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

November 2014 Archives

Michael Lewis Didn't Defame Wing Chau in 'The Big Short': 2nd Cir.

Michael Lewis' nonfiction book The Big Short, published in 2011, chronicled the 2008 financial crisis as seen through the eyes of some of the people involved in it, including the hedge fund managers who "shorted" (bet against) the market.

In one chapter of the book, Steven Eisman, one of Lewis' sources, meets Wing Chau, the owner of an investment firm that managed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). CDOs were investments comprised of portions of thousands of subprime mortgages; they were a key vector for the financial collapse.

Soldiers' Families Seek to Hold Banks Liable For Terrorism in Iraq

Casualties, tragically, are a part of war. Soldiers, and their countries, enter into battle knowing that they may pay the ultimate price. And legally, soldiers' families can't sue over their lost lives.

But what happens when those sacrificed lives are taken by those outside of the war?

As Alison Frankel explains for Reuters, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992 (ATA) gives these causalities a right of action against certain parties. And the families of a few fallen soldiers are now invoking that law against some of the largest banks in Europe, claiming that they conspired to evade sanctions on Iran, and that the funding passed through was used to sponsor Iranian-trained groups that attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Loretta Lynch, N.Y. Prosecutor, Nominated for Attorney General

When Eric Holder announced last month that he was done, finished, outta here, everyone wondered who the next Attorney General of the United States would be.

And they also wondered how President Obama would be able to push through someone who was as tough as Holder was on issues that -- well, let's say issues that the new Senate majority might not want the new AG to be investigating so much.

Well, wonder no more. President Obama has confirmed the rumors, nominating U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to the post. If confirmed, Lynch would be the second woman, the second African American, and the first African American woman to hold the post.

More Ex-Franchisees Dismissed in 6-Year-Old NYC Labor Case

Between the late '80s and the late '90s, Peter Glazman recruited a variety of people to be "franchisees" for his courier business, in which his company delivered packages around New York City. Glazman's franchisees basically paid for everything themselves: a white van, "training" fees, "beeper" fees, insurance, taxes, gas, uniforms, and on and on.

The plaintiffs in this case are several franchisees -- many of whom recently emigrated from Eastern Europe and spoke limited English -- who claimed that they would be promised a 60 percent commission from each package delivery. There was never really any accounting of that, and Glazman claimed there was never any agreement to pay them that.

Stop and Frisk Litigation Finally, Thankfully, Hopefully at an End

This has been going on for far too long -- the litigation, that is. "Stop and frisk" was a terrible, constitutionally suspect practice where police officers would stop and pat down pedestrians in high-crime areas for no real reason. Disproportionately, those stopped were minorities.

Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall after multiple unfavorable court decisions, or perhaps because he understands the Fourth Amendment better than his predecessor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to settle the case. But the police unions, unhappy with the settlement, sought to intervene.

On Friday, the Second Circuit, affirming the district court's earlier ruling, held that their attempt was too little, too late. And with no intervenors left to spoil the party, this could be the last we hear about stop and frisk.