Tulane Law Review Alumus Cited by Eastern District

Tulane Law Review comment written by Justin Woodard, TLS '11, has been cited by Chief Judge Sarah Vance in Checkpoint Fluidic Systems International, Ltd. v. Guccione (E.D. La. 2012). Woodard's comment, “Unnecessary To Address”?:  Tackling the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Open Question of Whether a Continuing Tort Can Suspend the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act’s One-Year Peremptive Period, 85 Tul. L. Rev. 865 (2011), analyzed whether a continuing tort suspends the one-year peremptive period for claims brought under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act.

In this particular case—in which the plaintiff sued for violations of the Lanham Act, trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising, and various state law claims—the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana determined the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA) was the most analogous state statute to the Lanham Act because both govern unfair competition.  The Lanham Act does not contain a federal statute of limitations, therefore courts look to the most appropriate or analogous state statute of limitations for guidance.  LUTPA provides for a one-year period to file suit beginning from the time of the act that gave rise to the cause of action, and Louisiana Courts of Appeal have held that this limitations period is peremptive.

The plaintiff in this case relied on the continuing tort doctrine to oppose summary judgment as to whether its Lanham Act was time-barred. The plaintiff contended that its claims were not perempted because the defendants engaged in a continuing tort, keeping the peremptive period from running.
Although the Louisiana Supreme Court has not decided whether the doctrine applies under LUTPA, Woodward’s article addresses this issue, and the District Court ultimately concluded in accordance with controlling precedent of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the doctrine applied to the state statute.

Woodard served as Editor in Chief of the Tulane Law Review from 2010 to 2011. He now clerks for a federal district judge in Charleston, South Carolina.