U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

June 2009 News

Kerr- McGee Chemical Corp. v. Lefton Iron & Metal Co., No. 03-2991

Appeal of a district court judgment is dismissed for want of jurisdiction, as the judgment was not final in regards to the question of damages and the treatment of insurance proceeds. When the district court decides who gets the benefit of the insurance proceeds, the judgment will then be final and any adversely affected party may appeal. 

Read Kerr- McGee Chemical Corp. v. Lefton Iron & Metal Co., No. 03-2991

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Argued APRIL 3, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and EVANS and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Per Curium Opinion.  

US v. Cole, No. 06-2547

Appeal of a sentence imposed by the district court for defendant's drug possession is dismissed where the district court did not nullify defendant's plea agreement when it rejected the drug-quantity stipulations in the agreement and independently quantified the amount of drugs attributable to defendant based on information in the presentence report, and thus the appeal waiver in the plea agreement is enforceable.    

Read US v. Cole, No. 06-2547


Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division.
Argued JUNE 3, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before KANNE, SYKES, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by SYKES, Circuit Judge.  

Stephens v. Erickson, No. 08-1416

In an action for employment discrimination and retaliation, district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff failed to produce enough evidence to support an inference that defendant's failure to promote was in retaliation for his protected activity; 2) the alterations to plaintiff's job were not materially adverse and insufficient to dissuade a reasonable employee from filing a discrimination charge; and 3) the court properly determined that certain comments made by other employees were either hearsay or irrelevant to the issue of whether plaintiff was terminated for a retaliatory purpose.   

Read Stephens v. Erickson, No. 08-1416

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued JANUARY 6, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before KANNE, WOOD, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by KANNE, Circuit Judge.  

Von der Ruhr v. Immtech Int'l, Inc., No. 08-1496

In an action for breach of a licensing contract and tortious interference with contract, district court judgment is affirmed where: 1) the court did not abuse its discretion in precluding plaintiff's lay opinion testimony, as the testimony was not grounded in personal knowledge or experience; 2) there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find against co-defendants Thompson, Parks, and Sorkin and impose personal liability on the tortious interference with contract claim. 

Read Von der Ruhr v. Immtech Int'l, Inc., No. 08-1496

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued JANUARY 16, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before BAUER, FLAUM and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by BAUER, Circuit Judge.  

US v. Huffstatler, No. 08-2622

Sentence for producing child pornography is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not err in sentencing defendant, as the court was not obligated to sentence him below the range recommended by valid sentencing guidelines; and 2) defendant's sentence, though above the guidelines range, was reasonable. 

Read US v. Huffstatler, No. 08-2622

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Argued JANUARY 28, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before BAUER, RIPPLE, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.
Per Curium Opinion.  

Stainback v. Dixon, No. 08-3563

In a Fourth Amendment action brought against police officers, district court judgment grant of summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) the court applied an acceptable methodology in addressing the qualified immunity test and evaluating whether the officers' actions violated plaintiff's constitutional right; and 2) the record establishes that the officers' actions were reasonable under the circumstances, and that they did not employ excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. 

Read Stainback v. Dixon, No. 08-3563

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Argued APRIL 15, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before FLAUM, RIPPLE and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by RIPPLE, Circuit Judge.  

US (ex rel. Lusby) v. Rolls-Royce Corp., No. 08-3593

In an employment termination action brought under the False Claims Act, district court judgment is reversed where: 1) the special status of the United States counsels against reflexive transfer of rules of preclusion from private to public litigation, and thus the resolution of personal employment litigation does not preclude a qui tam action, in which the relator acts as a representative of the public; and 2) plaintiff Lusby's latest proposed complaint alleged fraud with the requisite particularity, as the accusations were not vague and the complaint showed in detail the nature of the charge. The judgment of the district court is affirmed with respect to the claim under 31 U.S.C. sec. 3729(a)(7) as the complaint does not satisfy Rule 9(b). 

Read US (ex rel. Lusby) v. Rolls-Royce Corp., No. 08-3593

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.
Argued MAY 6, 2009
Decided JUNE 30, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and POSNER and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

Goderstad v. American Family Mutal Ins. Co., No. 06-3629

In a dispute involving insurance liability coverage, district court judgment is affirmed where defendant has no duty to defend the defendant-seller's as the insurance policy limits coverage to property damage, and the buyers' claim for negligent misrepresentation does not allege property damage caused by an accident. 

Read Goderstad v. American Family Mutal Ins. Co., No. 06-3629

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin..
Argued April 7, 2008
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before RIPPLE, WILLIAMS, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by SYKES, Circuit Judge.

Illinois Sch. Dist. Agency v. Pacific Ins. Co., Ltd., No. 08-1776

In a breach of contract action, district court judgment is reversed where: 1) the court erred in its grant of summary judgment for defendant on the estoppel claim as it failed to take costs and attorney's fees into account when considering whether a judgment against defendant would result in a double recovery; and 2) the court should not vacated the judgment in plaintiff's favor on the Illinois Insurance Code sec. 155 claim. 

Read Illinois Sch. Dist. Agency v. Pacific Ins. Co., Ltd., No. 08-1776

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Argued February 11, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before BAUER, RIPPLE and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by RIPPLE, Circuit Judge.

District court order denying plaintiff's motion to vacate the default judgment against it is affirmed where plaintiff's claim for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) based on the misconduct of its counsel fails as the counsel's actions, even with plaintiff's purported diligence, do not fall within the exceptions to the rule and do not rise to the level of exceptional to warrant such extraordinary relief. 

Read Bakery Machinery & Fabrication, Inc. v. Traditional Baking, Inc., No. 08-1967

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued February 11, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before BAUER, RIPPLE and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by BAUER, Circuit Judge.

Krolnik v. The Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., No. 08-2616

In a dispute involving disability insurance benefits, district court judgment is vacated in part and remanded where there is a dispute about whether plaintiff can work even with all of his physical and mental problems, and the court failed to weigh all the medical evidence in order to make an independent decision on the issue and also failed to cite authority for throwing out evidence submitted by plaintiff or explain why summary judgment was apt. Judgment is affirmed to the extent it holds that defendant is subrogated to a portion of the Social Security benefits, which plaintiff must pay over to defendant. 

Read Krolnik v. The Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., No. 08-2616


Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Argued April 8, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and KANNE and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 08-2820

In an action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act's retaliation provision, district court judgment against plaintiff is affirmed where: 1) the plain language of 29 U.S.C. sec. 215(a)(3) includes internal complaints as protected activity; and 2) unwritten, purely verbal complaints are not protected activity under the statute as the FLSA's use of the phrase "file any complaint" requires a plaintiff employee to submit some sort of writing. 

Read Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 08-2820

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Argued April 2, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before Before BAUER and FLAUM, Circuit Judges, and KAPALA, District Judge.
Opinion by FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

Farr v. St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, No. 08-3203

In an employment discrimination action, district court judgment is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff was not discriminated against and fired because of his gender as the evidence that he accessed inappropriate web sites provided a nondiscriminatory basis for the employer's action, and plaintiff also failed to show suspicious timing or ambiguous statements; 2) plaintiff's state law claims were properly dismissed as plaintiff was an at-will employee and defendant's employee handbook did not change the nature of his employment; and 3) plaintiff's defamation claim based on the report made by defendant and used during the grievance proceedings fails as statements made by the employer to explain its actions are privileged. 

Read Farr v. St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, No. 08-3203

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.
Argued June 1, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EVANS, Circuit Judge.

Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, No. 08-3621

In a civil rights action, district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss on the pleadings is affirmed where plaintiffs do not state a claim that Moore's death was proximately caused by the County's acts, as the death was simply too remote a consequence of the County's actions to apply the state danger exception and hold the County responsible under federal civil rights law. 

Read Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, No. 08-3621

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Argued February 26, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before Before BAUER, KANNE and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by BAUER, Circuit Judge.

Estate of Angela Enoch v. Tienor, No. 08-4103

In a dispute involving attorney's fees, district court order is reversed where, in cases which involve more than a nominal award, a fee award should not be reduced because the damages are smaller than a plaintiff originally sought. On remand the court should consider the lodestar figure, the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate, as well as other factors set out in Hensley. 

Read Estate of Angela Enoch v. Tienor, No. 08-4103

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Argued June 1, 2009
Decided June 29, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and EVANS, Circuit Judges..
Opinion by EVANS, Circuit Judge.

Matrisciano v. Randle, No. 06-1599

District court grant of summary judgment on plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim is affirmed where it was not clearly established at the time of plaintiff's transfer that the employer's action violated any constitutional rights and thus the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. 

Read Matrisciano v. Randle, No. 06-1599


Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Argued November 6, 2006.
Decided June 26, 2009

Judges
Before RIPPLE, WILLIAMS, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.

DeBartolo v. HealthSouth Corp., No. 07-1272

In a federal action claiming breach of the Anti-Kickback Act, district court order dismissing the case for failure to state a claim is vacated where the litigation is simply a state-law contract dispute between nondiverse parties and on remand should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 

Read DeBartolo v. HealthSouth Corp., No. 07-1272

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued January 10, 2008.
Decided June 26, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and RIPPLE and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by ROVNER, Circuit Judge.

US v. Taylor, No. 07-4013

Conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a mistrial during defendant's first jury trial; 2) defendant ineffective assistance of counsel argument fails as he did not make the requisite showing of prejudice; and 3) the district court did not err during the second trial by admitting into evidence the witness's statement to the officer. 

Read US v. Taylor, No. 07-4013

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Argued February 17, 2009
Decided June 26, 2009

Judges
Before POSNER, KANNE, and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by KANNE, Circuit Judge.

In an employment termination action, district grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff and the arbitrator's award for plaintiff is affirmed where the arbitrator provided exactly what the parties bargained for, and interpreted what he perceived to be ambiguity within the Last Chance Agreement to address a situation that he concluded the contract did not contemplate by its express terms. 

Read United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1546 v. Illinois-American Water Co., No. 08-3144

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued February 17, 2009
Decided June 26, 2009

Judges
Before POSNER, KANNE, and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by KANNE, Circuit Judge.

US v. Dodds, No. 08-2458

Conviction for firearms possession is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing reference to defendant's legal name; and 2) the court did not abuse its discretion and violate defendant's Sixth Amendment rights in allowing the admission of the witness's out-of-court statement to a police officer. 

Read US v. Dodds, No. 08-2458

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Argued: December 1, 2008
Decided: June 24, 2009


Judges
Before BAUER, ROVNER and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by ROVNER, Circuit Judge.

US v. Presbitero, No. 07-1129

Conviction for filing false tax returns is affirmed and sentence vacated where: 1) there was no impermissible constructive amendment of the indictment warranting a new trial; 2) there was sufficient evidence to support his conviction as the jury could have found that defendant signed the returns willfully and knowing that they were false; 3) defendant's claim that the government violated his due process rights when it took inconsistent positions in the two cases against him fails as the two trials did not involve the same underlying crime and the government did not take fundamentally opposite positions in its two prosecutions; and 4) defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him was not violated. Co-defendant Velasquez's acquittal for conspiring to defraud the United States is reversed where a rational jury could have determined that he had the requisite intent.   

Read US v. Presbitero, No. 07-1129

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued: February 28, 2008
Decided: June 24, 2009


Judges
Before ROVNER, WOOD, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.

US v. Griggs, No. 06-4211

Conviction for various crimes committed in furtherance of a typical Ponzi scheme is affirmed where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; and 2) the district court did not err in certain omissions in the instructions given to the jury in co-defendant Moore's trial. 

Read US v. Griggs, No. 06-4211


Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division.
Argued: February 9, 2008
Decided: June 24, 2009


Judges
Before POSNER and SYKES, Circuit Judges, and DOW, District Judge.
Opinion by POSNER, Circuit Judge.

US v. Severson, No. 08-1508

Conviction and sentence for money laundering, bank fraud and bank embezzlement is affirmed where: 1) there was sufficient evidence that could lead a rational trier of fact to find that when defendant received the three fraudulent loans, he knowingly participated in a scheme and had an intent to defraud the bank; and 2) the district court did not err in calculating the amount of loss and in calculating his criminal history level, and properly applied the various enhancements in computing the Advisory range under the Sentencing Guideline.    

Read US v. Severson, No. 08-1508

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Argued: January 13, 2009
Decided: June 23, 2009

Judges
Before BAUER, POSNER and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by BAUER, Circuit Judge.

Ho v. Donovan, No. 08-1763

Petition for review of an order of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is denied and cross-petition for enforcement is granted where: 1) plaintiff's due process rights were not violated as the agency provided frequent notice that plaintiff chose to ignore; 2) plaintiff's claim that the monetary penalty was unauthorized because the ALJ did not consider her financial resources fails, as plaintiff walked out of the hearing and a person who fails to supply information forfeits any complaint that the decisionmaker was uninformed on some issue; and 3) plaintiff Fung's claims fail as the agency's actions were not arbitrary or capricious, and his attempt to invoke 42 U.S.C. sec. 3603(b)(1) is frivolous. 

Read Ho v. Donovan, No. 08-1763

Appellate Information
Petition for Review and Cross-Petition for Enforcement of an Order of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Argued: June 1, 2009
Decided: June 23, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

Cunningham v. Masterwear Corp., No. 08-1924

In a common law nuisance action, district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to prove either personal injury or property damage, as they did not present evidence that the exposure to contaminants contributed to their ailments and did not present evidence that to establish the effect of the contamination on the value of their property. 

Read Cunningham v. Masterwear Corp., No. 08-1924

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.
Argued: October 29, 2008
Decided: June 23, 2009

Judges
Before POSNER, MANION, and KANNE, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by POSNER, Circuit Judge.

Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Burnham Mortgage, Inc., No. 08-3007

In a tort and contracts action alleging defendants participated in a fraudulent mortgage-flipping scheme, district court judgment is reversed where: 1) plaintiff's suit is not barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; and 2) plaintiff's suit is not barred by claim preclusion, as claims against the borrower on the note are distinct from whether defendants committed fraud that induced plaintiff to make loans or whether defendant followed plaintiff's prescribed closing procedures. 

Read Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Burnham Mortgage, Inc., No. 08-3007

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued: June 1, 2009
Decided: June 23, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

Evans v. Circuit Court of Cook County, IL, No. 08-4220

Appeal of district court's denial of plaintiff's petition for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed and the issuance of a certificate of appealabilty is declined where plaintiff has not made a substantial showing that his constitutional rights have been violated irremediably or a substantial showing of a need for federal intervention. 

Read Evans v. Circuit Court of Cook County, IL, No. 08-4220

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Submitted: May 27, 2009
Decided: June 23, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and WILLIAMS and TINDER, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

US v. Heckel, No. 07-3514

Conviction and sentence for wire fraud is affirmed where: 1) application of the mass-marketing sentencing enhancement was appropriate, as defendant used the Internet to conduct large-scale advertising to attract bidders to his fraudulent online auctions; 2) the district court did not err in adding criminal-history points to defendant's total based on his previous state conviction; and 3) defendant's sentence is reasonable. 

Read US v. Heckel, No. 07-3514


Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Argued: June 5, 2008
Decided: June 22, 2009

Judges
Before POSNER, KANNE, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by SYKES, Circuit Judge.

Bodenstab v. County of Cook, No. 08-1450

In an employment discrimination action brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff's ADA claim fails, as defendant had a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for firing plaintiff, defendant did not have an obligation to accommodate plaintiff's threats even if they were somehow related to a disability, and plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence that the defendants fired him because he engaged in protected activities; 2) plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim fails, as defendant presented undisputed evidence that it fired plaintiff because he threatened to kill his co-workers; 3) plaintiff's supplemental state law claim for common law certiorari fails, as plaintiff bore the burden of proof, and failed to present sufficient evidence; and 4) plaintiff's due process claim fails, as he had more than sufficient notice and an opportunity to be heard on the grounds on which the final Hearing Officer affirmed his termination.  

Read Bodenstab v. County of Cook, No. 08-1450

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Argued: February 12, 2009
Decided: June 22, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and MANION, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by MANION, Circuit Judge.

Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. v. US, No. 08-4300

District court judgment dismissing the suit against plaintiff and ruling that the action against the U.S. does not come within the court's subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed with modifications where: 1) plaintiff's action was untimely; 2) someone who wants a legal right to use land owned by the U.S. must act to vindicate the claim; and 3) the U.S. need not evict the interloper by force. 

Read Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. v. US, No. 08-4300

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Argued: May 12, 2009
Decided: June 22, 2009

Judges
Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, SYKES, Circuit Judge, and VAN BOKKELEN, District Judge.
Opinion by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.

US v. Turner, No. 08-2413

Defendant's crack cocaine drug sentence for violating 21 U.S.C. section 841(a)(1) is affirmed where: 1) there were no examples of extraordinary inducement or unrelenting pressure placed on Defendant that would indicate sentencing entrapment; and 2) Defendant's complaints about the conditions of his confinement did not rise to a level warranting sentencing relief.

Read the full decision in US v. Turner, No. 08-2413.

Appellate Information:

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
No. 07 CR 00255 -- Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, Judge.
ARGUED JANUARY 14, 2009
DECIDED JUNE 17, 2009


Judges:

Before CUDAHY, KANNE, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by KANNE, Circuit Judge.

US v. Douglas, No. 08-2655, 08-2661

Defendant's cocaine and crack cocaine drug sentence for violating 21 U.S.C. section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A) is affirmed where Defendant's challenge to his sentencing enhancements failed because the District Court applied the statutory minimum, and thus any error in sentencing Defendant was harmless.

Read the full decision in US v. Douglas, No. 08-2655, 08-2661.

Appellate Information:

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Nos. 04 CR 10074 & 07 CR 10080 -- Michael M. Mihm, Judge.
ARGUED MAY 4, 2009
DECIDED JUNE 17, 2009


Judges:

Before KANNE and EVANS, Circuit Judges, and DOW, District Judge.

Opinion by KANNE, Circuit Judge.

Valero Energy Corp. v. US, No. 08-3473

In an appeal from the District Court's order denying Petitioner's motion to quash an IRS subpoena, the order is affirmed where the services provided to Petitioner by its accounting firm constituted "promotion of a tax shelter" under 26 U.S.C. section 7525(b)(2), and thus the tax practitioner-client privilege did not protect the documents at issue.

Read the full decision in Valero Energy Corp. v. US, No. 08-3473.

Appellate Information:

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
No. 06 C 6730--Matthew F. Kennelly, Judge.
ARGUED FEBRUARY 18, 2009
DECIDED JUNE 17, 2009


Judges:

Before ROVNER, EVANS, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by EVANS, Circuit Judge.

Jafari v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, No. 08-3994

In an appeal from the Bankruptcy Court's order allowing Creditors' claims against Debtors based on gambling debts, the order is affirmed where: 1) Wisconsin courts, applying their forum's choice-of-law analysis, would apply Nevada law to govern the claims; and 2) the claims were enforceable under Nevada law.

Read the full decision in Jafari v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC.

Appellate Information:

Appeal from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
No. 06-10155-11 - Thomas S. Utschig, Judge.
ARGUED on APRIL 17, 2009
DECIDED on JUNE 17, 2009

Judges:

Before FLAUM, EVANS, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

US v. Lacey, No. 08-2515

Conviction and sentence for possession of child pornography is affirmed where: 1) defendant's guilty plea waived his challenge to the jurisdictional element of his conviction, and evidence was sufficient to establish a factual basis for the jurisdictional element of his offense; 2) the district court did not err in increasing his sentencing guidelines range after finding that the offense involved more than 600 images of child pornography as the visual inspection of the images was sufficient to find that they were images of actual minors and not virtual ones; and 3) defendant's argument that the Sixth Amendment requires a jury and not the district court to determine contested factual issues at sentencing fails as defendant was sentenced below the statutory maximum for his offense.

Read the full decision in US v. Lacey, No. 08-2515.

Appeal Information:

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. No. 07 CR 40052 - Michael J. Reagan, Judge.

Argued February 20, 2009, Decided June 12, 2009

Judges:

Before BAUER, MANION, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by MANION, Circuit Judge.

US v. Pulungan, No. 08-3000

Defendant's conviction for attempting to acquire and export Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T riflescopes to Indonesia without a license, under 22 U.S.C. section 2778, is reversed where the evidence was insufficient to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Defendant knew that the scopes required export licenses.

Read the full decision in US v. Pulungan, No. 08-3000.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 07-CR-144-BBC--Barbara B. Crabb, Chief Judge.

Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and FLAUM, Circuit Judges.

Authored by EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.