Affirmance of Judgment for SEC in Unregistered Securities Sale Case, and Administrative, Employment, Environmental and Immigration Matters - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Affirmance of Judgment for SEC in Unregistered Securities Sale Case, and Administrative, Employment, Environmental and Immigration Matters

Brownfield v. City of Yakima, No. 09-35628, involved an action under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) based on the placement of plaintiff-police officer on administrative leave.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that employer-city did not violate plaintiff's rights under the ADA by requiring a fitness for duty exam after he repeatedly exhibited emotionally volatile behavior while serving as a police officer, his complaints regarding a coworker with whom he shared duties did not address matters of public concern, and his FMLA claim lacked merit.

Geo-Energy Partners v. Salazar, No. 08-16216, concerned a challenge to the Bureau of Land Management's decision determining that certain oil and gas leases eliminated from a contracted unit were ineligible for extensions either because they had already received two successive extensions or because a second extension would not be successive to the first.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant on the ground that the procedures for periodic revision of units in the 1988 Amendments to the Geothermal Steam Act did not apply to pre-amendment contract provisions. 

Murray v. Principal Fin. Grp., Inc., No. 09-16664, involved an action for sex discrimination in violation of Title VII.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant on the ground that insurance agents were independent contractors and not employees for purposes of various federal employment statutes, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII.

SEC v. Platforms Wireless Int'l Corp., No. 07-56542, concerned an action by the SEC claiming that defendants sold unregistered securities to the public and that they issued a fraudulent press release.  The court of appeals affirmed partial summary judgment for the SEC on the grounds that 1) the district court properly entered a Rule 54(b) final judgment on the Section 5 and Section 10(b) claims on which it granted summary judgment; 2) there was no genuine issue of material fact that defendant controlled the company at issue at the time of the transactions; and 3) the company was an affiliate of defendant-corporation at the time of the transactions, and the transactions did not qualify for the Rule 144(k) safe harbor.

In Truong v. Holder, No. 05-74666, a petition for review of the denial of petitioners' asylum application, the Ninth Circuit denied the petition on the grounds that 1) petitioners' assertion that the court of appeals found past persecution in an earlier opinion, and that the immigration judge and BIA were powerless to subsequently find otherwise, was meritless; and 2) there was insufficient evidence that petitioners faced past persecution at the hands of the Italian government or forces that the Italian government was unable or unwilling to control.

In US v. Rosas, No. 09-10011, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, holding that, rather than calculating the recommended sentences for failure to appear and the underlying conviction separately, the district court should account for failure to appear by enhancing the sentence for the underlying conviction pursuant to Guidelines section 3C1.1 for obstruction of justice and Guidelines section 3C1.3 for commission of an offense while on release, and the district court properly did so in this case.

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