Criminal, Employment, Environmental and Government Benefits Cases - U.S. Tenth Circuit
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Criminal, Employment, Environmental and Government Benefits Cases

Hill v. Ricoh Americas Corp., No. 09-3182, involved an action alleging that plaintiff was terminated from his position in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and Kansas common law prohibiting retaliatory discharge.  The court of appeals reversed the denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration, on the grounds that 1) defendant was not required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(c)(1) to demand arbitration in its answer; 2) defendant did not demand arbitration until four months after answering the complaint, but that length of time in itself did not establish waiver; and 3) the parties' retention bonus agreement did not supersede the arbitration clause in the initial employment agreement.

In US v. Martinez, No. 09-6049, the court of appeals reversed defendant's firearm possession sentence, on the ground that the Arizona offense of attempted second-degree burglary was a "crime of violence" under the Sentencing Guidelines, but not a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Wilson v. Astrue, No. 08-3325, concerned a petition for review of the Social Security Commissioner's order denying petitioner's applications for Social Security disability and for Supplemental Security Income benefits.  The court of appeals denied the petition, holding that 1) although the Administrative Law Judge did not go into the specifics about the symptoms that led to petitioner's psychotic disorder diagnosis, he made the findings required by 20 C.F.R. section 404.1520a, and considered the psychotic disorder diagnosis in doing so; 2) it was clear from the ALJ's decision, taken as a whole, that the ALJ was aware that a claimant's pain may be considered disabling despite the absence of neurological testing objectively showing a reason for such pain; and 3) there was substantial evidence to support the ALJ's determination that petitioner was not entirely credible.

Copar Pumice Co., No. 07-2211, involved a petition for review of a Notice of Noncompliance that the United States Forest Service (FS) issued to petitioner concerning its pumice mining activities.  The court affirmed the denial of the petition, on the grounds that 1) the expiration of petitioner's plan of operations completely and irrevocably eradicated the effects of the plan modification requirement set forth in the Notice of Noncompliance; 2) it was not plainly erroneous or inconsistent for the FS to conclude from its regulations that an "uncommon variety" mineral becomes a common variety mineral when it is no longer used in an application that emphasizes its distinct and special value; and 3) the administrative record simply did not support petitioner's assertion that it was unaware of the FS's requests for verification.

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