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

December 2016 News

Listen up, suspicious husbands, nosy wives, and exes who just can't let go: unpermitted snooping into your partner's email may be a violation of the federal Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. That is, according to a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit.

The case involves a contentious divorce between Paula and Barry Epstein. Paula accused Barry of "serial infidelity." Barry demanded proof. Much to his surprise, Paula handed over Barry's own, purloined emails. Barry sued, saying that his soon-to-be ex-wife had violated the Wiretap Act. It was an interpretation of the act the Seventh Circuit endorsed, though it noted that "Congress probably didn't anticipate" the use of the Wiretap Act "as a tactical weapon in a divorce proceeding."

Acquitted Attorney Can't Sue Prosecutors, 7th Cir. Rules

No good deed goes unpunished, and you can't even sue for it.

That's a summary of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in Katz-Crank v. Haskett, which says an acquitted lawyer is barred from suing government officials who unsuccessfully prosecuted her. Here's what happened:

An attorney discovered her client was committing fraud and reported him to authorities. But they already knew about it and were investigating whether the attorney was involved. They charged her with aiding and abetting, and she was acquitted. She sued, and a judge dismissed. The court of appeals affirmed.

No Minimum Wage for NCAA Athletes, 7th Circuit Rules

Two track-and-field students sued for the love of the game and minimum wage, but came up short at the finish line.

The Seventh Circuit ruled that the plaintiffs could not make a case for minimum wage claims because of the "long tradition of amateur sports" that students play for reasons "wholly unrelated to immediate compensation."

"Simply put, student-athletic 'play' is not 'work,'" Judge Michael S. Kanne wrote for the unanimous court in Berger v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.