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Target's Data Breach Settlement Blocked by Appeals Court

A federal appeals court has delayed a $10 million settlement for customers whose records were hacked at Target, sending the case back to a judge to consider a separate group of customers who were not affected by the breach.

The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the trial judge did not adequately consider whether the settlement fairly represents customers who may have problems from the breach in the future. They want out of the class action settlement, and want to proceed as a sub-class.

"We hold that the district court abused its discretion by failing to rigorously analyze the propriety of certification, especially once new arguments challenging the adequacy of representation were raised after preliminary certification," the panel said.

Court Affirms Conditions for Sex Offender

A federal appeals court affirmed probation conditions for a sex offender, including a requirement of supervised visitation with his one-year-old child, based upon his conviction of having sex with a teenager.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal said the conditions were reasonable, given the offender's history of inappropriate contact with minors. Jason Brandon Schultz had been convicted of sex assault for his consensual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 23 years old. He later repeatedly violated conditions of probation.

"In light of this history and the district court's recognition of the need for Schultz to maintain a relationship with his children, the district court made individualized findings and the restriction is narrowly tailored to address the circumstances of Schultz's criminal history as well as his family situation," the judges said.

8th Cir. Upholds NFL Suspension of Adrian Peterson

When Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson texted to his son's mother to say he felt bad not for engaging in child abuse, but for accidentally striking his boy's 'nuts,' he probably was not aware that he was taking chances with his career. A short time later, Peterson was suspended from playing.

This punishment was upheld by the Eighth Circuit yesterday when it was ruled that the NFL had the right to imposed fines and suspend Peterson after he was charged for felony abuse of his child.

8th Cir. Will Hear Expedited Same-Sex Marriage Appeals

In what The Associated Press called "a surprise," the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it would hear same-sex marriage appeals from South Dakota, Arkansas, and Missouri in a consolidated oral argument held the week of May 11 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The court agreed not only to consolidate all the cases, but to expedite the appeals. The court's ruling will definitely be influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in the Sixth Circuit same-sex marriage cases, which it will hear some time this term.

8th Cir. Year in Review: Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

We're wrapping up our 2014 "year in review" series, continuing with a circuit close to my heart -- the Eighth Circuit, home of my native land of Missouri.

What happened in the Eighth Circuit this year? A whole lot of everything, actually. Unlike most other circuits, there were no gay marriage appeals to take over the headlines. Instead, this circuit dealt with everything ordinary: prisoners' rights litigation, allegedly dangerous drugs, and lawyers acting stupid.

Here are your Top 10 Eighth Circuit blog posts for 2014:

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.

8th Cir. Judge Almost Made It To SCOTUS Bench, Says Clinton Memo

People often don't know that Justice Stephen Breyer edged out a judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for his spot on the U.S. Supreme Court.

It was 1994, and Justice Harry Blackmun announced his retirement. Just one year prior, President Bill Clinton appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Court, instead of Stephen Breyer. His job interview apparently didn't go well because of a bike accident -- something he's known for getting into.

Newly uncovered documents from Diane Blair, a confidante of Hillary Clinton who documented the power couple's conversations, reveal there was actually a fair amount of drama involved in the decision-making process of Clinton's second SCOTUS appointment.

Looking for Appellate Skills? Check Out WUSTL's Appellate Clinic

Law students who are looking for hands-on experience in the appellate realm in circuits that allow law students to make court appearances may want to look into appellate clinics.

One such clinic, the Appellate Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis, lets students represent pro se litigants in cases to be heard by the Eighth Circuit. It's among only a handful of programs nationally that provide law students with an opportunity to represent clients in appellate cases.

When 8th Cir. Website, PACER Go Down, What's a Lawyer to Do?

You may have noticed that you couldn't access the Eighth Circuit's website last Friday. Rest assured, you're not alone.

Lawyers across the nation grappled with the massive outage. PACER went on the blink as well as uscourts.gov, most if not all federal court sites, and the federal court's public hub, according to The Washington Post.

What the heck happened and, more importantly, what should you do if it happens again?

Watch Out for 3 Minnesota Court Scams

Last week, we discussed an email scam about fake court cases. But Minnesota courts are actually experiecing a number of other scams, ranging from phony warrants to threatening phone calls.

Here's a rundown of three scams to look out for: