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

November 2013 Archives

Last week, the First Circuit had to determine whether lower courts properly gave post-petition orders, related to environmental law violations and administrative expense priority in a bankruptcy proceeding. The First Circuit, affirming the lower courts, and departing from the Third and Ninth Circuits, found that they did.

It's Been 10 Years Since Massachusetts Legalized Gay Marriage

On November 18, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts propelled the state into making history: Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of the court's historic decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. What a difference a day decade makes.

In 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, and last week, the First Circuit became the first federal appellate court to apply the holding, and "[t]he results are remarkable," says Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman in his article for Bloomberg.

'Whitey' Bulger Sentenced to Life; Victim Impact Considered

James "Whitey" Bulger will serve two life sentences plus five years in prison. For relatives of Bulger's victims, confronting the former Boston mob boss in the flesh has been a long time coming.

This week, relatives of those killed by Bulger had an opportunity to face the former gangster at his sentencing hearing and bring his 11 murder victims' stories to life.

The moment highlights the legal void victim impact statements fill, but it also demonstrates the unclear function they serve in our criminal justice system.

Courts are creatures of habit. They like to stick to precedent, and have a hard time changing course. Last week, the First Circuit had to give the district courts in the circuit some guidance on the new "plausibility" standards in federal civil pleadings.

Travel-Related Trademarks Extend Beyond Physical Region: 1st Cir.

For trademark attorneys with clients in the travel industry, life is good. Last month, we discussed the First Circuit Court of Appeals' recent ruling in Dorpan, S.L. v. Hotel Melià.

But let's take a look at another major takeaway of the case: That a senior trademark user of a mark related to travel is entitled to trademark protection that goes beyond its immediate geographic region.

While the U.S. may not be respecting the privacy interests of the German Republic (or of its Chancellor Angela Merkel), its courts are upholding treaties dating back to the 1950s surrounding the issue of post-WWI Agra Bonds. Last week, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a $7 billion claim against German banks.