Competing Summary Judgment Motions in Pay Disparity Case

This is a particularly interesting opinion resolving multiple competing summary judgment motions in an employment case against a county brought by a female doctor who discovered she was being paid less than a subsequently hired male doctor.  What makes this case interesting is that the EEOC filed suit against the county on behalf of the doctor, and then the EEOC, and the county filed cross motions for summary judgment against each other as well as against the doctor. 

N.D. Cal. on Joining Owners in Section 285 Proceedings

It was not quite two years ago when Judge Gilstrap ordered the nonparty owner of an unsuccessful patent plaintiff made a party for purposes of a motion for attorneys fees under Section 285 in Iris Connex.  That proceeding eventually generated an unappealed-from order making the owner jointly and severally liable for over $500,000, which I posted on here.

Hat tip to Rachael Lamkin for noting a recent similar decision from the Northern District of California, which is worth some analysis.

Motion to “Re-seal”False Claims Act Case Denied

Recent years have seen regular increases in the number of filings both locally and nationally under the False Claims Act, a Civil War-era law that imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud government programs.  While the claims originated in the government’s attempt during the Civil War to reduce the spectacularly shoddy supplies sold to the government by contractors during the war, ranging from rancid supplies to shoddy equipment and diseased pack animals, the claims now deal with alleged fraudulent health care claims as well as military and other government spending.  Often these claims are brought by private individuals under the Act’s qui tam provisions, which permit payments to these “relators” of a portion of the recovered damages. The cases are typically filed under seal and are are not initially served on the defendant, and while the statutory period is 60 days, this is often extended.  This makes it difficult to track exactly how many cases are being filed, since it can be a year or more (in some cases many more) before a case is unsealed.  That makes this recent opinion by Judge Gilstrap on the propriety of “re-sealing” a FCA case of interest to FCA practitioners.