

Telecommunications

 

Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 290 S.W.3d 638 (Ky. 2009)
Represented direct broadcast satellite television providers in challenge to a Kentucky statute that authorized the imposition of a gross receipts tax on direct satellite programming.  The Kentucky Supreme Court held that the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempted Kentucky’s gross receipts tax. 

 

Telecommunications 

Metropolitan Transportation Commission v. Motorola, Inc., No. 07-15576, 342 Fed. App'x 269 (9th Cir. July 1, 2009) (unpublished)
Represented a telecommunications manufacturer in appealing a decision that granted judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of counterclaims.  Obtained decision reversing the judgment on the pleadings and reversing dismissal of counterclaims for assignment and violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. 

 

Telecommunications 

Association of Flight Attendants v. Mesa Air Group, Inc., 567 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2009)
Represented an airline in an interlocutory appeal from a preliminary injunction of an airline’s change in regulations for scheduling regarding flight attendants.  Obtained reversal of the preliminary injunction and holding that the dispute was subject to arbitration under the Railway Labor Act. 

 

Transportation 

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009) 
Steptoe served as co-counsel in a case viewed as a watershed in Superfund practice.  EPA and California sued two railroads that leased land to a pesticide distributor for cleanup of the resulting Superfund site.  The railroads had owned only a part of the property, for only a limited period of time, but the Ninth Circuit held them jointly and severally liable under CERCLA for the full cleanup.  Representing one of the railroads, Steptoe wrote the petition for rehearing en banc.  It garnered eight dissenting votes in the Ninth Circuit. The firm’s appellate practice then coordinated with other counsel on briefing in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The U.S. Supreme Court reversed, by vote of 8-1, holding that the railroads were entitled to apportionment of remediation costs and were therefore liable only for the 9% share found by the district court.  

 

Transportation  

CenTra, Inc. v. Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund, 578 F.3d 592 (7th Cir. 2009)
Steptoe represented a pension plan sponsor in complex withdrawal liability dispute under ERISA. The case addresses the definition of “control group.”

 

Transportation 

Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. Cezar, 293 S.W.3d 800 (Tex. App. 2009)
Represented railroad on appeal of $7 million jury verdict in Beaumont, Texas in personal injury suit arising from a grade crossing accident in Louisiana.  On appeal, Steptoe raised a host of evidentiary errors, including lack of venue.  In a published opinion, the Court of Appeals granted a new trial with instructions to transfer to a different venue – Harris County, Texas.  

 

Transportation 

2008

Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Accord, 552 U.S. 1239 (2008) (amicus)
Represent amicus curiae in support of petitioner’s due process challenge to punitive damages. 

   Advanced Materials & Chemicals
Amerada Hess Pipeline Corp. v. Regulatory Com’n of Alaska, 176 P.3d 667 (Alaska 2008) (per curiam)
Challenge by pipeline owners to decision finding that the shipping rates charged by owners were unjust and unreasonable.
  Energy
Esso Standard Oil Co. v. Lopez-Fretes, 522 F.3d 136 (1st Cir. 2008)
Obtained affirmance of district court’s decision relying on federal due process principles to grant permanent injunction barring hearings and fine of $76 million issued by the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board. 
  Energy

Getty Petroleum Marketing, Inc. v. Shipley Fuels Marketing, LLC, 293 Fed. Appx. 166 (3d Cir. 2008)
Representing Shipley, Steptoe obtained affirmance of a decision denying a preliminary injunction that would have forced Shipley to change the brand of products and the brand name and trademark under which the products are sold to consumers. 

 

Energy 

Reyes v. Chevron USA, Inc., 2008 WL 435521 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008)
Obtained affirmance of defense jury verdict of suit regarding predecessor company’s release of substances.
  Energy
Reyes v. Chevron USA, Inc., 2008 WL 2690048 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented defendant in appeal of trial court’s post-judgment order denying costs.
  Energy

Williams Energy Services, LLC v. FERC, 2008 WL 2684125 (DC Cir. June 24, 2008) (unpublished)
Filed motion to dismiss on behalf of appellee.  Petitioner subsequently moved to dismiss voluntarily. 

 

Energy

Berry v. Lupica, No. 90657, 2008 WL 4438444 (Ohio Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2008) (unpublished)
Represented a securities firm in appealing the denial of the motion to compel arbitration. 

 

Financial Services 

Enterprise Leasing Co. v. Arizona Dep’t. of Rev., 211 P.3d 1 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented taxpayer company in a challenge to a retroactive change to the Arizona tax code.  The case concerned the application of an income tax credit for pollution control devices that were installed on the company’s vehicles. 

 

Financial Services  

Minkoff v. Koppelman, 2008 WL 217565 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (unpublished)
Represented plaintiff-respondent in appeal of probate court’s declaration that plaintiff’s petition alleging that trustee breached her fiduciary duty would not violate the no-contest clause of the trust.  Obtained decision affirming the probate court’s determination and recovering costs on appeal.  
 

Financial Services

State v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 199 P.3d 592 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008), vacated 208 P.3d 567 (Ariz. 2009) (en banc)
Represented financial services company in suit opposing Attorney General’s request for information regarding wire transfers between Sonora, Mexico and 28 states not including Arizona.
 

Financial Services

PCMA v. District of Columbia, 522 F.3d 443 (DC Cir. 2008)
Represented national trade association of pharmacy benefit managers in constitutional challenges to District of Columbia’s AccessRx Act.  Obtained reversal of decision granting summary judgment based on collateral estoppel.
 

Healthcare

Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers v. Molasky-Arman, 522 F.3d 925 (9th Cir. 2008)
Represented insurance agent and national trade association in challenge to Nevada’s countersignature requirement.  Obtained affirmance of district court’s decision declaring Nevada’s countersignature requirement unconstitutional under the Privileges and Immunities Clause.  
 

Insurance

First American Title Ins. v. Combs, 258 S.W.3d 627 (Tex. 2008)
Represented title insurance companies in challenge to Texas Comptroller’s interpretation of a tax statute that increased tax liability on non-Texas title insurers.  Raised Equal Protection challenge under United States and Texas Constitutions.
 

Insurance

Martinez v. Cornejo, 208 P.3d 443 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented insurer in a class action concerning the New Mexico Trade Practices and Fraud Act.  The court affirmed the application of the four-year general statute of limitation to the case. 

 

Insurance 

Peabody v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2008 WL 2231474 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) (unpublished)
Represented insurance company and obtained dismissal of insured’s interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
 

Insurance

Pincheira v. Allstate Ins. Co., 190 P.3d 322 (N.M. 2008)
On matter of first impression, represented insurance company in bad faith action brought by insured. 

  Insurance

Truong v. Allstate Ins. Co., 182 P.3d 814 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008), cert. granted, 183 P.3d 934 (N.M. 2008)
Represented insurance company in class action suit alleging violation of the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act. 

  Insurance

Young v. Allstate Insurance Co., 198 P.3d 666 (Haw. 2008)
Represented an insurer in a case that decided issues of first impression under Hawaii law.  In an action by a third party claimant, the Hawaii Supreme Court held that Hawaii would not recognize a cause of action for malicious defense and upheld the dismissal of claims for abuse of process and breach of an assumed duty of good faith and fair dealing. 

 

Insurance 

Pentagen Technologies Intern. Ltd. v. CACI Intern., Inc., 202 Fed. Appx. 32 (2d Cir. 2008) (unpublished)
Represented defendant-appellee in defending against claims that it unlawfully appropriated software for use by the United States Government.  Obtained affirmance of the district court’s decision. 

 

Information Technology/Software

Abagninin v. AMVAC Chemical Corp., 545 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 2008)
Represented an international corporation in defense of an Alien Tort Statute case.  In affirming the district court’s holding, the Ninth Circuit held that an alien tort claim could not be asserted because the corporation was not acting like a governmental entity. 

 

Manufacturing 

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court, 74 Cal. Rptr. 3d 842 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (amicus)
Represented amicus curiae in appeal by public entities in a public nuisance action regarding manufacturing of lead paint.

 

Manufacturing

Johnston v. Multidata Systems International Corp., 523 F.3d 602 (5th Cir. 2008)
On interlocutory appeal, obtained decision reversing denial of supplier’s motion to dismiss based upon lack of personal jurisdiction over 35 wrongful death claims stemming from treatment at Panamanian hospital.  

 

Manufacturing

Mittal Steel Point Lisas Ltd. v. United States, 542 F.3d 867 (Fed. Cir. 2008)
Represented foreign manufacturer in appeal concerning the fungibility of steel wire rod imports and their fair market value. 

 

Manufacturing

Mittal Steel Point Lisas Ltd. v. United States, 548 F.3d 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2008)
Represented importer in appeal from determination of the United States Court of International Trade that composite rod is non-prime merchandise. 

 

Manufacturing

Paul Muller Industrie GMBH & Co. v. United States, 203 Fed. Appx. 789 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2008) (per curiam) (unpublished)
Represented exporters in appeal from ruling of the United States Court of International Trade. 

 

Manufacturing

Rhodes v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 08 -293 (4th Cir. Dec. 12, 2008)
Representing DuPont, Steptoe opposed an effort by the plaintiffs in this case to obtain an appeal under FRCP 23(f) from a district court order denying class certification.  The Fourth Circuit denied permission to appeal, and later denied a petition for rehearing en banc. 

 

Manufacturing

SKF USA, Inc. v. United States, 512 F.3d 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (per curiam)
Represented exporters in appeal of administrative review of antidumping duty orders covering ball bearings from France.

 

Manufacturing

SKF USA, Inc. v. United States, 537 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2008)
Represented exporters in appeal of administrative ruling concerning methodology in calculating antidumping margins.

 

Manufacturing

Arpaio v. Citizen Publ’g. Co., 211 P.3d 8 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented publishing company in a dispute arising from the Sheriff’s refusal to release records after a valid public records request.  After obtaining the documents, the company recovered attorneys’ fees in this action.  The appellate court affirmed the award of attorneys’ fees. 

 

Media & Entertainment

Flores v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 178 P.3d 1176 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented news broadcasting company in an appeal finding that the company did not waive the reporter’s privilege by seeking a judicial declaration to protect its right to disseminate an award-winning news story.

 

Media & Entertainment

Simon v. Republic of Iraq, 529 F.3d 1187 (DC Cir. 2008)
Represented American citizens and family members who brought personal injury actions against the Republic of Iraq alleging torture and being held hostage.  Obtained decision that actions were timely and political question doctrine did not bar the claims.

 

Media

Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance v. United States, 517 F.3d 1319 (Fed. Cir. 2008)
Represented Canadian producers as appellees.  Obtained decision affirming judgment of the Court of International Trade.

 

Natural Resources

Phelps Dodge Miami, Inc. v. CanadianOxy Offshore Production Co., No. 08-80152 (9th Cir. Dec. 3, 2008)
Represented one of the plaintiff copper mining companies in a CERCLA cost-recovery action in Arizona.  Convinced the Ninth Circuit to hear interlocutory appeal on whether a potentially responsible party (PRP) may bring a claim under CERCLA section 107 against other PRPs for cleanup costs at a Superfund site where it incurred some of the costs in cleaning up the site pursuant to a judicially approved consent decree with the state. 

 

Natural Resources 

Adeyemi v. District of Columbia, 525 F.3d 1222 (DC Cir. 2008)
On appeal, represented deaf applicant against the District of Columbia for unlawful employment discrimination.

 

Pro Bono

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) (amicus)
Represented amicus curiae in support of respondent’s challenge to the District of Columbia’s gun-control statutes under the Second Amendment. 

 

Pro Bono

Wyoming ex rel. Crank v. United States, 539 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2008) (amicus)
Represented amicus curiae in support of defendant United States in Wyoming’s challenge to ruling by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

 

Pro Bono

Redhair v. Kinerk, Beal, Schmidt, Dyer & Sethi, PC, 183 P.3d 544 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented law firm in breach of contract suit.

 

Professional Services

Chicago Title Co. v. Alpine-Riviera, LLC, 2008 WL 2569439 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented real estate seller in dispute concerning failed sale of four recreational vehicle parks.

 

Real Estate

Hills v. Pro Value Props., Inc., No. B193025, 2008 WL 3198739 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 8, 2008) (unpublished)
Represented property developer in a case arising from an aborted purchase of a piece of property.  On appeal, the court affirmed the decision below. 

 

Real Estate 

Hills v. Pro Value Properties, Inc., 2008 WL 3198739 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008)
Represented property owner who acquired property at a trustee’s sale in suit by the former owners seeking to enforce a claimed contract to re-sell them the property.  Obtained decision affirming trial court’s finding that no contract was ever formed and substantial attorney’s fees award.

 

Real Estate

LHO New Orleans LM L.P.  v. MHI Leasco New Orleans Inc., 983 So.2d 217 (La. Ct. App. 2008), (rehearing denied 6/12/08)
Represented hotel owner in appeal of decision awarding fair market value and attorney’s fees to tenant. 

 

Real Estate 

Meridien Hotels, Inc. et al. v. LHO Financing Partnership I, L.P., 255 S.W.3d 807 (Tex. App. 2008) 
Represented hotel owner in action brought by hotel lessee and hotel manager.  Obtained affirmance of decision in lessor’s favor awarding holdover rent and awarding prejudgment interest on the unpaid portion of holdover rent.
  Real Estate
DIRECTV, Inc. v. Tolson, 513 F.3d 119 (4th Cir. 2008)
Represented satellite television providers in dormant commerce clause challenge against North Carolina’s system of taxing multi-channel television programming.
  Telecommunications
BNSF Railway Co. v. Surface Transportation Board, 526 F.3d 770 (DC Cir. 2008)
Represented railroad as petitioner challenging aspects of an agency’s rulemaking and as intervenor defending other aspects of agency’s rulemaking.
  Transportation
City of Detroit v. Ambassador Bridge Co a/k/a Detroit Int’l Bridge Co., 748 N.W.2d 221 (Mich. 2008), rehearing denied, 750 N.W.2d 165 (Mich. 2008)
Represented bridge owner in action brought by city.  Obtained decision from the Michigan Supreme Court holding that, because the bridge owner was a federal instrumentality for purposes of federal preemption, the bridge owner was immune from the city’s zoning regulations.
  Transportation

Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Alabama Dept. of Revenue, 550 F.3d 1306 (11th Cir. 2008)
Represented railroad in an expedited appeal under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 seeking to enjoin collection of the Alabama sales and use tax on diesel. 

 

Transportation 

United States v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 520 F.3d 918 (9th Cir. 2008), reversed 556 U.S. 599 (2009)
Represented railroad in seeking rehearing en banc and obtained 8 votes dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc.

 

Transportation

2007

Arizona Dept. of Revenue v. Ormond Builders, Inc., 166 P.3d 934 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007)
Represented construction company in appeal of Arizona Department of Revenue’s tax assessment.  Obtained judgment reversing and remanding to the tax court.   

 

Construction 

Collins v. D.R. Horton, Inc., 505 F.3d 874 (9th Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 128 S. Ct. 1739 (2008)
Represented former high-ranking officers of corporation in appeal of a motion to vacate an arbitration award.  

 

Construction 

Badalian v. California Institute of Technology, 2007 WL 404138 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007)
On behalf of private university and its supervisors, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment of employee’s wrongful termination claim. 

   Education

Eurodif S.A. v. United States, 506 F.3d 1051 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
Represented domestic uranium enricher in review of antidumping and countervailing duty determinations of Department of Commerce for low enriched uranium used in fuel rods.

 

Energy

Mitsubishi Power Systems, Inc. v. Texas Wind Power Co., 2007 WL 1429586 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) (unpublished)
Obtained reversal of trial court’s dismissal of two defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction.

 

Energy

Sunburst School Dist. No. 2 v. Texaco, Inc., 165 P.3d 1079 (Mont. 2007)
Represent oil company in defense of action for damages caused by migration of benzene onto properties from neighboring refinery.  Obtained decision reversing award of $25 million in punitive damages and remanding for a new trial.

 

Energy

Levin v. Kozlowski, 45 A.D.3d 387 (N.Y. App. Div. 2007)
Obtained decision affirming dismissal of shareholder derivative suit.  
 

Financial Services

Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan, 509 F.3d 74 (2d Cir. 2007)
Represented telephone equipment manufacturers, and obtained decision affirming $1 billion award of punitive damages against Turkish telephone company.

 

Financial Services

State ex rel. Goddard v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 166 P.3d 916 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007)
Represent financial services company in suit opposing Attorney General’s request for information regarding wire transfers between Sonora, Mexico and any location worldwide.  Obtained decision vacating the superior court’s enforcement order as being overbroad and remanding it to the superior court.

 

Financial Services

Acceptance Ins. Co. v. Powe Timber Co., 219 Fed. Appx. 349 (5th Cir. 2007) (per curiam)
On behalf of major insurance company, obtained decision that client had no duty to defend or indemnify toxic tort claims under insurance policy.  

 

Insurance

Hollander v. XL Capital Ltd., 2007 WL 4564987 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007).
Represented insurance carrier in appeal of dismissal of insured’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.
 

Insurance

Hollander v. Superior Court, 2007 WL 2326820 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007)
Represented insurance carrier in appeal concerning whether a superior court must consider a motion to quash a subpoena on the merits.
 

Insurance

King v. Allstate Ins. Co., 159 P.3d 261 (N.M. Ct. App. 2007)
On behalf of insurance carrier, obtained decision that insured’s claim was precluded and determining that the district court erred in denying insurance carrier’s motions to dismiss.

  Insurance

Koulianos v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 962 So.2d 357 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007) (per curiam)
Represented insurance company as appellee and obtained judgment affirming district court. 

 

Insurance

Pincheira v. Allstate Insurance Co., 164 P.3d 982 (N.M. Ct. App. 2007)
Represented insurance company in bad faith action brought by insured.  On appeal, obtained decision ruling on legal issue of first impression that insurer could resist discovery based on the trade secret privilege.

 

Insurance

PPG Industries, Inc. v. American Home Assur. Co., 2007 WL 2350646 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2007) (per curiam)
On behalf of insurance companies, obtained decision affirming dismissal, on statute of limitations grounds, of corporate insured’s action to compel insurance coverage.

 

Insurance

Weaver v. ZeniMax Media, Inc., 923 A.2d 1032 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007)
Represented employer in former chief technology officer’s suit for breach of contract and breach of duty of loyalty.

 

Information Technology/Software

Carter v. Honeywell, Inc., 247 Fed. Appx. 872 (9th Cir. 2007)
On behalf of Honeywell, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment in its favor on employee’s wrongful termination claim and on employer’s unjust enrichment counterclaim.
 

Manufacturing

Corus Staal BV v. United States, 502 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
Represented importer in appeal regarding antidumping order for hot-rolled steel from Netherlands. 

 

Manufacturing

Griffis v. Pinal County, 156 P.3d 418 (Ariz. 2007)
Represented newspaper in public records request for access to the email records of a government official under investigation for public corruption.  Obtained decision granting in camera inspection of the records and finding that the official had the burden of showing that the documents fell outside the scope of the public records law.

 

Media & Entertainment 

Griffis v. Pinal County, 141 P.3d 780 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006), rev’d, 156 P.3d 418 (Ariz. 2007)
Represented newspaper as intervenor in public records request of former county manager from county.

 

Media & Entertainment

Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. v. Ellis, 159 P.3d 578 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007)
Represented newspaper in appeal challenging order that a student’s notice of claim filed with a school district was not a public record subject to disclosure.  Obtained decision concluding that the notice is a public record.

 

Media & Entertainment

Lewis v. Warden of Fluvanna Correctional Center, 645 S.E.2d 492 (Va. 2007)
Represented petitioner in post-conviction appeal of death sentence.

 

Pro Bono 

Osuna v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 151 P.3d 1267 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007)
Obtained decision affirming dismissal of employee’s suit for unjust enrichment.   

 

Retail 

Verizon Services Corp. v. Vonage Holdings Corp., 503 F.3d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
Represented provider of VOIP services, obtained stay pending appeal in patent dispute.  Obtained decision overturning $58 million jury award against provider of VOIP services in a patent infringement case and remanding the case for retrial on multiple issues.

 

Telecommunications 

Walton v. New York State Dept. of Correctional Services, 863 N.E.2d 1001 (N.Y. 2007)
Represented communications company in suit by recipients of collect calls to enjoin New York Department of Correctional Services.

 

Telecommunications

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Vaughn, 509 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2007)
Represented railroad in seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against Tribe’s possessory interest tax as applied to railroad right-of-way through the reservation.  Obtained decision on interlocutory appeal that tribal official responsible for collection of challenged tax was not immune from suit.

 

Transportation 

CSX Transp., Inc. v. Gardner, 874 N.E.2d 357 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), transfer denied, 891 N.E.2d 40 (Ind. 2008)
Represented railroad in appeal arguing that employee’s FELA award should be setoff by amount attributable to the railroad’s prior contributions to employees’ disability fund.   

 

Transportation  

CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Georgia State Board of Equalization, 552 U.S. 9 (2007) (amicus), on remand, 521 F.3d 1300 (11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam)
Represented amicus curiae in support of petitioner urging reversal of a ruling that had limited the evidence railroads could offer in district court in attempting to prove discrimination under the 4-R Act.  The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, agreed with the arguments put forth by petitioner and amicus curiae.

 

Transportation

Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. Minnesota Dept. of Revenue, 507 F.3d 693 (8th Cir. 2007)
Represented railroad challenging Minnesota’s sales or use tax.  Obtained decision reversing grant of summary judgment for the state and holding that the sales and use tax discriminated against railroads.

 

Transportation

United States v. Kay, 513 F.3d 432 (5th Cir. 2007), rehearing denied, 513 F.3d 461 (5th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 813 (2008)
Represented vice president of grain-exporting corporation charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
 

White Collar/Financial Services

2006

Cox v. Amerigas Propane, Inc., 211 Fed. Appx. 585 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented propane company, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment for propane company in retaliatory discharge case.

  

Advanced Materials & Chemicals

AEP Texas North Co. v. Texas Industrial Energy Consumers, 473 F.3d 581 (5th Cir. 2006)
On behalf of electric utility, obtained decision holding that federal law preempted state utility commission’s finding that utility violated its tariff governing affiliate operations in several states.

 

Energy

Arizona Department of Revenue v. Arizona Public Service Co., 126 P.3d 1063 (Ariz. App. 2006)
Represented Arizona’s largest utility in establishing that utility customers’ contributions in aid of construction (CIAC) are not included in the utility’s original plant in service cost for purposes of property tax valuation.

 

Energy

Frontier Pipeline Co. v. FERC, 452 F.3d 774 (DC Cir. 2006)
On behalf of oil pipeline, obtained decision vacating agency’s multi-million dollar award of reparations to shippers of oil under a joint rate for through movements.  Also obtained affirmance of agency’s decision to deny reparations to third parties that did not directly contract with pipeline to ship oil pursuant to joint rate.

 

Energy

Galaz v. United States, 175 Fed. Appx. 831 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented petroleum company defendant in Federal Tort Claims Act suit based on exposure to jet fuel supplied to naval station.

 

Energy

Public Utilities Commission of the State of California v. FERC, 462 F.3d 1027 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented electric utility in dispute over FERC’s orders relating to the energy crisis in California in 2000 and 2001.

 

Energy

Southern California Edison Co. v. FERC, No. 05-1125 (DC Cir. 2006)
Represented electric utility in dispute over allocation of costs with several California cities.  Shortly after Steptoe filed its opening brief, FERC voluntarily asked the Court for a remand, so that it could rethink its position.  FERC subsequently ruled in favor of our client.

 

Energy

Gaslow v. QA Investments LLC, 36 A.D.3d 286 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006)
Represented financial advisor, obtained court ruling that investor’s breach of contract claim was barred by statute of limitations.
  Financial Services
Steen v. United States, 468 F.3d 1357 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
Represented a commercial fisherman in seeking review of a ruling by the Court of International Trade regarding his application for a “trade adjustment assistance” cash benefit. 
  Food & Agriculture
Advance PCS v. Bauer, 632 S.E.2d 95 (Ga. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1053 (2006)
On behalf of a pharmaceutical benefits manager, obtained decision holding that federal law preempted plaintiffs’ claims because their claims were dependent on the terms of their respective ERISA plans.  Also obtained a denial of the petition for certiorari.
  Healthcare

Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Commonwealth, 179 S.W.3d 830 (Ky. 2006)
Represented insurance company in coverage litigation over responsibility for CERCLA-related costs of cleaning up nuclear waste disposal site.

 

Healthcare  

Beeman v. TDI Managed Care Servs., 449 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented pharmacy benefit manager in case alleging violations of California statutes.
  Healthcare

Board of Trustees of Bay Med. Ctr. v. Humana Military Healthcare Svcs., 447 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
Represented provider of managed care support services in challenge to district court’s jurisdiction over hospital’s contract claim arising from Department of Defense’s CHAMPUS program.

 

Healthcare

Glanton v. AdvancePCS, Inc., 465 F.3d 1123 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented pharmacy benefits management company, obtained decision that plan participants did not have standing to sue for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA.

 

Healthcare

Brezall v. Allstate Insurance Co., 205 Fed. Appx. 564 (9th Cir. 2006)
Represented insurance company, obtained decision that insurer complied with statute requiring underinsured motorist coverage.

 

Insurance

Dutton-Lainson Co. v. Continental Ins. Co., 716 N.W.2d 87 (Neb. 2006)
On behalf of insurance company, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment in suit by insured for indemnification of costs and expenses relating to the cleanup of environmental damage.

 

Insurance

Kish v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 930 So.2d 704 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006)
On behalf of national insurance company, obtained affirmance of trial court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ asbestos-related fraud claims on grounds of that claims were barred under Florida’s statute of repose.

 

Insurance

Milroy v. Allstate Ins. Co., 151 P.3d 922 (Okla. Civ. App. 2006)
On behalf of insurance company, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment of insured’s suit for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith.

 

Insurance

PCMA v. District of Columbia, 173 Fed. Appx. 3 (DC Cir. 2006)
In an appeal of a preliminary injunction involving Takings and federal preemption issues, the court remanded the case to the district court for further consideration in light of intervening precedent and maintained the preliminary injunction in favor of our client. 

 

Insurance

Tittle v. Enron Corp., 463 F.3d 410 (5th Cir. 2006)
Dispute involving the interpretation of two fiduciary liability insurance policies. 

 

Insurance

Tritschler v. Allstate Ins. Co., 144 P.3d 519 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006)
Represent insurance company in suit for breach of contract and bad faith.

 

Insurance

USX Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Ins., 444 F.3d 192 (3d Cir. 2006)
Represented leading insurance trade association as amicus curiae in obtaining ruling that accidental bodily injury clause in insurance contract does not cover asbestos-related claims.

 

Insurance

Caribbean Ispat Ltd. v. United States, 450 F.3d 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
On behalf of foreign manufacturer, successfully challenged ITC determination that imports had materially injured domestic industry.
 

Manufacturing

Norsk Hydro Canada, Inc. v. United States, 472 F.3d 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
Represented Canadian metallurgical company in seeking setoff against future duties due to Customs’ prior overcharge assessed upon magnesium and alloy exports.

 

Manufacturing

Turner v. Chevron, No. B173622, 2006 WL 1314013 (Cal. Ct. App. 2006) (unpublished)
On behalf of manufacturer, obtained affirmance of trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claim for compensation for a medical condition alleged to have been caused by client’s herbicide.

 

Manufacturing

Tran v. Gonzales, 447 F.3d 937 (6th Cir. 2006)
On behalf of a pro bono client, obtained decision vacating agency deportation order, and remanding for agency to consider request for relief from deportation under correct standard of review and burden of proof.  Agency subsequently ruled in favor of our client.

 

Pro Bono 

LaSalle Hotel Lessee, Inc. v. Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., 29 A.D.3d 464 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006)
Represent hotel owner in suit against tenant in suit claiming breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

 

Real Estate 

DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332 (2006) (amicus)
Represented nation’s two largest direct broadcast satellite companies as amici curiae in dormant Commerce Clause challenge to Ohio investment tax scheme.

 

Telecommunications

DIRECTV, Inc. v. State, 632 S.E.2d 543 (N.C. Ct. App. 2006)
Represent satellite company in challenging North Carolina tax under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

 

Telecommunications

Walton v. New York State Dept of Correctional Svcs., 25 A.D.3d 999 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006)
Successfully represented national telecommunications provider in challenge to rates charged on collect calls emanating from correctional facilities.

 

Telecommunications

CSX Transportation, Inc. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 472 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir. 2006)
Represented national railroad association as amicus curiae in challenge to state property taxes under 4-R Act.

 

Transportation 

United States v. Ebbers, 458 F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2006)
Appeal conviction and sentence in securities fraud case. 

 

White Collar/Financial Service

United States v. Gewin, 471 F.3d 197 (DC Cir. 2006)
Appeal in securities fraud case.  

 

White Collar/Financial Service

United States v. Martin, 455 F.3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2006)
Government appeal of reasonableness of downward sentencing departure for former executive’s cooperation in HealthSouth fraud prosecutions.

 

White Collar/ Healthcare

United States v. Younes, 194 Fed. Appx. 302 (6th Cir. 2006)
Appeal on behalf of vocational school owner convicted of federal financial aid program fraud.

 

White Collar

2005

BP West Coast Products v. FERC, 374 F.3d 1263 (DC Cir.), cert. denied, 544 U.S. 1043 (2005)
Represented oil pipeline carrier in challenge to agency's authority to order refunds on a rate that the agency itself prescribed.

 

Energy

   

Eurodif S.A. v. United States, 411 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2005)
Represented US enricher of uranium in interlocutory appeal of certified questions from US Court of International Trade concerning scope of Department of Commerce jurisdiction over imports of low enriched uranium into the United States.

 

Energy

   

State ex rel. Utilities Comm'n v. Carolina Power & Light Co., 614 S.E.2d 281 (N.C. 2005) (amicus)
Filed amicus brief on behalf of national electric power association concerning effect of the Commerce Clause on state utility regulation.

  Energy  

Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan, 388 F.3d 39 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 2270 (2005)
On behalf of telecommunications financing affiliate, fended off appeal, en banc petition and certiorari petition against individual defendants found liable for fraud. Defendants are now international fugitives.

  Financial Services  

Andrade v. Texaco, 2005 WL 237211 (Cal. App. 2005)
Represented oil company in ongoing toxic tort litigation related to explosion at refinery. Appellate court vacated dismissal of plaintiffs' claims, under mandatory procedural provisions of California Civil Code.

  Manufacturing  

City of Monroe Employees Retirement System v. Bridgestone, 399 F.3d 651 (6th Cir. 2005)
Upheld dismissal of securities fraud class action against CEO of major tire manufacturer for failure to state a claim.

  Manufacturing  

Corus Staal BV v. Dep't of Commerce, 395 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2005)
Represented foreign steel manufacturer challenging "zeroing" methodology used by Department of Commerce to calculate weighted-average dumping margin for the foreign manufacturer's imports into the United States.

  Manufacturing  

In re Lockheed Litig. Cases, 23 Cal. Rptr. 3d 762 (Cal. App.), review granted, 110 P.3d 289 (Cal. 2005)
Defended major oil company, at trial and on appeal, against multiple toxic tort suits. Appellate court affirmed the trial court's exclusion of expert report as inadequate to show causation, and affirmed consequent grants of dismissal or summary judgment.

  Manufacturing  

Kish v. A-Best Products Co., 827 N.E.2d 327 (Ohio 2005)
Preserved intermediate court's decision to dismiss 60 plus asbestos appeals as untimely filed.

 

Manufacturing

 

Nucor Corp. v. United States, 414 F.3d 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2005)
Represented foreign steel manufacturer in appeal by domestic steel producers from negative injury determination in ITC antidumping and countervailing duty investigation. Court sustained the negative injury determination, in light of safeguard relief the industry had already obtained.

 

Manufacturing

 

Pinney v. Nokia, 402 F.3d 430 (4th Cir. 2005)
Represented wireless telephone carrier in appeal of dismissal of class action alleging injury stemming from radio frequency radiation emissions on grounds of federal preemption.

 

Manufacturing  

 

Stern v. Chemtall Inc., 617 S.E.2d 876 (W. Va. 2005)
Represented chemical manufacturer in defense of lower court's denial of motion to intervene in a class action for medical monitoring.

 

Manufacturing

 

Acree v. Republic Of Iraq, No. 04-820 (S. Ct. 2005)
Petitioned for certiorari on behalf of 1991 Gulf War POWs, seeking to defend $1 billion judgment against Saddam Hussein and the Republic of Iraq under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act against jurisdictional challenge by US government.

 

Pro Bono 

 
Clark v. Martinez, 543 U.S. 371 (2005) (amicus)
On behalf of amicus law professors, urged Court to find government agency lacks statutory authority to hold aliens in detention indefinitely. The Court adopted this position in its opinion.  
 

Pro Bono 

 

Rose Acre Farm, Inc v. U.S., 545 U.S. 1104 (2005) (amicus)
On behalf of property rights public interest group, filed amicus curiae brief in support of petition for a writ of certiorari in Fifth Amendment regulatory takings case. 

 

Pro Bono 

 

BNSF v. STB, 403 F.3d 771 (DC Cir. 2005)
Vacated agency order that allowed shipper to initiate a new rate complaint.

 

Transportation

 

City of Riverview v. STB, 398 F.3d 434 (6th Cir. 2005)
Intervening on behalf of railroad, defended the decision of the Surface Transportation Board to grant an exemption for an intermodal transportation facility, thereby preempting local attempts to exercise eminent domain over the property.

 

Transportation

 

Dorn v. BNSF, 397 F.3d 1183 (9th Cir. 2005)
Reversed compensatory and punitive damages award against railroad in grade crossing accident.

 

Transportation

 

Early v. BNSF, 168 S.W.3d 684 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005), transfer denied (2005)
Challenged trial court's ruling to exclude defense evidence on spoliation grounds without any finding of bad faith.

 

Transportation

 

2004

Richardson v. Standard Guaranty Ins. Co., 853 A.2d 955 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2004)
Represented national credit card issuer seeking to uphold dismissal of putative class action asserting claims under state consumer protection statute.

 

Financial Services

 
In re Wallace and Gale Co., 385 F.3d 820 (4th Cir.), rehearing denied (2004)
In asbestos case, upheld summary judgment in favor of insurer, on grounds that claims were subject to aggregate limit under relevant provisions of CGL policies.
 

Insurance

 
John Hancock Financial Services v. United States, 378 F.3d 1302 (Fed. Cir. 2004)
Represented mutual life insurance company in appeal relating to the interplay of the "tax benefit rule" and section 809 of the Internal Revenue Code.
 

Insurance

 
CE Distribution, LLC v. New Sensor Corp., 380 F.3d 1107 (9th Cir. 2004)
Obtained reversal of dismissal of contract and trademark action for lack of personal jurisdiction based in part on the newly recognized doctrine of pendent personal jurisdiction.
 

Manufacturing

 

Laico v. Chevron USA, 20 Cal. Rptr. 3d 307 (Cal. App. 2004)
Successfully overturned toxic tort verdict that was based solely on premises liability. Appellate court held that as a mere property owner, company did not owe duty of safe premises to employees of independent contractor.

 

Manufacturing

 

2003

American Electric Power Company, Inc. v. United States, 326 F.3d 737 (6th Cir.) cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 1043 (2004)
Represented employer in appeal of $66 million tax deduction complaint concerning corporate owned insurance policy for 20,000 employees.

   Energy    

Atlantic City Electric Co. v. FERC, 329 F.3d 856 (DC Cir. 2003)
As lead counsel for electrical utilities in Mid-Atlantic region, won mandamus to enforce court order that FERC lacked authority to deprive utilities of certain statutory and contractual rights.

 

Energy

   

Entergy Louisiana, Inc. v. Louisiana Public Service Comm'n, 539 U.S. 39 (2003) (amicus)
As counsel for amicus national association of electric utilities, argued that state regulators must allow a utility to recover, in retail rates, costs allocated to it by the regional entity; the Court unanimously agreed.  

 

Energy 

   

In re NRG Power Marketing Inc., No.03-1189 (DC Cir.)
As counsel for the intervenor utility, persuaded court to deny emergency stay of FERC order directing bankrupt supplier to continue performance under power sales contract.

 

Energy

   

Scheidler v. National Organization For Women, 537 U.S. 393 (2003) (amicus)
On behalf of an American corporation involved in a $3 billion civil RICO suit, filed an amicus brief urging the Court to preserve district courts' power to issue injunctive relief in private suits under civil RICO. 

 

Manufacturing 

   

Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23(2003)
Successfully petitioned for certiorari and currently representing petitioner in challenging (1) the Lanham Act liability of a videotape producer for omitting certain credits from its videotape series and (2) the award of double profits solely for purposes of deterrence. 

 

Media & Entertainment

   

2002

Atlantic City Elec. Co. v. FERC, 295 F.3d 1 (DC Cir. 2002)
As lead counsel for electric utilities in Mid-Atlantic region, won decision overturning FERC orders requiring them to relinquish various statutory and contractual rights in order to form independent system operator.

 

Energy

   

New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1 (2002)
Two-front attack on FERC jurisdiction over retail energy transmission by Enron on one side and a number of state regulators on the other.  Representing the Edison Electric Institute, the national association of shareholder-owned public utilities, Steptoe successfully defended FERC’s ruling exercising regulatory jurisdiction over unbundled, but not bundled, retail transmission of power.   

 

Energy 

   

National Cable & Telecom. Ass’n v. Gulf Power Co., 534 U.S. 327 (2002)
This landmark dispute between utility pole owners and the cable and telecommunications industries required the Court to decide whether, in light of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC could continue to regulate the price and other terms on which cable, telecommunications, and Internet providers can attach their wires to utility poles.  Steptoe's client Worldcom had a strong interest as a major provider of telecommunications and Internet service.  The Court agreed that the FCC had jurisdiction to protect companies like WorldCom from monopoly conduct by utilities.

 

Telecommunications

   

Pre-2002 (Supreme Court Only)

Becker v. Montgomery, 532 U.S. 757 (2001) (amicus)
Appointed by Court to brief and argue as amicus curiae in support of judgment dismissing pro se prisoner’s appeal sua sponte for failure to sign notice of appeal. 

 

Pro Bono 

   

Atkinson Trading Co. v. Shirley, 532 U.S. 645 (2001)
In a challenge to tribal sovereignty, Steptoe represented a hotel located on private land within a reservation which asserted that its overnight guests could not be taxed by the Tribe.  The Supreme Court unanimously agreed.

 

Real Estate

   

Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Magna Bank N.A., 530 U.S. 1 (2000) (amicus)
Represented American Insurance Association in case involving recovery of administrative expenses in proceedings under the Bankruptcy Code.  

 

Insurance 

   

Raleigh v. State of Illinois, 530 U.S. 15 (2000) (amicus) 
Filed brief for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation urging Court to conclude that notions of equity in bankruptcy may not be used to supplant substantive non-bankruptcy law in determining claims.  

 

Manufacturing

   

Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495 (2000) (amicus)
Fifteenth Amendment challenge to a state restriction limiting eligible voters for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to “native Hawaiians.”   

 

Pro Bono 

   

Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603 (1999)
Classic clash between the rights of the press under the First Amendment and the rights of citizens under the Fourth Amendment: in representing homeowner, Steptoe established that, under the Fourth Amendment, police officers could not bring media representatives into a home while executing an arrest warrant.   

 

Pro Bono

   

Milwaukee Brewery Workers’ Pension Plan v. Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., 513 U.S. 414 (1995)
Intricate ERISA issue: when does interest start to accrue on the funding obligation of an employer withdrawing from a multi-employer plan governed by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act.  Issue resolved in favor of our client Schlitz’s position.  

 

Food & Agriculture 

   

C&A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, 511 U.S. 383 (1994)

Commerce Clause challenge on behalf of interstate shipper to local “flow control” law that required deposit of all solid waste at a local transfer station.  Court agreed that ordinance restricting limiting shipment of solid waste to out-of-state processors was an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. 

 

Transportation 

   

Burlington Northern R. Co. v. Ford, 504 U.S. 648 (1992)
Equal Protection challenge to state venue rule: Court upheld against railroad attack a state venue rule allowing suits against out-of-state corporations to be venued in any county. 

 

Transportation

   

Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991)
Admiralty decision resolving forum selection issue favorably to Steptoe’s client carnival Cruise Lines, holding that forum-selection clause in form passage contract was enforceable and was not affected by Limitation of Vessel Owners’ Liability Act. 

 

Transportation 

   

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. LTV Corp., 496 U.S. 633 (1990)
Representation of the federal pension agency in a case involving the intersection of bankruptcy, pension and administrative law.  The Court upheld the agency’s action—a restoration of a previously terminated pension plan.  The case established that an agency need not consider policies and goals outside of its enabling act, nor provide procedures beyond those required by its organic statute and the Administrative Procedure Act.  

 

Manufacturing

   

Pilot Life Ins. Co. v. Dedeaux, 481 U.S. 41 (1987)
Established for Pilot Life that ERISA preempts state common law bad faith claims against health insurers for employee benefit plans.   

 

Insurance 

   

Burlington Northern R. Co. v. Oklahoma Tax Comm’n, 481 U.S. 454 (1987)
Steptoe successfully fought for a railroad’s right to federal judicial review of overvaluation of railroad property by state taxing authorities under Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.   

 

Transportation 

   

Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Russell, 473 U.S. 134 (1985)
On behalf of Massachusetts Mutual Life, Steptoe established that ERISA preempts extracontractual or punitive damages claims against plan fiduciaries based on their processing of employee benefit claims. 

 

Insurance 

   

Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, 470 U.S. 869 (1985)
Equal Protection challenge to a state “domestic preference” statute, taxing out-of-state insurance companies (including our client) at a higher rate than in-state insurers.  Court rejected state’s primary asserted purposes for the challenged tax differential. 

 

Insurance