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Edit Delete 11th Circuit


U.S. v. Travis, Apr-04-2014

Per curiam, the circuit finds that the lower court properly sentenced defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm. His past conviction for vehicular flight from a police officer counts as a crime of violence for sentencing purposes. A high speed chase is categorically violent because it presents a serious risk of injury to people nearby, including the officers. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 11th Circuit


U.S. v. Grzybowicz, Apr-04-2014

J. Carnes finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of child sexual abuse and producing child pornography. When a coworker left her daughter with him for five to ten minutes, he molested the girl and took pictures of it, which he sent to his computer using his cell phone. There is no evidence that he attempted to send these to any other person, so he should not have been convicted of distributing child pornography. However, this count was sufficiently distinguished from the others that a complete retrial is unnecessary. The sentence must be vacated since the court may have taken this wrongful conviction into account when sentencing for all of the crimes. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete 1st Circuit


Butler v. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Apr-04-2014

J. Torruella finds that the lower court properly dismissed appellant's complaint for wrongful foreclosure because appellant failed to state a claim given that the foreclosure sale of his home complied with applicable law. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 1st Circuit


Marsadu v. Holder, Apr-04-2014

J. Torruella finds that the Board of Immigration Appeals properly denied appellants' motion to reopen removal proceedings because appellants did not show a pattern of persecution in Indonesia against Christians such as themselves. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 1st Circuit


Valsamis v. Gonzalez-Romero, Apr-04-2014

J. Selya finds that the lower court properly entered judgment for respondent in a breach of loan agreement action, as appellant did not meet his burden of proof concerning to who, or to what entity, the $700,000 loan had been made. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 1st Circuit


U.S. v. Almeida, Apr-04-2014

J. Stahl finds that the lower court properly admitted evidence found in a search of appellant's truck because appellant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the truck in which he was a passenger or a person permitted to drive. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


Adelphia Recovery Trust v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Apr-04-2014

J. Winter holds that plaintiff's fraudulent conveyance claims are barred under the doctrine of judicial estoppel. Appellant "may recover only property owned by the parent-company debtor. The various schedules and [appellant's] Chapter 11 plan, which were consummated with the agreement of appellant and its predecessors in interest in the bankruptcy proceeding, all treated the property transferred as owned by a separate subsidiary." The court declines to require defendant and the courts to have to unravel previous proceedings "to determine what would have happened had appellant or its predecessors in interest claimed ownership of the [account at issue] in a timely fashion." Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


Peters v. Committee on Grievances, Apr-04-2014

Per curiam, the circuit finds that a seven-year suspension from the practice of law was a reasonable sanction for appellant's violation of various provisions of the New York Code of Professional Responsibility. Appellant Kristan Peters allegedly told an associate to "mark up" deposition transcripts so that they would be protected under attorney work-product privilege. Appellant also used transcripts from a New York case for a related Massachusetts action in violation of a confidentiality order. Given the nature of the conduct and appellant's "venal intent," the seven-year suspension is reasonable. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


Psihoyos v. John Wiley & Sons, Apr-04-2014

J. Lohier holds that the lower court properly found that defendant is not liable on most of plaintiff's copyright infringement claims for using his photographs in its textbooks. Statutory damages were also properly awarded for the remaining four claims due to willful infringement. There need not be a correlation between statutory damages and actual damages. Several relevant factors went into the statutory damage award, including a finding of willfulness, that defendant earned substantial profits on the books, and that defendant could be viewed as a repeat offender. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


Wadsworth v. Allied Professionals, Apr-04-2014

J. Lynch holds that the Liability Risk Retention Act preempts application of New York's direct action statute to foreign risk retention groups in a case where plaintiff sued under that statute to recover an unsatisfied state court judgment entered against defendant's insured. The LRRA "sharply limits" the state's authority to regulate the operation of risk retention groups. The risk retention group may be regulated by the state in which it is chartered, which is Arizona in this case. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 3rd Circuit


U.S. v. Abbott, Apr-04-2014

J. Scirica finds that the lower court properly found that Pennsylvania's criminal statute governing possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance is divisible, and therefore subject to a higher sentence based on his prior criminal convictions. The lower court properly concluded that defendant's previous conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine is a predicate offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act, and that defendant was therefore subject to a minimum 15-year sentence. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 4th Circuit


Kolon Industries Incorporated v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours, Apr-04-2014

J. Diaz finds that the lower court properly held that E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. did not wield or attempt to wield monopoly power over a specific U.S. synthetic fiber market, specifically the para-aramid fiber used in fiber optic cables, body armor, tires and other industrial products. That DuPont's market share was less than 60 percent did not foreclose a finding of monopoly power, but that fact "does weigh heavily against such a finding." Also, that DuPont had "market power" did not, alone, prove that DuPont has "monopoly power." The facts showed that DuPont has had a "steady, decades-long loss in significant market share." Plaintiff was properly denied recusal, as plaintiff knew the facts that supported its motion for about a year before plaintiff first suggested recusal and for more than a year before plaintiff filed the recusal motion. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 4th Circuit


T-Mobile Northeast v. The Loudoun County Board, Apr-04-2014

J. Niemeyer finds that the district court properly refused to uphold a county board of supervisors' denial of T-Mobile's request to erect a silo tower in Lovettsville, Virginia. The board denied the request based on the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions, which is prohibited by statute as a basis for regulation. The board says that this reasoning belonged to only one member of the board. But the supervisor's comments were not isolated from the evidence or from the board's views. Meanwhile, the court properly denied T-Mobile's application to build a wireless facility at the specific site, as the tower would have interfered with the aesthetics of the surrounding area. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 5th Circuit


Crawford Professional Drugs v. CVS Caremark, Apr-04-2014

J. Egan finds that the lower court properly sent the parties' trade secret dispute to arbitration. Plaintiffs operate 23 locally owned drug stores and claimed that defendants unlawfully took patient and prescription information and used it to steal customers. Two plaintiffs entered into a provider agreement with defendant that contains an arbitration clause valid under the Federal Arbitration Act. The controlling Arizona law also allows non-signatory defendants to enforce the agreement through estoppel. Even if circumstances have changed, this at best means that a different arbitral forum will suffice, as opposed to a judicial one. The age of the arbitration agreement is irrelevant. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit


Russell v. Citigroup, Apr-04-2014

J. Sutton finds that the lower court properly found that plaintiff did not agree to arbitrate a pending court case when he accepted a job with defendant employer and signed a contract agreeing to arbitrate all employment-related disputes with the company. Employee's class action lawsuit addresses the years he worked for defendant from 2004 to 2009. Although he was re-hired in 2012 under a new contract that requires arbitration of class claims as well as individual claims, the new contract does not govern pending lawsuits. It is "improbable" that the company would allow a supervisor at a local call center to bind the company to arbitrate its dispute with plaintiff without first consulting its lawyers, or plaintiff's lawyer. With no evidence that either party expected the contract to apply to the pending lawsuit, the court must presume it applies only to future disputes. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit


Teamsters Local Union 480 v. United Parcel Service, Apr-04-2014

J. Boggs finds that the lower court properly dismissed the union's request for the court to enforce a settlement agreement with defendant. According to the union, defendant did not comply with a 2010 agreement that resolved a labor dispute. However, the complaint about defendant's failure to abide by the agreement falls within the scope of the parties' collective bargaining agreement's broad arbitration clause. The settlement agreement was not entered into as part of a grievance procedure, which may be subject to judicial oversight. Therefore, the union must use the collective bargaining agreement's grievance procedures, before it may seek judicial relief. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit


Specht v. Google, Apr-04-2014

J. Rovner finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff's copyright infringement suit. He registered the "Android Data" trademark during the 1990s, but ceased operating in 2002. Defendant introduced its new Android mobile phone operating system five years later. By this time, plaintiff had effectively abandoned his trademark and lost his enforcement rights. Defendant did not wrongly give other developers a "naked license" to the mark since a naked licensor issue only arises where the party has a lawful right to the mark. If plaintiff argues this, then he admits that his own mark has returned to the public domain. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit


U.S. v. Vitrano, Apr-04-2014

J. Egan finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of fraud and perjury based on his fabricating a discharge certificate in order to appeal his sentence for firearm possession while under a domestic violence restraining order. The admission of phone calls he made to a business associate while in prison did not violate his confrontation rights since he was speaking to a co-conspirator. As there was no authenticity question, it was unnecessary to call the technician as a witness. The government also established a typical and valid chain of custody through the testimony of ATF agents. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit


U.S. v. Debenedetto, Apr-04-2014

J. Ripple finds that the lower court improperly ordered defendant to be committed and involuntarily medicated until he has the capacity to go to trial for threatening someone through interstate commerce. Defendant's maximum sentence for the charges might be 16 months, and he has already been incarcerated for 16 months. Defendant also credibly testified that he had suffered from severe seizures due to neuroleptic medication in the past and that he was able to function well in the open population of the commitment center without medication. The government did not meet the high standard of proof needed. Reversed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit


Maus v. Baker, Apr-04-2014

J. Posner finds that the lower court improperly dismissed plaintiff's civil rights suit against prison guards who he claimed used excessive force against him. He was an inmate at the time of his trial, and was possibly denied a fair trial because he was forced to wear shackles and his prison uniform in the courtroom. Defendants appeared in their guard uniforms, and the judge made no effort to hide this distinction from the jurors. The court should have at least offered a corrective instruction or indicated in the record the extent to which defendant was shackled. Even if shackles were necessary, there was no reason to make plaintiff appear in his prison uniform instead of normal clothing. Reversed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


U.S. v. Burrage, Apr-04-2014

J. Shepherd finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of distribution of heroin, but improperly convicted him of distribution of heroin resulting in death. Nothing shows that the victim would have lived but for heroin use. Defendant must be resentenced as well. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Gilster v. Primebank, Apr-04-2014

J. Loken finds that the lower court improperly found for plaintiff in her sexual harassment and retaliation suit. Her supervisor touched her inappropriately and made sexual comments repeatedly, and she was fired after complaining. A nurse testified regarding the various mental and physical health issues that plaintiff developed afterward. However, plaintiff's attorney should not have included a personal anecdote of her own sexual harassment in closing arguments. This constituted improper vouching, and the comments were extensive and interwoven, not made in passing. The attorney fees award must be reversed as well. Reversed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Lackey v. Wells Fargo Bank, Apr-04-2014

J. Shepherd finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff's suit to prevent the foreclosure of his property. There were some irregularities in the proceedings since defendant failed to note its trustee appointments and did not produce the original note. However, these errors were not so serious as to support a wrongful foreclosure action. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Yang v. Holder, Apr-04-2014

Per curiam, the circuit finds that the Board of Immigration Appeals properly denied petitioner asylum and relief under the Convention Against Torture. She claims that the Chinese government will persecute her if she returns due to her conversion to Christianity. She provided no documents showing that she is a member of a church or has actually converted and also failed to seek asylum within a year of entry. The alleged inadequacy of the translation services she received does not excuse these problems. Rather, plaintiff did not appear to understand Christian doctrine based on, for example, her answer of "Jesus" to the question of who promulgated the Ten Commandments. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Bracewell v. U.S. Bank National Assoc., Apr-04-2014

J. Colloton finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiffs' suit to void a foreclosure sale of their home. They claimed that defendant promised to wait before initiating foreclosure proceedings, but the Minnesota Credit Agreement Statute prohibits debtors from suing on non-written credit agreements unsupported by consideration. Plaintiffs cannot avoid this law via equitable estoppel since no one represented to them that the statute would not apply. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


U.S. v. Harris, Apr-04-2014

J. Shepherd finds that the lower court properly sentenced defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm after accepting his guilty plea. The police reasonably searched him at a bus station after noticing what appeared to be a gun sticking out of his pants. The police were not merely acting as investigators at the time, but was community caretakers since they had been called to the station to deal with a dangerous situation. Seeing a man with a gun in a high crime area can justify a search. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Prezioso v. The Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Apr-04-2014

J. Loken finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff's ERISA claim that defendant wrongly denied him long term disability benefits. The controlling retirement plan clearly granted defendant the discretion to review the claim as it saw fit. When a claimant sues before waiting for the plan's response, a court can limit the record it considers to that before the plan administrator. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Wallace, as a class v. ConAgra Foods, Apr-04-2014

J. Riley finds that the lower court improperly dismissed plaintiffs' class action, which alleged that some Hebrew National beef products are not 100 percent kosher, as the labels claims. Plaintiffs did not purchase or consume defendant's products for faith-based reasons, so they did not assert a First Amendment religious injury. Plaintiffs' failure to allege that they keep kosher is not fatal to the case because they alleged that defendant's deceptive marketing induced them to pay a premium price. However, plaintiffs failed to show that the products they personally bought were tainted. Without this showing, federal courts lack jurisdiction. The court should have remanded to the state court instead of dismissing. Reversed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Mahanna v. U.S. Bank National Association, Apr-04-2014

J. Melloy finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiffs' contract action. In the late 1980s, they gave defendant gold coins to secure a line of credit. In 1997, they personally inquired as to the coins' location, and defendant told them that it could not find them, but was investigating. Plaintiffs continued to inquire for 12 years and was repeatedly told that the bank was looking into it, before the bank admitted it had lost the coins in 2009. By a few years after the first inquiry, plaintiffs should have known that misconduct may have occurred and should have filed suit. Thus, it is fair to enforce the 10-year statute of limitations against them. It is irrelevant that these coins were collateral for something else. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit


Colombe v. Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Apr-04-2014

[Consolidated.] J. Shepherd finds that the lower court properly dismissed portions of plaintiff's suit, but should have dismissed all of it. He is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who directed a company that managed a casino on tribal lands. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, disputes regarding tribal gaming operations must first be dealt with in tribal court. Plaintiff did not exhaust his tribal court remedies before suing in federal court. Allowing tribal courts to make the first evaluation of their own jurisdiction helps federal courts decide tribal issues. It is irrelevant that plaintiff and his corporation may be unable to exhaust tribal remedies due to their own insolvency. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


Quihuis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Apr-04-2014

Per curiam, the 9th Circuit certifies a question to the Arizona Supreme Court in an insurance action.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


Messick v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Apr-04-2014

J. Gould finds that the district court improperly excluded plaintiff's expert testimony in a product liability action over defendant's drug Zometa, which allegedly destroyed plaintiff's jaw. The court held the testimony to a higher standard than it should have. Reversed.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


Samsung Electronics Co. v. Panasonic Corporation, Apr-04-2014

J. Gould finds that the district court improperly dismissed plaintiff's antitrust claims alleging that defendant illegally monopolized the market for SD cards. Contrary to the courts finding, defendants claims were not untimely because plaintiff's alleged infractions continued with an amended agreement in 2006. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals


Crabtree v. BASF Building Systems, Apr-04-2014

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the lower court's ruling should be affirmed, in compliance with the Alabama Supreme Court's opinion.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

Winn-Dixie Montgomery v. Purser, Apr-04-2014


Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals


Brown v. Jefferson, Apr-04-2014

J. Donaldson finds that the lower court properly found for defendant, and granted a variance that allows for a reduction in the number of required parking spaces for plaintiff's dance school, subject to certain conditions. Residential neighbors of defendant's business complained about the traffic congestion caused by parents dropping off and picking up their children from classes, and claimed that the lack of adequate parking facilities inferred with their use of their own property. The court allowed defendant a downward variance on the required number of parking spaces for her business, on the condition that she implement a shuttle service for the transportation of students. This condition is permissible because it regulates land use and does not specifically restrain individuals from using neighborhood parking. To grant a variance without this condition would have been contrary to the public interest. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals


Madison Academy v. Hanvey, Apr-04-2014

J. Moore finds that the lower court improperly awarded employee permanent-total-disability benefits. Employee's exposure to chemicals from refinishing products at her job aggravated a pre-existing medical condition, but there is no evidence that the aggravation persists. Although the exposure made her unable to breathe properly and required hospitalization, it did not result in any chronic medical problem or sensitivity. Rather, employee's inability to work stems from her pre-existing condition, not from any aggravation of that condition due to her work for employer. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals


B.N. v. Madison County Department of Human Resources, Apr-04-2014

J. Thomas finds that the lower court improperly found the minor child dependent and granted legal custody to custodians without properly obtaining jurisdiction over the matter. The court indicated that it had discussed jurisdiction with the Mississippi court, where the parents' divorce took place, and where the paternal grandparents filed for custody of the child. However, there is no record of these communications. In addition, the incarcerated father and paternal grandparents were not given an opportunity to present their legal arguments to the court as required by Alabama law. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court


Lindsay v. Baptist Health System, Apr-04-2014

J. Wise affirms with no opinion issued.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court


Ex parte Ross v. , Apr-04-2014

J. Moore finds that the court of appeals improperly found in favor of defendant, the condominium community, in this wrongful foreclosure case wherein plaintiff sought to redeem his property. The evidence demonstrates a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether or not plaintiff received adequate notice of the foreclosure sales. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court


Ex parte G.N. v. , Apr-04-2014

J. Bryan quashes the writ of certiorari with no opinion issued.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court


Alabama v. Clayton, Apr-04-2014

J. Stuart finds that the court of criminal appeals improperly suppressed evidence that was found during a warrantless search of defendant's apartment when officers responded to calls complaining of an odor associated with the fabrication of meth coming from the apartment. The officer's unwarranted entry into defendant's apartment was justified because probable cause existed. The strong smell emanating from the apartment was consistent with the smells associated with making meth and the danger posed to the public. The explosive nature of producing meth gave the officers probable cause. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alaska Supreme Court


In re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Gabriel C. v. , Apr-04-2014

J. Bolger finds that the delay between appellant's detention and his involuntary commitment did not violate statutory time limits because the relevant limit begins upon an individual's arrival at an evaluation facility. In this case, the hearing was held on the third day following appellant's arrival at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute for evaluation. Further, the delay in transportation to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute did not violate appellant's due process rights because the Institute was at capacity and there was evidence that appellant was mentally ill and gravely disabled. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


1300 N. Curson Investors v. Drumea, Apr-04-2014

J. Grimes finds that a trial court incorrectly denied plaintiff's request for judgment on its action to raise defendants' rent by $700, on grounds that municipal rent control law did not allow such an increase. Plaintiff used the formula provided in the code to determine the new rate, factoring in annual increases for the time defendants acted as apartment managers and lived there for free. Reversed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


People v. Waxler, Apr-04-2014

[Modified opinion.] J. Jones finds that a trial court correctly denied defendant's request to suppress evidence in his drug possession trial. While defendant argued that police lacked probable cause to search his vehicle after smelling marijuana and seeing a bong on the passenger seat because of his medical marijuana card, the card does not give defendant carte blanche to carry as much marijuana as he wants or to drive while under the influence. And the automobile exception to search warrant requirements only requires probable cause of contraband, which includes even medical marijuana under federal law. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


People v. Rowe, Apr-04-2014

J. McConnell finds that a trial court incorrectly dropped charges of soliciting forcible rape and forcible sodomy against defendant, who advertised for and invited men to come to the unwitting victim's home to engage in "freak show" sexual activity with her. While the trial court believed defendant lacked intent because she said it was a prank and the men she invited believed they would be engaging in consensual sex, the crime of solicitation does not hinge on the intentions or actions of the men she solicited. Defendant intended for the men to rape and sodomize the victim and solicited them for that purpose. Reversed.

Edit Delete Court Of Appeals For Veterans Claims


Murphy v. Shinseki, Apr-04-2014

J. Bartley finds that the Board of Veterans' Appeals improperly denied appellant service-connected disability in excess of 10 percent for sinusitis because appellant had a reliance interest on increased compensation for benefits he had received. Reversed.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims


Diamond v. U.S., Apr-04-2014

J. Braden finds that the IRS does not owe plaintiff a tax refund because, although plaintiff overpaid his 2006-2011 taxes, the IRS applied that extra money towards plaintiff's tax liability from other years. The record shows the IRS is allowed to do this and, though plaintiff does not dispute any of the government's evidence, he disagrees with the IRS's methods.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims


FCN v. U.S., Apr-04-2014

J. Horn finds that the Air National Guard cannot award a contract for a mass notification system to the company's competitor because the government did not supply complete information about the availability of government infrastructure. The record shows that the guard's contracting officer awarded the contract to the company's competitor without being sure if the guard had properly secured licenses from the Air Force for equipment, which were a key part of the company's bid. Additionally, the guard still has not found evidence to show it has or, even understands, those licenses.

Edit Delete Court of International Trade


FDK America v. U.S., Apr-04-2014

J. Musgrave finds that U.S. Customs and Border Protection lacked standing to order production of certain documents underlying a Headquarters ruling. Neither plaintiff nor customs has been able to identify the nonparty with control or ownership of the documents in order to obtain consent for disclosure.

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