Willamette Law Online

(28 summaries)

Bradley Thayer

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

TitleExcerptFilling Date
Wood v. RyanCriminal Procedure: Where a state department of corrections withholds information regarding the method of a prisoner’s impending execution, a district court abuses its discretion in denying a preliminary injunction request delaying the execution until the prisoner receives this information, if: (1) the prisoner has raised serious questions as to the merits of a First Amendment claim; (2) the balance of equities tips sharply in the prisoner’s favor; (3) the prisoner will face irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted; (4) the injunction is in the public interest.(07-18-2014)
United States v. Lizzaraga-CarrizalesSentencing: The 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f) safety valve determination does not implicate the United States Supreme Court case Alleyne v. United States because no increase in the statutory minimum sentence occurs as a result, so a district court may engage in judicial fact-finding when making such a determination.(07-02-2014)
Davis v. Nordstrom, Inc.Employment Law: Under California law, a company’s revisions to an employee arbitration policy contained in its employee handbook precluding its employees from bringing class action lawsuits can be a valid agreement where the company: (1) satisfies minimal state law requirements for providing employees reasonable notice of the change; and (2) does not seek to enforce the arbitration provision during the notice period provided. (06-23-2014)
United States v. Quintero-JuncoSentencing: A district court that imposes a non-United States Sentencing Guidelines sentence for illegal reentry after deportation does not commit methodological or plain error where it treats the Guidelines as its starting point and then relies on the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors; and, a sentencing court’s improper execution in applying the modified categorical approach to a divisible statute when analyzing a defendant’s prior conviction is inconsequential where the elements of the pertinent statutory prong categorically match the elements of the United States Sentencing Commission’s definition of “forcible sex offense.”(06-12-2014)
Laguna v. Coverall North AmericaCivil Procedure: An award of attorney’s fees in a settlement agreement reached before class certification is fair, reasonable, and adequate under the lodestar method, if: (1) the relief sought is mostly injunctive and a fee-shifting statute exists; (2) the amount of the award is significantly less than the lodestar amount; and, (3) the reviewing court cross-checks the amount of the award against an alternative percentage-of-recovery method.(06-03-2014)
United States v. GarzaCriminal Procedure: A district court does not commit plain error in not sua sponte convening a hearing on the defendant’s competency where the medical history of a defendant is not strong and there is not a clear connection between the defendant’s ostensible dementia and any negative effect on his capability of understanding the proceedings or in aiding counsel in his defense. (05-20-2014)
LOWD/BMBP v. CONNAUGHTONEnvironmental Law: Where the United States Forest Service’s final environmental impact statement relating to a logging project relies upon a particular forest’s travel management plan, in terms of regulating off-road motorized travel, reducing the amount of roads in a forest, and addressing environmental harms, which is later withdrawn; and, plaintiffs make adequate showings that they are: (1) likely to prevail under the National Environmental Policy Act, (2) likely to face irreparable harm, and (3) that the balance of equities tips in their favor – plaintiffs are entitled to the issuance of a preliminary injunction. (05-08-2014)
Stockwell v. City & Cnty. of San FranciscoCivil Procedure: Where a district court evaluates the merits of a case in assessing whether the common question required for certification of a class under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2) exists, instead of evaluating the commonality of the questions presented to the members of the putative class, there is an abuse of discretion reversible under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f). (04-24-2014)
Forbess v. FrankeHabeas Corpus: Where a mental illness suffered by a defendant involves delusions that are so severe that he cannot rationally understand the importance of timely filing a federal habeas corpus petition; and, where the peculiar or unique nature of that illness makes it impossible for him to file, and in fact caused him not to timely file that petition, such a mental illness is sufficient to entitle that defendant to an equitable tolling of the 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A) one-year statute of limitation.(04-18-2014)
United States v. Dominguez -MaroyoquiCriminal Law: A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111(a) is not a categorical crime of violence, and a felony conviction under that subsection cannot support a “crime of violence” sentence enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b)(1)(A). (04-07-2014)
Murray v. SchriroHabeas Corpus: A denial of a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition brought after April 24, 1996 to challenge a murder conviction and capital sentence will not be overturned where the petitioner’s claims fail to show the state court decision: “(1) was contrary to clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court, (2) involved in an unreasonable application of such law, or (3) …was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the record before the state court” under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. (03-17-2014)
Garcia v. Google, Inc.Copyright: A trial court abuses its discretion in denying a preliminary injunction for the removal of a film available online in a copyright case when the video contains a performance that a plaintiff actress makes intentionally for a different film, and the plaintiff actress establishes: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits of her claim; (2) the likelihood of irreparable harm resulting from a denial of injunctive relief; and (3) a causal connection between the copyright infringement and the alleged harm.(02-26-2014)
United States v. Vasquez-PerezCriminal Procedure: The initial appearance provisions in Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.1, and the requirements therein, do not apply to a defendant already in custody for a separate offense when revocation proceedings begin; and, the procedural safeguards guaranteed by Boykin v. Alabama are not applicable in revocation proceedings. (02-10-2014)
Grenning v. Miller-StoutCivil Rights § 1983: In a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action brought by a prisoner on the basis of continuous illumination of his or her cell, summary judgment is not appropriate where material issues of fact exist regarding the actual brightness of the constant illumination in the cell, the effects thereof, and whether the prison officials were deliberately indifferent to those effects.(01-16-2014)
Cassirer v. Thyssen-BornemiszaPreemption: California Code of Civil Procedure § 338(c)(3) does not intrude on foreign affairs and thus is not unconstitutional on field preemption grounds, and§ 338(c)(3) does not violate a museum, gallery, auctioneer, or dealer’s First Amendment rights.(12-09-2013)
Ritchie v. United StatesTort Law: The Feres doctrine will bar third-party wrongful death claims arising out of military service activities, and the “in utero” exception does not apply when the servicewoman mother has been injured by the purported negligent acts. (10-24-2013)
Castle v. Eurofresh, Inc.Disability Law: A prisoner of the state is not the “employee” of a company contracting with a state prison under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because the prisoner’s labor belongs to the state; further, where such a contracting company receives no direct or indirect federal financial assistance, the company is not subject to the requirements imposed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; however, a state may be held liable for disability discrimination acts that its contractors commit.(09-24-2013)
United States v. Bonilla-GuizarCriminal Procedure: A district court does not abuse its discretion in permitting a Immigration and Customs Enforcement case agent to testify as an expert witness where the testimony has some probative value. Brandishing a firearm is insufficient to warrant the application of a sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2A4.1(b)(3) for use of a dangerous weapon.(09-09-2013)
Dandino, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Transp.Administrative Law: A party may file a petition for review under 49 U.S.C. § 521(b)(9) within 30 days of actual notice of a final order by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; when a final order is sent by mail without proof of actual receipt, a rebuttable presumption arises that the order was received within three days.(08-30-2013)
Alaska Wilderness League v. EPAEnvironmental Law: Where the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7661c(e), is ambiguous as to whether “increment” requirements are “applicable” to a temporary source, such as a drilling vessel, the Ninth Circuit will defer to the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Appeals Board’s reasonable interpretation of the statute.(08-15-2013)
Dennis v. HartCivil Procedure: A suit is improperly removed from state court where a plaintiff asserts a state-law cause of action and when a plaintiff’s allegations, under the well-pleaded complaint rule, are insufficient to support federal jurisdiction.(07-31-2013)
Meier v. ColvinAdministrative Law: Where a party moves under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), for an award of attorney’s fees and costs, the United States government holds the burden of proving its position – including both its litigation position and the underlying agency action giving rise to the civil action – was substantially justified. Further, in the context of social security, the courts treat a decision of an administrative law judge as the underlying agency action. (07-23-2013)
Roth v. CHA Hollywood Medical CenterCivil Procedure: As long as a defendant has not lost its right to remove due to a failure to timely file a notice of removal, 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1) or (b)(3) does not bar a defendant from removal to federal court when it discovers, after its own investigation, that the case is removable.(06-27-2013)
United States v. WattersCriminal Procedure: For the purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), which penalizes a person for “corruptly” does not have a “knowingly” mens rea component.(06-05-2013)
McCullough v. GraberCriminal Procedure: A habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 asking the Bureau of Prisons to reconsider a rejected application to the Second Chance Act’s now defunct elderly offender pilot program is moot because the relief requested is no longer available.(05-10-2013)
United States v. Anguiano-MorfinCriminal Procedure: Although the “willfulness” requirement in 18 U.S.C. § 911 necessitates knowledge on the part of the defendant, jury instructions are adequate under circumstances where a “misrepresentation...[is] deliberately made” because this “suggests a knowing falsehood.”(04-18-2013)
Firebaugh Canal Water Dist. v. United StatesAdministrative Law: The United States Department of the Interior’s broad discretion precludes claims for inadequate drainage under the San Luis Act, and a failure to provide adequate drainage does not constitute “agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed” under the Administrative Procedure Act.(04-05-2013)

Oregon Court of Appeals

TitleExcerptFilling Date
State v. GuckertCriminal Law: An indictment that alleges specific sexual touching need not be proven wherein the indictment is more specific than the legal standard in ORS 163.427. (12-18-2013)