Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

June 19, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Here are some highlights from the past week:

U.S. Supreme Court says ex-wife is proper life insurance beneficiary: The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a deceased federal employee’s ex-wife is the proper beneficiary of his life insurance policy because a federal law preempts a Virginia statute that allows his current wife to challenge her husband’s designation. “Congress had ‘spoken with force and clarity in directing that the proceeds belong to the named beneficiary and no other,’” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the majority, quoting from a high court case concerning similar issues. Wissner v. Wissner, 338 U.S. 655 (1950). (Insurance Coverage)

Court blocks defendant’s bid for his home’s $3.7 million sale proceeds: An alleged Ponzi schemer who got his home in a divorce settlement has a right to less than a third of the $3.7 million a court-appointed receiver sold the house for two years ago, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found. The appellate panel said Stephen Walsh’s claim for the money was prohibited because he paid his ex-wife using several million dollars traceable to his alleged securities fraud. (White-Collar Crime)

5th Circuit affirms dismissal of climate-change suit: For the second time, Mississippi property owners who alleged that oil and energy companies contributed to global warming and the severity of Hurricane Katrina have failed to convince a federal appeals court to reinstate their claims. The suit was barred based on the principle of res judicata because the issues were already litigated in a similar class action that the plaintiffs filed in 2005, a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. (Environmental)

Shareholders challenge Dell $24 billion going-private buyout by founder: Shareholders of Dell Inc. have sued the computer giant, alleging the $24.4 billion going-private buyout proposed by CEO Michael S. Dell does not provide them with sufficient consideration for the value of their stock. The proposed class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas alleges the company’s officers and directors breached their fiduciary duties to investors and violated federal securities law by issuing a misleading proxy about the proposed buyout. (Securities Litigation & Regulation)

N.C. Dental Board can’t prohibit non-dentists from whitening teeth: The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners cannot prohibit non-dentists from providing teeth whitening products or services because its actions are anti-competitive and are not protected by the state, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Federal Trade Commission ruling saying the dental board is not immune from FTC antitrust scrutiny, as the board is composed of private practitioners and is not supervised by the state. (Antitrust)