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

January 2014 Archives

Swatch Group and Bloomberg have been fighting for three years in New York federal courts regarding the publication of a conference call between Swatch and financial analysts. Closely watched by news outlets, a line has now been drawn in the sand by the Second Circuit.

The Conference Call and Publication

On February 8, 2011, Swatch publicized its 2010 earnings report, and as customary, later that day had a conference call with Swatch executives and 132 financial analysts. Though Bloomberg was not invited, and did not attend, shortly after the call, Bloomberg received an audio copy and transcript of the call. The call did not contain any information that was not already revealed in the published earnings report. That day, Bloomberg made the transcript and recording available on its online financial research service website Bloomberg Professional.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit struck down portions of New York City’s Local Law 17 in The Evergreen Association v. City of New York, but held that the definition of “pregnancy service centers” wasn’t impermissibly vague.

Local Law 17 required pregnancy centers to disclose whether they have licensed medical professional on staff, whether the center provides referrals for abortion, emergency contraception, or prenatal care, and that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages pregnant women to consult with a licensed doctor, according to the opinion.

One of the issues in this case is whether the definition of ‘pregnancy services centers’ was too vague and would compel them to speech they didn’t endorse.

Bernard Madoff was arrested in 2008, but the trail of infamy surrounding his Ponzi scheme is far from over when it comes to litigation, and the liquidation of assets related to the fraud. In the latest development, the Second Circuit affirmed the lower courts' rulings, and we received news that the Bankruptcy Judge presiding over the case passed away over the weekend.

Background

Understandably, there is a litany of litigation arising from Madoff's Ponzi scheme gone awry. The case before the Second Circuit had to do with a fundamental question regarding the way the litigation has been handled.

It looks like the A's have it. Last Friday, the Supreme Court released its order list and two cases originating in the Second Circuit were granted certiorari, and big players in each case start with -- you guessed it, the letter A.

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.

Aereo is in the business of transmitting broadcast television programming to mobile devices, without a license -- sometimes while the program is airing on television. Understandably, broadcasters disagreed with Aereo's practice, and sued Aereo for copyright infringement in district court in New York, seeking a preliminary injunction, which the court denied.

Litigation surrounding credit card swipe fees has been in and out of court for nearly a decade, beginning in 2005, when according to Bloomberg, merchants filed a class action against credit card companies and their banks alleging price fixing.

On December 13, Judge Gleeson, District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, approved a class action settlement, dubbed by Bloomberg as the "largest-ever U.S. antitrust accord."

That may all change, however, as the National Retail Federation recently filed a notice of appeal to the Second Circuit.

Not quite sure why we still get surprised, but sometimes we read about things people do to each other and it really boggles the mind. Just how exactly does a person come up with the idea to spray a combination of feces, vinegar and some type of machine oil on another person?

We have no clue how such an awful idea comes to fruition, but we do know that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals considers it cruel and unusual punishment. In an appeal heard late December, the court vacated a district court's decision that came to the opposite conclusion.