U.S. Ninth Circuit: May 2011 News
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9th Circuit May 2011 News

California MCLE: State Court and Ninth Circuit Rules and Tactics

For those lawyers who practice at both the State and Federal Appellate level, here's some California MCLE for you, to help you better understand the 9th Circuit rules as well as State Appellate Court rules:

Pincus Professional Education will be hosting a seminar, State v. Federal Appeals: Winning in Either Venue. This seminar is for mid-level appellate practitioners and is not meant for the entry-level appellate lawyer, as it will draw on the knowledge of the participants.

Expedia Wins Case, Online Receipts Exempt From FACTA

With credit card identity theft becoming a growing issue of concern, Congress introduced FACTA in 2003. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) imposes some strict rules upon merchants who provide transaction receipts to their consumers. In a recent case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Expedia Inc was cited for failing to abide by these exacting rules.

Several of the rules under FACTA are essentially to prevent credit card identity theft. One of the many rules under FACTA calls for is the truncation of printed receipts. As such, printed receipts are not allowed to contain the last five digits of the consumer's credit card number, nor are they allowed to contain the credit card expiration date.

Man Says NBC Stole Idea: Implied Contract v. Copyright Claim

A Federal copyright claim won't always preempt a state-law claim for implied contract, particularly when submitting a pilot or series pitch to a studio. In simpler terms: A party can sue a television network if a network rejects his idea, only to use it on its own years later.

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Larry Montz, a parapsychologist, and Daena Smoller, a publicist, who claimed that NBC stole their idea. They demanded payment based on an idea that they submitted to NBC, which became the basis of NBC's series, "Ghost Hunters."

9th Circuit: CA Courts Can Hear Mercedes Benz Lawsuit on Torture

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it California courts have jurisdiction in the Mercedes Benz lawsuit involving violation of international human rights laws. According to Courthouse News Service, 22 Argentine residents claimed that Mercedes Benz was complicit with Argentine security forces in detaining, kidnapping, torturing and killing them or their relatives in the late 1970s.

A suit was filed in 2007 against DaimlerChrysler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and subsequently dismissed by the District court, when a motion for summary judgment brought by the defendant was granted on the grounds that in personam jurisdiction did not exist over the parties.

9th Circuit Court: Drug Tests Are Not Employment Discrimination

Is it considered employment discrimination, under California employment law, to require strict drug tests in the pre-employment phase?

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says no, in Lopez v. Pacific Maritime Association. While strict drug screenings could possibly eliminate former drug addicts from potential employment, this doesn’t rise to the level of employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

A noteworthy point for those who practice in areas other than California employment law (and as such, might not be wholly familiar with California employment discrimination law): under both the FEHA and the ADA, employers are prohibited from discriminating against recovering drug addicts, assuming that the recovering addicts have been successfully rehabilitated from their addiction.

Winklevoss Twins, Facebook Lawsuit: Ninth Circuit Denies Review

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered some unfavorable news to the Winklevoss twins on earlier this week -- namely, that it would not be reviewing the Facebook settlement reached in 2008.

"At some point, litigation must come to an end," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski in his opinion, "that point has now been reached." Judge Kozinski spared little sympathy for the Winklevoss twins in his opinion. He scolded them for wanting to back out of the settlement, claiming that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to the settlement, back in 2008, during the course of their court ordered mediation process.