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

March 2014 Archives

8th Cir. Clarifies 401(k) Float Income Ownership, Fiduciary Duties

The Eighth Circuit recently issued a decision in a 401(k) fiduciary lawsuit that is raising questions about "float income" -- interest earned from plan assets.

At issue is the handling of funds that flow into and out of 401(k) plans and the question of who profits from the float income generated while the money is held by a service provider -- in this case, Fidelity Investments -- before its investment or before it is it cashed by participants.

If you're in the retirement plan industry, you might want to take a look at the court's decision in Ronald C. Tussey v. ABB Inc.

Martha Shoffner Seeks Post-Conviction Acquittal

Lawyers for Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner argued before U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes that Shoffner should be acquitted on 14 bribery and extortion charges.

Holmes withheld judgment on Shoffner's earlier request to be ordered free on grounds that prosecutors didn't prove that any federal laws were broken. But Holmes opted to entertain the argument only if the jury returned any guilty verdicts, The Associated Press reports.

A jury convicted Shoffner last week, clearing the way for both sides to present written arguments to Holmes on why she should or should not be acquitted.

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Dies, Funeral Protest Law Upheld

Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church -- the Kansas congregation known for picketing funerals with anti-gay signs -- died late Wednesday at the age of 84, CNN reports.

His death and reported excommunication from the church dovetails with a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan, Jr., bringing closure to a nearly eight-year long legal fight over the group's funeral protests.

Can Employer Tell Breastfeeding Mom 'Go Home to Your Babies'?

Employment discrimination with respect to breastfeeding at work is garnering attention in courts across the nation. The Eighth Circuit recently tackled the issue in the context of constructive discharge.

The court affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment to an employer embroiled in a pregnancy and sex discrimination case for compelling a breastfeeding's worker's resignation.

Ex-Police Chief Affair Lawsuit Tossed; 8th Cir. Appeal Possible

A district court judge has dismissed a woman's lawsuit against the city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and its former police chief Alex Moreno.

The suit involves dramatic allegations and tales of intrigue: police power, a sexual rendezvous, and harassment.

Albeit a lusty page-turner, U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf was unmoved by Tamara Villanueva's claims and dismissed the suit.

Beatrice Six Appeals Wrongful Conviction Case to 8th Cir.

The Eighth Circuit will consider reinstating Gage County as a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit over the wrongful conviction of six people, dubbed the "Beatrice Six," for the 1985 murder of a Nebraska woman.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf dismissed Gage County from the case. This week, he granted the plaintiffs' motion to have the Eight Circuit review his dismissal of the county as a defendant, The Omaha World Herald reports.

Holt v. Hobbs: SCOTUS to Review Ark. Prison Beard Growing Policy

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the challenge a Muslim man has brought against the grooming policies at an Arkansas prison -- a policy the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional.

The case will turn on the Court's analysis of the Arkansas Department of Corrections' purported security needs and the level of deference the Court shows the ADC.