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

Recently in Court News Category

Culverts can be tricky things, especially if you're a fish. Culverts, those tunnels and pipes that carry creeks and streams under roadways, are an easy way to allow traffic to cross small waterways. But some of them also choke off fish entirely, becoming obstacles for salmon swimming from their upstream breeding grounds to sea. The problem is particularly pronounced when culverts are aging or in disrepair. And plenty of Washington State's culverts are aging and in disrepair.

Twenty-one of the state's Native American tribes, joined by the federal government, sued over the state of Washington's culverts, arguing that they impeded salmon runs and violated the tribes' treaty rights to catch fish. Those tribes were successful in the Ninth Circuit on Monday, with the court upholding a district court order that requires Washington to fix more than 800 derelict culverts.

At FindLaw, we love to get questions from our readers. So when you ask, we try to answer. One reader recently wrote us to wonder about the relationship between judicial scrutiny, appellate standards of review, and recent Second Amendment cases. In sum: what's up with all that?

The question actually goes to the heart of legal battles over concealed carry laws, assault-weapon bans, and Second Amendment rights. And it's bound to come before the Supreme Court, sooner or later. Let's dive in.

Donald Trump spent the last few weeks touring the country, securing the Republican presidential nomination, and announcing his potential Supreme Court picks. But in court, Trump still faces accusations that his Trump University misled and defrauded students.

Now, the methods Trump University used to sell itself to students are likely to get a bit more publicity. On Friday, a judge in the Southern District of California ordered the release of Trump University "playbooks," internal guides for sales personnel on how to market the now defunct, non-accredited "university."

The need for clean, renewable energy is growing ever more urgent in the face of worsening climate change predictions. But large scale green energy developments aren't without their environmental costs. Wind turbines can turn into deadly Cuisinarts when placed in a bird's migratory path; sprawling solar farms can displace endangered desert wildlife.

And such was the conflict in a recent Ninth Circuit case, in which the court was asked to determine if plans for an Oregon wind farm adequately calculated the impact of the project on the greater sage grouse. They had not, the court found, sending the project back for further review.

9th Circuit Boots Judge From BarBri Case to 'Preserve Justice'

The Ninth Circuit booted U.S. District Judge Manuel Real from a now recurring antitrust case involving Kaplan and West Publishing (makers of BarBri), while reversing his ruling. The circuit's decision might have appeared inevitable to some, given that Real's rulings on previous antitrust cases involving BarBri have been reversed three times in a separate case.

There are many interesting facets to the case. One question lawyers will be left asking is what judge Real's rational was in slashing attorneys' fee numbers by 70 percent? Why ask? Because he certainly didn't provide any explanation in his now overturned opinion.

SCOTUS Candidate: Meet Judge Paul J. Watford of the 9th Circuit

The leading contender for President Obama's nomination to SCOTUS is none other than 9th Circuit Judge Paul J. Watford. However, if the past is any indication, Watford's candidacy will be the source of much resistance. If Judge Watford occupies Justice Scalia's vacancy, he would be the third African-American Justice in the Court's history. But he isn't the only contender on President Obama's increasingly short list of candidates.

The nomination of a candidate to replace Justice Scalia has taken center stage in what is becoming yet another ugly Capitol Hill conflict.

Need to research California's corporate securities law? We've got you covered. Did a client get caught selling wild rodents? We can help you out. Need to cite the state's joint custody laws? No problem.

If you're looking for the best, easiest to use California codes, you'll find them at FindLaw. FindLaw's updated California Codes section has what you need, when you need it, how you need it. And it doesn't cost a single cent.

The Ninth Circuit may soon be getting a new judge and it is likely to be Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Judge Koh, who we once dubbed the "most powerful woman in Silicon Valley," is best known for presiding over the Apple v. Samsung trial, where she won over our hearts by slapping down Apple's request for additional witnesses by asking its attorney if he was smoking crack. (He wasn't.)

Now she may get to dish out the smack from an even higher bench. Here's what you should know about Koh.

Arizona Governor: We Want Out of the 9th Circuit!

Is the Ninth Circuit too liberal? Arizona's governor seems to think so. Recently, he spearheaded an effort to break up the nation's largest circuit.

Is this the beginning of the Twelfth Circuit?

The Ninth Circuit settled a long-standing dispute between federal authorities and Nevada ranchers on Friday, ruling that the Hage family had illegally grazed cattle on federal land without a permit.

But the most noteworthy fight wasn't between renegade ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management, it was between the judges of the Ninth Circuit and District Court Judge Robert C. Jones, who "grossly abused his power" and allowed his "well-established and inappropriately strong" feelings against federal agencies to bias his rulings. This is far from Judge Jones' first time being condemned by the Ninth Circuit.