People and Events News - U.S. First Circuit
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Ever wonder why you can't buy a car directly from the manufacturer? Tesla has. In trying to sell directly to consumers, the California-based manufacturer of sexy (and expensive) electric cars has run up against legal obstacles in the form of state laws prohibiting direct-to-consumer sales of cars.

Such laws were originally meant to protect dealerships from manufacturers, but over the years, they've become more of a way to limit entry into the business of automobile sales. Tesla finally won a small victory in Massachusetts earlier this week when the commonwealth's Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that unaffiliated auto dealers don't have standing to challenge the law.

By now, you know the drill when it comes to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother accused of orchestrating the Boston Marathon bombings. In the past year, the prosecution has been building its case alleging 30 charges against Tsarnaev, some of which may carry the death penalty.

Tsarnaev's trial is scheduled for November 3, 2014, but today, the first case against one of Tsarnaev's friends -- Azamat Tazhayakov began. Here's a brief review of today's court proceedings.

The Ninth Circuit may be the most reversed, and the Seventh Circuit "benchslappy," but if I had to come up with a catchphrase for the First Circuit it would be "logolepsy".

If you've been able to read an opinion by Judge Selya of the First Circuit without reaching/clicking for a dictionary, good for you. If you're like the rest of us, then you probably have a Merriam-Webster.com window open whenever you're reading a Judge Selya opinion -- so, you could say he's a logolept.

Will 1st Circuit Nominee David Barron Be Nominated to SCOTUS?

The U.S. Supreme Court justices are drawing nearer toward retirement: Ruth Bader Ginsburg just turned eighty-one; Antonin Scalia is seventy-eight; Anthony Kennedy is seventy-seven; and Stephen Breyer is seventy-five. If President Obama gets the opportunity to fill another Supreme Court vacancy, whom will he select?

Jeffrey Toobin recently penned a piece for The New Yorker called "The Supreme Court Farm Team," referring to federal judges Obama can choose from whom he appointed himself.

Among the "farm team" members Toobin lists is Judge David Barron of the First Circuit.

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Mastroianni: What's Next?

Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni is on the verge of becoming a district court judge in Massachusetts.

Last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination unanimously to serve as the presiding judge in the U.S. District Court in Springfield.

His next stop in the confirmation rigmarole? The full Senate.

Mass. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Roderick Ireland to Retire

Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, the first African-American on the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts, announced Monday that he is retiring.

Roderick's announcement means Governor Deval Patrick will have an opportunity to name a new head of the state's highest court before he leaves office next January, The Boston Globe reports.

Given the timing of Ireland's retirement, Patrick is uniquely poised to make a long-lasting impact on the composition of the Supreme Judicial Court.

1st Cir. Judge Bruce Selya Speaks About FISA Court

Curiosity and controversy continues to mount over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.

Bruce Selya, senior federal judge on the First Circuit, gave a talk this week on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, explaining the inner workings of the secret court.

The lecture, entitled "The View from Inside the FISA Courts," was the first in a series of security seminars sponsored by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University as part of its ongoing expansion and redesign.

Kick Off 2014 Right: CLE Events Coming Up in the 1st Circuit

As January winds down, it may be a good time to kick off your I'm-going-to-be-proactive-this-year New Year's resolution and start early on CLEs rather than scramble at the last minute.

Here's a breakdown of different CLE events happening in your area:

Circuits with interesting cities within their jurisdiction always churn out interesting cases -- and with Boston in its purview, the First Circuit is an example of that.

With Boston making the news quite a bit this year, the First Circuit had its fair share of headlines. Not limited to newsy pieces, we also saw some law coming out of the First that is currently under review by the Supreme Court.

As we reflect on 2013, here's a quick rundown of the big issues of the past year, as we move forward into 2014:

Season's Greetings! 5 Holiday Traditions From the 1st Circuit

Although Christmas is for many Americans a religious occasion, the federal courts have upheld its status as a legal holiday.

One court reasoned that "by giving federal employees a paid vacation day on Christmas, the government is doing no more than recognizing the cultural significance of the holiday."

But did you know that each state of the First Circuit celebrates the holiday in a unique way? Here's an overview of some Christmas traditions found in the circuit's five jurisdictions: