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


Curtis Hardaway's pro se appeal of the Federal District Court of Connecticut's sua sponte dismissal of his Title VII lawsuit against the Hartford Public Works Department was surprisingly successful in winning a reversal and remand.

The district court dismissed Hardaway's third amended complaint on a rather significant technicality: he failed to plead facts to show that he satisfied the exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement under Title VII. The Second Circuit reasoned that the district court could not dismiss the case sua sponte as the exhaustion requirement was not a jurisdictional requirement, but rather an affirmative defense.

Flu Shot Reminder Text Doesn't Violate TCPA

Daniel Latner got a text message that apparently offended him.

"It's flu season again," his health care provider texted. It invited him to come in for a flu shot.

Instead of getting a shot, he filed a lawsuit. In Latner v. Mount Sinai Health System, it seemed like no good deed goes unpunished.

Former Hedge Fund Exec Charged With Fraud in NY Federal Court

Michael Cohen, a former executive of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, made a bad loan and a worse decision afterwards.

According to an indictment in New York, he conspired to commit investment adviser fraud and other crimes when the borrower couldn't repay the loan. It was a personal loan that didn't directly involve Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, which had already settled charges it bribed African officials for business.

But for Cohen, a rising star in the company, it was a meteoric decline from the days when he made enough money to buy himself a 900-acre estate in London. The good news for him is, he still lives there.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reached a conclusion as surprising as the name of the food truck at the center of one of the more curious recent federal First Amendment appeals: Wandering Dago v. the State of New York.

The appellate court actually ruled in favor of the food truck with questionable (arguably offensive) branding, finding that the state's reason for excluding the food truck from a lunch program violated the First Amendment, despite the business's use of ethnic slurs in its branding and menu. The truck itself is a rolling ethnic slur, and uses other stereotypical pejorative terms for Italians for various menu items. However, the truck is seeking to reclaim these pejorative terms and believes using the words with a positive connotation is empowering rather than offensive.

Court Affirms Child Porn Conviction Against Former Bank Executive

Charles Familetti, Jr. had serious problems before federal officers walked into his apartment.

Familetti was waiting for an 11-year-old boy to arrive and have sex with him. When an FBI task force showed up instead, Familetti had a panic attack.

They settled him down, said he could leave, but asked for his help finding people "who are raping children." Familetti agreed, and that's when his legal problems started in United States of America v. Familetti.

NY Flight Attendant Charged With Smuggling Large Sums of Cash

Jackie was smuggling money on flights for Ordell, but he was balking at her 15 percent "management" fee.

Manager's get 10 percent, Ordell said. "No, that's an agent," Jackie retorted. "Manager gets 15 percent."

Oh, you saw that movie? Maybe Scott McKinney saw it, too, because he got busted for smuggling money on commercial airlines. Only, McKinney's not getting a management fee. He's probably getting five years.

The Wang v. Hearst case has been closely watched over the past several years as the courts worked to define when an unpaid internship violated the FLSA.

As one of the major fashion media corporations, Hearst was upfront in seeking out the unpaid interns, but the case erupted after some of those interns felt that Hearst was getting the better end of the bargain. Unfortunately for the interns, the law surrounding unpaid internships is anything but certain. And sadly for those interns, in providing some certainty on the law, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of their action against Hearst on summary judgment, finding that none of the plaintiff interns were employees.

A small group of plaintiffs are all breathing a collective sigh of relief thanks to a recent Second Circuit decision vacating the dismissal of their case. The case was dismissed sua sponte by the federal district court after the plaintiffs' attorney failed to show up on time for a pretrial conference.

After waiting just under half an hour for the late lawyer to show, the lower court dismissed the matter with prejudice, despite the fact that the case was through discovery and motions and basically ready for trial. The attorney on the matter, a solo practitioner, had tried to attend three different hearings all in different courthouses all in one morning. Clearly, it did not work out for him, even though the plaintiffs did prevail in this appeal.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the dismissal of a potential class action lawsuit related to Capital One's practice of charging "overdraft fees." Fortunately for the credit giant, only the breach of contract claim and one other statutory claim under New York law were revived.

The plaintiff in the case alleges that the contractual agreement and the bank's actual practices do not line up, which results in customers being unfairly charged overdraft fees. However, despite this win on appeal, the case is far from over as the plaintiff, Tawanna Roberts, will still need to proceed through litigation and trial.

Iran Sanctions Case Stalls, Deal Possible

It's one thing when a defendant does not show up in court; it's another when the defense counsel is a no-show.

In a high-profile trial in Manhattan, neither Reza Zarrab nor his lawyers appeared for jury selection. Prosecutors allege Zarrab conspired to handle hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran to avoid economic sanctions.

After meeting with the lawyers who did make it to court, the judge postponed the case for a week. For co-defendant Mehmet Hakan Atilla, it may not have been good thing.