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

September 2015 Archives

Andrew Hall was born in a coal cellar during the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi Germany. It was, perhaps, a foretelling birth: Hall has gone on to make his name as an attorney by fighting against terrorists and corrupt regimes. The goal? Make them pay for their crimes -- in cash.

So far, he's had incredible success, winning cases against state sponsors of terror such as Iraq and Libya. In 2012, he won a $315 million award against Sudan for its involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole. Hall's winning record held up again this Wednesday, as the Second Circuit affirmed the ruling against the Republic of Sudan.

Prosecutors who mislead grand juries aren't protected by qualified immunity and can be sued, the Second Circuit ruled last Friday. The case involved a former New York State Special Assistant Attorney General who submitted fraudulent and misleading evidence to a grand jury in order to indict a dentist accused of Medicaid fraud.

After the dentist, Dr. Leonard Morse, was acquitted, he returned to court to sue the prosecutors, alleging that their manipulation of evidence before the grand jury denied him his constitutional right to a fair trial. A district court jury, and now the Second Circuit, agreed.

The Second Circuit greatly expanded the right to bring retaliation suits against government employees last Thursday. In a unanimous three-judge ruling, the court found that claims of illegal retaliation based on a complaint of discrimination are allowed under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, which makes government employees liable for violating constitutional rights under the color of law.

The ruling represents a break from 19 years of precedent which largely found retaliation to be outside sec. 1983's scope.