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

December 2014 Archives

From the 2nd Cir.: Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

Y'all are nasty. Just kidding. But you do like nasty blog topics. (We all do.)

Need proof? Here are the 10 most popular blog posts from FindLaw's U.S. Second Circuit blog for the past year. The docket includes incest, sprayed feces, oral suction during circumcision, plus a litany of other topics that I have no interest in because, well, I'm nasty too.

Here's the big list:

Microsoft Appeals Order to Produce Emails Stored in Ireland

Back in July, Microsoft lost a battle to protect data stored on Irish email servers, wholly owned and controlled by Microsoft, from the U.S. Justice Department. All we know about these email MacGuffins is that they have something to do with drugs.

Appealing to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Microsoft argues that, because the magnetic particles comprising the data are physically located in Ireland, those particles -- and the data they represent -- are protected by Irish and European privacy laws, meaning Microsoft can't be compelled to turn them over.

2nd Cir. Massively Limits Insider Trading Prosecutions

The Second Circuit called it "doctrinal novelty." Others might have called it made-up law.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, led by Preet Bharara, called it insider trading despite increasingly tenuous connections between the traders and the tipsters, and a complete and utter lack of proof that the traders knew that the tippers benefited from the trades.

In short, it was a crime without a mens rea. The USAO stretched insider trading prosecutions as far as they could possibly go -- until the Second Circuit snapped back.

2nd Cir. Limits Madoff Trustee's Clawback Powers

Bernie Madoff just won't stop popping up everywhere. As you'll recall, the disgraced investor was sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding clients out of about $18 billion in a Ponzi scheme that lasted almost 20 years.

What remained of Madoff's company was placed under the control of a trustee, Jean Luc Irving H. Picard. Picard's job is to recover as much as he can, however he can, and attempt to compensate investors who lost money.

Faster than you can say "engage," customers who profited on the scheme decided they wanted to keep those profits.

Chimpanzee Denied Habeas Relief by N.Y. Appellate Court

In October, the Nonhuman Rights Project, a legal advocacy group for chimpanzees, argued that a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy should be recognized as a "person" under New York law and granted a writ of habeas corpus.

Chimps, the group argued in a 65-page brief submitted to the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division last March, share genetic information as well as cognitive skills with humans. They understand language and use tools. Chimps trained in American Sign Language can even teach other chimps how to sign. For all these reasons and more, the Nonhuman Rights Project argued that Tommy should be released from his cage.

SCOTUS Denies Cert. in Ground Zero Environmental Cleanup Case

The Supreme Court yesterday denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case that's been going on since 2008, pitting a real estate developer against the owner of the World Trade Center site to figure out who was going to pay for cleanup costs related to the September 11 attacks.

When the real estate developer, Cedar & Washington, wanted to renovate an office building in downtown New York, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA told the developer the building might contain "WTC dust," consisting of fine particles of concrete along with hazardous substances like lead, mercury, and asbestos that settled in and on the building following the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in 2001.