U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Kozinski Joins the List of Weinsteins

Few names reverberate in the media today like 'Weinstein.'

It's no longer just a name; it's a label. If you see it in a headline, it means "a sexual harasser who used his power to prey on women."

"Kozinski" is like that. It used to mean a judge of exceptional intellect and a talent for writing, but it doesn't mean that anymore.

Rarely do you read a court opinion that explicitly says that the court is reaching the wrong decision. But that is in fact what happened in the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in the Frudden v. Pilling First Amendment school uniform case which has ping-ponged through the courts since 2011.

In the section aptly titled "Our Disagreement with the Result We Are Required to Reach" the court, not surprisingly, goes into detail as to why it disagrees with the very decision it is bound to render by its own precedent. Fortunately for the plaintiffs in the matter, two parents that objected to their children wearing the uniforms, that controversial decision held that the school's uniform policy was unconstitutional.

The Juliana v. United States matter was heard by a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week. And while some might expect that the most liberal circuit in the nation would have been throwing softballs to plaintiffs' attorney, the tenor of the questioning was equally harsh on both sides.

Notably, prior to the appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued a stay in the matter, pending their review. The case involves a group of children filing suit against the federal government due to its alleged actions that cause and contribute to climate change.

9th Circuit Considers Terrorism Liability Claim Against Twitter

Joshua Arisohn, an attorney suing Twitter for enabling terrorists, sees the problem differently than most social media users.

Arguing to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he said social media companies may not be legally liable for content on their websites, but they should be liable for giving social media accounts to terrorists.

"Handing someone a tool that can be used to create content is not the same as disseminating content," Arisohn said. However, it's a hard task to argue around the law and judges who have already dismissed such cases.

Ninth Circuit Finds Consumer Standing in ESPN Privacy Case

In football, a quarterback usually scores through others -- like a running back who takes a handoff and runs the ball into the end zone.

Chad Eichenberger might feel a little like a quarterback in his case against ESPN. He sued the sports channel for invasion of privacy when it disclosed his video preferences to an analytics service.

A judge dismissed the case, and a federal appeals court affirmed, because nobody could actually identify him from the disclosure. But Eichenberger did have standing to sue, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said, and that set up the play for the next plaintiff -- like a handoff.

At this point, nearly everyone has at least heard of Bitcoin. The intangible cryptocurrency has been making headlines recently for reaching an all-time high, soaring to over $11,000 per Bitcoin.

However, a recent decision out of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California may have some crypto-investors concerned, as the IRS wants to get to know Bitcoin users in a way they're likely not going to like, and the court is giving the federal agency the go ahead. The Bitcoin exchange service, Coinbase, was just ordered to identify to the IRS the 14,000 plus users who have exchanged $20,000 or more worth of Bitcoin per year for 2014 and 2015.

Ninth Circuit Icon Judge Harry Pregerson Dies

Many Californians know the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, but they don't know what the judge had to do with it.

Pregerson, who died at 94, has a legacy in Southern California for stopping the 105 Freeway until construction complied with environmental laws. But his legacy on the court reaches much farther than the freeway.

"He was larger than life," said Dean Kevin Johnson of the UC Davis School of Law.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Yelp Reviews Against Fraud Claims

Everybody knows that bad reviews can hurt business, but it's what you don't know that really hurts.

That's what happened to the plaintiffs in a case against Yelp, the online review site. After news broke about complaints against the company, the plaintiffs alleged their stock depreciated because of the complaints.

But in Curry v. Yelp, Inc., the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals basically said the plaintiffs couldn't prove what they didn't know.

Youth to Argue Climate Change at 9th Circuit

Youth aged 9 to 21 will get their day in court in a climate-change case, and not in a moot-court sort of way.

In Juliana et al v. United States, the young plaintiffs want the federal government to change the way it deals with global warming and fossil fuels. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced it will hear arguments about whether to push the case towards trial.

The Trump administration filed a petition to stay discovery in the case and to dismiss it instead. If denied, the administration may have to confront scientific evidence the President has already dismissed.

Judge Blocks Trump's Sanctuary Cities Order

President Trump's battle with courts over immigration continued as a judge blocked his executive orders against sanctuary cities.

This time, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a permanent injunction against the President's order to cut funds from cities that provide some refuge to immigrants. Judge William Orrick had temporarily blocked the order in April after San Francisco and Santa Clara counties sued.

"The Counties have demonstrated that the Executive Order has caused and will cause them constitutional injuries by violating the separation of powers doctrine and depriving them of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights," Orrick said.