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

Adoption of International Trade Agreement Not Changed Country Condition

Plus a Government Benefits Matter

Almaraz v. Holder, No. 08-74497, concerned a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals's ("BIA") denial of petitioner's motion to reopen and remand.  The court of appeals denied the petition, on the ground that the adoption of an international trade agreement did not amount to changed country conditions that resurrected his late-filed motion.

Hawaii Stevedores, Inc. v. Ogawa, No. 09-73041, involved a petition for review of a decision of the Benefits Review Board (BRB) affirming an Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) grant of disability benefits.  The court of appeals granted the petition in part, on the ground that 1) the mere fact that an expert witness talked with a party's lawyer and then altered his or her opinion language, though it might be considered relevant, did not require a factfinder to find that expert witness was other than credible; and 2) the ALJ's finding of the maximum medical improvement date was not supported by substantial evidence.  However, the court denied the petition in part, holding that 1) the ALJ's finding that petitioner did not meet its burden of demonstrating prejudice was supported by substantial evidence, and respondent's late notice was properly excused; and 2) respondent's stroke qualified as a compensable injury under the Longshore Act.

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