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

SolarCity Mistake Escapes Class-Action Burn

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals spared Solar City an embarrassing loss, but also said it was a "mismanaged organization in need of closer financial oversight."

The decision scrolls back to the company's initial public offering in 2012, when it raised more than $92 million. It put the company up in a big way, later leading Tesla to buy it for $2.6 billion in 2016.

But there were those investors who lost money. In Webb v. SolarCity Corporation, they sued because the stock price dropped almost 30 percent in a month due to company accounting errors.

'Stairway to Heaven' Lawsuit Plays Out in Ninth Circuit

Randy California may have made it to heaven, but his lawsuit over the song "Stairway to Heaven" is stuck in federal court.

California, the late guitarist, claimed to have written a song that Led Zeppelin copied to record "Stairway to Heaven." Michael Skidmore brought the copyright infringement suit on his behalf, but a jury decided the songs were not substantially similar.

In arguments to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Skidmore's attorney said the trial judge erred by not allowing jurors to hear California's full composition. Perhaps the judge didn't like rock, but the appeals court wanted to hear more.

Naked Violinist Appeals to the Ninth Circuit

Matthew Mglej is not your ordinary street musician.

One fine day in Portland, Oregon, Mglej went to play his violin outside the federal courthouse. Before playing, however, he took off his clothes.

"He removed his suit and laid it out in a symbolic straw man metaphor to convey a message of transparency in government,'' his lawyer argued inside the courthouse. But as one judge said, nudity is transparent all by itself.

Youth Win 9th Circuit Ruling in Climate Change Case

There is a change in the weather, and it goes beyond climate change.

In a setback to an older generation, young people won a round in their lawsuit against the United States over global warming. They allege the government has knowingly let carbon dioxide destabilize the climate, and denied them the right to live in a habitable environment.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's motion to dismiss was premature, and remanded the case to the trial court. For the Trump administration, it's going to get a little hotter in Juliana et al v. United States

Sometimes the law is technical and cruel, and sometimes the law is technical and correct. Most people will probably come down on the latter side of that when it comes to the technical application of the law in the Adil Elmakhzoumi v. Sessions case.

In that matter, an immigrant seeking naturalization was rejected because of a prior conviction for sodomy without consent. On appeal, he argued that the law technically prohibited the naturalization of individuals with rape convictions, not sodomy without consent convictions. However, the Ninth Circuit rejected that argument and found that the definition of rape included sodomy without consent.

Court: Photographer Can't Copyright Michael Jordan's 'Jumpman' Pose

For all his fame, Michael Jordan is best known to basketball fans for his signature flight to the hoop.

"I Believe I Can Fly," the song, comes in a close second. But even that is based on his gravity-defying dunks that earned him the title of "His Airness."

"The Jumpman" also earned him a whole lot of money when Nike used the pose to create a logo for Air Jordan basketball shoes. A photographer who captured Jordan in the same pose wanted some of that, but he's not getting any in Rentmeester v. Nike, Inc.

The innovative, too good to be true, movie ticket service, MoviePass has filed a patent infringement action against its new competitor Sinemia. And while MoviePass may not be able to prevent competitors from entering into the newly created space, it can certainly try to stamp out those competitors that steal their tech.

If you like going to the movies (but hate the rising price of movie tickets), and haven't heard of MoviePass, you'll want to read on to learn how this innovative service works.

FTC Wins Major Ruling Over AT&T

The FTC may have lost the legislative battle to the big corporate interests, but the Ninth Circuit recently handed the agency a big win in its second appeal against AT&T. The case started back in 2014 with the FTC filing a lawsuit related to AT&T's throttling of mobile data for certain customers.

Interestingly, in 2015, the FCC ruled that providers of mobile data/internet service were in fact common carriers. Notably, the common carrier distinction removed AT&T from the regulatory purview of the FTC. However, with the anticipated repeal of the net neutrality rules, mobile data providers will no longer be considered common carriers for providing mobile data services.

Judge Dismisses Copyright Case Against Taylor Swift

Everybody loves Taylor Swift songs, right?

The Grammy academy just waits for her next song to nominate for an award. Even random people break records singing and dancing to her tunes, like "Shake It Off."

So why did two songwriters sue her for copyright infringement over the song? Well, as Taylor's own lyrics suggest: haters gonna hate, hate, hate.

In a case that has entertained those who follow the entertainment industry, IMDb has won summary judgment against the state of California and the Screen Actors Guild. Generally, the case challenged a new law that would have prevented IMDb from publishing the ages of actors and actresses, upon a thespian's request, in order to fight against age discrimination in the industry.

The law was basically struck down last year when the district court issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from being enforced. And now, with the court's summary judgment ruling, the law is all but dead (unless it can be revived by some miraculous appeal, which will likely be filed based on SAG's response).