U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Court Rejects Hedge Funder Case Against U.S. Attorney

David Ganek, who ran a $4 billion hedge fund, would have you believe this is a day that will live in infamy.

With his lawsuit thrown out by a federal appeals court, Ganek appealed to the court of public opinion. He said government agents -- including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara -- lied to get a search warrant of his offices.

"This is a dangerous day for private citizens and a great day for ambitious, attention-seeking prosecutors who are now being rewarded with total immunity even when they lie and leak," Ganek said in a statement.

He was half right, anyway.

2nd Cir. Decides Sailing Injury Res Ipsa Loquitur

'Anchors aweigh!'

It's the march song of the United States Navy and also a call to sailors that a ship is underway. But even as anchors clear the sea bottom, maneuvers begin above like a ballet in a foreign language.

On a classic sailboat, deck hands make halyards whir, winches whine and blocks groan. The only meaningful word to unschooled passengers is "boom."

In the vernacular, that's what happened to Charis Tagle aboard the schooner Shearwater. She got hit in the head when a halyard swung across the foredeck and struck her with a pelican clip.

Court Throws Out 'Official Acts' Convictions for Ex-NY Senate Leader Skelos

Sometimes, you just have to count your lucky Skeloses.

Dean Skelos, former New York state Senate majority leader, and his son Adam Skelos have won a reprieve from their corruption convictions. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said jury instructions in United States v. Skelos were faulty.

But for an intervening decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in an unrelated case, the Skeloses might be wishing upon a different star. They were each looking at six years in prison.

'Fake Rape' Suit Revived Against Rolling Stone

After a college party, Jackie went up to her date's bedroom where his Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers were waiting in the dark.

Someone grabbed her by the shoulders; another punched her in the face. One said: "Grab its motherf***** leg."

"As soon as they said it, I knew they were going to rape me," she told Rolling Stone, which grabbed 2.7 million views for its online edition.

The problem was, it was fake.

The qui tam action brought against Wells Fargo in 2011 has been brought back to life by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, thanks to a recent ruling of the Supreme Court.

The case alleges, under the False Claims Act, that Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and World Savings banks all falsely certified compliance with banking laws in order to qualify for loans from the Federal Reserve System. The plaintiffs, or realtors, in the action, had their claims dismissed and that dismissal affirmed; however, on appeal again, as the appellate court noted, the standard has now changed, which resulted in a remand to the district court.

Fake Dead Sea Scrolls Writer Bound for Jail

It was enough to shake a lawyer's faith in God, if not the legal system.

Raphael Golb, a disbarred attorney, committed the heresy of challenging the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He also faked emails to discredit scholars who said the Essenes, a Jewish sect, wrote the ancient scripture.

His evil plot failed, however, and hell soon followed. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed 10 counts against him for false impersonation in Golb v. Attorney General of the State of New York.

A former cadet at West Point Academy, the nation's premiere military academy, had her case, Doe v. USA, dismissed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court explained that a Bivens claim is unavailable for military cadets alleging a violation of their rights connected to their service.

Significantly, the court found that cadets are not just students at their military academy, like West Point. Instead, the student/cadets are service-members in training, and thus, any claims arising from their training and education are deemed to be part of their military service.

The defamation lawsuit filed in the federal Southern District Court of New York by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin against the New York Times has been dismissed.

Judge Jed Rakoff noted that Palin's case failed to adequately make a showing of actual malice to support the public figure defamation claim. Significantly, the case may be ripe for appeal to the Second Circuit because the dismissal was with prejudice as it came after an evidentiary hearing on the issue of malice.

But based on the opinion of the lower court, there may not be much wiggle room for reversal.

Day Laborers Win Right to Solicit Work

Attorney Elbert S. Hendrickson opened a blacksmith shop in the Town of Oyster Bay at a time when immigrants came to America trying to make a living any way they could.

One hundred fifty years later, lawmakers want to stop day laborers from making a living on the same Long Island streets. They enacted an ordinance that banned mostly immigrants from soliciting drivers for work as they drove through the suburban neighborhood.

However, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ordinance in Centro de la Comunidad Hispana de Locust Valley v. Town of Oyster Bay. While the appeals court said it violated their free speech rights, town leaders vowed to fight on.

"I cannot understand why any court in this nation would allow illegal aliens to gather on residential streets seeking illegal work while avoiding paying taxes," Supervisor Joseph Saladino said, promising to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Our neighborhoods will not become sanctuaries for illegal aliens under my watch."

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed and remanded the lower court's decision denying Uber's motion to compel arbitration in the Meyer v. Uber price fixing case.

Fortunately for Spencer Meyer, the appellate court's decision does not close the door on his case and send him packing to arbitration. Rather, Meyer and Uber will be going back before the district court to argue over whether the case should be forced into arbitration, at least one more time.