Category Archives: Litigation

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Car Accidents Involving Autonomous Cars, Who is Liable?

crash
With automated cars comes hopes of safer driving, more efficient commuting, increased productivity, reduced human errors, and fewer accidents. However, as self-driving cars becomes a reality, car accidents may lead to legal controversy over who is responsible for the accident; the manufacturer or the owner?… Continue reading this entry

Multi-District Litigation Reform and the “Fairness in Class Action Act”

In addition to it taking a swipe at class actions, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017 (the “Fairness in Class Action Act”), would lead to multi-district litigation reform (MDL), limiting its reach in federal court. Like class actions (covered in our last post), multi-district litigations, or MDLs, … Continue reading this entry

Class Action Reform and the “Fairness in Class Action Act”

While the Congressional legislative agenda has taken a back seat in the headlines lately, the fact remains that there still is an agenda, and it includes class action reform. The agenda item of interest is H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017 (the “Fairness in Class … Continue reading this entry

The Future of High Tech Patent Litigation in the Auto Industry

Intellectual Property
The rapid adoption of new technologies by the auto industry and the new players that provide them is going to have an impact on the world’s roads. It’s also bringing an increased focus on exploiting and protecting intellectual property.… Continue reading this entry

The New Supreme Court Term: Cases for the Automotive Industry to Watch

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
A new Supreme Court term is once again underway. This one looks to be unique in that it is likely to be an eight-Justice bench into 2017—with Republican leaders standing firm on their refusal to go forward with confirming any nominee appointed by President Obama, it is likely that any new ninth justice will have … Continue reading this entry

Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend!

The Dashboard Insights team wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day. We’ll be back to our regular posting on Thursday, September 8. Thanks for your continued support of our blog!… Continue reading this entry

Will Autonomous Vehicles Mean Fewer Lawsuits?

Full disclosure # 1: I, the author of this blog post, am a trial lawyer. Full disclosure # 2: The law firm that allows the publication of this blog post has many, many, many more trial lawyers. Without disputes that could go to trial, we all need to find more work. Of course, this also … Continue reading this entry

NHTSA Issues Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Private Litigation

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week issued “Enforcement Guidance Bulletin 2015-01: Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Civil Litigation,” which is intended to discourage the use of confidentiality provisions that present a potential barrier to the flow of safety-related information to the agency.… Continue reading this entry

Top 2016 Litigation Issues Facing the Auto Supply Chain

Nobody likes a fight. Well, almost nobody. Trial lawyers, boxers, and MMA fighters might be the only ones. But, in business, the occasional fight is pretty much inevitable. What fights do we foresee for those in the auto industry in 2016? Well, we see the potential for some in the supply chain in one form … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Preview, Part III: A Couple Spare Parts

This is the third and final post in our series, “The Supreme Court Preview.” View the previous post here. While the Court’s review of bedrock principles of class action litigation and the continuing struggle to enforce arbitration clauses  in the face of hostile state law are two important topics to watch, they are not the only … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Preview, Part II: Tuning Up Arbitration Clauses

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
This is the second post in our series “The Supreme Court Preview,” view the first post here. California state and federal courts have a rocky history with the U.S. Supreme Court, as the highest court in the land has repeatedly reversed the Ninth Circuit and California state courts in deciding cases under the Federal Arbitration … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Preview, Part I: The Court To Overhaul Class Actions?

A fresh Supreme Court term has kicked off, with a new slate of cases awaiting the Court’s decision. Among these cases are several that the automotive industry should keep an eye on, as they impact the law in ways that will affect how industry members do business. Over the next few posts, Dashboard Insights will … Continue reading this entry

A Perfect Storm for Automotive Patent Disputes?

As the automotive industry rebounds from its recessionary levels to an all time record level of spending on vehicles and healthy profitability, one of the key drivers of the increased vehicles sales has been increased innovation and major redesigns of vehicles. The number of new products in 2014 increased nearly 50% compared to the preceding … Continue reading this entry

Fifth Circuit Upholds Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret-Related Claims

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
Situations abound in which a defendant has been sued in state court, and wants to get to federal court. In cases in which the plaintiff has not pled a federal claim, and where diversity of citizenship is absent, there may not be a ready avenue to get to federal court. In jurisdictions with a plaintiff-friendly … Continue reading this entry

Preventing Whistleblower Claims in the Automotive Industry

Making Your Termination Decision Count (Don’t Sleep On This One…)
Whistleblower and retaliation claims are some of the most costly claims brought by employees and they are on the rise. OSHA, who governs complaints for over 20 whistleblower statutes, reports a 58% increase in whistleblower claims between 2005 and 2014. Retaliation claims under the statutes governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have increased 70% in … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Steel Producers File Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions: The Potential Impact

OSHA Turns Its Sights on Auto Suppliers
U.S. steel producers Nucor, U.S. Steel, Steel Dynamics, California Steel, AK Steel and Acelor Mittal filed, on June 3, antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against some forms of corrosion resistant steel from China, India, Italy, Korea and Taiwan.… Continue reading this entry

Malcolm Gladwell Re-Thinks Automotive Safety in "The New Yorker"

OSHA Turns Its Sights on Auto Suppliers
Recent high-profile product liability lawsuits against automotive manufacturers have captured national attention. These cases have led to a renewed and heightened focus on automotive safety and, specifically, the guidelines and procedures used by automotive manufactures to determine whether to initiate a recall.… Continue reading this entry

Different Standards for Self-Critical Analysis Privilege: What You Need to Know

NU.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
In a recent March 19, 2015 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to acknowledge the self-critical analysis privilege. This recent discussion underscores the need to understand the different standards for the privilege in each jurisdiction a company operates under and the importance of the proactive steps to safeguard privilege detailed in our November 13, 2014 … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Signaling That Agencies May Have a Shorter Leash in the Future

What’s Next for Conflict Minerals Rules After D.C. Circuit Decision?
The automotive industry, as much as any industry operating in the United States, has a substantial federal regulatory burden, with an alphabet soup of agencies charged with regulating under the authority of an alphabet soup of statutes. Understanding whether a business is in compliance with the thicket of regulations covering the auto industry often requires considering … Continue reading this entry

Privileges Can Help Manufacturers in Product Liability Litigation, but Beware

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
This blog’s earlier post, “Protect Your Safety Investigations and Deliberations From Prying Eyes,” highlighted the three privileges that are useful for Safety Teams – self-critical analysis privilege (or self-evaluation privilege), attorney-client privilege, and work product doctrine. These three privileges can help a manufacturer protect its information regarding product safety analysis when dealing with product liability … Continue reading this entry

What's Next for NHTSA and Automotive Safety?

What’s Next for Conflict Minerals Rules After D.C. Circuit Decision?
This past year, we witnessed the GM Ignition Switch investigation, which involved massive recalls, multiple Congressional hearings, and civil penalties; the ongoing Takata airbag inflator investigation and recalls (and more Congressional hearings); multiple legislative proposals seeking to increase the civil penalty ceiling and expand NHTSA’s enforcement authority; and an unprecedented number of other recalls, civil … Continue reading this entry

Top Antitrust Issues Facing Automotive Suppliers in 2015

Recent U.S. and international antitrust developments will have important implications in 2015 for the automotive industry. U.S. antitrust developments include, in particular: The ongoing antitrust investigations and civil damage litigation involving the auto parts industry; Ever-increasing pressure for effective legal compliance programs; and Challenges to mergers (large and small, non-reportable) underscoring continued tough and aggressive enforcement … Continue reading this entry