U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

May 2012 Archives

Fargo Ten Commandments Lawsuit Can Go Forward

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals breathed new life into a Ten Commandments lawsuit in May.

The lawsuit, brought by a group of atheists and agnostics, known collectively as the Red River Freethinkers, sought to remove a Ten Commandments display from public property in Fargo, North Dakota. The group claimed that the monument violated the First Amendment rights protecting against government establishment of religion.

Legal Job in Arkansas: Vacancy at the 8th Circuit for Public Defender

Here’s an announcement for a job vacancy from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. If you’re a criminal lawyer looking for a legal job in Arkansas, you might want to listen up.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is seeking a Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Arkansas. The position is headquartered in Fayetteville.

Eighth Circuit Says Employee Does not Have to Disclose Medications

Could the act of requiring your employees to disclose the medications they take violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?

That question came up in a recent Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals case reviewing settlement talks between a company and the EEOC. At the core of the case was the issue of whether a company had gone too far when it terminated an employee for failing to disclose that he was on medications that potentially affected his ability to work.

Defendant Needs Fair and Just Reason to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Pleading guilty typically results in a lighter sentence, so it’s not surprising that a defendant would be annoyed if his guilty plea was rewarded with an upward variance from the Sentencing Guidelines.

Though the laws of this great land allow a defendant to be annoyed, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that they do not allow a defendant to withdraw his guilty plea without a fair and just reason.

Eighth Circuit Tosses Suit from Suicide Victim's Daughter

If a patient commits suicide while in hospital care, does the decedent’s estate have a valid wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital?

Not in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal this week from the family of a woman who committed suicide as a patient at Arkansas State Hospital.

Court Affirms District Court's Approval of Settlement

Earlier this week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a settlement agreement on health care coverage between the city of Omaha and a class of city workers, affirming the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska's approval of the agreement.

The class consisted of police officers, city firefighters, civilian employees and their unions.

In arguing for the city, attorneys claimed that the court failed to properly apply and interpret the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and as a result, failed to properly address the conflict of interest that arose from having the same attorneys represent both active and retired employees.

Univ. of Minnesota Prevails on Academic Rights Case Against Turkish Coalition

Last Thursday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a First Amendment free speech case involving the University of Minnesota.

The Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of the University of Minnesota’s right to free speech, with regard to its suggestion that the Turkish Coalition of America’s website was an unreliable source of information on the Armenian Genocide.

Evidence of Prior Act OK, but Not Evidence of Acquittal

Is other act” evidence based on acquitted conduct admissible? The Eighth Circuit Court of appeals grappled with that question recently in a case involving methamphetamine distribution and firearm charges.

The defendant was acquitted on three drug and weapon charges stemming from a 2010 incident. After a mistrial was declared on two other charges, a second trial occurred. At that trial, evidence on the acquitted charge was admitted, but the jury was not told that the charge resulted in an acquittal in the first trial.