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2nd Cir. Adopts NLRB Standard for Bargaining Units

The Second Circuit has adopted the National Labor Relations Board's organizational standards for proposed unions. In applying a two-part test, the court joined other federal jurisdictions to evaluate whether proposed collective bargaining units consist of employees who share a "community of interests" and do not "arbitrarily exclude other employees." The panel reached its decision in Constellation Brands v. National Labor Relations Board, a contest over the organization of a winery's operations department.

"We hold the Specialty Healthcare framework to be valid, as our sister circuits have, and to be consistent with this Court's precedent," the court said. While upholding the NLRB's framework, however, the court concluded the Board did not properly apply the standard.

2nd Cir. Reverses Lower Ct. Libor Ruling, Says Antitrust Violated

The Second Circuit has reversed a lower federal court decision that had first determined that widespread collusion amongst international banks to price-fix the London Interbank Offered Rate (aka Libor) was not a violation of antitrust law for want of competition.

The Second Circuit's Court of Appeals reversed this recently, breathing new life into plaintiffs' hopes for redemption. As well as plaintiffs' lawyers. The ruling cracks open a doorway to potentially billions in damages tied to the manipulation of the price of money and lending.

Tom Brady's Luck Is Running out Before the Second Circuit

It looks like Tom Brady's luck is finally beginning to thin out. The beleagured NFL star's attorney appeared before the Second Circuit (originally brought late last year) and was subjected to the panel's inquiries as to why Brady should or should not be reinstated into play after he was suspended in the wake of deflategate.

The main issue before the panel was whether or not the Manhattan federal court judge Richard Berman had ruled correctly when he found that Brady's rights to due process were violated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who could have potentially dispensed his "own brand of industrial justice."

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Google Library Book-Scanning Project Is Fair Use

More than a decade ago, Google announced what, at the time, seemed like an unbelievably ambitious extension of Google Print: it would create a massive online library of 15,000,000 digitally scanned books. We all know now, however, not to underestimate Google.

The project did raise the ire of a number of copyright holders and lawyers who claimed the project was a massive copyright violation and two suits followed. Well, the Second Circuit just sided with Google and ruled that the Google Books Library Project had met all the elements of "fair use."

Dentists have a new reason to smile after the Second Circuit upheld Connecticut regulations requiring that certain teeth-whitening procedures be performed only by licensed dentists. The procedure in question involves shining a low-powered LED light into a customer's mouth for 20 minutes, so it's not exactly major surgery -- but it's risky enough to justify the restriction and survive rational basis review, the Court ruled.

The court's highly deferential ruling means that it will be a bit harder to get whiter teeth on the cheap in Connecticut. It also contrasts with a recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down similar restrictions in North Carolina.

Apple Antitrust Monitor Stays Put: 2nd Cir.

Apple -- you know, the company that makes your iPhone -- got into a bit of trouble a few years ago when the United States started investigating allegations of price fixing in the e-book market.

Eventually, Apple settled for $450 million, but did so in the most begrudging way possible. Ever since, it's done nothing but complain about the compliance monitor the court appointed to ensure Apple was abiding by the terms of the settlement. Today, the Second Circuit told Apple to suck it up: the monitor isn't going anywhere.

Want to work for the federal judiciary? Now's your chance!

The Second Circuit is currently on the lookout for candidates for a Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of New York. The gig lasts for 14 years and starts at $180,012 annually. If that salary is too much for you, the circuit is also looking for lawyers willing to work completely for free! Applications for the circuit's pro bono panel are currently being accepted.

N.Y.'s Top Judge Calls for Grand Jury Reform

Following the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury non-indictments, many of us wondered why grand juries are still hanging around. The Constitution requires only that the federal government use grand juries to indict criminal suspects, and yet 23 states still require the use of these bodies for serious felonies.

The problem is that grand juries are secretive (intentionally so) and not subject to the same protections as, say, preliminary hearings, like the right to counsel and the right to cross-examine witnesses. One prominent jurist wants to change that.

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: