Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Weds 5/3 - Chevron in the Crosshairs, Third Circuit Filing Deadline, Lewis Brisbois Mass Exodus, Ford Wins, and Insider Trading NFTs

Weds 5/3 - Chevron in the Crosshairs, Third Circuit Filing Deadline, Lewis Brisbois Mass Exodus, Ford Wins, and Insider Trading NFTs

We have a Chevron challenge getting taken up by SCOTUS, a new filing deadline for the Third Circuit, Lewis Brisbois mass exodus, Ford Motor Co. wins a big reversal, and an insider trading NFT case.

The Chevron doctrine is a legal principle that has been in place since a Supreme Court decision in 1984. It states, in sum, that when Congress passes a law that is unclear or ambiguous, the courts should defer to the interpretation of that law made by the relevant federal agency responsible for administering it. The doctrine has been used in countless cases and has provided support for agencies to make decisions on complex issues without explicit instructions from Congress. 

Now, the US Supreme Court has agreed to review the Chevron doctrine. The doctrine has been criticized by conservatives as fuelling government overreach. The case taken up by the Supreme Court, Loper Bright v. Raimondo, centers on the requirement by the National Marine Fisheries Service that certain vessels fishing for herring off the Atlantic coast must hire monitors for conservation and management purposes. The challenge is being mounted by four New Jersey fishing companies, who want the rule invalidated and Chevron pared back. Conservative groups are organizing against the doctrine, with the case described as a “textbook example of the conservative legal movement ‘manufacturing’ a case”.

Supreme Court’s Chevron Review Caps Years-Long Conservative Push

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has adopted a new filing deadline of 5 p.m., effective from July 1, despite opposition from a group of 43 appellate lawyers who stated that the new deadline was "undesirable and counterproductive." The deadline change applies to documents filed after the initiation of a proceeding in the court but not to documents initiating an appeal or other proceedings. The court said the move was aimed at improving work-life balance and avoiding late-night filings that deprive opponents of hours to consider and formulate responses. The new rule ends a practice by some of intentional late-night filings.

Third Circuit Adopts Early Filing Deadline Despite Dissent (1)

At least 125 lawyers from Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith are leaving the firm to join a new offshoot boutique, Barber Ranen, which has been launched by former leaders of its employment practice. Barber Ranen's founders, John Barber and Jeff Ranen, said they were yearning for an opportunity to build something on their own. The majority of the departures are California-based labor and employment attorneys. The mass exodus roughly halves the size of the firm’s employment group, which had about 200 attorneys nationally.

100-Plus Lewis Brisbois Lawyers Exit for New Employment Firm (1)

A federal judge in Detroit has reversed a jury verdict that ordered Ford Motor Co to pay Versata Software $104.6m for breaching a licensing contract and misappropriating trade secrets. The judge said Versata had offered sufficient evidence of a contract breach, but not enough to let jurors calculate damages accurately. The jury had no basis to determine how long Ford would have needed to develop three trade secrets it allegedly stole, so the damages award was voided. The judge ordered Ford to pay Versata $3 for breach of contract. The $104.6 million award was about 85% of what Versata had sought. $3 is … less. 

Ford wins reversal of $105 million trade-secrets verdict | Reuters

The trial of Nathaniel Chastain, a former product manager at OpenSea, the world's largest NFT marketplace, began with jury deliberations. He is accused of making more than $50,000 in illegal profits by buying NFTs before featuring them on OpenSea's website, and then selling them when their value rose. Prosecutors have charged him with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, alleging that he traded on inside information to profit. This case is the first insider trading case in digital assets, and its outcome could have broad implications for assets that don't fit into existing regulations. Legal experts said the case could affect investment advisers, brokers, and others trading on material nonpublic information. Chastain's attorney argued that the trades did not break OpenSea's rules and that the case was about whether Chastain intended to defraud OpenSea.

Jury starts deliberating in ex-OpenSea manager's NFT insider trading case | Reuters

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at