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On May 2, 2019, in JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association v. Sean Gallagher and Hairong Wang (Docket No. 169 EDA 2018), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County that granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and also affirmed two other trial court orders.

On March 27, 2019, in a case handled by PIB, New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a trial court decision denying the defendant’s eleventh-hour motion to vacate a sheriff’s sale and restrain delivery of the deed to a third-party purchaser predicated on a novel – but incorrect – theory that a reinstatement quote constituted a binding contract.  The decision is significant because, had Defendant’s argument been successful, it could have created the threat of potential litigation based solely upon routine communications between servicers and borrowers.

On October 16, 2018, in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company Americas v. Janet Spinelli (Docket No. A-3642-16T4), New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a trial court decision that granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and to strike defendant’s answer, and denied defendant’s cross-motion to dismiss the complaint. 

On August 28, 2018, in Young Man Kim et al. v. M&T Bank, Civil Action No. 17-11810 (ES) (MAH), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Hon. Esther Salas, U.S.D.J.) issued a Memorandum and Order granting PIB Law’s motion to dismiss a putative class action filed by multiple plaintiffs against M&T Bank.

On June 28, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) voted to propose amendments to the rules governing its whistleblower program.  The whistleblower program was established in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  It added Section 21F to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), establishing the Commission’s whistleblower program.  The public comment period is for 60 days following publication of the proposing release in the Federal Register.

On June 21, 2018, the Honorable Loretta A. Preska, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, found that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is unconstitutional.  Judge Preska dismissed the CFPB as a plaintiff from the subject litigation, after holding that the CFPB lacked the authority to bring claims against the defendants under the Consumer Finance Protection Act (“CFPA”).  This decision directly contradicts the District of Columbia Circuit’s January 31, 2018 ruling in PHH Corp., et al v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which upheld the structure of the CFPB and found that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – which shields the Director of the CFPB from removal without cause – is consistent with Article II of the Constitution. 

On April 24, 2018, in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office, [Docket # 16-969], , the United States Supreme Court held that “[w]hen the Patent Office institutes an inter partes review it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner has challenged.”  The Court relied on the plain language of 35 U.S.C. § 318, which states that “[i]f . . . review is instituted and not dismissed,” the Patent Trial and Appeal Board “shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner.”  The Court further held that the word “shall” imposes a nondiscretionary duty to address every claim the petitioner has challenged, and that “any” means “every.”  In reliance on the plain language of the statute, the Court held that “[w]here a statute’s language carries a plain meaning, the duty of an administrative agency is to follow its commands as written, not to supplant its command with others it may prefer.”

On April 24, 2018, in a widely anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court held in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, et al., [Docket # 16-712], that the inter partes review process instituted under the 2011 America Invents Act – whereby private parties can challenge issued patent claims in an adversarial process before the Patent Office that mimics civil litigation – is constitutional. 

On April 2, 2018, Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), issued his first report to Congress on the CFPB, requesting that the agency’s independence and power be limited

On March 20, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, holding that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (“SLUSA”) did not strip state courts of their jurisdiction to adjudicate class actions brought under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”).  The Court’s decision upheld the original language of the 1933 Act, authorizing both state and federal courts to exercise jurisdiction over actions brought under the 1933 Act, and barring removal of actions brought in state court under the 1933 Act. 

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