Antitrust Action Concerning Profit-Sharing Provision In Multiemployer Bargaining Unit, and Arbitration, Contract, Criminal, Environmental and Tort Matters - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Antitrust Action Concerning Profit-Sharing Provision In Multiemployer Bargaining Unit, and Arbitration, Contract, Criminal, Environmental and Tort Matters

California v. Safeway, Inc., No. 08-55671, concerned an antitrust action challenging a profit-sharing provision between members of a multiemployer bargaining unit.  The court reversed the denial of summary judgment to plaintiff on the ground that a profit sharing agreement that would ordinarily violate the antitrust laws was not excused from compliance under the nonstatutory labor exemption because it constituted an economic weapon used by the employers in their efforts to prevail in a labor dispute.

In Greenwood Corp. v. CompuCredit Corp., No. 09-15906, the court affirmed the order of the district court denying certain credit providers' motion to compel arbitration, holding that the district court correctly concluded that the arbitration agreement was void because the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) specifically prohibited provisions disallowing any waiver of a consumer's right to sue in court for CROA violations.

Northwest Env. Def. Ctr. v. Brown, No. 07-35266, involved an action claiming that defendants violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) and its implementing regulations by not obtaining permits from the Environmental Protection Agency for stormwater -- largely rainwater -- runoff that flows from logging roads into systems of ditches, culverts, and channels and is then discharged into forest streams and rivers.  The court reversed the dismissal of the action, holding that the discharges were not exempted from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting process by the Silvicultural Rule, 40 C.F.R. section 122.27, promulgated under the CWA to regulate discharges associated with silvicultural activity.

In US v. Alvarez, No. 08-50345, the court reversed defendant's conviction for falsely verbally claiming to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, holding that the Stolen Valor Act lacked the elements that would make it analogous to the other restrictions on false speech previously held to be proscribable without constitutional problem, and thus the Act was not narrowly drawn to achieve a compelling governmental interest, and was unconstitutional.

In US v. Dotson, No. 09-30149, the court affirmed defendants' convictions for furnishing liquor to minors on an Air Force base, holding that assimilation of Washington state law under the Assimilative Crimes Act (ACA) was proper because: 1) 50 U.S.C. app. section 473 and AFI 34-219 contained no generally applicable prohibitions, and thus did not establish federal policy against which a state statute must be measured for conflict or inconsistency; and 2) the specific statute at issue, Wash. Rev. Stat. section 66.44.270, was the type of prohibitory law the court had previously deemed properly assimilated under the ACA.

Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi-Craft Co., No. 09-16353, involved a breach of contract action.  The court reversed the district court's order striking plaintiff's claim for lost profits, holding that Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure did not authorize a district court to strike a claim for damages on the ground that such damages were precluded as a matter of law.

Wolin v. Jaguar Land Rover N. Am. LLC, No. 09-55104, involved a class action alleging that Land Rover's LR3 vehicles suffer from an alignment geometry defect that caused tires to wear prematurely.  The court reversed the denial of plaintiff's motion for class certification, holding that 1) the district court erred when it required plaintiffs to show that a majority of proposed class members' vehicles manifested the results of the defect; 2) defendant identified no defenses unique to plaintiffs that would make class certification inappropriate; and 3) classwide adjudication of plaintiffs' claims was superior to other means of adjudicating this case.

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