U.S. First Circuit: December 2010 Archives
U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

December 2010 Archives

Challenge to award of attorneys' fees for defendant in copyright infringement action

Latin Am. Music Co. v. Am. Soc'y of Composers Authors & Publishers, 08-1498, concerned a plaintiff's second motion for reconsideration of the district court's grant of defendant's motion for attorneys' fees incurred on appeal for successfully defending a favorable jury verdict in a copyright infringement action.


US v. Rodriguez, 09-1429

Challenge to the district court's application of an enhancement based on a post-offense amendment to the Guidelines

US v. Rodriguez, 09-1429, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a 108-month sentence in applying a four-level trafficking-in-firearms enhancement based on a post-offense amendment to the Guidelines, following a conviction of defendant for various firearm offenses, arising from a sale of two sawed-off guns to an undercover police officer in 2006.


US v. Williams, 09-1811

Conviction and sentence for drug and firearm offenses affirmed

US v. Williams, 09-1811, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for various drug and firearm offenses in connection with a drug and gun conspiracy, and district court's imposition of a twenty-five years' imprisonment.


Godin v. Schencks, 09-2324

Denial of anti-SLAPP motion reversed

Godin v. Schencks, 09-2324, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of the individual defendants' motions to dismiss under Maine's anti-SLAPP statute, in a former elementary school principal's suit against a school board and a union, claiming violation of her due process rights under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, and state law claims against three school employees. 

 

Santiago v. O'Brien, 09-1186

Habeas petition in cocaine trafficking conviction

Santiago v. O'Brien, 09-1186, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his cocaine trafficking conviction claiming that his Sixth Amendment right to present a defense was violated.  In affirming, the court held that defendant has failed to show that the state court decision, excluding hearsay testimony of defendant's friend's claim that the drugs belonged to the friend and not defendant, was contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court.

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US v. Anonymous Defendant, 10-1033

Conviction for drug and gambling related offenses

US v. Anonymous Defendant, 10-1033, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a 120-month imprisonment, following defendant's guilty plea for distributing and conspiring to distribute ecstasy and illicit gambling activities.

 

US v. S. Union Co., 09-2403

Conviction for storing mercury without permit

US v. S. Union Co., 09-2403, concerned a challenge to a conviction of a natural gas company for storing hazardous waste without a permit.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that defendant is precluded by 42 U.S.C. section 6976(b) from challenging the EPA's 2002 Immediate Final Rule authorizing Rhode Island's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations as, because defendant failed to use the statutory procedure for judicial review, defendant may not raise the issue by collateral attack.  Moreover, the 2002 Rule is valid and was within the EPA's authority to adopt.  The court also held that the conviction does not violate defendant's right to fair notice under the Due Process Clause.  Lastly, the court held that the Apprendi rule does not apply to the imposition of statutorily prescribed fines, and that the financial penalties imposed did not constitute an abuse of discretion.

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Lamboy-Ortiz v. Ortiz-Velez, 09-1640

Award of attorney's fees and sanctions against former police officers in their civil rights suit

Lamboy-Ortiz v. Ortiz-Velez, 09-1640, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of $130,000 in attorney's fees and over $60,000 in sanctions against plaintiffs and their counse, in former police officers' suit against a mayor and various members of a police department, each of whom belong to the opposition Popular Democratic Party (PDP), in Puerto Rico, claiming that defendants conspired to deprive them of their civil rights and effectively remove them from the local police force.

 

US v. Ramos, 09-2251

Challenge to racial profiling in a conviction for transporting aliens following the Madrid bombings

US v. Ramos, 09-2251, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress, in a prosecution of defendant for illegally transporting aliens in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

 

Julian v. Gonzalez-Rosario, 08-2458

Inmate's civil rights suit

Julian v. Gonzalez-Rosario, 08-2458, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal of an inmate's federal civil rights suit on res judicata grounds, in the inmate's civil rights suit against various corrections officers, claiming they used excessive force against him.

 

Smith v. Holder, 08-2571

Zimbabwean citizen's petition for review of BIA's denial of motion to reopen

Smith v. Holder, 08-2571, A Zimbabwean citizen's petition for review of a BIA's denial of his motion to reopen his removal proceedings is granted and remanded as the BIA committed errors of law in deciding that petitioner had not shown changed country conditions or made a prima facie case for relief, thereby abusing its discretion.

 

Ahern v. Shinseki, 09-1985

Employees' suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 against the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center

Ahern v. Shinseki, 09-1985, concerned a challenge to the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of an employer, in a suit brought by radiology technologists in the diagnostic imaging service at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, claiming gender-based discrimination, retaliation, and constructive discharge.

US v. Ayewoh, 09-1585

Conviction for bank fraud

US v. Ayewoh, 09-1585, concerned a challenge to a conviction and sentence of defendant for bank fraud, claiming that the government provided insufficient evidence that the defrauded bank was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), at the time of the crimes, and that the government provided insufficient evidence that defendant knowingly defrauded the bank.

Sepulveda-Villarini v. Dep't of Educ. of Puerto Rico, 08-2283

Public school teachers' suit for Title I and Rehabilitative Act violations

Sepulveda-Villarini v. Dep't of Educ. of Puerto Rico, 08-2283, concerned a consolidated appeal of the district court's dismissal of two public school teachers' suits against the Puerto Rico Department of Education and several officials for refusal to accommodate their disabilities.

 

Melendez-Garcia v. Sanchez, 08-2530

ROTC officer's civil rights suit against a university for injuries during a student protest

Melendez-Garcia v. Sanchez, 08-2530, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment on the federal-law claims and dismissal of the state-law claims, in plaintiff's suit against various university officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and Puerto Rican state laws, claiming that they failed to protect him from injury during a student protest at a university.

 

Faiola v. APCO Graphics, Inc., 10-1137

Wrongful termination suit on the basis of disability

Faiola v. APCO Graphics, Inc., 10-1137, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant employer, in plaintiff's suit against her former employer for wrongful termination on the basis of disability.

 

Analysis Group, Inc. v. Cent. Florida Inv., Inc., 09-2630

Suit for breach of oral contract to pay for expert's expedited services

Analysis Group, Inc. v. Cent. Florida Inv., Inc., 09-2630, concerned a challenge to the district court's judgment in favor of the plaintiff, in plaintiff's breach of oral contract claim against a defendant for failure to pay for an expert's expedited services in an underlying litigation.

US v. Mohamed, 09-1637

Denial of motion to suppres in conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm

US v. Mohamed, 09-1637, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress, in a prosecution of defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  In affirming, the court held that, under the particular circumstances in the case, the district court correctly concluded that defendant was detained in a valid investigatory stop that did not become a de facto arrest.

Charalambous v. Charalambous, 10-2227

A Father's petition for the return of his children to Cyprus under the Hague Convention

Charalambous v. Charalambous, 10-2227, concerned a challenge to the district court's holding that there was not clear and convincing evidence of a grave risk of harm to the children and that the Convention required their return, in a father's petition for the return of his two children to Cyprus pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

 

US v. McGhee, 09-1322

Cocaine base related conviction

US v. McGhee, 09-1322, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for possession of cocaine base and for possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that the district court properly denied the suppression of the package of thirty-one baggies as the strip search was lawful.  The court also held that the district court did not err in allowing a testifying chemist to rely in part on another chemist's test results as to one drug sample to establish the nature and weight of the drugs as other evidence overwhelmingly established that defendant held at least some of the baggies for distribution.  Lastly, the court held that the district court correctly designated defendant as a career offender during sentencing.

Barkan v. Dunkin' Donuts, Inc., 10-1247

Franchisee's breach of contract suit against Dunkin' Donuts

Barkan v. Dunkin' Donuts, Inc., 10-1247, concerned a franchisee's suit against Dunkin' Donuts, Inc. and Baskin-Robbins USA, Co. alleging, among other claims, that defendant breached a contract in which it had promised to work with plaintiff to refinance a debt owed to plaintiff's creditor.

Harriman v. Hancock County, 09-2284

Civil rights suit for excessive force and false arrest

Harriman v. Hancock County, 09-2284, concerned a challenge to the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, in plaintiff's civil rights suit against a county, county sheriff department, and various individuals, claiming that he was beaten by correctional officer until he sustained a lasting brain injury, while held in a county jail over a weekend for disorderly conduct.

US v. Jadlowe, 08-2449

Claim of structural error in jury instruction in a drug conspiracy related conviction

US v. Jadlowe, 08-2449, concerned a challenge to the district court's conviction of defendant for drug conspiracy related offenses.  In affirming, the court held that, although the district court erred in instructing the jurors that they could discuss the case among themselves during the trial, before formal deliberations commences, the record shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the flawed instruction did not compromise the jury's deliberative process.  The court also held that the district court did not commit reversible error in the suppression and evidentiary rulings that defendant challenges.

 

Fiorentino v. Rio Mar Assoc., LP, 09-2688

Challenge to grant of postjudgment interest from the date of original judgment on remand

Fiorentino v. Rio Mar Assoc., LP, 09-2688, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of plaintiff's request for postjudgment interest from the date of the original judgment on remand, after granting a hotel's motion to alter the original $1.844 million judgment and reducing the amount it owed to $553,200, in finding that another defendant, a hospital, was 70 percent at fault, in a suit brought by a plaintiff and his wife against a hotel for negligence, arising from a swimming accident at the hotel which rendered the plaintiff a quadriplegic, and against a hospital that treated the plaintiff for medical malpractice (which resulted in a settlement for $1.4 million).

Gomez-Gonzalez v. Rural Opportunities, Inc., 09-2557

Plaintiff's wrongful termination suit against former employer

Gomez-Gonzalez v. Rural Opportunities, Inc., 09-2557, concerned a plaintiff's suit against her former employer, claiming violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Employment Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA), and wrongful discharge and mental distress under Puerto Rico law.

IOM Corp. v. Brown Forman Corp., 09-1672

Plaintiff's suit for unlawful termination of sales representation contract under the Puerto Rico Sales Representative Act

IOM Corp. v. Brown Forman Corp., 09-1672, concerned a plaintiff's suit against a marketer and distributor of liquor for unlawful termination of its sales representation contract and for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing pursuant to the Puerto Rico Sales Representative Act, commonly known as Law 21.

US v. Matos-Luchi, 08-2289

Convictions of defendants for drug related offenses under the Maritime Drug Enforcement Act

US v. Matos-Luchi, 08-2289, concerned challenges to the convictions of defendants for violations of the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act (MDLEA), for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, aiding and abetting that crime, all while on board a "vessel without nationality."

US v. Rivera-Gonzalez, 08-2142

Conviction of defendant for cocaine related offenses

US v. Rivera-Gonzalez, 08-2142, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for conspiring to distribute cocaine and a sentence of 121 months' imprisonment.  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  The court also held that the district court did not err in its sentencing calculation and defendant's sentence is reasonable.  Lastly, the court held that defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is dismissed as procedurally flawed.

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