9th Circuit Court of Appeals

2015

January 28 summaries

United States v. Gnirke

Restrictions to non-pornographic sexually explicit material containing adults deprive a greater liberty interest than is reasonably necessary.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Davis v. Electronic Arts, Inc.

Denial of a motion to strike under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation ("SLAPP") statute in California is proper when the use of former NFL players' likenesses are central to the commercial purpose in production of a video game.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Williams v. Paramo

In order for a defendant who already has three strikes to file in forma pauperis, they will have to allege, either through declaration or affidavit, a “continued existence of imminent danger at the time the notice of appeal is filed.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Post-Conviction Relief

Ibarra v. Manheim Investments

In order for a class action lawsuit to abide by the Class Action Fairness Act, definitive evidence of the amount in controversy must be submitted to the court for review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

LaCross v. Knight Transportation

A defendant when removing a case to federal court may use assumptions and a reasonable chain of logic to show by a preponderance that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Rodman

Providing inaccurate information to a federal agency, via an agreement between two or more individuals, is sufficient to constitute a conspiracy to impair the function of that agency, even when no evidence exists to prove an additional injury to the agency.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Jimenez-Arzate

United States v. Grajeda remains good law, and Ceron v. Holder does not abrogate United States v. Grajeda.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Neal

A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1521 is triggered by the filing, attempting to file, or conspiring to file, a false lien or encumbrance, without regard to the validity of the documents at issue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Dibe

Ineffective legal counsel is not to be considered as a sentencing factor in criminal cases.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Zamudio

Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326, no prejudice arises if the defendant cannot collaterally attack the underlying removal proceeding, and the five-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until the government has knowledge of the defendant’s illegal presence in the United States.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

City of San Jose v. Comm’r of Baseball

Major League Baseball is exempt from the federal antitrust laws.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Hertler

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(h), "any terms of imprisonment" refers to the imprisonment in connection with the offense of the conviction and does not aggregate all counts of the conviction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.

The first sale doctrine bars a copyright infringement claim because copyright distribution and importation rights expire after an authorized sale within a foreign jurisdiction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Redding Rancheria v. Jewell

The “restoration of lands” exception to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act permits one casino on restored tribe’s land if there is a “modern,” “historical,” and “temporal” connection to the land presently in question and the Tribe’s original land.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Shinault v. Hawks

A state must provide an inmate a pre-deprivation hearing before transferring a substantial amount of money from the inmate's trust account.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Rice

The Sixth Amendment is satisfied when a defendant who wishes to represent himself pro se is given a fair chance to present his defense in his own way.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ezell v. United States

In order to establish a prima facie case, the successive 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition must announce a new rule of constitutional law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

McClellan v. I-Flow Corporation

Because there is no conflict with the Medical Device Amendment of 1976, preemption of state law does not apply to failure-to-warn theory jury instructions.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

United States v. Ortiz

Federal Rule of Evidence 901(a) allows the government to offer a tape recording of the defendant’s voice into evidence if it can make a prima facie case that the voice is the defendant’s, which can be established by demonstrating minimal familiarity with the voice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Black Mesa Water Coalition v. Jewell

An agency’s “eligibility” determination in reference to fees and costs is reviewed de novo, and review of an “entitlement” determination is reviewed for substantial evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Cortez v. Skol

Granting summary judgment is improper when there is sufficient evidence that a prison official is aware of the risk involved in a particular transport and acts with deliberate indifference to the prisoner’s safety.

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

In re Hokulani Square, Inc.

A trustee cannot include the amount of a credit bid in the calculation of total compensation under 11 U.S.C. §§ 326(a) and 363(k).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. McElmurry

The court must read every word of evidence when determining if the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice under Federal Rule of Evidence 403.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

United States v. Whittemore

Under 2 U.S.C. § 441f, the source of conduit contributions is the proper focus of the inquiry regardless of the ownership status of the funds at the time of contribution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

In re Sussex

An arbitrator’s professional relationships must create a reasonable impression of partiality in order to rise to a claim of bias sufficient to require a remedy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

United States v. Davis

Under the 2010 retroactive amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines, a district court lacks jurisdiction to modify a sentence based upon a Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement where the agreement does not: (1) require sentencing within a Guidelines range; (2) make clear that a Guidelines range served as the basis for the specified term; and, (3) show that “a sentencing range is evident from the agreement itself.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Mays-Williams v. Williams

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a plan participant must substantially comply with governing plan documents when requesting a change in beneficiary designation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Volpicelli v. United States

The nine-month limitations period pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6532(c) is not jurisdictional and may be equitably tolled.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

February 15 summaries

United States v. Burgos-Ortega

A criminal conviction under an overbroad state statute will still qualify as a sentencing enhancement under federal sentencing law if there is no realistic probability that an individual could be prosecuted under the overbroad portion of the state statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Corbello v. Valli

An implied license, which may be effective regardless of a reversionary clause in a contractual agreement, may be inferred from the objective intent of the licensor, as well as those others involved, at the time of the creation and delivery of the work.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Sharkey v. O'Neal

California's three-year statute of limitations, found in Section 11135 of the California Government Code, applies to Title II claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

St. Alphonsus Med. Ctr. v. St. Luke’s Health Sys.

An efficiencies defense, that clearly demonstrates that the proposed merger enhances competition because of the increased efficiencies, can successfully rebut a prima facie case for a Clayton Act § 7 violation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

Hernandez-Gonzalez v. Holder

A conviction for weapons possession with a gang enhancement under California law does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude per se; rather, such a “determination must be based on the underlying crime of conviction to which the enhancement is attached at sentencing.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Davis v. U.S. Bank, N.A.

Portions of discharged debt in bankruptcy proceedings remain a part of “aggregate debt” and include both the secured and unsecured portions of a creditor’s claims against a debtor, whether enforceable against the debtor or the debtor’s property.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Kohler v. Bed Bath & Beyond

It is not required under the Americans with Disabilities Act that there be wall space within the maneuvering clearance next to the frame of a restroom door that must be pulled open, unless it is equipped with a “latch.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A.

The “likelihood of confusion” inquiry for a Lanham Act false endorsement claim includes the consideration of eight factors: (1) the level of recognition that the celebrity has among the segment of the society for whom the defendant’s product is intended; (2) the relatedness of the fame or success of the celebrity to the defendant’s product; (3) the similarity of the likeness used by the defendant to the actual celebrity; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) marketing channels used; (6) likely degree of purchaser care; (7) defendant’s intent on selecting the celebrity; and, (8) likelihood of expansion of the product lines; when the plaintiff is not the celebrity himself, the additional factor of the strength of association between the mark and the plaintiff is also considered.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

Zavalin v. Colvin

An Administrative Law Judge must reconcile any discrepancies between a disability insurance applicant's functional capacity and testimony by a vocational expert.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Harrington v. EquiTrust Life Ins. Co.

A seller has no duty to disclose internal pricing policies or the method for valuing what it sells absent a fiduciary or statutory duty; if a court, rightly within its discretion, chooses to deny awards to a prevailing party, then it must explain its reasoning.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Martinez-Hernandez v. Holder

Counsel is not ineffective where a petitioner fails to make the necessary threshold showing that his claim for cancellation, in an immigration appeal, was plausible.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Nigro V. Sears, Roebuck and Co.

A plaintiff in a disability discrimination case need not provide an extraordinary amount of evidence to survive summary judgment at the district court level.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

In Re Online DVD-Rental Antitrust Litig.

In order to establish that an online DVD-rental service has engaged in a merger that violates the Sherman Act, an antitrust injury-in-fact must be demonstrated.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

In re Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation

Certification of a settlement class under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) and (b) may be proper even when class representatives receive incentive awards; a claimant fund sharing approach may be proper even when few class member actually filed claims; and, award of attorneys’ fees under the Class Action Fairness Act provisions governing “coupon settlements” generally do not apply to settlements to be paid in gift cards.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Khudaverdyan v. Holder

A finding of political persecution that would qualify the seeker for asylum may be supported by a demonstration of imputed political opinion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

March 42 summaries

C.W. V. CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCH. DIST.

When a plaintiff asserts both merited and frivolous claims, the prevailing defendant may only be awarded attorneys fees for the time attributed to defending the frivolous claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

United States v. Mendez-Sosa

The applicable definition of “conviction” for purposes of implementing sentencing guidelines in the immigration context is to be found in federal law, not state law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Weiland v. American Airlines

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Age 60 Rule is not abrogated by the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act’s 49 U.S.C. § 44729(e)(1)(A) exception if the pilot turned 60 prior to its enactment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Bank of Manhattan v. FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in its role as a receiver of a closed bank, will face consequences when breaching underlying asset contractual obligations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale

Intermediate scrutiny is appropriate for a Second Amendment challenge if the law does not implicate the core Second Amendment right to possess the quintessential self-defense weapon, or does not place a substantial burden on that right.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports

Even if a public accommodation has an obstruction, the facility may still be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and afford those individuals with disabilities full and equal access if the obstruction is only isolated and temporary.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Yousefian v. City of Glendale

A police officer's romantic relationship with a suspect's wife, after evidence has already been collected and documented in official reports, does not undermine the existence of probable cause to arrest the suspect; and, when a § 1983 claim for false arrest and malicious prosecution fails against individual police officers, claims of municipal liability will also fail.

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

Kohler v. Flava Enterprises, Inc.

Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act restricts dressing room benches to not be longer than forty-eight inches, a store can still comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act as an "equivalent facilitation” where a disabled individual could make a parallel transfer, while also being grandfathered in under previous standards.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Munoz Santos v. Thomas

Where torture allegations are inextricably intertwined with the witnesses’ recantations, the evidence is properly excluded where its consideration would have required a mini-trial on whether the witnesses’ initial statements were procured by torture.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Northstar Fin. Advisors v. Schwab Inv.

Adoption of a mutual fund’s fundamental investment objectives is sufficient to form a contract between shareholders and the fund itself, particularly when those objectives are subsequently incorporated into the fund’s registration statement and prospectuses.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Aircraft Services Int'l v. Working Wash.

Before an airline may seek a preliminary injunction to prevent a labor strike, it must first comply with Section 8 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

CPR for Skid Row v. City of Los Angeles

Under § 403 of the California Penal Code, it is not a crime to disrupt a political meeting if no violence or force is used.

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

Rudin v. Myles

When a defendant diligently pursues her right to habeas corpus relief but extraordinary circumstances prevent her from timely filing a petition, she may be eligible for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

NRDC v. EPA

Pursuant to section 172(e) of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), a state may implement tighter air quality controls which are “not less stringent than” the requirements imposed by section 185 of the CAA.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Taylor v. Yee

The California Comptroller is not violating property owner's due process rights when carrying out the notice procedures of the Unclaimed Property Law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Kyzar v. Ryan

It is proper to reject a sufficiency of the evidence claim when the state presented sufficient evidence of the elements of the alleged crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Reid v. Johnson & Johnson

Claims of “no trans fat” authorized by the FDA may mean that the product contains an insignificant amount of trans fat.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

Fairfield-Suisun USD v. Dep’t of Educ.

A school district lacks statutory right of action to seek declaratory and injunctive relief regarding alleged violations of certain procedural requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its implementing regulations regarding complaint resolution proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Baker v. Microsoft Corp.

Individual causation does not need to be proven in a class action lawsuit where the plaintiffs are claiming that a design defect breached the express warranty.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County

Decisions to reject ads that threaten the transportation system’s mission to provide safe and reliable transportation for its customers, must be both reasonable and viewpoint neutral in order to comply with the First Amendment rights of those seeking to run the ad.

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

United State v. Zaragoza-Moreira

When potentially exculpatory evidence has been destroyed by a governmental body, a showing that the investigating officer understood its exculpatory value will result in a finding of bad faith and a violation of the defendant's due process rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ali v. Rogers

A district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over claims brought against a private individual when the claims are required to be brought against the United States pursuant to the Public Vessel Act and Suits in Admiralty Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

Curiel v. Miller

The one year limitations period in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act for a state prisoner to file a federal habeas petition is not tolled when the state appeal was determined to be untimely.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Daire v. Lattimore

When a defendant brings an ineffective assistance of counsel claim alleging an evidentiary omission, the court must consider all the relevant evidence that could have been presented, but cannot second-guess sound trial strategy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Picot v. Weston

A district court may properly dismiss a diversity action for lack of specific personal jurisdiction when a defendant neither purposefully avails his or herself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum state, nor aims his or her conduct at the forum state.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Kohler v. Eddie Bauer

A plaintiff bringing an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit is not required to prove a violation through expert testimony, rather a lay witness may be used.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Lisker v. Monsue

Police officers acting as witnesses may claim absolute immunity to protect themselves from liability for testimony at trial and preparatory activities “inextricably tied” to testimony at trial.

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

Munns v. Kerry

In order for a claim of relief to be granted, a plaintiff must show the potential for future harm they are likely to suffer if their claim is not granted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

MTB Enter. v. ADC Venture 2011-2

Plaintiffs suing under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, are jurisdictionally limited to bringing the claim only before the District Court for the District of Columbia, or the district court in which the depository institution’s principal place of business is located.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Marcia-Acosta

A court “may not rely on an extraneous factual-basis statement detail, standing alone, to supply the narrowing for purposes of the modified categorical approach” for sentencing, when there is “no narrowing through the indictment, information, or other charging document, and no narrowing of the offense of conviction through the actual conviction documents or pleas.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Kohler v. Bed Bath & Beyond

A tenant store of a shopping center is not responsible for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act that exist in common areas controlled by the landlord.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars

Where there is more than one reasonable interpretation of an administrative regulation, and the administrative agency has accepted one of those interpretations, the court must defer to that decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

United States v. Haischer

A defendant in a criminal prosecution is not required to admit guilt as a precondition to raising an affirmative defense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Hymas

A preponderance of the evidence standard is appropriate when calculating losses due to charged conduct; and a clear and convincing standard is appropriate when calculating losses related to dismissed charges.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Crow Tribal Housing Auth. v. HUD

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development is acting under the authority provided in 25 U.S.C. §§ 4165, an on-site investigation resulting in deductions in grant payouts triggers the opportunity for a hearing, but the party being investigated must invoke the right to a hearing in a timely manner.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tribal Law

Medina v. Chappell

A court must take into account all mitigating evidence to evaluate whether a defendant has been prejudiced because of ineffective counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Maldonado v. Holder

The Convention Against Torture does not place the burden on the petitioner to prove that internal relocation is impossible with regard to internal relocation and deferral of removal proceedings; also, such evidence, if relevant, must be considered when assessing whether it is more likely than not that a petitioner will be tortured if removed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Moe

When a defendant is charged with a single conspiracy, the court is not required to instruct the jury on the difference between a single conspiracy and multiple conspiracies if the instructions already inform the jury as to that difference.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Shaw

In bank fraud, the government does not need to prove that a financial institution was the intended victim of the fraud.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Fries

Where the nature of criminal acts have the potential to cause suffering to many people, the federal government has the authority to prosecute pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 229(a)

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Barnett v. Norman

Where a “necessary and material” witness refuses to testify (notwithstanding constitutional, statutory, or common-law rules that bar the testimony), a judge must attempt to encourage the testimony—or explain on the record why no attempt was made—and cannot permit witnesses to opt out of testifying.

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

Doe v. Ayers

Counsel must investigate if counsel knows, or should know, that particular evidence might yield more mitigating evidence with further investigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

April 35 summaries

Elmore v. Sinclair

Counsel’s strategic trial decisions must be objectively reasonable to defend against a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage

A case becomes “removable” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1446 when the Class Action Fairness Act ground for removal is first disclosed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Reyes v. Dollar Tree Stores

Subject matter will exist when a state court's class certification creates a new occasion for removal and permits a second removal, which is timely if filed within thirty days of the class certification.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

AmeriPride Serv. v. Texas Eastern Overseas

When determining the allocation of contribution costs in multi-party litigation, where some of the parties have settled, the district court has discretion in determining the most equitable approach, but the court must explain its methodology.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Eminence Investors v. BNYM

The Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) securities exception under 28 U.S.C. § 1453(d)(3) applies where all of the claims in the class action relate to certain rights, duties, or obligations created by, or pursuant to a security.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re Tristar Esperanza Properties

Under 11 U.S.C. § 510(b), a claim for a monetary judgment against a debtor must be subordinated to senior claims if it is for damages arising from, or rescission of, the purchase or sale of a security of the debtor.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

United States v. Richter

As long as a defendant has an opportunity to present a closing argument, counsel’s conduct can act as an implicit waiver of that right.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Chula Vista Citizens v. Norris

A requirement that the official proponent of an initiative be an elector does not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of speech of non-natural persons (i.e., corporations and associations); furthermore, a requirement that the name of the official proponent be published with a notice of intent and summary of the initiative withstands exacting scrutiny under the First Amendment because it bears a substantial relationship to electoral integrity, a sufficiently important governmental interest.

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

United States v. Simmons

The crime of escape does not inherently include a risk of physical injury to another and is not roughly similar to the offenses enumerating in the United States Sentencing Guidelines for the purpose of determining whether a defendant is a career offender for sentencing purposes.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Tamman

The dual application of the Broker-Dealer enhancement and the Special Skill enhancement does not amount to double counting at sentencing when the enhancements reflect separate and distinct behavior of the principal defendant from the defendant-accessory.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Barboza v. Cal. Ass’n of Prof. Firefighters

Using the common law of trusts, parties do not need to use express language to create a trust between a trustee and a beneficiary.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Golden v. Cal. Emergency Physicians

When determining whether a settlement agreement is reviewable, traditional standards of ripeness apply. Additionally, covenants not to compete are not necessarily prohibited under section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Astiana v. Hain Celestial Group

A state cause of action, based on federal cosmetic labeling laws, is not preempted by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and therefore, the primary jurisdiction doctrine should be utilized.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

United States v. Aguilar

A court may deny a motion under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (60)(b)(1) when the Falk factors are met.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Sahagun-Gallegos

The application notes to United States Sentencing Guidelines § 3E1.1 retroactively apply to pending criminal cases.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Urrutia-Contreras

At a revocation proceeding, a district court must provide the government an opportunity to offer a statement on their position pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 32.1.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Gonzalez Becerra

The term “victim,” as shown in the United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2B1.1, is not just limited to fraud victims suffering from a pecuniary harm, but also includes those suffering from physical, financial, dignitary, and proprietary harms.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Melendres v. Arpaio

An improperly joined non-jural entity may be dismissed and the proper entity added without harm to the underlying proceeding.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re County of Orange

The Erie doctrine's federalism principle requires federal courts sitting in diversity to import, as the federal rule, state law governing jury trial waivers where state law is more protective of the right to a jury trial than federal law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Tulalip Tribes v. State of Washington

The “most-favored tribe clause” in the Tulalip Compact does not require the State of Washington to enact an amendment if the amendment does not reflect the same limitations of the terms that the State of Washington has agreed to with another tribe.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

United States v. Mazzarella

A Fourth Amendment violation for lack of authority to search is likely if: (1) the government knew that it was conducting intrusive acts in violation of the Fourth Amendment, or acquiesced to such; or (2) if the third-party did not intend to further law enforcement efforts or the third-party’s own ends.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Prichard v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.

A court reviews denials of insurance benefits de novo when the governing plan document does not contain discretion-granting terms.

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

United States v. Alvarez-Ulloa

A court’s supplemental answer to a jury question is valid if it does not coerce the jury to make a certain determination.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Hornbuckle

Impermissible double counting during sentencing occurs when a court applies an enhancement for a necessary element of the underlying conviction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. Walls

A regulation that uses the phrase “affecting interstate commerce” indicates that Congress intended that regulation to extend to the outer limits of Congress’s commerce power.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Pizzuto v. Ramirez

Motions fall within the permissible scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) if they claim that the federal habeas corpus court improperly held procedurally defaulted claims, and that the state’s attorney perpetrated fraud on the federal district court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Bonds

A single, non-responsive answer by a grand jury witness cannot support a conviction for obstruction of justice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Arizona Libertarian Party v. Bennett

A statute that presents only a de minimis burden on a party’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights is subject to rational basis review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Allen v. The Boeing Co.

The term “event or occurrence” as used in the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(ii)(I), refers to a single event or occurrence that gives rise to the plaintiffs’ claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Paulsson v. Dorosz

Foreign laws cannot divest federal district courts of subject matter jurisdiction, unless a foreign law creates rights that can only be enforced by the foreign nation’s courts, then relief for violations of such rights cannot be sought in federal district courts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Luna v. Kernan

A petitioner seeking equitable tolling for a one-year filing deadline must show (1) there were extreme circumstances which prevented the petitioner from filing on time, and (2) the petitioner was diligent in pursuing the petitioner’s rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Torralba-Mendia

It is considered plain error when a district court fails to provide jury instructions for how to evaluate testimony that is admitted as expert and lay witness testimony, unless it can be shown that the error was not prejudicial.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

State of California v. FERC

Under § 205 of the Federal Power Act, in consideration of relief for transaction reporting violations, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must not structure the remand process to limit its review to proof of market concentration under its hub-and-spoke test, or exclude an enforceable transaction reporting requirement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Nativity Scenes Comm. v. City of Santa Monica

A cause of action alleging First Amendment violations by a city is not created under the Establishment Clause or heckler veto doctrine when the city passes a content-neutral time, place, and manner regulation that is supported by secular rationales, and could not reasonably be construed as primarily seeking to communicate disapproval of a religion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

United States v. Gardenhire

It is a plain error if the court concludes an act to be reckless when no subjective evidence associated with the risk was presented.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

May 36 summaries

Castro v. County of Los Angeles

Individual defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity when a constitutional protection is established at the time of the incident, and when sufficient evidence shows that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of harm to the plaintiff.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Qualified Immunity

Ctr. for Competitive Politics v. Harris

Disclosure requirements by the Internal Revenue Service for a non-profit organization’s significant donors do not violate the First Amendment when the disclosures further a compelling governmental purpose, and present no actual burden to the organization or the donors.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

United States v. Brown

Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(b)(3), courts have discretion to proceed with 11 jurors after excusing a juror for good cause during deliberations, even when alternates are available.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Patterson v. Wagner

International treaties with permissive language do not mandate a court to block extradition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Sam Francis Found. v. Christies

State regulations of wholly out of state commerce with no connection to in-state activity violate the Dormant Commerce Clause, but the violating provision may be severed from the statute as a whole, if allowed by state law, when the invalid provision is grammatically, functionally, and volitionally severable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

In re Adamson Apparel, Inc.

A corporate insider who personally guarantees the corporation’s loan is exempt from preference liability when (1) the insider had a bona-fide basis to waive the insider’s indemnification rights against the corporation, and (2) the insider took no subsequent actions that would repudiate the economic impact of that waiver.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Harrington v. Scribner

Under the Farmer test, deliberate indifference is found when an official is aware of a substantial risk of serious harm, but disregards that risk.

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

Davis v. Guam

Unequal treatment under the law is a judicially cognizable personal injury, even without tangible consequences, which satisfies Article III’s case and controversy requirement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

El Comité para el Bienestar de Earlimart v. EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is given broad deference to interpret provisions and to act accordingly, so long as its actions, interpretations, and determinations are not arbitrary or capricious.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Ashbey v. Archstone Prop. Mgmt.

A plaintiff may not waive their right to a judicial forum under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, unless they knowingly waive it.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Comstock v. Humphries

Information favorable to the defendant that the prosecutor fails to communicate, even inadvertently, is considered suppressed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Diaz v. Kubler Corp.

A debt collector is not prohibited from seeking an amount expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Consumer Credit

Sewards v. CIR

Workmen's compensation exclusions do not apply to retirement pensions calculated by reference to the employee's age and length of service, and therefore are taxable under the Internal Revenue Code.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

United States v. Brown

A defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to adequate representation and a right to choose one’s own counsel, when the defendant wants to excuse his current counsel for a public defender.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Gonzalez

A court does not abuse its discretion by providing an additional instruction to ensure juror unanimity on all of the elements of conspiracy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Cazares

District court rulings in criminal proceedings are likely to be upheld if the district court’s actions do not rise above the level of harmless error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Riley v. McDaniel

If a state statute states that three different elements of a crime need three separate definitions to prove mens rea, then it is a due process violation if two of the elements are coupled together under the same definition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Garcia v. Google

A plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction should be granted when: (1) the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) the plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable harm without the preliminary relief; (3) the balance of equities favors the plaintiff; and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Maldonado v. Lynch

Under the Convention Against Torture, an applicant for deferral of removal does not need to show that relocation within the country of removal is impossible to avoid torture, however, the applicant must show that torture is more likely to occur than not if removed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Boykin

If sentencing manipulation is proven by showing that the government’s conduct is extreme and outrageous, the court should apply a downward departure to the guidelines range during sentencing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Zavala v. Ives

An alien defendant, who is awaiting potential prosecution rather than deportation, will receive sentencing credit for their time spent in detention.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Ryan v. Editions Ltd. West

The Copyright Act’s preemption of state law only includes preemption of laws falling within the scope of the Act, or those that conflict with its purpose.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Pickle

A lack of response to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure’s Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions G(6) special interrogatories does not warrant a per se basis for striking a defendant’s claim.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

A-1 A-Lectrician v. Snipes

Statutory definitions are not considered vague when a limiting construction is provided for the court to apply to challenged terms.

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

Comm. for a Better Arvin v. EPA

To comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, a State Implementation Plan must include waiver measures if they are needed to comply with federal standards.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Garcia v. Lynch

An individual’s waiver of a right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals must be considered and intelligently made in order to be valid.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Evans

Evidence obtained during a traffic stop that was prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the traffic mission is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, unless there is independent reasonable suspicion to justify the delay.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Mtoched v. Lynch

An alien convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, and subject to removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), may submit a waiver under 8 U.S.C. §1182(h) if the alien is already in the United States, and submits an application for adjustment of status in conjunction with the waiver application.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Lair v. Bullock

Limitations on contributions to political candidates will be upheld if there is adequate evidence that the limitation furthers a sufficiently important state interest, and if the limits are “closely drawn.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

United States v. Johnston

When the indictment arises from the same actions, a defendant may not be convicted of both possession and receipt of child pornography since possession is a lesser-included offense of receipt.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Sierra Club v. Bureau of Land Mgmt.

The Bureau of Land Management has a duty to initiate consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Services under the Endangered Species Act, as well as a duty to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act if a project is a federal action that is interrelated to another project.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

LeGras v. AETNA Life Ins. Co.

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s federal common law, the deadline to appeal is extended to the following business day when the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

Nettles v. Grounds

A habeas claim is cognizable only if it will “necessarily spell speedier release” from custody, meaning that the relief sought will either terminate custody, accelerate the future date of release from custody, or reduce the level of custody.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Martinez

A defendant is not removable based on an aggravated felony if the defendant has been convicted of a child molestation offense that does not satisfy the generic elements of sexual abuse of a minor; nor can a court apply the modified categorical approach when a statute is indivisible and missing elements of the generic definition of sexual abuse of a minor.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

McCormack v. Herzog

An individual may have standing to challenge an abortion statute if the individual could be prosecuted in the future based on a past violation of the statute, or when the individual intends to perform abortions that would violate the statute.

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

Stankova v. Metro. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co.

Summary judgment should not be granted when there is a triable issue of fact.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

June 64 summaries

Guam Indus. Servs. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co.

Insurance policies with unambiguous terms will be interpreted by their ordinary meaning.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Allen v. Bedolla

A district court must comprehensively review all factors to a class action settlement, and must give a reasoned response to all non-frivolous objections when determining the settlement’s substantive fairness.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Britton v. Colvin

An administrative law judge may disregard medical opinions that are brief, conclusory, and inadequately supported by clinical findings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Pensinger v. Chappell

A kidnap-murder special circumstance requires proof that the kidnapping was committed for an independent felonious purpose, meaning that the kidnapping was not merely incidental to the murder.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Big Lagoon Rancheria v. State of California

A class III gaming casino is only allowed on Indian lands if conducted in conformance with a Tribal-State compact entered into by the Indian tribe and the state, from which the State has an obligation to negotiate in good faith.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Escobedo v. Apple American Group

It is an abuse of discretion when a court denies an in forma pauperis application based on the financial resources of the litigant’s spouse without a reasonable inquiry into the availability and sufficiency of the spouse’s funds.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Kohn Law Group v. Auto Parts Mfg. Miss.

The first-to-file rule allows for a federal court to stay a proceeding before it if it finds that substantially similar parties are litigating similar issues in another district court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

K.W. v. Armstrong

The Medicaid Act requires an agency to inform every applicant of their right to a hearing at the time of any action affecting their claim, of which the notice must contain the reasons for the intended action.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Northbay Wellness v. Beyries

Debts that are incurred when an attorney steals money from a client are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings, regardless of “unclean hands.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Sam K. v. State of Hawaii Dep’t of Educ.

A department of education may give implied consent for the placement of a student with disabilities in private education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by failing to timely develop an alternative when a student is likely to continue attending the same school, ultimately creating a bilateral placement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Flam v. Flam

Federal magistrate judges have no authority to make determinations on motions to remand because magistrate judges lack the authority to rule on dispositive motions.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Garcia-Mendez v. Lynch

An alien does not, by virtue of the alien’s status as an applicant for special rule cancellation of removal, meet the definition of a Violence Against Women Act self-petitioner, nor does an applicant for special rule cancellation, by virtue of that status, become eligible to seek a section 212(h) waiver.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters v. Allegiant Air

An advocacy group is considered a Railway Labor Act representative when it seeks certification from the National Mediation Board, or voluntary recognition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Medina-Nunez v. Lynch

An alien’s acceptance into the Family Unity Program, without inspection, does not qualify under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a) for the seven-year residency requirement to file an application for cancellation of removal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Slone v. CIR

To determine whether a company, which sold its shares, received any practical economic benefits other than the creation of income tax losses, the court must consider relevant subjective and objective factors.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

United States v. Crooked Arm

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, parts of the migratory bird are distinguishable from the entire migratory bird as a whole, and therefore, selling parts of a migratory bird is not equivalent to selling the actual bird, which is a felony.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Gonzalez-Flores

To show an immigration order was fundamentally unfair under 8 U.S.C. §1326(d), an alien has the burden to show prejudice, which is decided by using a balancing test of the alien's positive and negative attributes.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Bemore v. Chappell

Fraudulent misappropriation of defense funds does not create a conflict of interest absent a showing that the misuse caused counsel to investigate the case less thoroughly than counsel otherwise would.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Lee v. Jacquez

For a state court to bar review of a habeas petition by a federal court, the state procedure rule must be both independent of the federal question and adequate; adequacy is determined by asking whether the state rule was firmly established and regularly followed at the time of the petitioner’s default.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Nat’l Parks Conservation Ass’n v. EPA

Under the Clean Air Act, when the Environmental Protection Agency implements regulations regarding regional haze at a plant where the best available retrofit technology is already in place, the Environmental Protection Agency does not need to provide a detailed explanation for the regulation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Zapata v. Vasquez

In order to demonstrate ineffective counsel on habeas review, a defendant must demonstrate (1) the performance by the defendant’s attorney was deficient, (2) the performance prejudiced the defendant’s defense, and (3) that the state court’s application of these standards were unreasonable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Acre Fuentes v. Lynch

A monetary threshold set forth in a statute is not a material element of conspiring to commit money laundering, and thus a tribunal who relies on the offender’s pre-sentence report to determine whether the threshold was met does so properly.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Osuna-Alvarez

A person who uses the identity of another person commits identity theft regardless if they had the other person's permission.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Alaska Wilderness League v. Jewell

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, when a plan meets all the statutory requirements, approval is not arbitrary or capricious.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Turner v. City & Cty. of San Francisco

Government employees are not afforded First Amendment protection when they voice grievances about employee-employer internal affairs, because those matters are not of or relating to public concern.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

United States v. Alcantara-Castillo

A prosecutor may not create a scenario to force a defendant to testify on a government witness’s credibility.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

In The Matter of Cloobeck

A trustee must give notice and a hearing before an administrative expense is made.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Teamsters Local Union No. 117 v. Wash. Dep’t of Corr.

Facially discriminatory hiring practices may be legal if the characteristic being discriminated against is bona fide occupational qualification and is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

United States v. Yamashiro

A defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel is violated when he is denied counsel during victim allocution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Flores v. Huppenthal

A plaintiff does not have standing to bring a statewide claim for violations of the Equal Education Opportunities Act when they only have evidence of violations occurring in their school district.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

Naffe v. Frey

A government employee acts under the color of law when, while he is performing his duty, he purposefully influences the behavior of others, which thereby inflicts harm on the plaintiff.

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

United States v. Macias

The Confrontation Clause forbids the admission of testimonial statements of witnesses who did not appear at trial, unless the witness was unavailable and the defendant had a chance to cross-examine the witness.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Newman v. Wengler

If a state prisoner has been given a full and fair opportunity to litigate their claim in a lower court, then the prisoner’s federal petition for habeas corpus regarding that previous claim may not be granted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Coquico v. Lynch

To determine if a crime involves moral turpitude that would support an alien's removal, courts will compare the elements of the crime in question to elements of crimes already found to be crimes involving moral turpitude.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Cottonwood Envtl. Law Ctr. v. USFS

Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 Section 7(a)(2), consulting Federal Agencies are required to consult and explain to acting agencies, if it appears actions may affect endangered or threatened species, how the action affects the species or its critical habitat.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Pavoni v. Chrysler Group

Summary judgment may be granted where no genuine issue of material fact exists, after reviewing the case in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Ruiz-Vidal v. Lynch

When a defendant pleads no contest to a lesser offense necessarily included in the offense charged, that conviction may be used to determine whether the defendant has committed an aggravated felony under the Controlled Substances Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Toor v. Lynch

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act affords noncitizens a statutory guarantee to file one motion reconsidering a decision that an alien was removable, making the departure bars invalid.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Washington v. Ryan

A Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) motion will not be granted if a party’s sole purpose for filing the motion is to remedy an untimely notice of appeal and avoid the statutory time limit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Benko v. Quality Loan Service Corp.

A federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear a removed case due to the “local controversy exception” when (1) more than two-thirds of the class is from the state of the original filing; (2) at least one defendant seeks significant relief from the plaintiff whose alleged conduct forms a significant basis for the claims asserted; and (3) principal injuries related to the conduct occurred in the state of filing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Marsh v. Colvin

Administrative Law Judges cannot ignore medical opinions and records.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Seeboth v. Allenby

On review, when no level of scrutiny is stated, habeas corpus cannot be granted unless the conclusion is shown to be objectively unreasonable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Lizarraga-Tirado

A satellite image makes no assertion, cannot be hearsay, and therefore does not violate the Confrontation Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Walker V. Beard

A court may hold that there was a failure to state a claim where the state, under the RLUIPA, shows they used the least restrictive alternative.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Mitchell v. United States

A defense counsel may not be rendered ineffective if they made attempts at a defense strategy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Robinson v. Jewell

For a tribe to obtain title of a piece of land, there must be recognition by Congress of aboriginal title; absent such recognition by Congress, aboriginal title of occupancy may be terminated at any time without legal compensation to Indians.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tribal Law

WildEarth Guardians v. USFS

Environmental Impact Statements by the United States Forest Service must provide the public with adequate information about the impact of snowmobile uses on big game winter habitat, thus allowing the public to play a role in the decision making process as required by National Environmental Policy Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Ass’n of Irritated Residents v. EPA

It is not arbitrary for an agency to correct an error in officiating a rule after learning the rule was not legally acceptable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

United States v. Rodriguez

In order to be convicted of a crime that has a requisite mental state of willfulness or reckless disregard for human life, the record must provide sufficient evidence that the defendant acted willfully or with reckless disregard for human life.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Bear Valley Mut. Water , Co. v. Jewell

There is no independent cause of action under section 2(c)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, which requires the cooperation of state and local agencies to resolve water issues with the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Chess v. Dovey

A faulty jury instruction is considered harmless when the non-appealing party is able to show that it is more probable than not that the jury would have reached the same verdict had the erroneous instruction not been given.

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

Kaady v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co.

Under a known-loss provision of a contract, property damage would only be covered if the insured did not know the property damages occurred in whole or in part.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Addington v. US Airline Pilots Association

In a collective bargaining context, the duty of fair representation is analogous to a fiduciary duty and must be exercised without hostility or discrimination against any members.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Carlson v. Att’y Gen. of Cal.

A defendant will be unable to confront his accusers if the court finds the defendant’s actions fall under the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing doctrine.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Jones v. Williams

Under Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, relief is not an unequivocal expression of state consent to private suits for monetary damages.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Rosati v. Igbinoso

A complaint should not be dismissed without leave to amend deficiencies, unless the court finds it absolutely clear that amendment could not cure the deficiencies.

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

United States v. Jefferson

Under 21 U.S.C. §§ 952 and 960 the knowledge of the exact quantity and type of substance are not elements of the offense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Alaskan Eskimo Whaling Comm'n v. EPA

When the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) makes a contrary determinations of a non-contact cooling water causing unreasonable degradation of marine environments, then a court may allow the EPA to reconsider its decision with regard to issuing permits with the new evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Angelotti Chiropractor v. Baker

In order for a taking to occur, a plaintiff must suffer a sufficiently severe economic interference with his expectations regarding a vested right; economic substantive due process claims are evaluated with rational basis review, and may survive as long as the legislature’s means are rationally related to the goal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

CHMM v. Freeman Marine Equip.

A vessel owner is not barred by the economic loss doctrine from tort claims when a manufacturer of the product was not responsible for the manufacturing or production of the user-added item.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Admiralty

In Re Benvin

It is a violation of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1) for a district court to become involved in guilty plea agreements.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

In Re United States

A court is not categorically precluded from expressing the merits of the mandamus when issuance would no longer be effective.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Esparza

Hearsay violates the Confrontation Clause if the declarant’s statement is testimonial, if the declarant is unavailable, and the defense has had no prior opportunity to cross-examine the declarant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ward v. Apple, Inc.

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19, an alleged joint tortfeasor is a required party and must be joined when the alleging party claims an interest relating to the subject of the action, and the absence of the alleged tortfeasor could have negative a consequence on the plaintiff.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

July 26 summaries

McBride v. Lopez

To make a showing that an administrative remedy is effectively unavailable to an aggrieved inmate due to fear of retaliation for lodging a complaint, and therefore need not exhaust the administrative remedy prior to filing a claim in federal court, the inmate must show that the threat of retaliation deterred him from filing a grievance and that the threat would deter a reasonable inmate from pursuing the grievance procedure.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Pistor v. Garcia

Tribal Defendants are not entitled to sovereign immunity when they are sued in their individual capacity, rather than their official capacities, regardless if they are sued for actions done in the course of their official duties, unless any recovery will run against the tribe.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Vietnam Veterans of America v. CIA

Plain meaning of the Army Regulation 70-25 did not relieve the United States military of its duties to warn former test subjects of relevant information relating to their health as new information became available and provide medical care to those subjects.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Bastidas v. Chappell

When a magistrate judge believes to be issuing a nondispositive order, the judge may warn litigants that if they disagree and believe the matter to be dispositive, they have the right to file an objection to the determination with the district judge.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

In Re Transwest Resort Properties

In considering if an appeal from bankruptcy court is equitably moot, the court considers: (1) whether a stay was sought, (2) whether the plan has been substantially consummated, (3) the burden on third parties, and (4) whether relief can be granted without dismantling the plan.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Mitchell v. Valenzuela

A magistrate judge does not have the authority to deny a motion in which denial leads to ultimate relief sought; the magistrate judge must submit a report and recommendation to the district court for which will be reviewed de novo.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Garcia-Gonzalez

An alien who has been removed from the United States may not enter, attempt to enter, or be found in the United States without the Attorney General’s consent; a removal order is fundamentally unfair where the deportation proceeding violated due process and the alien was prejudiced as a result.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Pocklington

A court only has jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3565(c) to extend an individuals probationary period if the jurisdictional requirements of issuing a warrant or summons before the probation deadline are met.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Meridian Joint Sch. Dist. No. 2 v. D.A.

In a suit to determine the eligibility for a student to receive special needs, 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(3)(B)(i) and the discretion of the district court, allows for the prevailing parent to be awarded attorneys’ fees.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com

A defendant infringes a trademark when they use the mark in commerce in a manner likely to cause confusion as to a product’s source, affiliation, association, or the trademark holder’s approval of the trademark user.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trademarks

United States v. Guzman-Ibarez

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibilities Act applies to defendants who were under criminal indictment but had not been sentenced at the time of enactment, but it does not retroactively deprive defendants of relief that was available at the time a plea was entered.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Salman

A breach of a fiduciary duty occurs when an insider makes a gift of confidential information to a trading relative or friend; the personal benefit the individual receives does not have to be pecuniary, but may also include the benefit the person obtains from making the gift of information to the friend or relative.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Arce v. Douglas

The Arlington Heights factors should be used by courts to determine whether a defendant has acted with a discriminatory purpose.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Bldg. Indus. Ass’n V. U.S. Dep’t of Commerce

Under 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, after the agency considers economic impact, the entire exclusionary process is discretionary and there is no particular methodology that the agency must follow.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Wildlife Law

Maes v. Chavez

Federal habeas corpus petitions are subject to a one-year statute of limitations, but if a state court appeal is pending, the pendency period may be added to the statute of limitations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

U.S. Ex Rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts

Under the False Claim act, there are only two requirements for a claimant to be considered an “original source”: (1) must have direct and independent knowledge of the information on which their claims are based and (2) that they voluntarily provided that info to the Government before filing suit; playing a role in public disclosure is not required.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Zepeda

The Indian Major Crimes Act requires: (1) proof of quantum Indian blood, whether it is from a Federally recognized tribe, and (2) proof or affiliation with a federally recognized tribe. Further, a defendant needs to have been an Indian during the time of the charged conduct, and whether a tribe is Federally recognized is a matter of law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Williams v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co.

When using the federal common law, policy terms governed by Employee Retirement Income Security Act are interpreted in the ordinary and popular sense as a person of average intelligence and experience.

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

U.S. v. Roach

Under 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A), a person who “knowingly stores any hazardous waste without a permit” is criminally liable for that offense. Furthermore, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, “storage” means the containment of hazardous waste not disposed of.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Olive v. CIR

A trade or business, defined as the activity entered into with the dominant hope and intent of realizing a profit, trafficking in controlled substances prohibited by Federal law is precluded from deducting any amount of ordinary or necessary business expenses under 26 U.S.C. § 280E.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

United States v. Chan

Affirmative misrepresentations by defense counsel regarding immigration consequences can support an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Asarco v. Celanese Chemical Co.

Settlements between private parties following claims for contribution and cost-recovery under § 113(f)(3)(B) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, fall within the three-year statute of limitations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Kirkpatrick v. County of Washoe

Municipalities must obtain judicial authorization before taking a child into protective custody, unless there is reasonable cause to believe the child is in imminent danger.

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

United States v. Watson

DNA testing that did not exist at trial and can be used to make an identification from existing evidence and to rebut a presumption of untimeliness for motions to perform DNA testing because it is newly discovered evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Ye

A conviction for providing false information in a passport application does not require specific intent; the party need only willfully and knowingly supply an untrue statement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Amity Rubberized Pen Co. v. Mkt. Quest Grp.

Patent claims fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit, the court of appeals has no authority to decide a patent case on its merits. However, the court of appeals has the authority to transfer a case to the Federal Circuit if that court would have had jurisdiction at the time of filing and the transfer is in the interest of justice.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

August 19 summaries

United States v. Chadwell

A district court has the discretion to provide technology to the jury in order to view properly admitted video evidence in the jury deliberation room.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Rivera-Constantino

The standard definition of a crime should be used for sentencing when legislative intent informs the court what the definition was meant to be.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Bridewell-Sledge v. Blue Cross of Cal.

Under the Class Action Fairness Act, when two cases are consolidated they are to be viewed as one under a jurisdiction analysis.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

City of Oakland v Lynch

Judicial Review under the Administrative Procedure Act is precluded when the government’s decision to file a forfeiture action is committed to agency discretion by law, and when allowing the suit to proceed would impermissibly disrupt the existing forfeiture framework.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Salazar-Gonzales v. Lynch

In effective assistance of counsel is likely when an attorney advises a client to pursue relief that the client is statutory ineligible for, resulting in a the client’s inability to appeal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

ONRC Action v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

When water is transferred from one portion of that body of water to another, and the bodies are not meaningfully distinct from one another, no pollutants are deemed added, and a permit under the Clean Water Act is not required.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Acevedo v. Lynch

The definition of “child” in the Immigration and Nationality Act § 1101(c)(1) does not include stepchildren, and Congress did not intend § 1101(b)’s definition to apply to derivative citizenship under 8 U.S.C. § 1431(a).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Edwards v. First American Corp.

To qualify for adjudication as a nationwide class, the class must have numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequacy; furthermore, the common issues must predominate over the individual issues.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re: Musical Instruments

Horizontal agreements between competitors are generally violations of the Sherman Act per se, whereas vertical agreements, such as those between a manufacturer and retailer, are analyzed under the rule of reason, which considers the facts, history, and reasons for the agreement to determine its effect on the market.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Christensen

The two-step process to determine if the crime-fraud exception applies to potentially privileged materials requires: (1) a factual basis adequate to support a good faith belief by a reasonable person that in camera review may reveal evidence to establish the claim that the crime-fraud exception applies, and (2) an in camera review to determine privilege, and if shown, whether the crime-fraud exception applies.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

United States v. Sanchez-Gomez

The adoption of a generalized policy of shackling defendants during pretrial appearances before judges must have adequate justification.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Xcentric Ventures v. Borodkin

A finding of malicious prosecution includes proving an element, that the underlying claims were brought or continued without either factual or legal probable cause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Acosta-Olivarria v. Lynch

To determine whether Briones applies retroactively to an applicant for adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i), the Montgomery Ward five-factor balancing test must be applied on a case-by-case basis

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Bennett v. Bank Melli

Section 201(a) of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and 28 U.S.C. §1610(g) allow victims of terrorist attacks to collect money owed to them from instrumentalities of the state that sponsored the attacks.

Carrillo v. County of Los Angeles

An officer is entitled to qualified immunity if he or she meets two requirements: (1) the facts that the plaintiff alleges show a violation of a constitutional right; and (2) that constitutional right was “clearly established” at the time of the challenged conduct.

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

Paeste v. Gov’t of Guam

Taxpayers of territories are citizens under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and have rights to damages.

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

Andrade v. Lynch

Evidence of an asylum seeker’s non-gang related tattoos alone does not support a finding under the Convention Against Torture that the seeker is more likely than not to be tortured when removed to his home country.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Eno v. Jewell

Under the Equal Access to Justice Act, any grant of permission from the United States government is a license, regardless of form, and does not qualify as an adversary adjudication allowing the recovery of attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Kaass Law v. Wells Fargo Bank

The plain language in 28 U.S.C. § 1927 does not authorize sanctions against a law firm.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

September 31 summaries

Bakestrieri v. Menlo Park Fire Prot. Dist.

Preliminary and postliminary acts are compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act if they are principal activities.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

IATSE v. InSync Show Productions

Where there is a dispute over the duration of an arbitration clause within a collective bargaining agreement, it is up to the arbitrator to decide the contested interpretations of an evergreen clause and whether the arbitration clause expired or was terminated.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Rodriguez v. Sony Comput. Entm't Am

A private right of action does not exists for unlawful retention of personably identifiable information under 18 U.S.C. § 2710(c)(1).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Harkonen v. U.S.D.O.J.

The Department of Justice’s and the Office of Management and Budget’s exclusion of press releases from their definition of dissemination under the Information Quality Act is within their discretion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Miles v. Wesley

Federal court abstention is appropriate when intervention into state court proceedings would be intrusive and unworkable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

OTET v. Hillsboro Garbage Disposal

Health and welfare benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 cannot recover damages for a breach of contract claim against a business who received health care benefits for ineligible employees.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

United States v. Aubrey

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1168, funds paid to private contractors that are sufficiently maintained by and monitored by a tribal organization continue to be property of a tribal organization.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Watson v. City of San Jose

A higher court will reverse a district court’s order under an abuse of discretion standard only when the district court reaches a result that is implausible, illogical, or there is no inferential support that may be gleaned from the record.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Taylor v. San Diego Cty.

Laws that permit the state to indefinitely commit sexually violent predators to a mental health facility do not violate the Equal Protection Clause, nor is it a violation of the Due Process Clause to place the burden of proof on the committed individual to prove the individual is no longer dangerous.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Augare

“Sophisticated means” sentencing enhancement is applicable when a defendant employs coordinated and repetitive conduct to execute a criminal scheme.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Bobbitt v. Milberg LLP

When deciding what forum absent class member’s claims should be held using the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 145, domicile of the plaintiffs should carry little weight compared to other § 145 factors if the plaintiffs are from all 50 states.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re: Optical Disk Drive Antirust Litig.

A document reviewed by a grand jury is not protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) and may be released pursuant to a subpoena.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Pollinator Stewardship Council v. U.S.E.P.A.

When applying an agency generated standard, the court must apply the standard set out by the agency and determine if the conclusion of the matter is supported by the agency standard, as well as substantial evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Cascadia Wildlands v Bureau of Indian Affairs

The National Environmental Policy Act requires preparation of an Environmental Impact Study under circumstances that may affect human living conditions.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

In re Landmark Fence

Appellate courts have jurisdiction over appeals from a non-final order in the bankruptcy court in consideration of these factors: (1) the need to avoid piecemeal litigation; (2) judicially efficiency; (3) systemic interest in preserving the bankruptcy court’s role as the fact finder; and (4) delaying the review would cause either party irreparable harm.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Resilient Floor Covering PTF v. Michael's Floor Covering

Successors may be liable for its predecessors’ unlawful employer discrimination, so long as the successor took over the business with notice of the unfair labor practice liability, including withdrawal liability pursuant to the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

Lenz v. Universal Music

Prior to sending a takedown notification, a copyright holder must consider whether the material qualifies as fair use copyright exception; failure to do so creates a triable issue as to whether the copyright holder formed a subjective “good faith” belief that the use was not authorize by law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Magnetar Techs v. Intamin

No person is entitled to patent an invention that has been on sale for more than a year before having filed the application for the patent.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

United States v. Myers

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(c)(1) categorically prohibits judicial participation, except where a defendant waives the rule’s application to their case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

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

Under issue preclusion, and pursuant to the California Whistleblower Protection Act, a State Personnel Board’s decision does not give preclusive effects to a claimant seeking relief to a retaliation claim in court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

Idaho Bld. & Constr. Trades Council v. Inland Pac. Chapter of Assoc’d Builders & Contractors

If a state regulation of employee collecting bargaining activities and a regulation detailed in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) conflict, the National Labor Relations Board's interpretation of the NLRA governs if rational and consistent with the statute.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

United States v. Rosales-Gonzales

A district court judge has discretion to reject a party’s request or recommendation regarding a defendant’s sentence, even if the party’s recommendation is included in the plea agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. USFWS

Agency actions, even those made pursuant to the Environmental Species Act, must be upheld unless the agency’s action is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or inconsistent with the law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

DC Comics v. Towle

Authors of underlying works are entitled to sue third parties who make unauthorized copies of their derivative works, provided that the material copied derived from the underlying work.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

United States v. Flores

Where the government makes a misstatement of the law and misleading statements to the jury during a trial, the defendant’s appeal of their conviction will only be overturned if the defendant can prove that the error was plain and they were prejudiced as a result of the error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Hinojosa v. Davey

A law violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution when it applies to events occurring before its enactment and disadvantages the offender affected by it by altering the definition of criminal conduct or increasing the punishment for the crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Int’l Franchise Ass’n v. City of Seattle

In order to obtain a preliminary injunction, on must show: (1) the claim is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) the plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable harm without preliminary relief; (3) the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiff’s favor; and (4) a preliminary injunction is in the public interest.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

In the Matter of: Tower Park Props.

In order for an individual to have standing in bankruptcy court, the individual must satisfy three requirements: (1) qualify as a party of interest under 11 U.S.C. § 1109(b); (2) meet Article III standing; and (3) meet federal court prudential standing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Pena v. Lynch

Absent a few enumerated exceptions, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act does not allow any court to review a final expedited removal order.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am.

The Federal Arbitration Act will preempt a state rule that is not a generally applicable contract defense and that conflicts with the purposes of the Federal Arbitration Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Bradford v. Scherschligt

To determine the proper date of accrual for a claim, the court must identify the common law analogues to the claim and apply any distinctive accrual rules associated with it.

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

October 18 summaries

Chavez-Solis v. Lynch

When a convicting statute is categorically broader than the federal statute, and there is a realistic probability that the convicting statute would be applied to conduct not in the federal statute, the conduct is not an aggregated felony.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

McMonagle v Meyer

A misdemeanor appeal is immediately final in California once the California court of Appeals makes a final decision on the case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Moser

The lodestar method requires the court to calculate an attorney’s fee award by multiplying the market billing rate by the hours reasonably expended, regardless of a contingency fee agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Glick v Edwards

Under the rule of necessity, a judge may hear a case in which that judge is named a defendant to the case if the case cannot be heard otherwise.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

WB Partners v. CIR

A joint venture is a valid partnership when evidenced by: (1) the parties executing the terms of their agreement; (2) each party contributing; (3) the parties controlling their income and capital and reserving the right to make withdrawals; (4) each party being a principal and coproprietor sharing profits and losses equally; (5) conducting business in the joint names of both parties; (6) the parties filing Federal partnership returns; (7) separate books of accounts existing; and (8) parties mutually controlling responsibilities for the enterprise.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Bikram's Yoga College v. Evolution Yoga

Copyright law protects only an expression of an idea, the words and pictures that describe the idea, but does not protect the idea itself.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Swoger v. Rare Coin Wholesalers

A continuance to conduct discovery is not appropriate when the party seeking the continuance had not diligently pursued the information requested.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

ASSE Int’l v. Kerry

Due process under the Administrative Procedure Act is violated when a person or entity does not have a meaningful opportunity to rebut significant portions of the evidence that an agency uses against it.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Moscoso-Castellanos v. Lynch

When served with notice to appear, an immigrant’s time of physical presence stops accruing upon notice, so long as the notice is full.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Stanislaus Food Prods. v. USS-POSCO Indus.

Allegations of conspiracies, based on circumstantial evidence, that violate the Sherman Antitrust Act must show specific evidence of the conspiracy, as well as evidence that tends to exclude the conclusion that the alleged conspirators acted individually.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Law

United States v. Conti

Omission of an element from jury instructions is not plain error where the facts supporting the element are proven by strong and convincing evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Eyraud

Pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, courts have discretion to include attorneys’ fees in a restitution order when the victim acquired “reasonably necessary” expenses to involve law enforcement in prosecuting a defendant.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Ochoa

A district court's sentence of imprisonment will not be final unless there is a formal break in proceedings where it can be logically and reasonably determined that the sentencing has finished.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Hajro v. USCIS

In order to retain jurisdiction under a settlement agreement, the order dismissing the case with prejudice needs to incorporate the terms of the agreement or expressly retain it.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

In re ChinaCast Educ. Corp. Sec. Litig.

The securities common law adverse interest rule is generally not applied in cases where an innocent third party relies on an agent’s apparent authority.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

Crittenden v. Chappell

A preemptory challenge violates the Equal Protection Clause if the challenge is motivated in substantial part by race, regardless of whether the strike would have been made had race not played a role.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Pauma v. State of California

The doctrine of retroactivity does not apply to contracts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

EEOC v. McLane Co.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has broad powers to investigate potential violations of Title VII, and need only establish that the evidence it seeks is relevant and material, not that it is necessary, to the investigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

November 17 summaries

United States v. Dreyer

The Posse Comitatus Act’s prohibitions against the use of the military to directly assist civil law enforcement activities applies to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and its civilian agents.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Galan

When calculating the amount of restitution charged to a defendant who was convicted of distribution or possession of child pornography, the losses caused by the original abuse of the victim should be disaggregated from the losses caused by the ongoing distribution and possession of images of that original abuse.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Kowalczyk

Amicus counsel that provides meaningful adversarial testing of the prosecution’s case satisfies a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Tohono O’odham Nation v. State of Arizona

Obstacle preemption analysis calls for an examination of the federal statute as a whole and an identification of the purpose and intended effects of the statute to determine if a challenged state statute creates an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the objectives of Congress.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

United States v. Falcon

The repeal of the statute of limitations for federally guaranteed student loan collection does not violate a student loan debtor’s due process rights.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Zapien v. Martel

A criminal conviction will not be overturned unless a state appellate court is objectively unreasonable in finding that a trial court's determination of trustworthiness was supported by the evidence and a defendant's Confrontation Rights are not violated when a trial court admits statements made by a witness at a preliminary hearing, who refuses to testify at trial, because preliminary hearing testimony is sufficiently reliable.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Public Integrity Alliance, Inc. v. City of Tucson

Primary and general elections are “two parts of a ‘unitary’ process.” Thus, where a citizen is denied the right to vote in the primary election, that citizen’s right to vote in the general election is pointless.

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

Jones v. Davis

Federal courts may not consider novel constitutional theories on habeas review, without considering all parties’ arguments regarding exhaustion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

NLRB v. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Mkt.

A party must file a petition to revoke a subpoena if it wants to make a claim that the subpoena has a defect, and therefore, is insufficient.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

I.R. v. Los Angeles USD

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school districts are required to initiate a due process hearing when the school district and parent disagree over the appropriate education program for a child who falls under the Act if the school district finds that the proposed special education program is necessary to the overall education needs of the child.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Disability Law

Bringas-Rodriguez v. Lynch

Courts will uphold the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decisions regarding asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture protection when substantial evidence for reversal is lacking.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United State v. Garcia-Jimenez

Where a state statute’s required mens rea is more broad than a federal statute, the crime will not constitute a crime of violence; a crime-of-violence sentencing enhancement will therefore be improper.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Shirley v. Yates

Where a prosecutor cannot remember the reason why he struck certain venirememebers, if he/she testifies both to his/her general jury selection approach and that he/she is confident that a race-neutral preference was the actual reason for the strike, it is sufficient circumstantial evidence to satisfy Batson Step Two.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Ramirez v. Cty. of San Bernardino

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 does not require that the matter of course amendment be exhausted before an amendment may be made pursuant to 15(a)(2).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Bare

Under United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B), a 4-level enhancement is appropriate when the defendant used or possessed any firearm or ammunition in connection with another felony offense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Nozzi v. Hacla

Section 8 beneficiaries of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 have a due process property interest in their benefits.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Transbay Auto Service v. Chevron USA

When a party is vaguely aware of the contents of a writing, the party can adopt the writing as the party’s own statement under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(B), and is therefore not hearsay.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

December 31 summaries

Flores-Rios v. Lynch

Under the framework for “membership in a particular social group”, the family is a distinct social group.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Daniel v. Ford Motor Co.

The Consumers Legal Remedies Act prohibits “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or lease of goods or services.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Consumer Credit

United States v. Medina-Carrasco

A plea agreement is not ambiguous if the sentence given is within the range contemplated by the plea agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Cascadia Wildlands v. Thrailkill

The court defers to the agency on matters of science.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

SEIU v. Los Robles Reg'l Med Ctr.

In order for the statute of limitations to begin running under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, the employer must communicate an “unequivocal, express rejection of the union’s request for arbitration.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Labor Law

United States v Holden

When defining continuing offense, a court will look at either explicit language of the substantive law on point, or the intent of Congress in creating the law coupled with the nature of the crime committed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Lyall v. City of Los Angeles

Attendees who lack current possessory interest in a venue and do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy lack standing to challenge a warrantless search of the venue.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Sjurset v. Button

Officials may remove children from their parents’ custody without a court order only if the information they have at the time of the seizure provides reasonable cause to believe that the children are in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and that removal is reasonably necessary to prevent that injury.

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

United States v. Lloyd

The doctrine of harmless error requires a court to affirm a conviction if there is an overwhelming presence of guilt.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Gilbert

When a judgment is entered but leaves open the amount of restitution to be determined, the statute of limitations for filing a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion does not restart when the actual amount of restitution is later entered.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Dorrance v. United States

Taxpayers who obtain stock through demutualization and subsequently sell the stock cannot claim a basis in that stock for tax purposes because their basis in the mutual rights that were terminated during the demutualization was zero.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Uthe Technology Corp. v. Aetrium, Inc.

The one satisfaction rule will not preclude a plaintiff’s suit for additional damages against other defendants related to the same injury if the remedy in the second suit was not available in the first case and if court offsets the previously awarded damages from the subsequent claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

Dominguez v. Colvin

It is proper for a district court to remand the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security to the agency for additional investigation or explanation, unless certain prerequisites are met for remanding for benefits.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Frank v. Schultz

Due process violations do not exist if the error the inmate complains of is corrected in the administrative appeal process.

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

Talaie v. Wells Fargo Bank

Absent any clear intent of Congress for retroactivity, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g) notice requirement to borrowers within thirty days from when their mortgage is sold, transferred, or assigned to a third party does not apply retroactively.

Mondaca-Vega v. Holder

When important individual interests are at stake, the court applies the intermediate standard of proof, which may be articulated as either “clear and convincing” or “clear, unequivocal, and convincing.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Ai v. United States

Section 606(b) of the Covenant which governs United States-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands relations applies equally to the CNMI as it does to Guam; thus, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act applies to all employees and employers in Guam, notwithstanding their citizenship or residency.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

State of California v. FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may apply the Mobile-Sierra presumption of justness and reasonableness in the context of short-term spot sale contracts whenever a contracted rate is involved.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Jewel v. National Security Agency

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedue Rule 54(b), when an action presents more than one claim for relief, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more claims or parties only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Garcia v. Long

A criminal suspect in custody of police must unambiguously and unequivocally invoke the right to remain silent for interrogation by the officer to cease, and if an officer tries to clarify an unambiguous request, then receives an equivocal response, the suspect’s post-request testimony cannot be used to question the clarity of the first request.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Viloria v. Lynch

The U.S. Court of Appeals only has jurisdiction in removal proceedings over final orders of removal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Americans For Prosperity Foundation v. Harris

Exacting scrutiny applies to compelled disclosure requirements; compelled disclosure of IRS Form 990 Schedule B alone does not constitute First Amendment injury.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

McKinney v. Ryan

A sentencer in a capital case may not refuse to consider, as a matter of law, any relevant mitigating evidence offered by the defendant, including nonstatutory mitigating factors not causally connected to the crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Oyama v. University of Hawaii

A public university may deny an application for a professional certification without violating the applicant's First Amendment rights when the decision to deny the application is directly related to defined and established professional standards, is narrowly tailored to serve the University's mission, and reflects reasonable professional judgment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Taylor

A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014, for making a false statement, requires that the statement knowingly be false to influence the bank’s actions in a banking transaction, but not that the bank bear any risk of loss or liability.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Christenson

If a copyright holder challenges a first sale defense on the grounds that the copyrighted material was licensed and not sold, the burden shifts to the copyright holder to prove so, instead of the individual raising the affirmative defense bearing the burden of satisfying the statutory requirements.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Correo-Ruiz v. Lynch

The five-factor balancing test from Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder is used to determine whether the Briones rule may be applied retroactively in a given case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

DM Residential Fund v. First Tennessee Bank

A party seeking the remedy of rescission must rescind promptly upon discovering the facts that would entitle rescission, and not engage in activities inconsistent with canceling the contract.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

Styers v Ryan

It has never been held by the Arizona Supreme Court that a conditional writ of habeas corpus that has been issued necessarily means that a sentence or conviction resulted from a constitutional error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Cuprite Mine Partners v. Anderson

A trial in suit for partition by sale required by Arizona law is procedural and therefore a federal court in diversity is required to follow federal procedural rules.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Property Law

Shirrod v. OWCP

When calculating attorney’s fees under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the relevant community billing rate is determined based on city where the litigation took place.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees