Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

July 30, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupHighlights from the past week’s litigation news headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include a ruling by Delaware’s high court allowing shareholders to access Wal-Mart’s books-and-records; a FOIA suit against the CIA; a Georgia high court ruling over psychiatric records; and the 9th Circuit affirms a FLSA retaliation verdict against the Los Angeles Police Department:


Delaware high court opens Wal-Mart boardroom to shareholder plaintiffs: The Delaware Supreme Court has handed Wal-Mart’s shareholder plaintiffs a win in a key discovery battle by affirming an order to turn over a wide range of information about how the retail giant’s directors handled a bribery scandal at its Mexican subsidiary. The high court’s July 23, en banc ruling in a books-and-records action affirms a Chancery Court order requiring Wal-Mart Stores to produce seven years of information, including officer-level documents, computer backup tapes and general counsel documents that will provide ammunition for shareholder class actions in Delaware and Arkansas courts. Ind. Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 7779, order issued (Del. Ch. Oct. 15, 2013). (Delaware Corporate)

2 men seek release of documents on CIA dispute with Senate group: An investigative journalist and a political historian have filed a Freedom of Information Act complaint in federal court, seeking the release of documents concerning a dispute between the Central Intelligence Agency and a Senate committee arising from the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. In a June 24 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, reporter Jason Leopold, of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Ryan Noah Shapiro, a Ph.D. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claim the CIA has wrongly denied their request for an expedited release of records, including those on agency contractors. (Government Contract)

Parents can’t waive deceased son’s psychiatrist-patient privilege, Georgia Supreme Court rules: The parents of a 22-year-old man who committed suicide cannot waive their son’s psychiatrist-patient privilege in order to get confidential records to determine whether to bring a malpractice action, the Georgia Supreme Court has held. The state high court’s 5-2 ruling from June 30 reverses a trial judge’s conclusion that equity warranted disclosure of the son’s confidential communications with his psychiatrist. Professional Liability

9th Circuit affirms FLSA retaliation verdict against LAPD: A Los Angeles federal judge properly refused to instruct a jury about workplace rule violations in a police officer’s Fair Labor Standards Act retaliation suit against the city’s police department, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. There is no evidence the officer would have been fired for rule violations he admitted to during testimony at a fellow officer’s wage suit against the department, the appeals court ruled in a 2-1 decision July 10. (Employment)