U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2011 Archives

Tenth Circuit Denies Equitable Tolling Claim in Habeas Petition

If you're trolling for a tolling ruling in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, you may be out of luck. The Tenth Circuit reminded us this week that equitable tolling is rarely available.

An Oklahoma state court sentenced Harry Miller, Jr., to prison in 2007 for making a lewd or indecent proposal to a child. In 2010, he filed an application for state post-conviction relief and, when that failed, a federal habeas petition.

The problem? Miller's habeas petition was untimely filed.

Commercial General Liability Policy Covers Patent Infringement?

Ah … the commercial general liability policy: savior of the business sector, the great indemnifier, the … defender of patent infringement lawsuits?

That’s right. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week in Dish Network Corp. v. Arch Specialty Ins. that insurers may have a responsibility to defend and indemnify Dish Network (Dish) against a patent infringement lawsuit because the lawsuit could be considered an advertising injury under Dish’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy.

Tenth Circuit Reinstates Roadless Rule

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the Clinton-era “Roadless Rule” today in a 120-page decision.

A Wyoming federal court blocked enforcement of the rule, designed to protect 49 million acres of roadless forests and grasslands, after the State of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association challenged the law in 2008, reports The Denver Post.

Insufficient Evidence? Inferences Can Convince Rational Juror

Gilberto Leyva and Alejandro Reyna were convicted of drug and conspiracy charges after police officers who pulled them over for speeding discovered a large quantity of methamphetamine hidden in their truck’s radiator.

Leyva and Reyna claimed on appeal that the conviction should be overturned because the government presented insufficient evidence at trial to suggest they knew of the drugs. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals explained this week why their insufficient evidence theory was almost as ill-considered as their decision to store methamphetamine in a radiator.

Tenth Circuit Miscellaneous Fees Increase Effective Nov. 1

Get ready to pay higher fees in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Judicial Conference of the United States recently approved increases to miscellaneous fees in the federal courts. The increased fee amounts will become effective on November 1.

Yes, it’s frustrating that the cost of practicing law is going up, but it has been eight years since the Judicial Conference last implemented an inflationary increase on miscellaneous fees. Here are the announced increases:

Tenth Circuit Dismisses FMLA Retaliation Claim

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision siding with aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) this week, finding that a fired employee’s discrimination and retaliation claims lacked merit to proceed to trial.

The employee, Denice Twigg, was employed by HBC from April 2, 1997, to April 7, 2008, where she worked in HBC’s Technical Manual Distribution Center (TMDC) as a Media Production Specialist.

Tenth Cir. Serves Reasonable Suspicion on Dangling License Plate

We read a lot of appellate search and seizure challenges, but rarely do we find those appeals accompanied by photographs. This case was a rare exception.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Josiah Trinkle saw a pickup truck driving on the interstate with its license plate hanging on one side. Kansas law requires that a vehicle's license plate "shall at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle ... to prevent the plate from swinging," so Trooper Trinkle tailed the truck.

Tenth Circuit Affirms JMOL in Racial Profiling Case

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on two claims in a racial profiling case this week, finding that the plaintiff had not offered evidence to support his claims.

In 2008, Edward Henry filed a civil rights action against two Albuquerque police officers, Jacob Storey and Amy Fangio, after the officers mistakenly stopped and handcuffed Henry for driving a stolen vehicle. Henry, who is African-American, was driving a rental car at the time. The officers released Henry when they realized that the vehicle has been erroneously reported as stolen.