A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of May 16-22.


Drop in Patent Lawsuits, Damages Blunts Call for Congress to Act

Susan Decker | Bloomberg

Patent lawsuits and damage awards in the U.S. fell in 2014, snapping five years of increases, according to a study that may embolden opponents of litigation rules being considered by Congress.

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Supreme Court To Decide If Defendants Can ‘Pick Off’ Class-Action Plaintiffs With Cash

Daniel Fisher | Forbes

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that will decide whether companies facing class actions can “pick off” the plaintiffs who bring them by offering to settle their claims in full.

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Faced With Legal Puzzles, Judges Often Turn to Fellow Jurists

Benjamin Weiser | New York Times

Federal district judges are often described as the quintessential deciders, whether from the bench or in written opinions. But what happens when a difficult question arises, the parties are in sharp disagreement, and the answer is not obvious? Turns out they often rely on a rarely discussed resource: the jurist-to-jurist lifeline.

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NJ Decision Makes State Court Cozier For Class Actions

Martin Bricketto | Law360

A recent New Jersey appellate decision snubbing controversial class identification requirements when certifying low-value consumer class actions will further drive plaintiffs to keep such suits in state court and poses due process problems for defendant companies, some attorneys say.

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Gramercy Park Woman Sues Neighbors Over Their Rowdy Kids

Kathianne Boniello | New York Post

A Manhattan woman claims her life has been upended by the rough-and-tumble kids in the apartment above her.

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Sharpton’s Daughter Hiked up Mountain on ‘Sprained’ Ankle

Michael Gartland and David K. Li | New York Post

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter unwittingly proved that her $5 million sprained-ankle suit against the city is a mountain of BS.

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20 of the Most Unusual N.J. Lawsuits Ever Filed, From Ghosts to Milkshakes

Erin O’Neill | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

After a New Jersey woman paid $7.99 for in-flight television and internet service that she said only worked for 10 minutes at the end of her journey, she took legal action. The West Orange resident in March filed a $5 million class action suit against United Airlines seeking, saying the company failed to notify passengers of how the service worked. News of the mutilmillion-dollar lawsuit sparked heated debate among NJ.com commenters, some of whom decried the lawsuit as a money grab. Others defended class actions lawsuits as a way to keep big companies in check. The controversy prompted us to dig into the archives to unearth other lawsuits that may raise jeers and cheers with readers.

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