Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

July 17, 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:

Supreme Court narrowly defines ‘supervisor’ in discrimination case: An employer is vicariously liable for the harassing and discriminatory actions of an employee only when that person has the power to take “tangible employment actions against the victim,” the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. In a 5-4 decision, the high court said an individual can be considered a supervisor for the purposes of employer liability only if the person can take actions, such as hiring, firing and reassignment, that can have a direct economic impact on the accuser. (Employment)

Supreme Court says cost of arbitration doesn’t invalidate agreement: Credit card giant American Express can prevent merchants from banding together in an antitrust suit because federal arbitration law does not invalidate a contract’s class-action waiver based simply on the cost of individual arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. Hearing the company’s appeal for the second time, the high court rejected the merchants’ contention that the waiver denies vindication of their rights and said courts must strive to enforce contracts according to their terms. (Class Action)

IMAX says former worker gave software source code to competitors: IMAX Corp. alleges a former employee stole proprietary software source code for the Canadian theater company’s core projection and conversion technologies and used it to start his own competing company in China. Gary Tsui allegedly swiped the company’s code and trade secrets and surreptitiously gave them to film companies in China, including China Giant Screen, a company where Tsui is the chief engineer, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. (Software Law)

2nd Circuit affirms dismissal of ‘aiding and abetting’ claims against Madoff’s banks: The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the trustee appointed to oversee the liquidation of Bernie Madoff’s securities brokerage cannot pursue claims against the investment banks allegedly used to back Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme. Affirming a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the three-judge panel said trustee Irving Picard did not have standing to pursue claims for more than $800 million already paid to victims of the fraud under the Securities Investor Protection Act. (Securities Litigation & Regulation)