DC Circuit

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FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

Back in 2010, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the FDA did not have the authority to regulate e-cigs as medical devices as long as they weren't marketed with therapeutic claims -- as in, "it'll help you quit smoking." Well, when the D.C. Circuit closes one door, the FDA breaks open a window.

The FDA is set to begin regulating e-cigs as tobacco products, the Los Angeles Times reports. Today the FDA proposed rules that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors (already outlawed in some states), while continuing to allow advertising, online sales (presumably with online age verification), and flavored liquids that might or might not appeal to children.

The proposed regulation would also require that e-cigarette packaging carry the following message:

It's been a busy and exciting week in the D.C. Circuit, with important decisions in a variety of cases, from conflict mineral disclosure regulations, to copyright trolls' jankety joinder, plus a failed attempt to "fix" the filibuster through the courts.

Ready for a surprisingly exciting D.C. Circuit roundup? Read on:

We teased the premise of the Obamacare subsides lawsuits back in October on our U.S. Supreme Court blog, but since then, one of the cases has proceeded all the way through oral arguments at the D.C. Circuit.

Last week, while the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments in the contraception mandate lawsuit, the D.C. Circuit was hearing its own oral arguments in Halbig v. Sebelius (the subsidy dispute), with two of the three judges appearing to be inclined to side against the IRS and Obamacare.

Should the subsidies collapse, not only would that kill demand for insurance on the exchanges, but it would also wipe out the employer mandate, which is triggered by at least one employee receiving a subsidy on the marketplace.

Benchslapped: Only Common Acronyms Accepted, Counselors

D.C. Circuit judges benchslapped the parties in Illinois Public Telecommunications Association v. FCC with an order to submit briefs that eliminate the uncommon acronyms used in their previously filed final briefs.

The judges directed their attention over to the D.C. Circuit's Handbook of Practices and Internal Procedures and a Notice Regarding Use of Acronyms, which provide as much specific guidance as the order does regarding what's acceptable.

D.C. Cir.: Federal Reserve Can Limit Debit Card Fees

The D.C. Circuit recently decided that the Federal Reserve rule that limited the fees banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions is reasonable under the Dodd-Frank Act.

In NACS v. The Federal Reserve, the circuit court reversed the lower court's decision that found the Federal Reserve went outside its authority in setting a fee cap per transaction by misinterpreting the Dodd Act.

D.C. Circuit Affirms Prison Sentence Imposed After Acquittal

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that found a man's prison sentence constitutional even though it was imposed by a judge after he was acquitted by the jury.

In U.S. v Jones, the D.C. Circuit relies on precedent that basically states a sentencing court can base a sentence on acquitted conduct without violating the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury.

D.C. Fed. Courts May Eliminate Reciprocity Rule

D.C. federal courts plan to formally propose new reciprocity rules that will allow any lawyer in good standing and admitted to practice law in his or her home state to be admitted to practice in our nation's capital.

Currently, the rules only grant admission to lawyers who are admitted in a state that has a federal district which has a reciprocal admission relationship with D.C. attorneys, according to the ABA Journal.

If the new rules are adopted, it means that lawyers planning to practice in the D.C. federal courts won't need to take the bar exam.

Doctors' Obamacare Lawsuit Dismissal Affirmed by D.C. Circuit

The D.C. Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by medical doctors challenging the constitutionality of the implementation of Obamacare.

In Association of American Physicians and Surgeons v. Sebelius, one of the arguments asserted by the plaintiffs was that Congress violated the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The case had been dismissed by the D.C. District Court for lack of standing and failure to state a claim by the association. The doctors appealed that dismissal, but were unsuccessful.

Appeal May Decide If D.C.'s Anti-SLAPP Law Applies to Fed Court

An appeal has been filed with the D.C. Circuit that may resolve whether D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute can be used in federal court.

Yassar Abbas, a son of the Palestinian president, is appealing the D.C. District Court's dismissal of a libel suit he brought against the Foreign Policy Group and a Washington Post writer that was decided by applying D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute.

Abbas' recently filed opening brief discusses several reasons why the statute was inappropriately used by the D.C. District Court.

5 Electronic Filing Tips For The D.C. District Court

File this under "Things They Don't Teach You In Law School": The nuances pertaining to the electronic case filing (ECF) system in the D.C. District Court.

Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer and you've probably used the ECF system in other jurisdictions, but there are certain exceptions, requirements and ways to handle a computer meltdown that are applicable to the district court.

So, here are five things to remember when e-filing your documents.