9th Circuit Court Rules News - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Environmental and community advocates won't be able to force stricter pesticide emissions restrictions in California, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday. A coalition of groups, lead by El Comite para el Bienestar de Earlimart, had challenged the state's Clean Air Act pesticide regulations, arguing that they did not reduce emissions enough and would lead to excessive levels of exposure for Latino youth.

The regulations in question were first proposed in 1994 to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act. Under California's State Implementation Plan (SIP), certain pesticide emissions were to be reduced by up to 20 percent of their 1990 levels by 2005. It wasn't until 2012, however, that the EPA determined that the California SIP included enforceable regulations.

The Ninth Circuit has reversed a district court ruling granting summary judgment to Sears in a California disability law dispute. The district court had ruled that employee presented no triable claims because the evidence he offered was all self-serving.

Of course it was, the Ninth ruled when reversing. Self-serving evidence, consisting here of uncorroborated recollections, may not be of much weight to a trier of fact, but it cannot be rejected outright at the summary judgment stage.

Injunction Violated: Sea Pirate Hippies Aid Foreign Cousins

It's the oldest trick in the book. Your parents tell you not to do something, so you have your brother do it for you.

That's the gist of what happened here. Last year, we brought the tale of the sea pirate hippy bench-slapping, a master class in insulting multiple parties in a single judicial opinion by none other than the great Judge Alex Kozinski. The Kozinski-helmed majority issued an injunction ordering the Sea Shepard Conservation Society to stay away from certain (alleged whaling) ships.

Sea Shepard kinda-sorta complied: They gave their ships and equipment to foreign branches of their organization, which, of course, engaged in activities that would have violated the injunction had Sea Shepard USA done them itself.

3 Quick Tips for New Attorneys Filing in The 9th Circuit

You know the drill: New attorneys practicing in the Ninth Circuit need to be aware of the court's local rules to make sure they don't look too much like a newbie.

In comparison with some other circuits, the Ninth Circuit's rules appear to be slightly more laid back. But even so, federal courts are on the whole much stricter and sterner when it comes to enforcing the rules than your average state court. If you are just starting out in federal practice, here are three quick tips.

Trump University Anti-SLAPP Case Denied En Banc Rehearing

Back in April, a Ninth Circuit panel issued a decision that, for the most part, was relatively straight-forward under controlling law.

A disgruntled former Trump University student took to the Internet, and the courts, to express her thoughts that TU was a rip-off, and was met with a defamation suit in response. She (Anti-)SLAPP(ed) back, using the California-based semi-procedural mechanism against TU. The Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation device allows a person to fight back against lawsuits that "masquerade as ordinary lawsuits but are intended to deter ordinary people from exercising their political or legal rights."

Walden v. Fiore: SCOTUS Reviews Limitless Personal Jurisdiction

We've heard of long-arm jurisdiction, but this case puts both Wilt Chamberlain's wingspan and Stretch Armstrong to shame.

Gina Fiore and Keith Gipson are professional gamblers. On their way back from rounding in Puerto Rico, they were questioned about the large amount of cash on their persons by a DEA agent. During their subsequent layover in Atlanta, another DEA agent, Anthony Walden, questioned them, and this time, seized their cash.

Despite the agent's best efforts, and an allegedly falsified probable cause affidavit, the pair proved that their money was from legal gambling, not drugs. Seven months after it was seized, their $97,000 was finally returned. They then sued Agent Walden and others in federal court in Nevada.

Stretching Jurisdiction to Cover Foreign Torts and Corporations

DaimlerChryster (DCAG) isn't located on these fair shores. The German corporation is as foreign to Northern California as lederhosen and pumpernickel, yet they are being sued in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Nor was the alleged tortfeasing done in California. DCAG's Argentinean subsidiary allegedly committed human rights violations in Argentina in the late 1970s during the "Dirty War," hiring state agents to remove left-wing dissidents from the plant during the aftermath of a military coup. Many of the dissidents were never heard from again.

Littler Mendelson: Once, Twice, Six Times a Sanctioning?

When I grow up, I wish for one thing (besides tons of money and someone to be my friend): I wish, nay, I pray that my name never ends up in the body of a court opinion. Seriously, how often is a lawyer’s name mentioned by a court in the opinion and it isn’t a massive screw-up? Courts never say, “Joe Smith is a brilliant advocate who presented admirable work.”

Thursday, the Ninth Circuit bench-slapped six Littler Mendelson attorneys by name, in three separate published orders, ordering them (within 21 days) to show cause why monetary sanctions should not be imposed against counsel individually for filing a frivolous petition for writ of mandamus in three separate cases. The cases, and attorneys include:

9th Circuit, Cal. Supreme Court Reversed: No Prop. 8 Standing

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived at the latest Prop 8 destination. And here it is:

The petitioners, also known as the proponents of California’s Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman,” argue that the Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the State of California from employing such a definition.

The respondents, same-sex couples that wish to marry, ask whether California, having previously recognized same-sex marriage, can withdraw that right through a referendum in light of the Supreme Court’s holding in Romer v. Evans.

Denial of Disabled Litigant's Unlicensed Advocate Not Misconduct

It ain't easy being a trial judge. Litigants of all shapes, sizes, and abilities appear before you, and for some with special needs, they are entitled to reasonable accommodation. Most of the time, that accommodation is simple, such as having an interpreter in the room.

Other times, it's not.

The anonymous complainant here, who suffers from a communications disability, is a pro se litigant who sought to have his caretaker act as his "authorized representative" and "address the court in his behalf." That, of course, sounds more like the job of an attorney, as the requested accommodation was not mere transmittal of the litigant's statements -- it was full-on representation.