June 13, 2014

New punitive damages blog analyzes case pending before en banc Ninth Circuit (Arizona v. Asarco)

Our friends at Mayer Brown have launched their own punitive damages blog, aptly titled Guideposts.  Mayer Brown has a deep bench of brilliant lawyers with extensive knowledge of punitive damages issues.  We've had the pleasure of collaborating with them on a number of punitive damages appeals in California and elsewhere. Welcome to the blogosphere!

Guideposts currently features a two-part series of posts addressing Arizona v. Asarco, which the Ninth Circuit has decided to review en banc.  In the first post, blogger Evan Tager argues that the Ninth Circuit should be analyzing the Title VII punitive damages award in that case under federal common law, not constitutional law (as the original three-judge panel did).  And he notes that federal appellate courts have considerably greater authority to regulate punitive damages under federal common law than they do under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. 

In the second post, he argues that the Ninth Circuit should reduce the Asarco award to something in the mid-five-figure range, to reflect that the defendant's conduct in that case was far less reprehensible than the acts of other defendants in other employment cases.  He argues that awards at the statutory maximum of $300,000 should be reserved for only the most egregious wrongdoing.
Related posts:

Ninth Circuit grants en banc rehearing to decide excessiveness of punitive damages in Title VII case (Arizona v. Asarco)

Ninth Circuit reduces $300,000 punitive damages award to $125,000 in Title VII harassment case (Arizona v. ASARCO)