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

Recently in Contract Law Category

In a case that's sure to open the eyes of many vegetarians, Buffalo Wild Wings has just succeeded in knocking out a potential class action claim stemming from some of their fried menu items. The lawsuit alleged that BWW's French fries, and other non-meat containing fried foods, aren't actually vegetarian because they're fried in beef fat rather than vegetable oil.

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the federal court found that the complaint failed to state a claim for relief due to not sufficiently alleging an injury. However, the district court seemed to rather strongly suggest that the plaintiff's allegations could be corrected (and Footnote 2 even explicitly details how).

Facebook IPO Litigation Dust Settles

When Facebook stumbled out of the gates at its initial public offering, early investors had to take a slow-but-steady approach to profitability.

A share was worth about $38 then; it trades for $189 today. That's a substantial return, but not what investors originally expected.

And that's why there is still ongoing litigation about that frenzied day in May 2012. But now it's between the insurance companies who split responsibility for an unprecedented settlement.

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.

Even the best running backs need to rely on their entire offensive line to break through and find the holes. But, for the Dallas Cowboy's Ezekiel Elliott, he's relying on his lawyers just to keep him on the field. Just this morning an emergency injunction was issued clearing him to play this Sunday.

The Elliot case has been garnering national attention as there is quite a bit of controversy from nearly any angle you want to approach it. While the media has been closely following the drama surrounding the criminal investigation, and the NFL's investigation, into the domestic violence allegations against him, the case actually presents some fascinating factual and legal issues.

2nd Circuit Decertifies Class After Jury Returns $32M Verdict

A lesson of particular interest to class action civil procedure came out from a unanimous Second Circuit recently. That court of appeals affirmed a lower federal district court's decision to decertify a class of debtors on grounds of lack of commonality and typicality, even though the jury returned a $32 million verdict in favor of plaintiffs.

This ruling does not mean a free-for-all in courts, however. After all, the decertification took place before a final judgment in the case.

'Hustle' Case Reversed: BofA Escapes $1.3 Billion Penalty

The Second Circuit just handed Bank of America a huge win when it reversed the trial court's order for the mortgage lender to pay up to the tune of $1.27 billion. This penalty was initially ordered for alleged violations by its Countryside unit when the mortgage-crisis reached a fever pitch. The case became known as the "Hustle" case because of its focus on the banking industry tactic of continuing to issue bad loans despite their quality.

The case is a curious one and is sure to infuriate now disbanded members of "Occupy Wall Street." In the opinion of Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times, the decision amounted to a kangaroo decision that turned on the following issue: "When is a fraud not a fraud, but just, sort of, a lie?"

TWA Flight Attendants Finally Lose Legal Battle Over Seniority Rights

It looks like a long and bitter battle that first began in 2001 is finally coming to an end. The Second Circuit's Court of Appeals just sided with a lower district court decision, affirming that plaintiff's are not entitlement to the seniority order that had been lost when TWA was acquired by U.S. Airways in 2001.

The case was ironically made worse with the enactment of the McCaskill-Bond Act which largely owed its existence to the original US Air/ AA / TWA takeover.

Benihana Drama in the 2nd Circuit

This is a case about Benihana, burgers, and contracts. Benihana was founded in 1963 by Rocky Aoki, who would have been a serious contender for the title "Most Interesting Man in the World."

Unfortunately, the case doesn't really involve the considerable family drama surrounding the company after Aoki's death in 2008, which pitted Aoki's six children against his third (much younger) wife, who also happened to be the CEO of Benihana of Tokyo at the time. This case is about a 1994 agreement splitting the company into two entities.

2 Is the Loneliest Circuit: Only 1 SCOTUS Grant So Far This Term

Thus far, the Supreme Court has granted cert. to only one case from the Second Circuit. Gelboim v. Bank of America is a civil action brought by several investors against several banks, arising out of the LIBOR scandal of a few years ago.

LIBOR -- the London Interbank Offered Rate -- is an important interest rate in worldwide banking. It was discovered that several banks colluded to manipulate the interest rate, harming investors by giving them a lower interest rate on financial products than they would have had otherwise.

2nd Cir. Enjoins Indian Tribe's Payday Loan Business in N.Y.

How lucrative are "check cashing" businesses? Pretty lucrative, but states are increasingly regulating these bank-like industries that charge extremely high interest rates. Enter the Indian tribes! Payday lenders are teaming up with Indian tribes to utilize tribal sovereignty as an end-run around state usury laws, which the lenders claim don't apply to loans made on tribal land. As a result, the legality of these operations is a serious question. From Minnesota to California, states are cracking down on these tribal lending operations.

Yesterday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a bit of a death blow to a New York-based Indian payday lender.