9th Circuit Court of Appeals

2013

January 41 summaries

Freeman Investments v. Pacific Life

"[C]lass claims for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing [are] not precluded by SLUSA, even if such claims related to the purchase or sale of a covered security, because these contract claims did not rest on misrepresentation or fraudulent omission."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

In Re: Century Aluminum Co.

Under § 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77k, a plaintiff has a cause of action if she proves that her purchased shares were fraudulently issued under a “materially false or misleading registration statement.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Pleasant

A defendant’s “agreed sentencing range” is not necessarily his “applicable sentencing range.” “The applicable guideline range is determined before consideration of any departure provision in the Guidelines Manual or any variance.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Yi

A “deliberate ignorance” instruction is appropriate where the evidence establishes “(1) a subjective belief that there is a high probability a fact exists; and (2) deliberate actions taken to avoid learning the truth.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Henderson v. Johnson

Where a habeas petition contains both exhausted and unexhausted state habeas claims, a district court should dismiss the petition with leave to amend. If requested, a district court should also consider the petitioner’s eligibility for a stay of the whole petition or unexhausted claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Xu

“When a statute gives no clear indication of an extraterritorial application, it has none.” However, there is "express legislative intent to punish patterns of organized criminal activity in the United States" and under RICO, conspiracy convictions are not the result of "improper extraterritorial application" when the pattern of defendants’ criminal enterprise involved both the foreign country and the United States.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Jayne v. Sherman

In preparing an Environmental Impact Statement, the Forest Service did not act in an arbitrary or capricious manner when considering commitments by a forest supervisor to protect endangered species after the adoption of a new regulation affecting wilderness management.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Peralta v. Dillard

The court may instruct the jury to consider the “duties, discretion and means available” to prison employees in determining whether the employee acted with deliberate indifference to a prisoner's medical needs.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Juan

For a defendant to show a violation of due process under the Fifth Amendment for prosecutorial intimidation of a witness, defendant must show a causal link between the statements and the witness's decision to change her decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Cunningham v. Wong

It does not amount to interrogation in violation of Miranda for a detective to ask a suspect in custody, “Do you want to talk to an attorney or do you want to talk to me without an attorney?” after a suspect invokes but adds "I will talk to you now until I think I need [an attorney]. I don’t need one present at this time."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Olsen

In a trial for the possession of biological toxins, undisclosed evidence refuting an expert witness’s credibility did not fundamentally change the result of the trial, because other “overwhelming” evidence, including extensive internet research concerning biological weapons and terrorism, supported the conviction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Sideman & Bancroft, LLP

A taxpayer's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is not violated where it is established that, before issuing an administrative summons relating to a criminal investigation of that taxpayer, the IRS had independent knowledge of the summonsed documents’ existence and authenticity, and of the respondent’s possession of the documents.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

The court held that simple kidnapping does not involve moral turpitude because under CPC §207(a) it “does not require an intent to injure, actual injury, or a special class of victims.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

The court held that simple kidnapping does not involve moral turpitude because under CPC §207(a) it “does not require an intent to injure, actual injury, or a special class of victims.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Juvenile Male

The Ninth Circuit joined its sister circuits in not requiring a psychological evaluation for determining whether transfer from juvenile proceedings to adult prosecution is "in the interest of justice." Presuming guilt for the purposes of a transfer decision is not a violation of due process rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Juvenile Male

The Ninth Circuit joined its sister circuits in not requiring a psychological evaluation for determining whether transfer from juvenile proceedings to adult prosecution is "in the interest of justice." Presuming guilt for the purposes of a transfer decision is not a violation of due process rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures

An order denying a defendant’s motion to strike state law claims under California’s anti-SLAPP statute is immediately appealable because the statute grants immunity from suit, not merely a defense to liability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Stengel v. Medtronic, Inc.

A federal-law duty imposed by the Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not preempt a parallel state-law duty of care.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Babb v. Lozowsky

In a petition for habeas corpus, where a court determines with reasonable certainty that a jury reached a general verdict of guilt upon a valid theory, an erroneous instruction relating to separate theory of guilt is a harmless error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Lawler v. Montblanc North America, LLC

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, an employee whose disability precludes her presence at the workplace when her presence is an essential job function does not make out a prima facie claim for disability discrimination.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

United States v. El Dorado County

An order suspending a consent decree will not be subject to an interlocutory appeal unless the appealing party can show that it will suffer “serious, perhaps irreparable consequences.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

United States v. Hardeman

The application of 18 U.S.C. § 2260A, which criminalizes committing certain federal offenses while under a legal duty to register as a sex offender, does not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause, even if the defendant’s registration duty arose retroactively.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Jensen

The maximum sentence for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3146, failing to appear, is determined by looking to the maximum sentence imposed by the underlying offense and applying that in § 3146 framework.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Vidal-Mendoza

Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d), where an alien lacks “apparent eligibility for relief [] at the time of his removal hearing and potentially [becomes] eligible for such relief only through [a] post-removal change law,” the alien may not collaterally attack the removal order on the basis that the IJ failed to inform him of eligibility for such relief.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Wilson v. CIR

Under 26 U.S.C. § 6015, the Tax Court is permitted to review Innocent Spouse Relief cases de novo and to consider new evidence in making its determination.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Faulkner v. ADT Security Services, Inc.

Stipulation of a Tribal Enrollment Certificate was insufficient evidence to establish the defendant’s Indian status for purposes of the defendant’s conviction under the Major Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1153, which grants federal jurisdiction over enumerated crimes committed by Indians in Indian country.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Furnace v. Sullivan

At summary judgment, all inferences must be drawn in favor of the plaintiff when determining qualified immunity for purposes of an Eighth Amendment analysis in a § 1983 claim.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Gallegos-Galindo

The 2008 Revised Code of Washington § 9A.44.060(1)(a) includes any sex offense involving the absence of the victim’s consent as a “forcible sex offense.” A third-degree rape conviction is considered a “forcible sex offense” and can be considered during sentencing of a future crime, even if the rape occurred before Amendment 722 was enacted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Alphonsus v. Holder

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) must explain its basis for using the “orderly pursuit of justice” and “meaningful risk of harm” rationales in determining that an individual committed a particularly serious crime before the BIA’s determination can be evaluated for its legal adequacy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Hurles v. Ryan

A petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing in a state court post-conviction relief (PCR) claim of judicial bias when the judge who presided over the trial, sentencing, and PCR hearing "makes factual findings [in the PCR case] without an evidentiary hearing or other opportunity for the petitioner to present evidence."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Zepeda

Stipulation of a Tribal Enrollment Certificate was insufficient evidence to establish the defendant’s Indian status for purposes of the defendant’s conviction under the Major Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1153, which grants federal jurisdiction over enumerated crimes committed by Indians in Indian country.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Alaska Survival v. Surface Transp. Bd.

The Surface Transportation Board's ("STB") grant of an exemption under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act ("ICCTA") to the Alaska Railroad Corporation ("ARRC") to build a rail line did not violate the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 ("NEPA") or the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") because STB "thought hard" when it adopted the purpose and need statement which addressed ARRC's goals; STB considered "reasonable" alternatives to the project; and STB engaged in "thoughtful discussion" when it assessed the mitigation measures that ARRC must employ in order to build the rail line.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Mattel v. MGA Entertainment

Where a counterclaim is based on chicanery by the opposing party’s employees, who were not involved with the facts of the original claim, the counterclaim is not compulsory.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Thompson v. Runnels

For habeas petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the correct law to be applied is the “clearly established Federal law” at the time of the final state adjudication, and not law created after the state decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Carrillo de Palacios v. Holder

"Aliens who are inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(I)-(II) are ineligible for adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i)."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Dichter-Mad Family Partners v. United States

“[D]ecisions of whether and how to conduct investigations and enforcement actions are firmly lodged in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s discretion,” and are exempted from judicial review under the "discretionary function exception" (28 U.S.C. § 2680(a)) to the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sovereign Immunity

Barragan-Lopez v. Holder

Using a hostage to shield oneself from arrest is considered a violent crime, and thus is a deportable offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Kramer v. Toyota Motor Corp.

Signatory and nonsignatory entities in a contract are presumptively not in agreement to arbitrate arbitrability if the contract does not specifically include nonsignatory entities in the signatories’ agreement to arbitrate arbitrability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

United States v. Jesus-Casteneda

“A confidential informant’s testimony at trial in a wig-and-mustache disguise did not violate the Confrontation Clause, where the disguise was necessary to further the witness’s safety and the reliability of his testimony was otherwise assured.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Chappell v. Mandeville

When the law is not clearly established on whether a contraband watch violates the Eighth Amendment, such that it fails to provide adequate notice to prison officials regarding the constitutionality of their actions, the prison officials are entitled to qualified immunity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Doe

When asserting the affirmative defense of public authority, the defendant bears the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence where the crime requires that the defendant acted “knowingly.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

February 32 summaries

Lopez-Vasquez v. Holder

A drug conviction renders an alien ineligible for adjustment of status where the trial court record is inconclusive, and, therefore, the alien is unable to prove “clearly and beyond doubt” that he was convicted of simple possession of a controlled substance.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Davis

Forfeiture and restitution ordered payable to the government is not double recovery, even if awarded to the same government entity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar

The Bureau of Land Management can allow the continuation of a mining plan, despite a hiatus in the mining operations. That continuation can occur without additional review under the National Environmental Policy Act, as long at there is not a new "major Federal action."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Smith v. Hedgpeth

For purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause, “[c]learly established federal law does not require the consideration of sentencing enhancements when determining if one offense is a lesser-included offense of another under the ‘same elements’ test.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Preston

A lifetime term of supervised release for the offense of abusive sexual contact was proper when the sentencing judge provided ample reasons for imposing the term and accounted for the defendant’s age and mental capacity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Correa-Rivera v. Holder

In an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, an alien meets the third Lozada requirement, that "the motion should reflect whether a complaint has been filed" with proper authorities, by including a copy of a complaint to the state bar.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Dyer v. Hornbeck

The Court affirmed the "district court’s denial of a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition challenging the admission of statements Dyer made to police" and "concluded that fairminded jurists could disagree as to whether Dyer was “in custody” when she made certain disputed statements," therefore the "state court’s decision . . . was not an unreasonable application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and its progeny."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Cannedy v. Adams

A defendant is denied effective assistance of counsel in a lewd acts case where defense counsel fails to interview witnesses who can corroborate the defendant's claim that the victim had motive to make false accusations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Multistar Industries, Inc. vs. USDOT

Under the Hobbs Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, where the basis of an appeal from an administrative decision and order was not a factor in the agency's final decision, the Court of Appeals can not review the decision or order. A petitioner is not denied due process when an agency declines to review findings that were not the basis of the agency's final action.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Recinto v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs

The Veteran’s Administration’s (“VA”) exclusive use of the National Personnel Records Center (“NPRC”) to determine eligibility for benefits under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund (“FVEC”) does not violate due process under the Fifth Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. Stone

The Supreme Court’s holding in Flores-Figueroa v. United States does not change the Ninth Circuit’s holding “that the government need not prove that a defendant knew the firearm or ammunition had traveled in interstate commerce in order to obtain” a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) because the interstate commerce portion is merely jurisdictional.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ford v. City of Yakima

A police officer who arrests an individual due to retaliatory animus, even if there is probable cause, violates a clearly established right for the purpose of § 1983.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona

A city ordinance that categorizes noncommercial speech based on objective factors, like size and duration, serves a significant government interest and leaves open ample alternative channels of communication, is not a content based restriction and is a constitutional time, place and manner restriction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

United States v. Petri

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32(i)(3)(B) requires a district court to address only unresolved factual objections to the presentence report. When explaining a sentence, the district court does not need to address every assertion made within each argument presented during sentencing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Padgett v. Loventhal

Remand is necessary where, for a reduced attorney fee and cost award, the district court fails to explain how it determined the appropriateness of the award amount.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Bylsma v. Burger King Corp.

The plaintiff is entitled to amend his complaint in light of a Washington Supreme Court decision issued in response to the certified question of whether “the Washington Product Liability Act permit[s] relief for emotional distress damages, in the absence of physical injury, caused to the direct purchaser by being served and touching, but not consuming, a contaminated product.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Dichter-Mad Family Partners v. United States

Plaintiffs must overcome a strong presumption that the United States is immune from prosecution for the actions of its agents under the ’discretionary function’ exception to the United States’ waiver of sovereign immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act. 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. May

Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, a court may consider damages that arise as a result of prevention measures directed at an ongoing crime spree. Under the Mandatory Victim's Restitution Act, where a convicted act occurred after damages arose, the convicted act cannot be the basis for restitution of the damages.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Henriquez-Rivas v. Holder

For purposes of seeking asylum, the "social visibility" requirement of “membership in a social group” refers to "perception" and does not require "on-sight" visibility, and those who have publicly testified against gang members in court meet the social visibility requirement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

AT&T Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp.

“To the extent a defendant’s conspiratorial conduct is sufficiently connected to California, and is not ‘slight and casual,’ the application of California [antitrust] law to that conduct is ‘neither arbitrary nor fundamentally unfair,’ and the application of California law does not violate that defendant’s rights under the Due Process Clause.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Maxwell v. County of San Diego

Where a police officer impedes a gunshot victim’s access to medical care and, thus, places the victim in a worse position than she was in, the police officer is liable for a due process violation because, under the “danger creation” exception, the officer is not entitled to qualified immunity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Hartmann v. California Dep't of Corrections

To establish a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, a plaintiff-inmate who practices a non-traditional religion must plead sufficient facts showing that prison officials denied her a “reasonable opportunity” to freely exercise her faith comparable to inmates “adhering to conventional religious precepts.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Gasparyan v. Holder

When considering the "extraordinary circumstances" exception of an immigration appeal denial of asylum based on a one-year timeline expiration, the immigration law judge must determine that an extraordinary circumstance existed. Only then must the immigration judge use the three-factor test laid out in 8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(5) that determines "whether extraordinary circumstances may excuse an untimely asylum application."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Gasparyan v. Holder

When considering the "extraordinary circumstances" exception of an immigration appeal denial of asylum based on a one-year timeline expiration, the immigration law judge must determine that an extraordinary circumstance existed. Only then must the immigration judge use the three-factor test laid out in 8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(5) that determines "whether extraordinary circumstances may excuse an untimely asylum application."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Inst. of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd

A piracy claim requires acts "committed for private ends... [which] include those pursued on personal, moral or philosophical grounds." Belief that your actions serve the public does not insulate them from piracy claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

Inst. of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd

A piracy claim requires acts "committed for private ends... [which] include those pursued on personal, moral or philosophical grounds." Belief that your actions serve the public does not insulate them from piracy claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

Kuxhausen v. BMW Financial Services

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446, the time limits for removal are not triggered where (1) the removability of the initial complaint cannot be determined without valuation information from the defendant and (2) no subsequent document filed with the court provides a basis for removal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Kuxhausen v. BMW Financial Services

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446, the time limits for removal are not triggered where (1) the removability of the initial complaint cannot be determined without valuation information from the defendant and (2) no subsequent document filed with the court provides a basis for removal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Sonoma Cnty. Ass'n of Retired Emp. v. Sonoma Cnty.

“[U]nder California law, a vested right to health benefits for retired county employees can be implied under certain circumstances from a county ordinance or resolution.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Sonoma Cnty. Ass'n of Retired Emp. v. Sonoma Cnty.

“[U]nder California law, a vested right to health benefits for retired county employees can be implied under certain circumstances from a county ordinance or resolution.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

In re: Marciano

Unstayed non-default state judgments on appeal are “not contingent as to liability or the subject of a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount” for purposes of involuntary petitions pursuant to § 303(b)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Tamayo-Tamayo v. Holder

When the history of a statute does not suggest procedural interpretation, substantive interpretation applies as long as it does not render the statute superfluous or lead to absurd results. A removal order under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(5) can be reinstated from its original date and is not “superseded” or invalidated because a later removal order exists.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

March 49 summaries

San Luis Unit Food Producers v. United States

Administrative Procedure Act § 706(1) claims can proceed “only where a plaintiff asserts that an agency failed to take a discrete agency action that it is required to take” since “broad programmatic attacks on an agency’s administration of a program” are prohibited.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Great Old Broads for Wilderness v. Kimbell

A plaintiff has adequately exhausted administrative remedies when claims made at the administrative appeals level are so similar to those brought at the federal level that the agency was put on notice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Valle del Sol V. Whiting

The day labor provisions of Senate Bill 1070 impermissibly restrict commercial speech because under Central Hudson , they are more extensive than necessary to advance Arizona's stated government interest in traffic safety.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Wang v. Chinese Daily News

Following the United States Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes , the Court of Appeals determined that Plaintiffs' class certification must be reconsidered by the district court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

In re: Garcia

Even a luxury motor vehicle may be exempted under California’s wildcard exemption, and 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1)(B) allows the avoidance of a lien on an exempt vehicle that is a “tool of the debtor’s trade” as long as the lien is a non-possessory and non-purchase-money encumbrance.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Brizan

Criminal Procedure: A waiver of appeal in a plea agreement will be upheld as long the district court conducts a thorough Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 colloquy and the sentence does not contradict any plea agreement or exceed a statutory limit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Alaska Rent-a-Car v. Avis Budget Group

A promisee who joins a settlement agreement after most other promissees is still a proper party to a breach of that agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Bell v. City of Boise

Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a party cannot seek review of an adverse state court judgment in federal court if the action “contains a forbidden de facto appeal of a state court decision and it alleges a legal error by the state court.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Corns v. Laborers Int'l Union

Under the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act, an international labor organization that represents a group of local unions is not permitted to pass a dues increase by a vote of local union members because the local union individuals are not members of the international labor organization.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Walker v. Martel

Under Strickland v. Washington , it was not “objectively unreasonable” for the California Supreme Court to conclude that a defendant’s conviction or sentence would have been different had counsel objected to the use of limp-causing leg restraints.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Gonzalez-Cervantes v. Holder

There is no “realistic probability” that California courts would apply Cal. Penal Code § 243.4(e) to conduct that does not meet the generic federal definition of “moral turpitude.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Cotterman

Evidence obtained from a laptop computer after a full forensic examination conducted 170 miles away from where the laptop was seized by border control agents is constitutional where the agents had reasonable suspicion to conduct the search.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. King

The Fourth Amendment permits a suspicionless search of a probationer’s residence when, as part of a probation agreement, the probationer has accepted a suspicionless-search condition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Libertarian Party v. Bowen

In order to enjoin state election laws and meet constitutional standing in a pre-enforcement action, the plaintiffs must allege both a concrete plan to violate that statute and defendant's specific threat of enforcement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

SOFA Entertainment v. Dodger Productions

The “fair use” doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 17 protects the use of a short television clip in an autobiographical production when use of the clip is for historical significance and its use does not usurp the demand for the original clip.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Gilstrap v. United Air Lines

The Air Carrier Access Act does not preempt state law personal injury tort claims but, instead, can describe the duty element of a negligence claim. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act does not include terminals for transportation by aircraft within the definition of "places of public accommodation."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Shell Offshore v. Greenpeace

A preliminary injunction to prevent an organization from engaging in a “direct action” campaign of illegal activities against another entity during a specified yearly period may be considered ripe, even though the order expired if it was capable of repetition, yet evading review; additionally, the district court had proper jurisdiction on a dispute arising out of drilling in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

United States v. Hayat

Exclusion of hearsay statements which may help establish the bias of a witness does not violate the confrontation clause if the facts already on the record were "adequate to develop the issues of bias."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Knight v. Ahlin

The Younger doctrine, of preventing a court from interfering with a state proceeding, does not apply where the proceedings have been postponed pending a decision by the federal court, since it does not constitute an "ongoing proceeding."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United Transp. Union v. BNSF Railway Company

An order, and not just an award, stemming from a Railway Labor Act arbitration panel is reviewable by a District Court and an allegation of corruption within an arbitration panel is a proper complaint pursuant to the National Railroad Adjustment Board 45 U.S.C. § 153.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Mamigonian v. Biggs

District courts do not have jurisdiction over petitions for habeas relief on orders of removal, over complaints regarding pending applications, or over mandamus claims regarding decisions already made by agencies; however, the REAL ID Act does provide for review of final, non-discretionary determinations by USCIS.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Mashiri v. Department of Education

The decision by the Department of Education to deny a Stafford loan to an alien awaiting a grant of asylum was proper since the alien could not provide evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that he was not in the United States temporarily.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Milke v. Ryan

Under Brady and Giglio , exculpatory evidence of a key witness’ past misconduct and disciplinary actions must be produced by the state in order ensure a fair trial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

UMG Recordings v. Shelter Capital Partners

For the purposes of the “safe harbor” affirmative defense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act §512(c) website owners are “service providers” and the defense encompasses certain “access-facilitating automatic functions;” additionally, the “red flag” knowledge test was adopted; and Napster liability does not invalidate a §512(c) defense unless the “service provider” has the “right and ability to control” users infringing activity via an exertion of “substantial influence.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Alvirez

Under the Fed. R. Evid. §§ 902(1) and 902(2), Indian tribes are not political subdivisions capable of issuing self-authenticating documents and, therefore, tribes and tribal officers cannot authenticate a Certificate of Indian Blood.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Allen v. FDIC

In order to remove a case to federal court under 12 U.S.C. § 1819(b)(2), the FDIC must be a real party in interest, and not merely an intervenor; however such restriction may be overcome if the FDIC can show a “threat to federal interests.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Chubb Custom Ins. v. Space Systems/Loral

An insurer cannot make a subrogation claim under §107(a) of CERCLA, and must allege the insured is a “claimant” in order to make a claim under §112(c) of CERCLA.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Gulbrandson v. Ryan

Defense counsel was not unreasonably ineffective by failing to have the defendant testify as a guilt stage witness if it is reasonable it would harm the defense, or by failing to have a psychiatric expert testify as to the state of mind at the sentencing hearing because it would have been cumulative of evidence already before the court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

In re: Amy & Vicky

Circuit precedent remains binding “in the absence of ‘intervening higher authority’ that is ‘clearly irreconcilable,’” and a court abuses its discretion when it denies restitution based on a presentence report indicating there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal connection between defendant’s offense and petitions’ losses when, in fact, the record contains sufficient evidence to establish such a causal connection.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

County of Sonoma v. FHFA

A directive issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prohibiting the enterprises from purchasing assets FHFA deems risky is an unreviewable action by FHFA as a conservator and not as a regulator, thus formal rulemaking proceedings, including notice-and-comment are not required.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

In re: Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practice Litig.

To meet the Chief Justice’s Guidelines for an Inter-district Assignment of an Article III Judge, there must be more than an over-burdening to warrant bringing in a visiting judge, and even in the case of severe or unexpected over-burdening; the first remedy is to bring in a visiting judge from another court within the circuit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Li v. Kerry

The district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims when there was no “live case or controversy” about visa cut-off dates and allocation of visa numbers, and when the plaintiffs did not allege that the “defendants failed to take discrete actions they were legally required to take.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. $11,500.00 in U.S. Currency

Dismissal of civil forfeiture action under 21. U.S.C. § 881 for failure to identify the bailor was an abuse of discretion, predominantly because the omission did not appear to be calculated, did not delay or extend the proceedings, and did not prejudice the government.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Columbia Pictures Industries v. Fung

The Grokster test for copyright infringement extends to websites even though the wording of the test’s first element applies to “devices” and “products.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Tibble v. Edison International

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), the six-year statute of limitations is measured from the time the decision to include the investment plan is initially made; a safe harbor under ERISA § 404(c) applies only to a pension plan that “provides for individual accounts and permits a participant or beneficiary to exercise control over the assets in his account.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Amponsah v. Holder

Nunc pro tunc adoption decrees must be considered on a case-by-case basis in determining whether an adopted child qualifies as a "child" under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1), and the Board of Immigration Appeals’ blanket rule against recognizing states’ nunc pro tunc adoption decrees was an “unreasonable and impermissible construction” of the statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Ellins v. City of Sierra Madre

Leading a vote of no-confidence against the Chief of Police involved a matter of public concern, and the delay in pay increase constituted an adverse employment action.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Poyson v. Ryan

Habeas corpus relief will not be granted when, during sentencing, the court utilizes a causal nexus test to mitigating factors in order to determine the weight of the evidence and the record does not show whether the court considered the absence of a causal nexus as a “permissible weighing mechanism” or as an “unconstitutional screening mechanism.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

In re: Welsh

The 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act specifically prohibits the inclusion or evaluation of a debtor’s social security benefits when reviewing the debtor’s proposed Chapter 13 plan according to §1325(a)’s requirement for good faith, and bad faith is not present merely because the debtor’s properly calculated disposal income is seriously reduced by payments to secured creditors, leaving relatively little chance that unsecured creditors would be substantially repaid.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Luvdarts v. AT & T Mobility

Mobile carriers are not vicariously liable for copyright infringement occurring on their networks when the plaintiff fails to allege the carriers had a “necessary right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct,” and the carriers are not contributorily liable for copyright infringement when the carriers did not have the “requisite specific knowledge of infringement.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Perez v. Nidek Co., LTD.

In order for a state-law claim to escape preemption by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”), the plaintiff must be suing for conduct that violates the FDCA, not suing because the conduct violates the FDCA.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Lim v. Holder

The “continuous presence exception” available to aliens who served in active duty in the United States Armed Forces is a limited exception to cancellation of removal and does not extend to another country’s military.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Rubin v. City of Lancaster

The City of Lancaster's practice and policy of allowing city council meetings to begin with a citizen-led invocation open to any local congregation who volunteers does not constitute a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause as long as the prayer does not “proselytize, advance, or disparage” a faith or “affiliate the government with a particular faith.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

SEIU v. NUHW

Section 501 of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act creates a fiduciary duty to the union as an organization, not just to the union’s rank-and-file members, and union officials who divert union resources for the purposes of establishing a new competing local union violate their fiduciary duties to the organization itself.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

United States v. Jinian

Interstate wire transfer of money under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 “furthers a fraudulent scheme” where the interstate wiring allows the fraud to continue over time and is essential to making the transferred funds permanently available to the perpetrator of the fraud.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Ruiz

A unanimity instruction is not required when a conviction is based on a single, continuous act, and a prosecutor’s improper vouching during closing arguments may be harmless error when the evidence of guilt is substantial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Tanedo v. East Baton Rouge Parish Sch. Bd.

Under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine a denial of a motion for immunity from liability cannot be instantly appealed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Gonzales v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

In deciding whether to retroactively apply law in determination of I-212 waiver applications, the court must evaluate according to the five factors set forth through the <em>Montgomery Ward</em> test and decide on a case-by-case basis whether retroactive application is appropriate.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

In re: The Morning Star Packing, Co.

Under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (“MVRA”), crime victims may file for restitution regardless of the civil remedies available to the victim or the defendant’s economic circumstances, unless determining restitution would “complicate or prolong the sentencing process” using a balancing test that the “need to provide restitution…is outweighed by the burden on the sentencing process.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

April 50 summaries

A.D. v. California Highway Patrol

A police officer violates the liberty interest afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause when he shoots and kills a person with “the purpose to harm, unrelated to a legitimate law enforcement objective.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Reyes-Ceja

A deportee “found in” the United States by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while serving a sentence on an unrelated crime, may have his sentence enhanced pursuant to the Sentencing Guidelines for being under a criminal justice sentence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Westendorf v. West Coast Contractors

A prima facie case of employment discrimination requires a showing that the conduct is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would find it hostile or abusive; a claim for retaliation, however, only requires a showing the plaintiff engaged in a protected activity and was treated adversely for it.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Ceron v. Holder

Under Gonzales v. Barber, the Board of Immigration Appeals has jurisdiction over an alien convicted of a crime where he could have been sentenced to at least one year’s imprisonment, even if the actual sentence was for less amount of time, suspended, or imposed through probation; additionally, the designation of a felony by a trial court on the minute order will be given deference in determining a “wobbler.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Juvenile Male

The proper commitment proceeding for a juvenile in federal detention is under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act, as opposed to 18 U.S.C. § 4241(d); jurisdiction for such decision is determined at the time of the information.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Juvenile Law

Ecological Rights Foundation v. PG&E

Under the Clean Water Act, a complaint must allege that the source of pollution stems from a point source or industrial activity, and under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a complaint must allege that the pollutant is statutorily defined hazardous or solid waste.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. Augustine

Defendants sentenced prior to the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 are not eligible for a reduced sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) because the Act does not apply retroactively.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Jennings

Simple tax fraud involving “sophisticated means” warrants a two-level sentencing enhancement upon conviction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Knappe v. United States

An executor of an estate has a duty to ascertain filing deadlines and will not be excused for reasonable cause by relying on erroneous advice about nonsubstantive tax issues, such as extended filing deadlines.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

North East Med. Svcs. v. Cal. DHCS

The Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution bars claims for retroactive monetary relief, but prospective relief may be granted if "the complaint alleges an ongoing violation of federal law and seeks relief properly characterized as prospective."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Castro v. Terhune

Because the “some evidence” analysis is an “evidentiary standard,” procedural due process guarantees a California inmate’s administrative "validation" as a gang "associate" be reviewed under the “some evidence” standard.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Firebaugh Canal Water Dist. v. United States

The United States Department of the Interior’s broad discretion precludes claims for inadequate drainage under the San Luis Act, and a failure to provide adequate drainage does not constitute “agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed” under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Alliance of Nonprofits v. Kipper

Under the Liability Risk Retention Act, which preempts state laws that prohibit a risk retention group from operating in the state, the risk retention group is not entitled to attorney's fees because the preemption is not a "right" enforceable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

United States of America v. Yuman-Hernandez

In the context of a “fictitious stash house robbery,” in order to establish sentencing entrapment a defendant only needs to show either a lack of intent or a lack of capability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Kealoha v. Office of Workers Comp. Programs

A suicide or suicide attempt, even when planned, may be compensable under the Longshore Workers’ Compensation Act using the proper test, which requires a “direct and unbroken chain of causation between a work-related injury and the suicide attempt.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Workers Compensation

McDaniel v. Wells Fargo Investments

The federal Securities Exchange Act and related “self-regulatory organizations” rules preempt the enforcement of California Labor Code § 450(a) against brokerage houses that forbid their employees from opening outside trading accounts where the state restriction imposed is a significant federal regulatory objective.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Blandino-Medina v. Holder

The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that crimes not listed as a “‘particularly serious crime’ per se,” be analyzed by the Board of Immigration Appeals on a case-by-case analysis in accordance with the factors established in Matter of Frentescu.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Cui v. Holder

Inconsistencies that “go to the heart” of an alien’s asylum claim will provide sufficient evidence to deny a petition based on adverse credibility.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Edgerly v. City & County of San Francisco

Consistent with California Court of Appeal's decisions and the statute's plain language, California Penal Code § 853.5 provides the exclusive grounds for the custodial arrest of a person arrested for an infraction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

In re Western States Antitrust Litig.

State antitrust claims arising outside of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction are not preempted by the Natural Gas Act; denying leave to amend is proper when the party seeking the amendment has known the facts and theory since the case began; and denying dismissal of defendants is proper if the defendants fail to make a “compelling case” for why the exercise of personal jurisdiction would be unreasonable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Romero-Ochoa v. Holder

The presumption of a lack of “good moral character” for an alien who has been incarcerated for more than six months is a reasonable restriction which Congress may impose and does not violate Equal Protection principles.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Blum v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

A motion to intervene in a long-concluded case is not untimely when the purpose of the motion is to seek modification of a protective order; the order can be modified to prevent the destruction of documents relevant to pending litigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Kilgore v. Keybank, Nat’l Ass’n

Under California state law, an arbitration clause that also prohibits claims from being brought as a class action may be overcome only if it is both procedurally and substantively unconscionable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc.

The Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 class action opt-out mechanism does not conflict with the Fair Labor Standards Act opt-in mechanism and therefore state law claims must not be dismissed; additionally anti-theft security checks are “integral and indispensable” to the warehouse employees’ duties and must be compensated.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Sexton v. NDEX West, LLC

After a matter has been removed to federal court, the doctrine of prior exclusive jurisdiction in inapplicable when a state court does not retain jurisdiction over the appellants’ property and the Colorado River abstention doctrine is inapplicable when appellants do not have concurrently proceeding actions relating to their property in both state and federal court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Sams v. Yahoo! Inc.

The good faith reliance defense available under the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2703(e), is satisfied when "the defendant complies with a subpoena that appears valid on its face, in the absence of any indication of irregularity sufficient to put the defendant on notice that the subpoena may be invalid or contrary to applicable law."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Garrido

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Skilling v. United States, 18 U.S.C. § 1346 applies only to honest services fraud cases involving bribery or kickbacks, failure to disclose material conflict of interest does not apply; additionally bribery convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 666 do not require an official act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Assoc. Gen. Contractors v. Cal. Dep’t of Transp.

An affirmative action program which gives bidding preference in construction to specifically identified minorities based on a strong evidentiary showing of discrimination is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause so long as it is narrowly tailored to benefit the limited groups identified to have actually suffered pervasive and ongoing discrimination.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Cameron v. Craig

When executing a lawful search warrant and arrest, an officer is not required to obtain further evidence, or interview the subject of the search warrant, once probable cause is established; whether excessive force was used in the execution of that warrant is generally a question of fact for the jury.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Donald Wige v. City of Los Angeles

Where an officer’s testimony presented at a preliminary hearing is “materially different” from the statement used to obtain probable cause and the state court does not make a factual determination as to the “genuine dispute” of the credibility of that testimony, issue preclusion does not attach to bar later litigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Petersen v. Boeing Co.

In order to determine whether a forum selection clause should be enforced and a case dismissed for improper venue, an evidentiary hearing should be held to determine if the clause was the product of fraud or overreach and if its enforcement would deprive the party wishing to repudiate his day in court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Rodriguez v. Robbins

District court’s grant of a preliminary injunction, which required “the government to identify all class members, detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §§ 1226(c) and 1225(b) … and ‘provide each of them with a bond hearing before an Immigration Judge with power to grant their release’” was upheld.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

U.S. v. Trujillo

District courts are not jurisdictionally barred from hearing 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) motions; however in denying such a motion under § 3553(a) the court must give sufficient explanation; and the Ex Post Facto Clause does not prohibit an upward departure in sentencing so long as the original sentence is not exceeded.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Makaeff v. Trump University

Pursuant to California’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute, a public figure is held to a higher standard in proving that a person committing the crime of defamation against them acted with "actual malice."

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

MHC Financing LP_v_City of San Rafael

Diminution in value is not sufficient to establish a private or public taking, and when an ordinance is in effect prior to acquisition of property, the proper analysis of the economic impact under Penn Central is a comparison of the economic impact at the time when the property was acquired and the economic effect after the property was acquired.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Property Law

United States v. Anguiano-Morfin

Although the “willfulness” requirement in 18 U.S.C. § 911 necessitates knowledge on the part of the defendant, jury instructions are adequate under circumstances where a “misrepresentation...[is] deliberately made” because this “suggests a knowing falsehood.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Barnes

An officer engages in prohibited “two-step interrogation” when the officer, in a custodial setting, deliberately delays giving Miranda warnings to induce cooperation in an ongoing investigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Parra v. PacifiCare Arizona

The Medicare Advantage Organization Statute does not grant a private right of action to recover payments made on behalf of a plan participant, and a Medicare Advantage Organization plan cannot sue the survivors of a plan participant for reimbursement for “medical expenses out of the proceeds of an automobile insurance policy.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

United States_v._McClendon

A defendant who walks away, refuses to comply with police officers’ commands, and reaches into his waistband is not considered “seized” under the Fourth Amendment until he submits to the authority of the police.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Radcliffe_v._Experian Info. Solutions

An incentive award for class representatives conditioned on support of settlement makes the class representatives inadequate and creates a conflict of interest for class counsel between the class representatives and the class.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Jamerson v. Runnels

In order to overrule the trial court's determination on the credibility of racially discriminatory preemptory challenges, there must be sufficient evidence that the trial court erred.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Schwab v. CIR

The term "amount actually distributed" in a life insurance policy, for purposes of calculating what is taxable, means the fair market value of the what was distributed under the policy, and "surrender charges associated with a variable universal life insurance policy may be considered as part of the general inquiry into a policy's fair market value."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Conservation Northwest v. Sherman

A district court abuses its discretion when it enters a consent decree that amends an agency rule which is permanent, substantial, and would have otherwise been subject to statutory rulemaking procedures

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Mondaca-Vega v. Holder

Findings of fact related to questions of citizenship are reviewed for clear error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Clevo Co. v. Hecny Transp., Inc.

Guarantees with no express statute of limitations can place a seller and freight forwarder in direct contractual privity however, a statute of limitations in the bills of lading may bar recovery.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

Grand Canyon Skywalk Dev. v. 'Sa' Nyu Wa Inc.

A tribal court may assert jurisdiction over non-Indian corporations on tribal land where the corporation has entered into a consensual agreement with an Indian corporation and the bad faith and futility exceptions to the exhaustion of tribal remedies requirement are not met when the bad faith actor is merely a party and not the tribal court itself and there are still adequate opportunities to challenge the tribal court’s jurisdiction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

United States v. Ramirez

A judge may not preclude jurors from drawing legitimate inferences with the use of instructions that effectively put such inferences off-limits; additionally, prior convictions as sentencing enhancements under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b) are evaluated by a judge under the preponderance of the evidence standard.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Friend v. Holder

The controlling law governing transmittal of citizenship is generally the statute in place at the time of the child’s birth unless the child is born out of wedlock to a mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth and previously resided in the U.S. or one of its territories, if so, the Nationality Act of 1940 may be applied retroactively.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

In the Matter of: Fitness Holdings Int'l

Bankruptcy courts may recharacterize loans as an equity investment for the purpose of § 548 and must apply state bankruptcy law to determine if a creditor has a "right to payment."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Stanfill El

The Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial is not triggered by any amount of potential restitution; and the Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial is not implicated by the potential award of restitution as a result of a criminal prosecution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

May 34 summaries

Labatad v. Corrections Corp. of America

Summary judgment is properly granted for prison officials when a prisoner fails to show deliberate indifference to the substantial risk of attack stemming from temporarily housing him with an inmate belonging to a rival prison gang.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Mancuso

A single count alleging distribution of a controlled substance over a period of years in a variety of locations does not meet the nexus a continuing offense and must be charged in separate counts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Acosta v. City of Costa Mesa

A California city ordinance prohibiting disruptive public behavior at city council meetings is constitutionally overbroad and not severable when it fails to “limit proscribed activity to only actual disturbances” and instead includes a significant amount of “non-disruptive, protected speech.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

In re: Amy & Vicky

Because there is no binding precedent for calculating restitution under 18 U.S.C. § 2259, it is not an abuse of discretion when a court declines to impose joint and several liability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Mendoza-Alvarez v. Holder

Insulin-dependent persons, including those who suffer from mental illness, do not qualify as a protected social group because the group does not contain sufficient particularity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Sivilla

Government destruction of evidence requires bad faith for dismissal as a constitutional violation, but bad faith is not required for a remedial jury instruction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Goldstein v. City of Long Beach

When a district attorney implements procedures related to inmate informants they are acting as a final policy maker for the county and can therefore be held liable to 42 U.S.C.§ 1983.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn

The transfer of the base right to sue for copyright infringement without the transfer of exclusive property rights, is not sufficient for standing to sue for copyright infringement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Sandoval-Orellana

Sexual penetration by a foreign object, in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 289(a)(1), "involves a substantial risk of the use of force against another and therefore qualifies as an aggravated felony crime" as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

McCullough v. Graber

A habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 asking the Bureau of Prisons to reconsider a rejected application to the Second Chance Act’s now defunct elderly offender pilot program is moot because the relief requested is no longer available.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

McCullough v. Graber

A habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 asking the Bureau of Prisons to reconsider a rejected application to the Second Chance Act’s now defunct elderly offender pilot program is moot because the relief requested is no longer available.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim

Under the totality of the circumstances, an officer trapped within a moving vehicle with a suspect attempting to flee the scene of a lawful stop is reasonable in his use of deadly force if the threat is severe, immediate, and the suspect is actively resisting arrest.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Fox Ins. Co. v. Centers for Medicare/Medicaid

When a Medicare Part D insurance provider’s malfeasance is found to create a serious risk of health to Medicare enrollees, governing regulations authorize (1) the immediate termination of the services contract without a pre-termination hearing and (2) the immediate recovery of advanced capitation payments not utilized by the provider after the termination, even as final results of the reconciliation process are pending.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Cahto Tribe v. Dutschke

A Tribe’s governing documents must provide for an appeal of its disenrollment action to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in order for the BIA to review the Tribe’s action under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tribal Law

Ciolino v. Frank

When calculating attorneys' fees in class-action lawsuits, fees must be based on the redeemable value of any coupons awarded to class members, and the lodestar method of attorneys' fees calculation may be used for the portion of a settlement agreement that awards equitable relief.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Tapia Madrigal v. Holder

For purposes of granting asylum under the Convention Against the Torture, the Board of Immigration Appeals should view the events leading to the past and present “fear of persecution” under the “totality of the circumstances.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack

The United States Department of Agriculture’s deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa (“RRA”) was proper because the agency was correct in determining that RRA was not a “plant pest” under the Plant Protection Act, and therefore was not required to consult the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding RRA’s effects on endangered and threatened species.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Olivas-Motta v. Holder

“Involving moral turpitude” is an element of a “crime involving moral turpitude,” and an Immigration Judge's determination of whether a conviction qualifies as such a crime should be confined to the formal record of the conviction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Rajagopalan v. NoteWorld, LLC

A non-signatory third party to a contract may not invoke the arbitration clause of the original contract under a theory of equitable estoppel or when it is not a third-party beneficiary to the contract.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Hinojos v. Kohl’s Corp.

Under California law, a plaintiff has standing to sue under the Unfair Competition Law and Fair Advertising Law if he purchased merchandise in reliance on the false price and if he would not have purchased the product but for the misrepresentation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

Isaacson v. Horne

A law prohibiting abortion at twenty weeks gestation, which is earlier than fetal viability, is unconstitutional because Supreme Court precedent affords women the constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Lawrence v. Holder

The term "admissions" in Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(c) refers to the date of the application for relief; thus an aggravated felon who served over five years in prison and filed a petition for relief after November 29, 1990, is barred from relief, “regardless of the date the alien was initially admitted to the United States.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Hedlund v. Educational Resources Inst.

When reviewing the third prong of the test from Brunner v. New York Higher Education Services Corp. to determine whether a debtor has shown undue hardship, a finding of good faith is to be reviewed for clear error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Din v. Kerry

The Government’s denial of a visa application filed by an American citizen on behalf of her alien spouse must be “facially legitimate and bona fide” with proof that the Government official who denied the application “knows or has reason to believe” the applicant had done something to violate the applicable statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Managed Pharmacy Care v. Sebelius

The Department of Health and Human Services’ interpretation of 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(30)(A), allowing individualized state procedures for Medicaid rate reimbursement reductions resulting from a State Plan Amendment review, is due deference under Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Leyva v. Medline Industries, Inc.

Individualized damage calculations alone do not defeat class certification under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(b)(3).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Rojas-Pedroza

An immigration judge's failure to inform a defendant of the available forms of relief is not an abuse of discretion if the error was harmless, and documents from an immigration file are not testimonial because of the mere possibility they may be used in later criminal proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Biggs v. Sec'y of Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab.

Application of state Supreme Court precedent over United States Supreme Court precedent is not an unreasonable application of clearly established Federal law when there is no United States Supreme Court holding clearly establishing a requirement of as-applied analysis.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Joseph

18 U.S.C. § 1791 requires consecutive sentences only when multiple convictions result from one item of controlled substance.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Classic Concepts, Inc. v. Linen Sources, Inc.

When the court considers extensive briefs before judgment, a motion to alter or amend under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) is not filed within ten days after entry of judgment and Rule 60(b) is not addressed in the filing party’s brief, then the judgment is final and not appealable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Jesse Engebretson v. Mike Mahoney

Prison officials are immune from liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for executing conduct prescribed by facially valid court orders.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Macias-Carreon v. Holder

Possession of marijuana in violation of Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11359 is categorically a crime "relating to a controlled substance" for immigration purposes.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Fournier v. Sebelius

Denial of dental coverage for Medicare beneficiaries does not constitute a violation of beneficiaries’ right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment when denial is based on reasonable interpretation by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of an ambiguous statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Gantt v. City of Los Angeles

Jury instructions on the level of culpability for deliberate fabrication of evidence which are confusing and misleading may cause reversible error because a reasonable juror conclude that the techniques employed on a witness were so coercive and abusive that they would likely lead to false information.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

June 42 summaries

Deere v. Cullen

In a penalty hearing, a prisoner is competent to plead guilty if, first, he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, and second, has a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against him; in appealing a trial court findings regarding competency to plead guilty, mental illness must be shown to substantially affect the prisoner's 'capacity to appreciate' her 'options and make a rational choice' by clear and convincing evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Higher Taste, Inc. v. City of Tacoma

For the purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1988, a party may be considered the prevailing party if a preliminary injunction is granted, based on a finding that the party was likely to succeed on the merits, even if a settlement was reached before final adjudication.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

United States v. Ajoku

In the context of 18 U.S.C. § 1035, false statements willfully made to non-federal authorities, but that “concern matters of interest to the federal government,” may fall within federal oversight for the purposes of § 1035; willfulness, for the purpose of § 1035 simply means “deliberately and with knowledge,” and does not require knowledge of unlawfulness.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Cabrera-Gutierrez

Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to require convicted sex offenders to register under SORPA and a defendant's guilty plea statement can be used to determine the offender's sentencing level.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Morgan

When an agent re-advises a suspect of their Miranda rights and does not question her or seek a waiver of her rights then these actions are not the functional equivalent of “interrogation” in violation of Miranda even if a picture is taken with the defendant and the contraband.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Harris v. Amgen

The fiduciary duty of care and loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") is breached when a fiduciary continues to offer company stock as an investment alternative when it knew or should have known the stock's artificially inflated value; appointment of a trustee is not a clear delegation of exclusive authority by the fiduciary for purposes of defeating ERISA fiduciary status.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

Regalado-Escobar v. Holder

Opposition to a political party's violence constitutes a "political opinion that is a protected ground for asylum purposes."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Watters

For the purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), which penalizes a person for “corruptly” does not have a “knowingly” mens rea component.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Western Watersheds Project v. Abbey

To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Land Management must not only take a “hard look” at environmental impacts from the programmatic stage of its planning and management, but it must also consider and assess a reasonable range of alternatives, including some that provide more protection for public lands, at the site-specific stage.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Corro-Barragan v. Holder

The “physical presence” requirements under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1229c(b)(1)(A) and 1229b(d)(2) are different, in that § 1229c(b)(1)(A) has no exceptions for departures during the one-year period of physical presence required for voluntary departure while § 1229b(d)(2) allows for brief departures from the United States that do not interrupt the ten-year period of continuous physical presence required for cancellation of removal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Jones v. McDaniel

If a party enters into a settlement agreement which was executed "in full satisfaction of the final judgment" it “resolves all facets of their dispute,” that party cannot later appeal one of the claims resolved in the agreement, as the settlement agreement renders the claim moot.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

United States v. Muniz-Jaquez

When a defendant requests production of Border Patrol dispatch Tapes to present a defense of official restraint and to potentially impeach a witness, it is an abuse of discretion by the district court to deny the production of those tapes under Fed. R. Crim. P. 16, given this rule’s broad definition of discoverable materials.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Conservation Congress v. U.S. Forest Serv.

Under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, there is no duty to consider cumulative effects, and “cumulative effects” means “within the action area,” not “incremental effects” or “environmental baseline.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Doug C. v. Hawaii Dep’t of Educ.

A school violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s explicit parental participation requirements when it holds an individualized education program meeting without the participation of the disabled child’s parent.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Fourth Investment LP v. United States

When determining the enforceability of a nominee lien as a matter of federal law, questions of nominee status first require an evaluation of state law as applied to the specific facts of the case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

United States v. Gonzalez-Aguilar

The defendant bears the burden of showing that there is a “reasonable probability” that an imposed sentence would have been less had the government not breached the plea agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Aleman v. Uribe

A defendant’s constitutional rights are not violated when a state court denies a Batson motion based on a prosecutor’s credible explanation that he made an “honest mistake” in exercising a peremptory challenge.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Needham

The “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule from United States v. Leon applies when officers searched in reasonable reliance on a search warrant, even when the warrant is based solely on the inference that individuals who molest children likely possess child pornography.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Gillenwater

At a pretrial competency hearing, a defendant’s right to testify “is of a constitutional magnitude,” and only the defendant can waive this constitutional right to testify on his own behalf.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Lopez-Valenzuela v. County of Maricopa

Arizona’s Proposition 100 law serves to further the State’s legitimate and compelling interest of assuring that illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes are present to stand trial and is not a punishment that would violate the due process guarantees of the Constitution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Avery

When seeking habeas corpus relief, actual innocence overcomes the procedural default of a claim challenging the conviction, and a defendant cannot be considered to have been convicted or sentenced based on a broader charge that was not part of the plea agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Gonzalez Vazquez

To order government compliance with a plea agreement, the record must support evidence that either an agreement occurred or defendant detrimentally relied on a promise made during plea-bargaining, and a defendant's prior conviction cannot be counted as a criminal history point under U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(c)(1)(A) where the prior conviction is dissimilar to the federal conviction and did not amount to probation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Henry v. Ryan

The elements of a Brady claim that establish 'suppression and materiality' may also show ‘cause and prejudice’ as required by the exception in Coleman', only when the state’s suppression is the reason for the defendant’s procedural default at trial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

In re: Stake Center Locating, Inc.

The right to restitution provided under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act attaches at, but not before, the defendant’s sentencing hearing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Lemke v. Ryan

Original jeopardy has not terminated when the jury fails to reach a verdict. A defendant does not waive the Double Jeopardy claim by entering a guilty plea or by the broad waiver in the plea agreement. If the record does not establish that the jury necessarily decided guilt or innocence when it failed to return a verdict retrial is not barred by collateral estoppel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Sanchez-Aguilar

Proof of defendant’s second departure from the United States was not an element of the § 1326 offense since the first departure was undisputed, but was necessary to avoid double jeopardy concerns; additionally, aliens are not entitled to be informed of potentially available avenues of relief in expedited removal proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Veltmann-Barragan v. Holder

Aliens who are removable, but not yet subject to a removal order, are no longer “in custody” for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and therefore lack jurisdiction for a habeas corpus petition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Dubrin v. State of California

When a defendant is faultless in obtaining timely constitutional review of an expired prior conviction, they may challenge a later sentence which is enhanced by a conviction obtained on an unconstitutional basis.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Sanders Cnty. Republican Cent. Comm. v. Fox

A panel must follow published decision findings unless there is a competent body to overrule it, and if the published decision does not reach all issues, the unreached issues shall be remanded for further revision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

United States v. Hernandez-Meza

Brief continuance proceedings are not automatically excluded from Speedy Trial Act time limitations; it is an abuse of discretion to reopen a case based on surprise when no surprise exists and to not hear well-made objections to admission of evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Cardenas-Delgado v. Holder

Immigration Nationality Act § 212(c) does not apply retroactively to waiver applications for convictions prior to the statute’s repeal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

City of San Buenaventura v. The Ins. Co. of Pa.

"Continuous exposure" and "continuous damage" language in an insurance policy will not provide a remedy for an occurrence arising prior to coverage.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

In re: Griffin

Providing a duplicate of a duplicate of a promissory note along with a declaration confirming possession of the original note is sufficient for a bank to establish prudential standing to file a motion for relief from an automatic stay.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Smith

When applying enhancements to a sentence, it is permissible to double count for the same occurrence of conduct if the enhancements are to address separate concerns.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Varghese v. Uribe

When a state court has no specific legal rule to apply, its decision is not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Roth v. CHA Hollywood Medical Center

As long as a defendant has not lost its right to remove due to a failure to timely file a notice of removal, 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1) or (b)(3) does not bar a defendant from removal to federal court when it discovers, after its own investigation, that the case is removable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Sola v. Holder

When the Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals could have addressed a claim, the claim does not fall within the exhaustion exception for constitutional challenges to immigration laws and procedures, and the Ninth Circuit will dismiss the claim for lack of jurisdiction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Stoltz

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment is not implicated when a servicemember is given a nonjudicial punishment without a waiver of the servicemember’s right to demand a court-martial instead.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Air Control Tech. v. Pre Con Indus.

The Miller Act’s one year statute of limitations is a claim-processing rule, not a jurisdictional requirement as previously decided in United States ex rel. Celanese Coatings Co. v. Gullard.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In the Matter of: Marshall

When assigned for the interest of efficiency, a bankruptcy court judge presiding over a Chapter 11 case acts within his discretion when denying a motion for recusal after having presided over a case with a similar factual background and same principal parties.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Kriesel

Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g), the government’s retention of a criminal defendant’s DNA sample is “reasonable under all circumstances” in that the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining an accurate and trustworthy searchable DNA database that links undefined DNA samples to known offenders.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Zadrozny v. Bank of New York Mellon

Non-judicial foreclosures do not need to comport with the Uniform Commercial Code or do they require the production of the promissory note before a sale, and successor trustees are not unauthorized to initiate foreclosure proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Consumer Credit

July 67 summaries

Barnard v. Theobald

Police Officers are not entitled to qualified immunity in excessive force cases when a jury finds the amount of force used was unreasonable, even when the Officers believe the victim is resisting.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

M.J. v. United States

An injured party will fail to hold a city vicariously liable for an immune independent contractors' negligent conduct if the party seeks relief under the "non-delegable duty" theory of vicarious liability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Tehama-Colusa Canal Auth. v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior

California Water Code § 11460 does not require providing priority water rights if contracts contain provisions specifically addressing allocation of water during shortage periods and if the parties to the contracts have received validation judgments foreclosing either party from challenging the validity of the contract terms.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Water Rights

Anwar v. Johnson

Under Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 4007(c), the bankruptcy court does not have the equitable power necessary to retroactively grant a party relief from deadlines, and a party may obtain an extension only if the party files a motion for extension prior to the deadline.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Ohno v. Yasuma

Domestic enforcement of a foreign money damages award under California law does not violate constitutional principles of free exercise of religion if the domestic court does not retry the case on its merits and the foreign judgment does not meet the high bar of the “repugnant to public policy" exception.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Huizar-Velazquez

A court should apply Sentencing Guideline § 2T3.1 regulating smuggling rather than Sentencing Guideline § 2C1.1 regulating bribery when a defendant is guilty of conspiring to evade import duties.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Morales

United States Border Patrol Field 826 forms are public records of government agencies for the purpose of Federal Rule of Evidence 803, but since they contain statements of third parties who are not governmental employees, they may not be admitted under the public records hearsay exception.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Watkins v. Vital Pharmaceuticals

An undisputed declaration showing that the total amount of sales exceeds $5 million is sufficient to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Class Action Fairness Act’s amount in controversy requirement has been met.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Chamness v. Bowen

There is not a significant distinction between a candidate being referenced as part of the "Independent" party verses being labeled as "No Party Preference" on a ballot to establish a severe burden of the candidate's First Amendment Rights since it is a reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction that only imposes a slight burden and is supported by the state's important regulatory interests.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Schlegel v. Wells Fargo Bank

A complaint alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act must specifically allege that defendant was a debt collector; and prior to taking an adverse action, which includes a notice of default, a lender must give proper notice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Ahearn v. Int'l Longshore & Warehouse Union

Section 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act is not a charging party's sole remedy to collect damages from a union's unlawful labor activities.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Cal. Ass'n of Rural Health Clinics v. Douglas

A private right of action exists to enforce an individual's rights created under 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(bb).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

John v. Alaska Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund

The Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture were reasonable in their methods of notice and comment rulemaking to determine which of Alaska's navigable waters constituted "public lands" for the purposes of compliance with ANILCA.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. White Eagle

A "misapplication theory" by the government, predicated at best on an employer directive and a civil regulation, cannot support a conviction for conspiracy; and a defendant must have controlled or had custody of the funds that she later borrowed in order to meet the standard for embezzlement and conversion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Tista v. Holder

Based on the plain language of the statute, the Child Status Protection Act does not apply to Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act applicants; such a distinction between different classification of aliens is reviewed for rational basis, and therefore must be “wholly irrational” to violate Due Process and Equal Protection.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Action Recycling, Inc. v. United States

Previous possession of a record by the IRS does not prohibit a future summons of the same information necessary to a legitimate investigation, so long as the IRS no longer has possession of the record.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Tritz v. United States Postal Service

Under the "Postal Reorganization Act" 39 U.S.C. §§ 401 and 409, and the "The Tucker Act" 28 U.S.C. § 1491(a)(1), district courts and the Court of Federal Claims have concurrent jurisdiction over claims against the United States Postal Service in which more than $10,000 is in controversy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Elim Church of God v. Harris

The Department of Labor’s regulation creating an expiration date for labor certifications does not impermissibly apply a new rule retroactively, and publication of the proposed and final rule in the Federal Register is sufficient notice for all, including current certificate holders.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Townley v. Miller

Plaintiffs lack standing when they do not have a concrete intent to cast a particular vote, when the relief they seek would worsen the position of those intending to vote instead of redressing the injury, or when the alleged injury is not traceable to the challenged conduct.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

United States v. Green

Apprendi v. New Jersey, which imposes a maximum sentence based on a jury verdict, does not apply to restitution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

American President Lines v. ILWU

Section 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act does not preclude an employer from bringing a claim against a union for “unfair labor practices,” even if the employer fails to file a petition to vacate an arbitration award.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Mortensen v. Bresnan Communications, LLC

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion further limits the Federal Arbitration Act savings clause and therefore preempts Montana reasonable expectations/fundamental rights rules.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

United States v. Botello-Rosales

A detective does not reasonably convey Miranda warnings in Spanish when the detective incorrectly uses certain Spanish words.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Kimble v. Marvel Enter., Inc.

A “hybrid” license agreement with inseparable patent and non-patent rights that includes royalty payments beyond the patent’s expiration is unenforceable after expiration unless the agreement includes a discount rate for the non-patent rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Logan v. U.S. Bank

Under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, there is no private right of action, and the regulation of eviction proceedings “does not implicate an important state interest.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Pride v. Correa

A California prisoner's claim for injunctive relief is not barred by a pending class action if he brings the claim for relief solely on his own behalf.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Perez-Valencia

Under 18 U.S.C. § 2516(2), the principal prosecuting attorney of a political subdivision can designate an attorney to have the authority to apply for a wiretap in his or her absence, as long as the applicable state wiretap statute is also adhered to.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Woods v. Carey

Provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 USC 1997e(d)(2), capping attorney fees to 150% of the monetary judgment "does not apply to fees incurred on appeal by a prisoner who successfully defends the verdict he obtained in the district court."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

United States v. Teague

Separate convictions of receipt and possession of child pornography must be based on some assurance that the convictions were based on separate conduct.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

US v. Marcelino Aguilar-Reyes

Barring circumstances expressly excepted by law, a defendant must be present at a resentencing hearing regardless of whether it is the defendant or the government who is entitled to the resentencing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Gorlick Distrib. Ctrs. v. Car Sound Exhaust Sys.

In order to be found in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act, the buyer must have knowledge of the discriminatory prices; if a competitor has no reason to know its lower prices were anything other than a well-deserved reward a claim cannot stand.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

United States v. Garcia

A jury instruction for involuntary manslaughter is improper where it fails to require the jury to find that the defendant acted with gross negligence and that omission is harmful to the defendant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Cal. Sportfishing v. Chico Scrap Metal

In order to bar an action under 33 U.S.C. § 1365(b)(1)(B), the prior state claim must have been brought against the defendant to “require compliance” with the Clean Water Act, being comparable is not sufficient; additionally, criminal and civil proceedings are not administrative penalty actions so as to bar a claim under 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g)(6)(A)(ii).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Strong v. Valdez Fine Foods

Expert testimony is unnecessary when no specialized or technical knowledge is required to understand common observations such as height or width or the absence of a required element. These observations meet the requirement of personal knowledge and are not hearsay when the witness was present during the gathering of measurements.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

United States v. Board of Directors

A court mandate may be corrected in extraordinary circumstances where the panel erred in an earlier decision to the detriment of a body of water, and failure to correct the mandate would result in a decision contrary to the purpose of the enacted irrigation limitations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Water Rights

United States v. Clement

In accordance with United States v. Augustine, mandatory minimums in the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 ("FSA") do not apply to defendants sentenced before the FSA was enacted; however, since Augustine was decided, an inter-circuit split has emerged.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Bassene v. Holder

An immigration judge may not rely on speculation based on the lack detailed information related to an asylum claim that was provided in a non-asylum proceeding to support an adverse credibility finding especially where the applicant has acted without counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Meier v. Colvin

Where a party moves under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), for an award of attorney’s fees and costs, the United States government holds the burden of proving its position – including both its litigation position and the underlying agency action giving rise to the civil action – was substantially justified. Further, in the context of social security, the courts treat a decision of an administrative law judge as the underlying agency action.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

State of Alaska v. Lubchenco

Using sub-regions to determine if continued fishing in those regions will adversely modify the critical habitat and jeopardize the continued existence of the entire population of a particular species does not violate the Endangered Species Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network

Because the consumer, not Dish Network as the programmer, is the most significant cause of copying and storing live television, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying a motion for preliminary injunction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Quin v. County of Kauai Dep't of Transp.

When an omission on a bankruptcy schedule of a pending claim is “mistaken” or “inadvertent,” using the common meaning of those terms, that omission shall not be grounds for applying judicial estoppel to the pending claim.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Vitug v. Holder

The Board of Immigration Appeals shall not engage in its own factfinding or ignore the immigration judge’s factual findings that were key to the holding.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Krechman v. County of Riverside

A district court judge improperly weighs evidence and misapplies the standard of Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a) when he uses personal experience rather than testimony viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff to conclude that defendants did not use excessive force and were not a substantial factor in a death.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Sumolang v. Holder

For the purposes of withholding of removal, harm to a child can amount to past persecution of a parent when the harm is directed against the parent on the basis of the parent's race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social group, or political opinion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Ahmadzai

A term of supervised release is "automatically tolled during a period of state custody without a judicial tolling order."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Flores-Cordero

In Arizona, a conviction for resisting arrest does not authorize a sixteen-level sentencing increase because it is not categorically a crime of violence, and it is only appropriate to apply a modified categorical approach when a prior conviction is divisible.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Willms v. Sanderson

A bankruptcy court may not sua sponte extend the filing time of a nondischargeability complaint after the deadline has passed and without either a showing or finding of cause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Murdaugh v. Ryan

Under the Sixth Amendment, a jury must weigh aggravating versus mitigating factors in applying an aggravating sentencing bonus.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Oracle America, Inc. v. Myriad Group A.G.

Incorporating the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law arbitration rules into the arbitration provision of a commercial contract constitutes “clear and unmistakable evidence” that the parties intended to delegate questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Schwirse v. Director, OWCP

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, an injury that is ”occasioned solely by” intoxication means that the legal cause of the injury was the intoxication, regardless of where the intoxicated person fell.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

United States v. Gonzalez-Villalobos

To satisfy 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d)(2), the defendant must show actual or constructive inability to seek judicial review, and the inability must be related to an alleged error in the deportation proceedings; denial of an evidentiary hearing does not satisfy this requirement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Grasso

A district court can charge a defendant with multiple charges by imposing Pinkerton liability, but must ensure that the multiple charges does not create a merger issue by certifying that the statutes do not penalize the same type of behavior; referral fees may be viewed as “proceeds” of loan and bank fraud.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square

Nevada statute does not provide exceptions or limitations to cost-of-cleanup obligations regardless of ownership status when environmental contaminants are released into the ground or, once discovered, not dealt with properly. Soil and groundwater are articles of commerce and are properly regulated by the federal government under the Commerce Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Aguilar v. Woodford

Under Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution impermissibly withholds evidence and violates due process when (1) the evidence is favorable to the defendant; (2) the government had knowledge of the evidence because it had previously stipulated to it in another case; and (3) absent the evidence in question, there was nothing tying the defendant to the scene of the crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Spencer

A conviction for criminal property damage in the first degree under § 708-820(1)(a) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes is categorically a crime of violence under the residual clause of § 4B1.2(a)(2) of the Sentencing Guidelines because it presents a “serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” and a defendant is therefore subject to the “career offender” sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Chehalis Tribes v. Thurston Cnty.

Permanent improvements built on non-reservation land owned by the United States and held in trust for an Indian tribe pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 465 are exempted from state and local government taxation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Galindo v. Holder

The seven-year continuous presence requirement under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b does not require continuous status of any particular kind, and an advanced parole trip outside the country does not change an individual’s residence or affect continuous presence in the United States.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

George v. Morris

In cases where objective provocation cannot be shown, police officers may not be entitled to qualified immunity for claims of excessive force.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Qualified Immunity

Johnson v. BART

When resolving qualified immunity questions, the appellate court will not attempt to weigh facts and resolve issues in favor of one party, but will instead construe the facts most favorable to the plaintiffs to allow the defendants to stand trial for their alleged constitutional violations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Qualified Immunity

Murphy v. DirecTV, Inc.

The Federal Arbitration Act preempts California’s rule that renders class arbitration waivers unenforceable, and Best Buy, as a non-signatory to a contract, cannot be compelled to arbitrate because no relevant California law allows it.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe v. Nevada

Diversion of water to wetlands to support growth of plants used by wildlife in a waterfowl habitat is not “irrigation” for purposes of compliance with the federal court decree concerning water rights in the Newlands Project area in Nevada.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Water Rights

Brown v. Electronic Arts, Inc.

Video games are expressive works "entitled to the same First Amendment protection as great literature, plays, or books," and, as a result, claims asserted against video game manufactures under the Lanham Act are subject to the Rogers test.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

Dennis v. Hart

A suit is improperly removed from state court where a plaintiff asserts a state-law cause of action and when a plaintiff’s allegations, under the well-pleaded complaint rule, are insufficient to support federal jurisdiction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re: NCAA Licensing Litig.

Under the California Supreme Court’s “transformative use” test, a video game creator does not have a First Amendment right to use a college football player's realistic likeness in a video game when it recreates the player in the very setting where he achieved his celebrity status.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Islamic Shura Council of So. Cal. v. FBI

A party’s motion for sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. Pro 11(c) should not be granted when the challenged pleadings have been “corrected” in an in camera proceeding and the district court has already ruled on the merits of the case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Montana Wilderness Ass'n v. Connell

A Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) Resource Management Plan does not violate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act or the National Environmental Policy Act as degrading wilderness values absent a showing of evidence that its mapping and designation are fundamentally different from existing methods, but the BLM may violate the National Historic Preservation Act if it is not conducting its required Class III surveys.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Thornton v. Brown

A parolee is not barred from bringing an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that challenges the conditions of parole as long as a successful claim would not result in being released from parole more quickly or imply that the parolee’s underlying conviction or sentence was invalid.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

August 73 summaries

United States v. Valenzuela-Arisqueta

A judge may enhance a sentence under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(2) for a prior conviction, even if it is not cited on the indictment; it is improper to accept a plea under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 if the defendant is not aware of the maximum sentence at the time of the plea, and double jeopardy does not apply if a plea is rejected.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

In re: Perle

A creditor does not have notice or actual knowledge of its debtor's bankruptcy sufficient to meet the filing exception under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(3) and (a)(6) if the creditor's lawyer, who no longer represents the creditor in the matter, is made aware of the bankruptcy after his representation of a different creditor.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Flores

Courts shall “exercise caution” when estimating the amount of drugs distributed by a defendant, and when imposing a sentencing enhancement, courts must support conclusions with evidence and have the ability to adequately explain its decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Lira

In accordance with Alleyne v. United States, facts that increase mandatory minimum sentences must be submitted to the jury and established beyond a reasonable doubt; a finding by the preponderance of the evidence by the district court that a firearm had been discharged during and in relation to or in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense is not sufficient, and the sentence must be reexamined.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Stargell

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, a “new or increased risk of loss” is sufficient to establish that wire fraud “affects” a financial institution within the meaning of the statute, regardless of whether the financial institution ultimately suffers actual loss.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Lagstein v. Certain Underwriters

A plaintiff that is awarded an arbitration award including interest on contract damages is not precluded from a district court also awarding interest on the remaining portions of the arbitration award, and Nevada law allows a plaintiff to collect “post-award, pre-judgment interest on the non-contract damages portions of the arbitration award from the date of the awards through the date of payment” as well as attorney’s fees.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Saesee v. McDonald

When the opening statement by the defense counsel only suggests hope for a witness to testify, the statement does not constitute a promise, and therefore does not establish ineffective assistance of counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Al Ramahi v. Holder

When seeking asylum, a delay of more than fifteen months after changed or extraordinary circumstances is not a “reasonable period” where the delay was due to being unable to file an application after being issued a Notice to Appear and the inability to retain counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

K.M. v. Tustin Unified Sch. Dist.

A school district’s compliance with its obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regarding accommodation for a deaf or hard-of-hearing child does not necessarily foreclose an Americans with Disabilities Act Title II claim grounded in the Title II effective communications regulation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Ketchikan Drywall Servs. v. ICE

Employers must fully complete I-9 forms for their employees and merely copying work authorization documents without transcription to the I-9 is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Shoemaker v. Taylor

An image “morphed” to depict children who appear to be engaging in sexual activity does not constitute protected speech.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Sully v. Ayers

To obtain federal habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a petitioner must show that the state court unreasonably applied clearly established federal law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Alexander

A victim's true name and banking account numbers on a counterfeit paper check are a "means of identification" for purposes of aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028A and 1028(d)(7).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Gomez

Admitting a defendant’s post-arrest statement does not violate Miranda v. Arizona where the statement was voluntary and inconsistent with the defendant’s testimony and where the prosecution uses the statement only for impeachment purposes.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Underwood

A court order to suppress evidence of drug trafficking obtained during the execution of a search warrant will be upheld when: (1) the warrant does not have a sufficient basis for probable cause because it lacks underlying facts; and (2) the good faith exception is not met because the executing agents could not have acted in objectively reasonable reliance on the warrant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Ching v. Mayorkas

An individual has a protected property interest in an I-130 visa petition and therefore "is entitled to the protections of due process."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Lemire v. Cal. Dep't of Corr.

The decision to remove all guards that could respond to prevent the death of an inmate in a state prison presents a triable issue of fact of deliberate indifference that a jury must decide.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Moore v. Biter

The Supreme Court's decision in Graham v. Florida, which prohibits life without parole for juvenile non-homicide offenders, may be applied retroactively to similar sentences on collateral review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Seltzer v. Green Day, Inc.

Where an allegedly infringing work imbues some “new expressive content” or a new “message is apparent,” this work will usually be found transformative and thus covered under the Fair Use Doctrine; even when few physical changes to the original work have been made and the new work fails to comment on the original.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Lee

A district court must use sentencing guidelines as a starting point rather than using a predetermined sentence and working backwards to make their desired sentence fit within the guidelines.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Livingston

The location of an establishment is not an element of theft by an officer of a gaming establishment on Indian lands.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank

Under the Home Affordable Modification Program("HAMP"), when a mortgage servicer offers a Trial Pay Period ("TPP") to determine candidacy for a modified mortgage, they must notify the homeowner if they do not qualify, of if the homeowner complies with the TPP, the mortgage servicer must offer a modified mortgage.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Fort Belknap v. Office of Pub. & Indian Hous.

For the court to have jurisdiction for review under 25 U.S.C. § 4161(d), a party must have either alleged a violation of § 4161(a), or pursued one of the remedies specifically identified in § 4161(a)(1).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

NRDC v. Cnty. of Los Angeles

Monitoring data that shows pollutants greater than the amount allowed by permit in federally navigable waters is conclusive proof that those discharging are liable for a violation of their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. Thomas

Under the Speedy Trial Act, the issuance of a new indictment not required to be joined with the original charges triggers a new seventy-day period in which to bring a defendant to trial; and evidence from a trained and reliable dog handler about alert behavior of his dog can be the basis for probable cause and therefore the dog's history must be turned over to the defendant during discovery.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Cordoba v. Holder

The Board of Immigration Appeals must consider whether landownership qualifies as a "particular social group" for a member to be eligible for asylum and withholding under the Immigration and Nationality Act in light of in light of Henriquez-Rivas v. Holder, and also must consider whether a public official is aware of torturous activity, rather than whether he has actual knowledge of a specific incident, when reviewing a Convention Against Torture claim for relief.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Salameh v. Tarsadia Hotel

A securities investment contract will not be found without facts pleading the investment of money, a common enterprise, and an expectation of profits.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Urbino v. Orkin Servs. of California, Inc.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), the amount in controversy cannot be aggregated by multiple plaintiffs who “assert separate and distinct claims” unless the claims “unite to enforce a single title or right in which they have a common and undivided interest,” and the source of that interest is “derived from rights that they hold in group status.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

A.D. v. State of Hawaii Dep’t of Educ.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s “stay-put” provision, a child shall remain in his current educational placement during the pendency of any proceedings; the injunctive qualities of the stay-put provision apply to challenges to the legality of a State’s law, “prohibiting changes to a student’s educational placement until the legal dispute is resolved.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

United States v. Acosta-Chavez

Illinois’s Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse statute does not categorically qualify as a “forcible sex offense” to warrant a sixteen-level sentencing enhancement because the statute’s definition of a minor is broader than the generic federal analogue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Ermoian

Under the federal statute criminalizing obstruction of justice, 18 U.S.C. § 1512, a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal investigation is not an “official proceeding.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Moschella

When a sentence outside the Sentencing Guidelines range is the result of a “variance” based on the application of statutory factors and not a “departure” from the provisions of the Sentencing Guidelines, notice under Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(h) is not required; 18 U.S.C. § 3664(n) does not prevent the district court from exercising its discretion in imposing a special condition of restitution during a supervised release.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Villa-Anguiano v. Holder

The reinstatement of a prior removal order that has been invalidated on constitutional grounds cannot serve as the only reasoning for removing an alien.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Alaska Wilderness League v. EPA

Where the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7661c(e), is ambiguous as to whether “increment” requirements are “applicable” to a temporary source, such as a drilling vessel, the Ninth Circuit will defer to the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Appeals Board’s reasonable interpretation of the statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Blantz v. Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab.

A performance review procedure does not create a protected property interest for a state agency’s independent contractors.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Edwards

When sentencing an adult convicted of a crime, the district court does not violate the Eighth Amendment by using prior juvenile convictions to increase the sentence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Grant

Probation tolls when a defendant is in “fugitive status,” and a defendant assumes fugitive status when she fails to comply with the terms of her supervised release.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Griffin v. Harrington

A defense counsel’s failure to take an action that deprives the defendant of the sole opportunity to make inadmissible the prosecution’s only direct evidence connecting the defendant to the crime does not amount to acceptable tactical error and constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Stapley v. Pestalozzi

Prosecutors filing a federal civil racketeering suit are not entitled to absolute immunity when their actions were not “sufficiently analogous to those of a prosecutor” and when the suit is not “analogous to a criminal prosecution.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Hildes v. Arthur Andersen LLP

A district court errs in denying a request for leave to amend a complaint to add claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 when the amended complaint sufficiently alleges that material misstatements in a registration statement required for merger could have caused the plaintiff’s losses, regardless of whether the plaintiff signed a voting agreement prior to the filing of the registration statement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

Carpenters Pension Trust Fund v. Moxley

Pension fund “withdrawal liability” owed after a collective bargaining agreement has expired is dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding, and withdrawal liability, as a statutory obligation, is different from any unpaid obligations that arise from obligations created by a collective bargaining agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Duenas-Alvarez v. Holder

A lawful permanent resident is removable for the offense of taking a vehicle without consent, in violation of California Vehicle Code § 10851(a), because it is considered a “theft offense” that qualifies as an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Bolanos v. Holder

California Penal Code § 417.3, brandishing a firearm in the presence of an occupant of a motor vehicle, is an aggravated felony because of the threat of use of force; as such a permanent resident convicted under § 417.3 may be removed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Dahlia v. Rodriguez

Whether a police officer's speech is within the scope of his official duties is not a broadly defined matter of law but needs to be determined by a practical inquiry for purposes of First Amendment retaliation analysis; and placing an officer on administrative leave for reporting police misconduct and abuse constitutes an adverse employment action likely to deter him from engaging in protected speech and is therefore protected.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Richards v. Ernst & Young, LLP

Because “waiver of a contractual right to arbitration is not favored,” and, therefore, “any party arguing waiver of arbitration bears a heavy burden of proof,” including the establishment of prejudice as a result of an alleged delay in the assertion of arbitration rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Smith v. Clark County School District

Reconsideration of an order denying summary judgment is proper when a district court commits clear error as it does when it fails to apply Supreme Court precedent; when deciding if someone is a “qualified individual” under the ADA, a district court must use the standards set forth in Cleveland v. Policy Mgmt. Sys. Corp. for evaluating inconsistent statements made on benefit and disability applications; if a party offers sufficient explanations for inconsistent statements made on benefit applications that is enough for their claim to succeed past the summary judgment stage.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Planned Parenthood v. Betlach

It is a violation of Medicaid’s Free Choice of Provider requirement, to eliminate a patient’s ability to choose a physician based on the fact that the physician provides privately funded abortions in cases other than rape, incest and medical necessity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Rusak v. Holder

The objective element of determining whether an individual has a well-founded fear of future persecution by their native country can be proven by the showing of past persecution of groups or persons “similarly situated” and establishing that the individual is a member of the group.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Cohen

Adding the charitable sentencing enhancement provision of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines § 2.B1.1(b)(9)(A) to a criminal sentence is permitted when an individual misrepresents themselves to an organization in order to obtain money for charitable purposes from the organization.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Reed

Assimilation of state’s drugged driving law with federal DUI regulation is proper where there is a gap in the federal law relating to drugged driving and the defendant was driving on a federal road within that state.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Hazle v. Crofoot

Under a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim, when an injury has been indisputably proven, the plaintiff is entitled to a damage award by law, and/or a new trial if zero damages are awarded by the jury.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Mont. Shooting Sports Ass'n v. Holder

A state firearm law which allows citizens to manufacture firearms, so long as they remain within the boundaries of the state, is subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause by the federal government because Congress may rationally conclude that the law would affect interstate commerce.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Sedaghaty

Under Brady, the government is obligated to disclose significant impeachment evidence relevant to a critical witness; CIPA provides the government protection of classified documents used as evidence, but requires the government provide an adequate and neutral summary of any information relevant to the defense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Hilger

The Opper rule, which requires corroboration of confessions, does not apply to supervised release revocation proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Parole and Post-Prison Supervision

United States v. Torlai

A person that uses fraud to qualify for a federal benefit is not an intended beneficiary, and the court's effort to differentiate legitimate from illegitimate claims is unnecessary because by committing fraud that person has exempted themselves from the guidelines of the federal benefit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Oshodi v. Holder

An applicant’s oral testimony is “an essential aspect of the asylum adjudication process” and refusal to hear an applicant’s testimony is a violation of due process.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility Services

A lead plaintiff of a putative class action may not reduce the amount-in-controversy on behalf of absent class members.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Evans

A district court may not exclude a critical element of a defense based only upon Fed. R. Evid. 104, as excluding that evidence without a substantive basis violates a defendant’s right to present a defense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. King

A felon's Fourth Amendment right is not violated by a suspicionless search when the felon has already agreed to a suspicionless search condition as part of their probation agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Swor

The panel held that the district court abused its discretion in its restitution orders for defendant Shawn Swor because it included in the amount losses suffered by victims from a scheme too attenuated from the fraud that Swor conducted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

E.R.K. v. State of Hawaii Dep’t of Educ.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a state may not prevent disabled students aged 18 to 21 from attending public school if that state provides free public education to nondisabled students in that same age range.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Cavitt v. Cullen

Under California law, the “logical nexus” requirement between the felony and the victim’s death is not unconstitutionally vague because the California Supreme Court has provided guidance as to its definition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Flores v. Danielson

Under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(1)(B), a bankruptcy court may confirm a Chapter 13 plan if it is at least as long as the period set forth in § 1325(b)(4); Maney v. Kagenveama’s holding that “§ 1325(b)(1)(B) does not impose a minimum duration for a Chapter 13 plan” for debtors with no projected income is overruled.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

In Re: Application for Exemption

Appellate courts lack the jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 to review decisions dealing with the collection of user fees for the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system because the decision is an administrative action that is issued outside of the litigative function and is not of a judicial character.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Kumar v. Holder

When analyzing the level of “personal involvement” in granting asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Board of Immigration Appeals should consider a petitioner’s particular circumstances.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Pickup v. Brown

California’s Senate Bill 1172, which bans mental health providers from using “sexual orientation change efforts” on minors, is not unconstitutional because it is not vague or overbroad, it does not infringe on parents’ fundamental rights, and it does not violate First Amendment free speech rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Humphries

“Disposal” of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6928, begins with an “act of disposal,” not an individual’s “subjective decision to dispose.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. Thompson

Using a thermal lance tool that uses extreme heat to cut through metal does not constitute “using fire” under 18 U.S.C. § 844(h)(1) and does not warrant a penalty enhancement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Wynar v. Douglas Cnty. Sch. Dist.

hen faced with an identifiable threat of school violence, a school’s disciplinary action does not violate a student's First Amendment rights or due process so long as the off-campus messages that threaten the safety of the school and its students interfere with the rights of other students and make it reasonable for school officials to “forecast a substantial disruption” of school activities.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Anderson Bros. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co.

Letters that put the recipient on notice of liability and the sender's intent to pursue compensation qualify as "suits" and can trigger an insurer's duty to defend.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Ass'n des Eleveurs de Canards v. Harris

For the purposes of § 25982 of the California Health & Safety Code, which prohibits the sale of products that are the result of force feeding birds to enlarge their livers beyond normal size, a court does not abuse its discretion by refusing to grant a preliminary injunction to enjoin the state from enforcing the statute when the plaintiff “fails to raise serious questions” about a Due Process challenge; Section 25982 does not violate the Commerce Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Dandino, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Transp.

A party may file a petition for review under 49 U.S.C. § 521(b)(9) within 30 days of actual notice of a final order by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; when a final order is sent by mail without proof of actual receipt, a rebuttable presumption arises that the order was received within three days.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. Flores

A “missile” under U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(3)(A) and 26 U.S.C. § 5845(f) is “a self-propelled device designed to deliver an explosive,” which does not include 40-mm cartridges.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

September 66 summaries

Detrich v. Ryan

Under Martinez v. Ryan, a court reviewing a Habeas Corpus petition can apply an exception to the “cause” and “prejudice” rule to excuse procedural default when a defendant makes a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell

The Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction to review an agency decision for abuse of discretion in allowing a mariculture permit to expire, but it does not have jurisdiction over the ultimate discretionary decision; the Secretary of the Interior did not abuse its discretion by not renewing the permit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Somers v. Apple, Inc.

A plaintiff voluntarily abandons and thus waives a claim on appeal if she fails to raise an issue in response to defendant’s motion to dismiss; a suit for antitrust is barred if the plaintiff is an indirect purchaser; there must be an “antitrust injury” for a suit alleging antitrust.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Demers v. Austin

Garcetti does not apply to teaching and academic writing. Instead, the Pickering test should be applied which requires the employee to show that his or her speech addressed matters of public concern and that interest in voicing those concerns outweigh the State’s interest in promoting efficient public services.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Haro v. Sebelius

The secondary payer provision of the Medicare statutory scheme, demanding up front reimbursement for Medicare payments and requires attorneys to withhold settlement payments until the provision is satisfied by the beneficiary, is reasonable as it is interpreted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Los Coyotes Band of Cahulla & Cupeño Indians v. Jewell

It is proper for the Secretary of the Interior to deny a self-determination contract when no federal funds have been spent on the program; the Administrative Procedure Act is not a proper way to review an agency’s decision without a statutory constraint on the agency’s discretion; and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment is not violated when there is a rational basis for the difference in treatment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Bell v. Uribe

Overlapping claims under federal and state law may be considered adjudicated even if one is not specifically addressed by a lower court; a juror who does independent research and shares that research to be relied upon by the other jurors in violation of the judge's order acts improperly and may be dismissed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Dow v. Virga

The standard to be used by state courts in reviewing prosecutorial misconduct is one of materiality, per Napue v. Illinois, not harmlessness.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Earl

Supervised release does not start when a person is placed in home confinement by the Bureau of Prisons as part of a federal sentence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Abdisalan v. Holder

A Board of Immigration Appeals order of removal may not be reviewed by the Court of Appeals if a petition for review is not filed within 30 days of the BIA decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Gravelet-Blondin v. Shelton

The right to be free from the application of non-trivial force, such as the use of tasers, for engaging in mere passive resistance has been clearly established in the Ninth Circuit since at least 2008.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Tapley v. Locals 302 and 612

When reviewing trustees’ construction of a retirement plan term that frustrates the availability of earned retirement benefits, courts may “identify and reject any interpretation that is arbitrary, misfocused and contrary to the intent of those responsible for its terms.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Workers Compensation

United States v. Dunn

United States v. Colson is not clearly in conflict with Dillon v. United States because Dillon does not change Booker’s reasonableness standard and it was not “closely on point” to the jurisdictional question at issue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

USW Local 12-369 V. USW Int'l

Union officers may be disciplined under § 609 of the Labor-Management Recording and Disclosure Act for actions taken in their official capacity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Zhao v. Holder

The Board of Immigration Appeals abuses its discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny a motion to reopen an application for asylum when it applies an incorrect legal standard and does not adequately consider the substantial evidence submitted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Gonzalez v. City of Maywood

In a civil rights case it is not unreasonable for the prevailing party to receive attorney’s fees greater than the amount awarded to the client, and when making a reduction in attorney’s fees awards, courts must use the prevailing market rate and provide a clear explanation for any reduction greater than 10% in the amount awarded compared to what was claimed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Pizzuto v. Blades

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Idaho Supreme Court’s application of Idaho Code § 19-2515A is neither contrary to nor an unreasonable application of the clearly established federal law in Atkins v. Virginia, which prohibits the execution of individuals with mental retardation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of Los Angeles

A program that authorizes the housing department to place property into an escrow program when it becomes inhabitable does not violate due process since it is rationally related to a legitimate governmental goal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Bonilla-Guizar

A district court does not abuse its discretion in permitting a Immigration and Customs Enforcement case agent to testify as an expert witness where the testimony has some probative value. Brandishing a firearm is insufficient to warrant the application of a sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2A4.1(b)(3) for use of a dangerous weapon.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Blaisdell v. Frappiea

The act of serving a complaint filed by another prisoner on a prison official is not a constitutionally or statutorily protected activity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

In Re: Wilshire Courtyard

Under the “close nexus” test, a closed bankruptcy proceeding adequately supports subject matter jurisdiction if the matter affects the “’interpretation, implementation, consummation, execution, or administration of the confirmed plan.’”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Joffe v. Google, Inc.

Payload data transferred over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks is neither radio communication nor electronic communication that is readily accessible by the general public for the purposes of the Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2511.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

SEC v. CMKM Diamonds, Inc.

A participant’s title, standing alone, cannot determine liability under Section 5 of the Securities Act; there is a material issue of fact as to whether a transfer agent is a necessary participant and substantial factor to satisfy the standard for liability under Section 5.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

Sossa v. Diaz

A pro se habeas petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling if he reasonably relied on a magistrate judge's order extending his filing deadline beyond AEDPA's statutory time limitation; and when a pro se habeas petitioner sufficiently alleges that precluded access to legal resources due to extraordinary circumstances beyond his control prevented timely filing and permits equitable tolling, the district court is obligated to review new evidence and rule on the merits.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Gonzalez

When calculating a criminal history score, because U.S.S.G. 4A1.2(a) is a bright-line rule, two sentences cannot count as one when they were imposed on separate days, regardless of their previously scheduled dates. Deportation does not automatically end a parole sentence under California state law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Wild Fish Conservancy v. Jewell

Section 8 of the Reclamation Act of 1902 "makes clear that Congress did not intend to permit private parties who lack water rights a private right of action to compel enforcement of state law against federal agencies."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

C.B. v. City of Sonora

A jury verdict obtained after re-deliberation and long, unscripted, and potentially misleading or confusion discussions between the district judge and the jurors warrants a new trial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Schurz v. Ryan

In the absence of “new” mitigating evidence showing it was likely a jury would have reached a different verdict, a petitioner cannot show any prejudice from alleged ineffective assistance.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Lopez-Cruz

A peace officer exceeds the scope of consent to "look in" or "search" a cellular phone when the officer answers incoming calls, and it is not an abuse of discretion for a district court to deny a motion for reconsideration to “consider an argument, raised for the first time in that motion, that exigent circumstances justified answering the calls.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Ayala v. Wong

Excluding defense counsel during a proceeding to determine whether a peremptory challenge is racially motivated, absent compelling reasons, violates the Constitution because the defense is unable to respond to the prosecution’s justifications and preserve any errors on the record.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Gutierrez v. Holder

When an alien is “subject to an extant withholding of removal,” the Department of Homeland Security may file a Notice to Appear, and there does not need to be a separate hearing; the government must demonstrate the grounds for the termination of withholding of removal by a preponderance of evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Bonds

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1503, statements that are misleading or evasive, though nevertheless factually true, can support a conviction for obstruction of justice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Doe v. Gangland Productions, Inc.

Under § 425.16 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, an anti-SLAPP motion will be granted if: (1) the defendant can show that the conduct was in furtherance of his right to free speech and the conduct was connected to a matter of free speech; and (2) the plaintiff then fails to “demonstrate the probability that some of his claims will succeed.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Larsen v. Soto

A habeas petitioner who presents new evidence of innocence that “convincingly undermine[s] the State’s case” is entitled to have his claims heard on the merits despite the fact that the petition is untimely.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

McKinney v. Ryan

There is no constitutional right to a “standard courtroom layout,” and sentencers are required only to fully consider mitigating evidence; they are not required to give it weight.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Bahr

It is a violation of a defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to consider compelled statements in determining “a sentence in a later, unrelated criminal proceeding.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Phillips v. Herndon

Under some circumstances it is reasonable for a court to exclude a third-party confession where the declarant has made prior conflicting statements.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

United States v. Grandberry

Officers seeking to search the home of a parolee must first have probable cause that the parolee lives there in order to conduct a search without a warrant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Garcia-Milian v. Holder

The threat of physical harm unrelated to a political opinion is not a valid ground for asylum; absent a showing of corruption or other inability to investigate by local authorities the threat does not raise an inference that public officials are likely to acquiesce in future torture.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Indep. Training v. Cal. Dep't Indus. Relations

"Federal Purposes" under the National Apprenticeship Act mean those projects that require conformity with federal apprenticeship standards for as a conditional of financial assistance eligibility.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Kulakchyan v. Holder

Misrepresentation concerning the date of entry in an asylum application is material; under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(d)(6), withdrawal of an application alone may suffice for the Board of Immigration Appeals to find an application frivolous.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

NW Res. Inf. Ctr. v. NW Power & Conserv. Council

Alternative, hypothetical power production schemes raised during regional power planning administrative meetings do not change the analysis of the weight of due consideration applied to fish and wildlife interests in the development of the Northwest Power Plan.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Rock River Commc'n v. Universal Music Group

A claim of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage cannot be defeated on the alleged illegality of the expectancy unless the illegality is affirmatively established.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey

A selective comparison of important factors and relevant fuel pathways cannot support the district court's holding that the ethanol and crude oil provisions of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Cal Code Regs tit. 17, §§ 95480-90 (2011), violate the dormant Commerce Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. $671,160 in U.S. Currency

When a person has shown past extensive travel, has had opportunity to appear for proceedings, and has represented opposition to returning to the country; it amounts to a totality of circumstances showing they are deliberately avoiding criminal prosecution for the purposes of the Fugitive Disentitlement Statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Schesso

Warrants for electronic devices and media, which describe generic categories of items are not necessarily invalid nor do they necessarily require a special search protocol, when a more precise description of the items subject to seizure is not possible.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Nuveen Municipal v. City of Alameda

Failure to establish loss causation for securities fraud is fatal for a claim alleging loss due to misrepresentations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Sheldon

Conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) does not require proof of a defendant’s knowledge that the materials used to produce depictions of sexually explicit conduct have traveled in interstate commerce.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Zepeda

Providing a certified degree of Indian blood, by itself, is not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is an Indian for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1153.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Pac. Shores Properties v. City of Newport Beach

A facially neutral and overdiscriminate city ordinance violates state and federal housing discrimination laws when it has the purposeful and practical discriminatory effect that harms a targeted protected class by prohibiting the establishment of new and existing group homes for recovering substance abusers from obtaining living arrangements in most residential zones.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Municipal Law

Petitt v. Sause Brothers

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, scheduled wage increases which are not dependent upon a worker's performance are general wage increases for the purposes of determining the wage-earning capacity of an individual.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Workers Compensation

United States v. Arqueta-Ramos

When taking pleas en masse as part of an “Operation Streamline” proceeding, a court must still confirm individually with each defendant that the defendant is aware of her rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Liebsack v. United States

In a medical malpractice claim brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a state rule regarding an expert witness’ competency will apply if the state rule is intertwined with substantive state law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Smith v. Lopez

A defendant initially provided sufficient notice of the charges against them, may have their constitutional right to this notice violated if a prosecutor "affirmatively" leads a defendant to believe the prosecutor won't seek to prove the defendant's guilt by some specific theory and the prosecutor subsequently does so.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Elk Shoulder

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act's registration requirements are not punitive in nature and therefore do not violate a person’s constitutional rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Yakima Valley Mem'l Hosp. v. Dep't of Health

Regulations allowing hospitals without on-site cardiac surgical facilities to perform elective percutaneous coronary interventions so long as they obtained a Certificate of Need “demonstrating sufficient need in the region” does not violate the dormant commerce clause because the “impact on interstate commerce, if any, was highly attenuated, and did not outweigh the safety benefits of the regulation[].”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Castle v. Eurofresh, Inc.

A prisoner of the state is not the “employee” of a company contracting with a state prison under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because the prisoner’s labor belongs to the state; further, where such a contracting company receives no direct or indirect federal financial assistance, the company is not subject to the requirements imposed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; however, a state may be held liable for disability discrimination acts that its contractors commit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Graves v. McEwen

Although filing an Anders brief is not constitutionally mandated in a habeas appeal when appointed counsel seeks to withdraw, appellate rules contemplate such a procedure.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Heinemann v. Satterberg

A local rule may not allow for a default grant of a motion summary judgment if the motion is unopposed; and though a lack of response may be interpreted as an undisputed fact under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, the motion may not be granted absent an assessment by the court of the motion and supporting materials.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

McMaster v. United States

In order to withstand a motion for summary judgment when bringing a complaint under the Quiet Title Act a plaintiff needs to detail the scope of their right, title or interest the they are claiming in the real property, the circumstances of how it was obtained, and the right, title, or interest being claimed by the United States.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Property Law

Maciel v. Cate

For the purposes of a habeas petition, a state’s imposition of parole and sex-offender registration requirements after a sentencing court fails to impose them is “neither contrary to nor an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Tobar v. United States

Reciprocity with another nation exists when, under similar circumstances, United States nationals are able to sue the other nation in that nation’s courts, and the discretionary function exception in the Federal Tort Claims Act applies to the Public Vessels Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sovereign Immunity

In Re: Stake Center Locating, Inc.

The Mandatory Victim Restitution Act and the Crime Victims’ Rights Act provide victims with “a right to restitution, not a right to criminal forfeiture,” and under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, the government maintains broad discretion in determining whether to “seek forfeiture of assets implicated in an offender’s wire fraud.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc.

A district court properly certifies a sub-class under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 if the sub-class has a "question of law or fact common to the class" and that question "predominate[s] over any questions affecting only individual members."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Dexter v. Colvin

An applicant has a "colorable constitutional claim" of a violation of due process if an administrative law judge does not address all of the applicant's reasons for good cause when denying the applicant's request for a hearing about the untimely filing of a social security benefits application.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. Laurienti

A district court properly denies an evidentiary hearing if the defendant had ample opportunity at trial and after trial to submit evidence by an affidavit, and the court does not err by applying a sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3 for “abuse of a position of trust” when the defendant uses his special knowledge and expertise to suggest which securities to recommend.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

October 38 summaries

United States v. First

A tribal court misdemeanor conviction can serve as a predicate offense for unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) when the defendant was provided the right to counsel that was required in the misdemeanor trial, even if that right as given in a tribal court does not meet the constitutional federal minimum.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

United States v. Liu

Under 17 U.S.C. § 506(a), “willfully” requires the Plaintiff to prove that the Defendant knew he was acting illegally, not just that he knew he was making copies, and under 18 U.S.C. § 2318(a)(1), “knowingly” trafficking counterfeit labels “requires knowledge that the labels were counterfeit.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Nickerson

In order to warrant the dismissal of Class B misdemeanor charges based on outrageous government conduct, there must be a nexus between the conduct and the criminal proceeding at issue; the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161(d)(2) and 3162, does not apply to Class B misdemeanors.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Tosti

The Fourth Amendment does not protect information that is voluntarily turned over to a third party and then subsequently viewed by law enforcement officers.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Armstrong v. Brown

Changes to § 3065 of the Cal. Penal Code do not absolve the state of responsibility for prisoners and parolees while they are in county facilities, including adherence to disability accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Diaz v. First American

A party’s refusal to accept a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment, that would fully satisfy the party’s claim, is not sufficient to make the claim moot.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Phoenix Trading, Inc. v. Loops LLC

Under Washington State law, the complainant in a defamation claim must show a likelihood of satisfying the elements of defamation: a false statement, publication, fault, and damages.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Hamad v. Gates

Under United States v. Boumediene, only 28 U.S.C. § 2241(e)(1) was ruled unconstitutional, § 2241(e)(2) functioned independently and was not a bill of attainder because there was no punitive intent.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Cohen

A sentencing enhancement involving “a misrepresentation that the defendant was acting on behalf of a charitable organization” can be applied when the defendant does not purport work directly for a charitable organization.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Gomez

An alien defendant's due process rights will be violated when undergoing a stipulated removal proceeding if the alien defendant’s waiver to their right of appeal is found to be invalid when that waiver is not voluntary, knowing and intelligent.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Valle del Sol V. Whiting

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2929 is void for vagueness and the section criminalizing the harboring and transporting of unauthorized aliens is invalid under the Supremacy Clause as it violates federal law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Prudential Locations LLC v. HUD

Exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to protect the identity of someone who has complained to a federal agency about a violation of law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. Cortes

A criminal defendant is entitled to present a sentencing entrapment defense to the jury when evidence shows that the result of the defense will be lowering the statutory sentencing range; the Hobbs Act makes robbery and extortion criminal even when contraband is the property at issue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Wong v. Beebe

28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) of the Federal Tort Claims Act is not a “jurisdictional” statute and is therefore entitled to presumptions of equitable tolling.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Hunton v. Sinclair

Because there is no constitutional right to an attorney in state post-conviction relief proceedings, a defendant’s Brady claim of ineffective assistance of counsel fails unless “counsel was ineffective and the claim could not be raised earlier.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Christensen

When calculating a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2), a judge is free to give more or less weight to different factors and can provide an upward variance beyond what a probation officer has already suggested; such an upward variance beyond the sentencing range is not considered impermissible double counting if the variance is reasonable based on the facts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Ramos-Atondo

A district court does not abuse its discretion when it presents the jury with deliberate ignorance instructions when the factual bases of such an instruction are present.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Stargell

A financial institution can be "affected" under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 if the institution encounters a new or an increased risk of loss.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Wash. Envtl. Council v. Bellon

While the failure to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with the Clean Air Act may create an injury in fact to meet the first test for standing, the causation and redressability prongs of the test cannot be met because a multitude of other factors may cause the injuries and cannot be appropriate redressed by the courts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Jones v. Ryan

When new claims not present in the original habeas corpus petition are asserted in a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment, the motion can be construed as a second petition subject to denial for lack of authorization.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Rodriguez-Castellon v. Holder

A lawful permanent resident convicted under California Penal Code § 288(c)(1) has been convicted of an “aggravated felony” as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) and is removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Black

To meet the high standard required to demonstrate outrageous government conduct, defendants must show that the facts underlying an arrest and prosecution are so extreme as “to violate fundamental fairness” or are “so grossly shocking as to violate the universal sense of justice.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Black

There is an extremely high standard required to demonstrate the facts underlying an arrest and prosecution are so extreme as “to violate fundamental fairness” or are “so grossly shocking as to violate the universal sense of justice” and the court will decide on a case by case basis using the following factors: (1) known criminal characteristics of the defendants; (2) individualized suspicion of the defendants; (3) the government’s role in creating the crime of conviction; (4) the government’s encouragement of the defendants to commit the offense conduct; (5) the nature of the government’s participation in the offense conduct; and (6) the nature of the crime being pursued and necessity for the actions taken in light of the nature of the criminal enterprise at issue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Visendi v. Bank of America

A multi-plaintiff lawsuit is subject to removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, and the federal court will retain jurisdiction even if the plaintiffs are misjoined.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Ritchie v. United States

The Feres doctrine will bar third-party wrongful death claims arising out of military service activities, and the “in utero” exception does not apply when the servicewoman mother has been injured by the purported negligent acts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

State of Arizona v. ASARCO

In a Title VII sexual harassment suit with nominal damages and no compensatory damages, the highest punitive award supportable under due process must fall within the statutory cap and be proportional to the reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct without exceeding a punitive damages to compensatory damages ratio of 125,000 to 1.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

United States v. Steele

Upon exercise of its factual cost-benefit determination, the district court does not abuse its discretion by deferring consideration of a defendant’s ineffective assistance claim to collateral review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Bondarenko v. Holder

A credibility finding of a person seeking asylum must be supported by substantial evidence, and the person seeking asylum must be given a reasonable opportunity to investigate all evidence presented against them.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

James v. Ryan

Although Johnson v. Williams grants state courts “the benefit of the doubt” when there is unclear reasoning for its holding, federal courts are not required to disregard a state court’s clear explanation of its own decision to deny the claim based solely on state procedural grounds.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

APAC v. BPA

Bonneville Power Administration has the authority to enter into settlement agreements that pay certain funds in lump sums, waive BPA's authority to purchase power through in lieu purchases, modify "rate ceiling" calculations intended to protect preference customers, and set costs; these actions do not require BPA to provide power illegitimately, do not improperly bind non-signatories to a settlement, are not adverse to Ninth Circuit precedent, and were not arbitrarily or capriciously applied in this case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Chavarria v. Ralphs

The Federal Arbitration Act does not preempt a finding under California state law that an arbitration agreement is unconscionable where the allocation of arbitration costs effectively forecloses pursuit of a claim.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Ferguson v. Corinthian Colleges

The Federal Arbitration Act preempts the “Broughton-Cruz rule that claims for public injunctive relief cannot be arbitrated.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

In Re: Plant Insulation Co.

Chapter 11 reorganization of asbestos manufactures is subject to § 524(g) and provides a broad equitable power that accounts for the interests of both present and future asbestos claimants; a trust is required to serve as a fiduciary for the future claimants and that trust must be given a majority of the voting shares of the reorganized debtor.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Lujan v. Garcia

When testimony is induced by erroneous admission of confession evidence, it cannot be used to support the conviction as harmless error because it would perpetuate the initial constitutional violation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Amado v. Gonzalez

For the purposes of a habeas corpus petition, the prosecution violates Brady v. Maryland by failing to disclose impeachment evidence, including a probation report, regarding its key witness whose statements prejudice the defendant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Crowley v. Bannister

When a party is unrepresented by counsel, a court abuses its discretion when it fails to apply Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a) liberally in favor of the pro se party.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Kyle

When a court goes beyond providing reasons for rejecting the agreement presented and comments on the hypothetical agreements it would or would not accept, it crosses over the line established by Rule 11 and becomes involved in negotiations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Tercero

Although 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) “authorizes district courts to reduce a sentence retroactively when the Commission has subsequently lowered a Sentencing range,” Congress intended that “any sentence reductions be consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission,” including U.S.S.G § 1B1.10(b)(2)(a) which prohibits courts “from reducing a defendant’s term of imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)…to a term that is less than the minimum of the amended guideline range.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

November 19 summaries

Armstrong v. Asselin

Qualified immunity, shielding police officers from liability, may be invoked when a police officer acts in good faith using a warrant subjected to approval by prosecutors and neutral judicial officials.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Stewart v. Cate

A timely filing under 28 USC § 2244 is generally 30-60 days, and under Schlup v. Delo a defendant must show that no reasonable juror would have found him guilty in light of new evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Vasques v. Rackacuckas

The Procedural Due Process Clause requires some constitutionally adequate process to determine gang membership when state officials enforce a broad public nuisance abatement injunction under state law against individuals that significantly interferes with their protected liberty interests. Comity doctrine does not prohibit the district court's grant of equitable relief for non-party plaintiffs to a state-court proceeding from challenging enforcement procedures of such an injunction. However, plaintiffs are barred from bringing a state constitutional due process claim in district court against a state official effectuating a state law in his official capacity, because he is not a "local" official for purposes of § 1983.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Seven Arts v. Content Media

When parties are in a “close relationship,” the three-year statute of limitations under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 507(b), will bar an untimely claim “for copyright infringement where the gravamen of the dispute is ownership."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Urooj v. Holder

The Department of Homeland Security cannot use impeachment evidence alone to “establish the grounds” for the termination of asylum status “by a preponderance of the evidence.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

NRDC v. EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is not obligated by statute to conduct an aggregate risk assessment before granting conditional registration for a pesticide that is not for food use, but if it does conduct an assessment and the margin of exposure exceeds the targeted exposure, that pesticide poses a credible threat to consumers.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

United States v. Horob

When a district court does not impose a more severe overall sentence on remand, the presumption of vindictiveness does not apply.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc.

Expenses incurred by foreign workers in order to obtain employment through the H-2A program are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the employer is required to reimburse such expenses because they primarily benefit the employer, not the workers.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Vega v. Ryan

Counsel's failure to familiarize himself with his client's file which contained information about the victim's recantation of the allegations of sexual abuse was a deficient performance and such failure was prejudicial because presenting testimony on the recantation would not have been cumulative and could have tipped the scales in the defendant's favor.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. King

For charges under 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1)(A), unlawfully dealing in firearms, a jury instruction requiring the government to prove that a defendant was not acting as an authorized agent of a federal firearms licensee would be incorrect because it does not comport with the plain language of the statute and would undermine the purpose behind the statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Valenzuela v. Michel

Habitual residence under the Hauge Convention’s Article 3 is determined by a shared intent to abandon the prior habitual residence and an actual change in location along with a period of time; when there is more than one potential habitual residence under this test, the habitual residence is the one in which the children are physically in at a given time.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Family Law

United States v. Chovan

18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), barring a person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing a firearm, does not violate the Second Amendment on its face; a defendant is not entitled to the “civil rights restored” exception if the triggering misdemeanor did not divest defendant of other fundamental rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Murillo-Prado v. Holder

When determining eligibility for cancellation of removal, a conviction for racketeering under Arizona law constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(J).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Hana Financial v. Hana Bank

Tacking may be found where a properly-instructed jury makes a determination of fact regarding the narrow tacking doctrine that the reasonable consumer could have reasonably concluded that the user of a mark had a consistent, continuous commercial impression of the services defendant offered and their origin.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

United States v. Arreguin

Under the apparent authority doctrine, it is not objectively reasonable to believe a houseguest has authority to consent to the search of a house when officers know virtually nothing about the houseguest, the rooms in the residence, or the houseguest’s connection to those rooms.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Smith v. Oregon Board of Parole

A federal habeas claim is not procedurally defaulted even when an objection is not raised during trial, if the claim is rejected without any discussion or citation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Doe v. Holder

In an application for asylum or withholding of removal, the applicant need not show “a direct nexus between that the government’s inability or unwillingness to control nongovernmental persecutors and a statutorily-protected ground.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Makaeff v. Trump University

California’s Anti-SLAPP statutes, which provide criteria for pre-trial dismissal of a defamation claim, do not “collide” with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 and 56; no inter-circuit split has emerged on this issue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Mondragon v. Capital One

Under the Class Action Fairness Act, in order to support a finding that two-thirds of plaintiff class members are actually local state citizens there needs to be actual facts; however, an inference in determining citizenship of a prospective plaintiff class may be adequate so long as the definition of the class limits the class to the state in question.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

December 45 summaries

Courtney v. Goltz

The Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not extend to the right to operate a public ferry on intrastate navigable waters.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Hayes v. County of San Diego

A plaintiff asserting a survival claim for negligent wrongful death must establish that they are the decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest, and summary judgment is improper when a reasonable juror could conclude that deadly force was not objectively reasonable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

HRE v. Florida Entertainment Mgmt.

When seeking preliminary injunctive relief in an infringement of trademark case, a plaintiff must make sufficient showing that a likelihood of irreparable harm exists rather than rely on the presumption of irreparable harm.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

Jones v. U.S. Trustee

A fraud that would have served as grounds for denial of discharge of debt is also grounds for the revocation of discharge of debt if the trustee did not know of the fraud at the time of the discharge.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Long v. Johnson

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 requires federal courts to give “a double dose of deference” to state court decisions on non-direct appeal, thus limiting the federal court’s review power to whether or not the state court applied the law correctly.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Minority Television Project v. FCC

First Amendment challenges of 47 U.S.C. § 399b are determined by applying intermediate scrutiny. The statute is narrowly tailored to achieve the substantial government interest of maintaining quality educational programming on public broadcasting networks.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Taggar v. Holder

An Immigration Judge does not abuse discretion when setting an extended date for relief applications for the Convention Against Torture and when deeming someone ineligible for a waiver of removability or inadmissibility when it is a crime that is not waivable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Hagen v. City of Eugene

Where a public employee reports departmental-safety concerns to his or her supervisors pursuant to a duty to do so, that employee does not speak as a private citizen and is not entitled to First Amendment Protection.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Angov v. Holder

An immigration judge does not violate due process or immigration laws by relying on a State Department investigation of an asylum petitioner’s claim because such reports are presumed valid, and additional requirements would not materially enhance their reliability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Nguyen v. Curry

A pro se habeas petitioner's amended claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to raise a double jeopardy claim on direct appeal may be excused from procedural default under Martinez v. Ryan and may relate back to the timely filed original claim if there is a common core of facts supporting those grounds for relief stated therein.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Petronas v. GoDaddy.com

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does not incorporate the common law of trademark and therefore does not provide a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

United States v. Hullaby

The government’s use of an informant with a criminal history who chose to cooperate out of self-interest in reducing future criminal liability is not “so grossly shocking and so outrageous” as to violate a defendant’s due process rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Evans v. Shoshone-Bannock LUPC

When a tribal court lacks jurisdiction, a nonmember to an Indian Tribe does not have to exhaust tribal remedies prior to filing a suit in federal court, and it is not within the Tribes’ authority to regulate land owned in fee simple by a nonmember of the Tribe unless the land’s intended use is considered to put the area of the surrounding reservation in jeopardy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Muniz v. UPS

Disparity between a party’s damages awards and the prevailing party’s attorney fees is not a per se special circumstance triggering downward adjustment, and absent unique circumstances requiring adjustment, the figure should be awarded unaltered.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

United States v. Kahre

When calculating the tax responsibility for compensation in gold coins or certificates, the employer must use the fair-market value, not the face-value, of the coins.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Sachs v. Republic of Austria

The commercial activities exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not apply when a foreign transportation agency sells a train pass to a United States resident because the transportation carrier has created a "substantial contact" within the United States.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sovereign Immunity

Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza

California Code of Civil Procedure § 338(c)(3) does not intrude on foreign affairs and thus is not unconstitutional on field preemption grounds, and§ 338(c)(3) does not violate a museum, gallery, auctioneer, or dealer’s First Amendment rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

United States v. Roybal

Allowing a child pornography victim to access pornographic images stored on a computer and “create copies of those images” constitutes “distribution” under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2), regardless of whether the "child victim was in-person rather than over the internet."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Dzakula v. McHugh

Judicial estoppel bars an action that was neither inadvertently nor mistakenly omitted from Chapter 7 bankruptcy schedules.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Omnipoint v. City of Huntington Beach

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempts local land use authorities’ legislative regulations that fail to comply with requirements of 47 USC § 332(c)(7)(B)(i) and (iv) and adjudicative decisions that fail to meet the minimum process requirements of § 332(c)(7)(B)(ii) and (iii), but such requirements are inapplicable to local authorities’ non-regulatory and non-adjudicative exercise of their property rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Smith v. JEM Group, Inc.

A court, rather than an arbitrator, has the authority to decide the validity of an arbitration clause in an attorney retainer agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Lee v. Intelius Inc.

A plaintiff has not entered into a contract to arbitrate with a third party when the third party is insufficiently identified as a contracting party; even if the plaintiff has entered into a contract to purchase, under the Federal Arbitration Act the plaintiff has not entered into a contract to arbitrate.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

In Re: Wal-Mart

Non-appealability clauses that eliminate all potential federal court review of arbitration awards, including review under § 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act, are not enforceable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Kalitta Air v. Cent. Texas Airborne Sys.

28 U.S.C. § 1920 does not allow the district court to award costs for pro hac vice fees as taxable costs, nor does it authorize costs of deposition editing and synchronizing, but the district court is allowed to award costs for graphics consultants.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

United States v. Anderson

When a defendant fails to timely object to a challenged jury instruction, the flawed instruction will be upheld when it does not rise to the level of plain error; a district court errs when it fails to award restitution based on the victim’s actual loss.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Al-Nashiri v. MacDonald

Section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 deprives the district court of jurisdiction of non-habeas claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Jones v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries

The Army Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Assessment and finding of no significant impact was neither deficient nor arbitrary or capricious, and therefore the Oregon Resources Corporation did not need to submit an additional environmental impact statement in order to receive a permit to mine mineral sands.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. DeJarnette

The initial registration requirement under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, under which an offender must register in the jurisdiction of conviction regardless of jurisdiction of residence, does not currently apply to pre-Act offenders already subject to other registration obligations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Shorty

Where the waiver to a jury trial is unwritten and there is evidence the defendant has a diminished mental capacity, a court must engage in an in-depth colloquy to ensure the defendant understands the importance and effect of his waiver of a jury trial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Caceres-Olla

The crime of statutory rape is not a forcible sex offense and therefore is not a “crime of violence” as defined by the United States Sentencing Guideline 2L 1.2.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Mondragon

When a defendant either consents to or moves for a mistrial, the applicability of the Double Jeopardy Clause hinges on whether the alleged misconduct was an attempt preclude the empaneled jury from eventually reaching a verdict.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Hernandez v. Holder

The “place-of-filing” rule is a procedural claims-processing rule and is not a jurisdictional bar to the Board of Immigration Appeals’ authority to consider a motion to reopen an application.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Hokto Kinoko Co. v. Concord Farms, Inc.

In a gray-market goods case, non-organic produce and certified organic produce sold under the same trademark are considered to be materially different from one another when the methods of production and labeling differ.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

Patel v. City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49, which authorizes non-consensual police searches of hotel guest records, is facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment because it does not afford an opportunity to obtain prior judicial review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Crowder

18 U.S.C. § 3583(h) allows a “subsequent lifetime term of supervised release, even when accompanied by a term of imprisonment.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Lin

18 U.S.C. § 1546(a) does not “criminalize the mere possession of an unlawfully obtained…driver's license.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Valdes-Vega

Under the “totality of the circumstances” analysis for determining whether an officer had reasonable suspicion, prior decisions that held certain factors are per se probative or not do not comply with Supreme Court precedent.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Alto v. Black

The Band's Constitution vested the BIA with ultimate authority over tribal membership, and so the court had jurisdiction to enjoin preliminarily the enforcement of the order upholding the Tribe's decision to disenroll descendants of a member from the Band while the Band was not a required party under FRCP 19 because its absence did not deny complete relief, and the Band's interest was adequately represented by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tribal Law

Knapp v. Hogan

A dismissal after repeated violation of Rule 8(a)’s requirement, followed by leave to amend to meet the “short and plain statement” requirement, under §1915(g) constitutes a dismissal “for failure to state a claim.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Graham-Sult v. Clainos

California’s anti-SLAPP statute applies to actions involving “written or oral statement[s] or writing[s] made in connection” to probate court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Joffe v. Google, Inc.

A radio communication as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 2511, the Wiretap Act, does not include data transmitted over a Wi-Fi network.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Alliance v. City of Idaho Falls

Idaho state law does not expressly or impliedly grant a municipal corporation power to exercise extraterritorial eminent domain power to acquire easements on residential property outside city boundaries for the non-essential purpose of accomplishing construction of electric transmission lines and provide power at the lowest possible cost.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Property Law

Kennedy v. Colvin

When applying for supplemental security income (SSI), a claimant must meet each of the qualifications listed in Listing 12.05C of the Social Security Act. A claimant many not claim that is over-qualification in some areas makes up for under-qualification in others.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Legal Voice v. Stormans, Inc.

A non-party may appeal an interlocutory order within thirty days after entry of final judgment to the same extent that a party may appeal such an order.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Li v. Holder

When hearing a pre-REAL ID Act immigration removal proceeding, an Immigration Judge may interpret inconsistent testimony regarding one claim as adverse credibility toward other claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration