U.S. Third Circuit: September 2009 Archives
U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

September 2009 Archives

Delaware River & Bay Auth. v. Kopacz, No. 08-4029

In an admiralty case involving shipowner's duty to pay maintenance to a seaman, district court's award of declaratory judgment in favor of the seaman-defendant is affirmed where: 1) commuter seamen enjoy the same right to maintenance as their deep water counterparts; 2) the long-term disability payments do not offset the amount of maintenance owed which is a duty that is independent of the shipowner's contractual obligations; 3) receipt of social security benefits did not relieve the shipowner of its maintenance obligation; 4) district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding prejudgment interest award to compensate defendant for losses stemming from plaintiff's tardy discharge of its duty; and 5) district court properly exercised its discretion in denying defendant's claim for consequential damages.     

Read Delaware River & Bay Auth. v. Kopacz, No. 08-4029

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (D.C. Civil No. 07-Cv-00008)  

District Judge: Honorable Sue L. Robinson

Opinion Filed September 25, 2009

Judges

Before: Rendell, Alarcon, and Stapleton, Circuit Judges
Opinion by Rendell, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Mary E. Reeves, Donna Adelsberger & Associates

Counsel for Appellee: E. Alfred Smith, E. Alfred Smith & Associates

US v. Starnes, No. 07-3341

District court's sentence and conviction of defendants, for knowingly violating EPA work practice standards for the handling and disposal of regulated asbestos-containing material, subjecting them to criminal liability under the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. section 7412 and 7413(c)(1), and knowingly and willfully making materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States by transmitting falsified air-monitoring reports to Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA) in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1001(a), is affirmed where: 1) evidence supports a finding that defendant was an operator of the project within the meaning of the Clean Air Act; 2) evidence is sufficient to establish falsity, federal-government jurisdiction, and necessary elements of a section 1001(a) violation; and 3) defendants' various challenges to the district court's determination of their respective sentences is rejected.   

Read US v. Starnes, No. 07-3341

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Thomas  (D.C. Nos. 03-Cr-00020-2 and 03-cr-00020-1)  

District Judge: Honorable Raymond L. Finch

Opinion Filed September 24, 2009

Judges

Before: Fisher, Jordan, and Stapleton, Circuit Judges
Opinion by Fisher, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Todd G. Scher, Marc D. Seitles

Counsel for Appellee: Darren John-Baptiste, Charlotte Amalie, Anna T. Katselas

Bellvue Drug Co. v. CaremarksPCS, Inc., No. 07-1151

In one of six similar antitrust actions challenging the practices of prescription benefits managers, that was transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for coordinated proceedings, a transferee judge's order vacating the transferor judge's order compelling arbitration is vacated and remanded with instructions to reinstate the order compelling arbitration as the order violated the law of the case doctrine.   

Read Bellvue Drug Co. v. CaremarksPCS, Inc., No. 07-1151

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the  Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Civ. No. 03-Cv-04731)  

District Judge: Honorable John P. Fullam

Opinion Filed September 24, 2009

Judges

Before: McKee and Ambro, Circuit Judges, and Aldisert, Senior Circuit Judge
Opinion by McKee, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Steven E. Bizar, Landon Y. Jones, III, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC, of Philadelphia, PA; Michael Sennett, Paula W. Render, Jones Day, Chicago, Illinois; Victor E. Grimm, Jason M. Marks, Bell, Boyd & LLoyd LLP, Chicago, Illinois

Counsel for Appellee: Michael J. Freed, Freed Kanner London & Milen LLC, Bannockburn, Illinois; Jean K. Janes, Much Shelist Denedberg Ament & Rubenstein PC, Chicago, Illinois; H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Martin I. Twersky, Berger & Montague, PC., Philadelphia, PA.

US v. Harris, No. 08-1553

Denial of incarcerated appellant's motion to vacate an order of civil contempt that has been in effect for over five years, which stemmed from a criminal proceeding in which defendant was convicted of conspiracy and fraud and sentenced to 188 months' imprisonment, is affirmed where: 1) the court permissibly structured the order of contempt so that it tolled the commencement of appellant's criminal sentence, such that only if and when the contempt order is lifted will he begin serving that sentence; 2) an order of civil contempt will only become punitive if a contemnor is unable to comply with the order, or if the circumstances indicate that a court is maintaining the contempt for an impermissible punitive purpose; 3) in this case, appellant can comply with the order in question at any time and the order will be lifted. 

Read US v. Harris, No. 08-1553

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the  District of New Jersey

(D.C. Crim. No. 03-Cr-00354-001)  

District Judge: Honorable Jerome B. Simandle

Opinion Filed September 23, 2009

Judges

Before: Barry, Smith, Circuit Judges, and DuBois, District Judge 
Opinion by Barry, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Edward F. Borden, Jr.

Counsel for Appellee: Norman Gross, George S. Leone

Erdman v. Nationwide Ins. Co., No. 07-3796

In plaintiff's case against her former employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and for retaliation, summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer is affirmed in part, and vacated and remanded in part where: 1) the record indicates that a reasonable jury could conclude that defendant-Nationwide had constructive notice of hours plaintiff worked from home and thus, she was eligible for FMLA leave for purposes of summary judgment; 2) the version of section 825.110 in effect at the time of plaintiff's dismissal was invalid;  3) firing an employee for a valid request for FMLA leave may constitute interference with the employee's FMLA rights as well as retaliation against the employee; and 4) because no reasonable jury could conclude that plaintiff was fired because of her daughter's known disability, district court's summary judgment on her ADA claim is affirmed. 

Read Erdman v. Nationwide Ins. Co., No. 07-3796

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

(D.C. No. 05-CV-00944)  

District Judge: Honorable Christopher C. Conner

Opinion Filed September 23, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Fuentes and Hardiman, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Hardiman, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Patricia C. Zucker, Daley Zucker Meilton Miner & Gingrich

Counsel for Appellee: Donald R. Keller, Vladimir P. Belo, Bricker & Eckler

AT&T Inc. v. FCC, No. 08-4024

Petition for review of a decision rejecting AT&T's claim that the FCC could not lawfully release documents pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) obtained during the course of an investigation into an alleged overcharging, on the ground that disclosure would likely invade the company's "personal privacy", is granted as the FOIA's text unambiguously indicated that a corporation may have a "personal privacy" interest within the meaning of Exemption 7(C). Thus, the matter is remanded to the FCC with instructions to determine, in accordance with the court's construction of Exemption 7(C), whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy section 553(b)(7)(c). 

Read AT&T Inc. v. FCC, No. 08-4024

Appellate Information

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission

Opinion Filed September 22, 2009

Judges

Before: Fuentes, Chagares, and Tashima, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Chagares, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Colin S. Stretch, Kelly P. Dunbar, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel

Counsel for Appellee: Michael A. Krasnow, Federal Communications Commission, Catherine G. O'Sullivan and Robert J. Wiggers, United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. 

Thomas v. Carroll, No. 06-2282

In a case involving a pro se defendant convicted and sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer while serving a thirty-five year sentence, a denial of habeas relief is affirmed where state courts' conclusion that defendant's Sixth Amendment rights were not violated was not contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law as determined by the United States Supreme Court. 

Read Thomas v. Carroll, No. 06-2282

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (D.C. No. 04-CV-00159)  

District Judge: Honorable Joseph J. Farnan

Opinion Filed September 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sloviter, Hardiman, Circuit Judges, and Pollack, District Judge

Opinion by Sloviter, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Peter A. Levin

Counsel for Appellee: Loren C. Meyers, Gregory E. Smith, Paul R. Wallace

Parker v. Conway, No. 08-2764

In an inmate's suit against a prison guard under section 1983, district court's ruling that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. section 1997e, fee caps are constitutional and its application of the caps are affirmed as the PLRA fee caps rationally relate to the legitimate government objective of achieving uniformity in attorney's fee awards, as well as a multitude of other legitimate government objectives.   

Read Parker v. Conway, No. 08-2764

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

(No. 07-CV-251)  

District Judge: Honorable Juan R. Sanchez

Opinion Filed September 17, 2009

Judges

Before:  Fisher, Charares, and Cowen, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Chagares, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Alexander Bilus, Stephen D. Brown, Joshua G. Schiller, Kennth L. Topping, Dechert LLP.

Counsel for Appellee: Kevin R. Bradford, Claudia M. Tesoro, Office of Attorney General

US v. Cesare, No. 08-2749

Sentence of defendant convicted of bank robbery and armed bank robbery is vacated for the lesser included offense as district court erred by imposing separate sentences for each conviction even though it ordered the terms of imprisonment and supervised release to be served concurrently as defendant received concurrent sentences for lesser included offenses in violation of double jeopardy, as well as two separate special assessments constituting impermissible double punishment. 

Read US v. Cesare, No. 08-2749

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Criminal Action No. 1-07-cr-00053-001)  

District Judge: Honorable Sean J. McLaughlin

Opinion Filed September 18, 2009

Judges

Before: Fuentes, Nygaard, and  Jordan, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Nygaard, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:Candace Cain

Counsel for Appellee: Robert L. Eberhardt, Kelly R. Labby, Office of the United States Attorney

US v. Bond, No. 08-2677

Defendant's conviction and sentence for possessing and using a chemical weapon and mail theft, arising from her efforts to poison a former friend, is affirmed where: 1) defendant lacked standing to pursue her Tenth Amendment challenge to the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. section 229; 2) section 229 is neither vague as applied to defendant's actions nor overbroad in its relation to constitutionally protected behavior; 3) search warrants were validly sought and approved as supported by sufficient evidence; and 4)district court did not err in assigning defendant a two-level sentence enhancement for using a special skill in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or concealment of the offense.       

Read US v. Bond, No. 08-2677

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Criminal Action No. 2-07-cr-00528-001)  

District Judge: Honorable James T. Giles

Opinion Filed September 17, 2009

Judges

Before: Rendell,  Ambro and Jordan, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Ambro, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Robert E. Goldman and Eric E. Reed, Fox Rothschild

Counsel for Appellee: Laurie Magid, Acting United States Attorney, Paul G. Shapiro, Assistant United States Attorney

US v. Arrelucea-Zamudio, No. 08-4397

District court's sentence of defendant convicted of illegal reentry into the United States is vacated and remanded where it is within the discretion of a district court to consider a variance on the basis of disparity created by lower immigration sentences in fast-track jurisdictions in light of Kimbrough v. U.S., 552 U.S. 85, 128 S.Ct. 558(2007).   

Read US v. Arrelucea-Zamudio, No. 08-4397

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Criminal Action No. 1-08-cr-00136-00136)  

District Judge: Honorable Renee M. Bumb

Opinion Filed September 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sloviter, Ambro and Jordan, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Ambro, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Maggie F. Moy

Counsel for Appellee: Ralph J. Marra, Jr., George S. Leone, Jennifer H. Chin, Caroline A. Sadlowski

Township of Tinicum, Delaware County, Pennsylvania v. DOT, No. 08-1830

A municipality's petition for review of the Department of Transportation's (DOT) order declaring its ordinance imposing tax on airlines every time one of their flights lands within the municipality's borders invalid is denied as the Anti-Head Tax Act, 49 U.S.C. section 40116 text unambiguously demonstrates that subsection (c) is not a savings clause for flight-related taxes. 

Read Township of Tinicum, Delaware County, Pennsylvania v. DOT, No. 08-1830

Appellate Information

On Petition for Review of an Order of the United States Department of Transportation

Opinion Filed September 14, 2009

Judges

Before: Chagares and Hardiman, Circuit Judges and Garbis, District Judge 
Opinion by Chagares, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Francis G.X. Pilleggi, Sheldon K. Rennie, Sophia Siddiqui

Counsel for Appellee:  Dale C. Andrews, Paul M. Geier, Mary F. Withum, Robert B. Nicholson, Robert J. Wiggers 

Heleva v. Brooks, No. 07-4118

District court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief is vacated and remanded because the court did not consider the Supreme Court's decision in Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408 (2005), in holding that the Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269 (2005) stay-and-abeyance procedure applies exclusively to mixed petitions.  As the Supreme Court has indicated that a petitioner may file a "protective" petition meriting a stay under Pace even where only unexhausted claims are at issue, the case is remanded for the district court to consider whether petitioner has met the stay-and-abeyance standard set out in Rhines and thus should be granted a stay.    

Read Heleva v. Brooks, No. 07-4118

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (No. 07-cv-1398)
District Judge: Honorable Christopher C. Conner

Opinion Filed September 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Fuentes, Chagares, and Tashima, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Fuentes, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  J. Nicholas Ranjan

Counsel for Appellee: James F. Marsh, Mark S. Matthews 

Lewis v. Horn, No. 06-9007

District court's grant of defendant's petition for habeas relief from his death sentence is vacated and remanded as the district court erred in its analysis of the performance prong of Strickland and this error alone requires a reversal. However, defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to develop the record in support of his ineffective assistance of counsel at the penalty phase claim.   District court's conviction of defendant is affirmed where: 1) defendant's Batson claim is rejected as it lacks merit; 2) defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel at the guilt phase claim is rejected; and 3) defendant's Brady claim is rejected as there can be no Brady violation where the prosecution did not have custody of the bus ticket and where it would not have provided exculpatory evidence. 

Read Lewis v. Horn, No. 06-9007

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 00-cv-00802)
District Judge: Honorable Bruce W. Kauffman

Opinion Filed September 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Smith, Fisher and Van Antwerpen, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Fisher, Circuit Judge

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Matthew C. Lawry, Billy H. Nolas

Counsel for Appellee: Joshua S. Goldwert, Thomas W. Dolgenos, Ronald Eisenberg, Arnold H. Gordon, Lynne Abraham.  

Massey v. US, No. 09-1665

District court's denial of pro se defendant's petition for a writ of audita querela is affirmed as his claim is cognizable under 28 U.S.C. section 2255 and there is no gap to fill in the post-conviction remedies. 

Read Massey v. US, No. 09-1665

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania(D.C. No. 09-mc-000022)
District Judge: Honorable Harvey Bartle, III

Opinion Filed September 11, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rendell, Hardiman, and Van Antwerpen, Circuit Judges 
Per Curium Opinion

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Derrick Massey

Counsel for Appellee: J. Alvin Stout, III. 

Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd., No. 08-4807

In a contract case arising from parties' efforts to resolve a dispute over the use of similar trademarks in their respective clothing lines, a magistrate judge's rulings are affirmed in part where both parties intended an informal document to be a binding contract and no reasonable jury could decide otherwise, and the terms of such document were sufficiently definite to warrant enforcement.  However, the case is remanded as the terms agreed to by the parties with respect to certain clauses were not sufficiently unambiguous to permit judicial interpretation of the contract. 

Read Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd., No. 08-4807

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (No. 06-cv-00607)
District Judge: Honorable A,y Reynolds Hay

Opinion Filed September 11, 2009

Judges

Before:  Fuentes, Jordan, and Nygaard, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by: Fuentes, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Emily J. Barnhart, Dennis P. McCooe, Timothy D. Pescsenye, Laurence S. Shtasel, James T. Smith, Marc E. Weitzman, Susan B. Flohr, Charles R. Wolfe, Robert L. Byer, Susan G. Schwochau,  

Counsel for Appellee: Clay P. Hughes, Cynthia E. Kernick, Walter T. McGough, Jr., Kirsten R. Rydstrom, Richard T. Ting, Colin E. Wrabley, Theodore R. Remaklus

Brown v. J. Kaz, Inc., No. 08-2713

In plaintiff's employment discrimination action against Craftmatic under Title VII, section 1981 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), the district court's judgment is affirmed as to all of plaintiff's claims under Title VII and the PHRA as well as her section 1981 claims for a hostile work environment and retaliation as she was not an employee of Craftmatic, but rather an independent contractor.  District court's grant of Craftmatic's motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff's section 1981 claim that her termination was motivated by racial animus is reversed because there remain questions for a jury regarding whether Craftmatic would have terminated plaintiff's contract absent consideration of her race.     

Read Brown v. J. Kaz, Inc., No. 08-2713

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania(D.C. Civil Action No. 2-07-cv-00859)
District Judge: Honorable Gary L. Lancaster

Opinion Filed September 11, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sloviter, Ambro, and Jordan, Circuit Judges 

Opinion by: Sloviter, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Rufus A. Jennings, Timothy M. Kolman, Timothy M. Kolman & Associates

Counsel for Appellee: William G. Merchant, Hilary W. Taylor, Papernick & Gefsky

Simmons v. Beard, No. 05-9001

In habeas proceedings arising from defendant's capital murder conviction, district court's grant of habeas relief on the ground that the state prosecutors had withheld several pieces of material exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady is affirmed where the cumulative effect of the multiple Brady violations was to undermine confidence in the verdict. 

Read Simmons v. Beard, No. 05-9001

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania(No. 02-cv-00161)
District Judge: Honorable Sean J. McLaughlin

Opinion Filed September 11, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Fuentes and Van Antwerpen, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by: Fuentes, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  David J. Kaltenbaugh, Office of District Attorney Cambria County

Counsel for Appellee: Matthew C. Lawry and Robert B. Dunham, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Federal Capital Habeas Corpus Unit

Mikula v. Allegheny County of Pennsylvania, No. 07-4023

In plaintiff's gender and employment discrimination action alleging pay disparity against County-employer under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, district court's judgment that the Title VII claim is untimely as to paychecks plaintiff received after June 20, 2006, is reversed and remanded in light of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, where a failure to answer a request for a raise qualifies as a compensation decision because the result is the same as if the request had been explicitly denied.      

Read Mikula v. Allegheny County of Pennsylvania, No. 07-4023

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania(D.C. Civil Action No. 06-cv-1630)
District Judge: Honorable Arthur J. Schwab

Opinion Filed September 10, 2009

Judges

Before:  Barry, Smith, and Garth, Circuit Judges 
Per Curium Opinion

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Dina R. Lassow of National Women's Law Center 

Counsel for Appellee: Caroline P. Liebenguth, Office of Allegheny County Law Department. 

Donlin v. Philips Lighting N. Am. Corp., No. 07-4060

In a gender discrimination and retaliation action under Title VII, district court's judgment is affirmed as to liability where the district court did not abuse its discretion and met its responsibility to provide the jury with a clear articulation of the relevant law.  The damages ruling is vacated and remanded as the court abused its discretion in allowing plaintiff's testimony regarding the pension component of her back pay damages and her front pay where the testimony was of a specialized or technical nature and was not within plaintiff's personal knowledge, and furthermore, the error was not harmless since her testimony constituted a significant share of the damages evidence presented at trial.  In light of the remand the circuit court provided guidance on the remainder of defendant's arguments: 1) if the evidence supports a similar finding that plaintiff's new job is not substantially equivalent, the district court should again conclude as a matter of law that plaintiff can only be made whole if awarded sufficient back pay to make up the difference; 2) district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded plaintiff front pay for 10 years; 3) district court's finding that plaintiff sufficiently mitigated her damages was not clearly erroneous; 4) district court may determine plaintiff's compensatory damages by comparing her to any other defendant's employee with similar characteristics; and 5) district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's request for a multiplier, and accordingly the court's award of attorney's fees was proper. 

Read Donlin v. Philips Lighting N. Am. Corp., No. 07-4060

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 05-cv-00585)
District Judge: Honorable Richard P. Conaboy

Argued November 17, 2008
Opinion Filed September 9, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Fuentes and Hardiman, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Circuit Judge Hardiman 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: David R. Fine, Jacqueline E. Bedard, Amy L. Groff, K&L Gates 

Counsel for Appellee:  Stephen D. Rhoades, Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis, Theodore R. Laputka, Jr., Theodore R. Laputka & Associates  

In re: Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., No. 07-1759

In class action cases claiming a vast conspiracy between some of the nation's largest insurance brokers and insurance carriers involving bid rigging and steering of customers, district court's orders granting final approval of a $121.8 million settlement and a $28 million settlement, as well as the district court's order approving an award of $29.5 million for attorneys' fees and expenses is affirmed where: 1) each element of the alleged RICO violations and violation under the Sherman Act involved common questions of law and fact which predominated over any individual ones and therefore satisfies the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3); 2) the district court's decision not to certify separate subclasses or require separate representation did not constitute an abuse of discretion and likewise, its approval of the settlement agreement and plan of allocation was also within its discretion; and 3) district court's award of attorneys' fees was reasonable and not an abuse of discretion.     

Read In re: Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., No. 07-1759

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. No. 04-cv-05184)
District Judge: Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr.

Argued April 21, 2009
Opinion Filed September 8, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Fisher and Greenberg, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Circuit Judge Fisher

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Edward F. Siegel, Edward  W. Cochran, N. Albert Bacharach, Andrea J. Lawrence Howard J. Bashman, John J. Pentz, III

Counsel for Appellee: Bryan L. Clobes ,  Ellen Meriwether, Cafferty Faucher LLP, Edith M. Kallas, Joe R. Whatley, Jr., Whatley, Drake & Kallas LLC, James A. Donahue, III, Jennifer J. Kirk, Office of Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Edwin M. Larkin, III, Lina M. Viviano, Christopher J. Paolella, Winston & Strawn

In a case involving an agreement by a union to indemnify and hold harmless an employer for the employer's withdrawal liability to a pension plan under ERISA and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendment Act of 1980 (MPPAA), the existence of a union contract is not a jurisdictional requirement under section 301, and the case is ripe for adjudication. The district court's judgment is vacated and remanded where there are not enough "definite indications" of public policy in ERISA or the MPPAA to preclude an indemnification agreement between an employer and a third party for the employer's withdrawal liability, where the employer agrees that it will always remain primarily liable for the liability.      

Read Pittsburgh Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. Int'l Union of Operating Eng'r, Local Union No. 66, No. 07-3938

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Civil No. 07-cv-00092)

District Judge: Honorable Gary L. Lnacaster

Argued September 29, 2008
Opinion Filed September 4, 2009

Judges

Before: Fisher, CHagares, and Hardiman, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Circuit Judge Chagares

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  James P. Thomas, Richard I. Thomas, Pepper Hamilton LLP 

Counsel for Appellee:  Joshua M. Blook, Joshua M. Bloom and Associates, P.C.

Camara v. US Attorney Gen., No. 07-3892

Petition for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying petitioner's application for asylum is granted and remanded where substantial evidence does not support the BIA's conclusion that petitioner did not experience past persecution in the Ivory Coast, as petitioner directly witnessed abduction of her father by a group that she can definitively identify as having directly and unambiguously threatened her with harm as well. 

Read Camara v. US Attorney Gen., No. 07-3892

Appellate Information

On Petition for Review of a Final Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (Agency No. A97 530 153)

Argued March 5, 2009
Opinion Filed September 4, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sloviter and Hardiman, Circuit Judges, and Pollak, District Judge 
Opinion by District Judge Pollak

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Camile J. Mackler, Law Office of Theresa Napolitano.

Counsel for Appellee:   Jeffrey S. Buckholtz, Emily Ann Radford, Patrick J. Glen, Craig Alan Newell, Jr.  

Torretti v. Main Line Hosps., Inc., No. 08-1525

In plaintiffs' case against a hospital and doctors under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) 42 U.S.C. section 1395dd, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where: 1) the type of plaintiff's routine hospital visits for pregnancy and her status as a outpatient does not trigger EMTALA; and 2) plaintiffs' evidence was not sufficient to raise a disputed issue with respect to a stabilization claim. 

Read Torretti v. Main Line Hosps., Inc., No. 08-1525

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civil Action No. 06-cv-03003)

District Judge: Honorable Juan R. Sanchez

Argued January 28, 2009
Opinion Filed September 2, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Ambro, and Smith, Circuit Judges 
Opinion by Circuit Judge Ambro

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Barbara R. Axelrod, James E. Beasley, Jr.Dion G. Rassias,

Counsel for Appellee: Daniel F. Ryan, III, O'Brien & Ryan, Peter J. Hoffman, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott

In re: Unisys Corp. Retiree Med. Benefits ERISA Litig., No. 07-3369

In plaintiffs' action against their former employer for breach of fiduciary duty involving elimination of a preexisting retiree medical benefits plan, district court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) district court correctly concluded that twelve of the fourteen plaintiffs could prevail on their breach of fiduciary claims as the facts demonstrate that defendant breached the duty by both misrepresenting and inadequately disclosing material information regarding retiree medical benefits on which the twelve plaintiffs relied to their detriment; 2)  remedies ordered by the district court were carefully prescribed and are consistent with both the statutory language of ERISA and applicable case law; 3) district court did not err in refusing to order retrospective monetary relief as it is not an appropriate equitable remedy under ERISA; and 4) district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees.     

Read In re: Unisys Corp. Retiree Med. Benefits ERISA Litig., No. 07-3369

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C.No. 03-cv-03924)

District Judge: Honorable Bruce W. Kauffman

Argued April 22, 2009
Opinion Filed September 2, 2009

Judges

Before:  SCIRICA, Chief Judge, SLOVITER and FISHER, Circuit Judges.

 
Opinion by Circuit Judge Fisher

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Joseph J. Costello, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Joseph A. Teklits

Counsel for Appellee: Joseph A. Golden, Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Rivers & Golden, Charles Gottlieb, Gottlieb & Goren, Scott M. Lempert, Alan M. Sandals, Clayton H. Thomas, Jr., Clayton H. Thomas & Associates

District court's judgment is affirmed to the extent it affirms the Bankruptcy Court's determination that Wawel did not waive its security interest in JTTT's accounts receivable.  District court's holding that Yale did not act in good faith and therefore cannot be a holder in due course or a purchaser of instruments is vacated and remanded.  

Read Wawel Savings Bank v. Jersey Tractor Trailer Training, Inc. , No. 08-3471

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil No. 07-cv-05853)

District Judge: Honorable Mary L. Cooper

Argued June 26, 2009
Opinion Filed September 1, 2009

Judges

Before: Barry, Smith, Circuit Judges, and DuBois, District Judge.
Opinion by Circuit Judge Barry

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Cory M. Gray, Greenberg Traurig  

Counsel for Appellee: Thomas P. Monahan, Jr.,

Grider v. Keystone Health Plan Central, Inc., No. 08-3073

District court's order imposing sanctions and the order denying defendants' motion to vacate is affirmed where: 1) the district court's order of June 13, 2008 which dismissed all claims against all parties with prejudice, rendered final the orders appealed in the Court of Appeals because it ended the litigation on the merits and left nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment; 2) the doctrine of finality and mootness do not deprive this court of jurisdiction over this appeal; 3) although the sanctions are well supported by trial judge's findings of fact and credibility determinations, September 28, 2007 sanctions are vacated against all appellants because the parties have settled the matter of the attorneys' fees; and 4) March 30, 2006 Sanction Order is vacated as the trial judge's ruling that the magistrate judge's admonishment was a sanction was not a sound exercise of his discretion.   

Read Grider v. Keystone Health Plan Central, Inc., No. 08-3073

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 2-01-cv-05641)

District Judge: Honorable James Knoll Gardner

Argued July 9, 2009
Opinion Filed AugSeptember 1, 2009

Judges

Before: Sloviter, Ambro, and Jordan, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by Circuit Judge Sloviter

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Malcolm J. Gross, Kimberly G. Krupka, Timothy D. Katsiff, Matthew J. Siembieda, Kevin M. Passerini, Jeremy A. Rist, Errol C. Deans, Jr., Norman E. Greenspan

Counsel for Appellee: Anthony J. Bocchino, Francis J. Farina, Timothy M. Fraser, Ellen Meriwether, Michael J. Willner, Cafferty Faucher, Kenneth A. Jacobsen, Joseph A. O'Keefe

District court's dismissal of appellant's facial constitutional challenges to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (Act) is affirmed where: 1) the Act is not void for vagueness as it clearly provides a person of ordinary intelligence with adequate notice of the conduct that it prohibits; and 2) district court did not err in rejecting plaintiff's claim that the Act violated a constitutional right of individuals to engage in gambling related activity in the privacy of their homes in holding that Interactive lacked standing to assert the rights of third party.  Even assuming that Interactive has third party standing, its claim clearly fails on the merits.

Read Interactive Media Entm't & Gaming Assoc. v. Attney Gen US, No. 08-1981

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey  (D.C. No. 3-07-cv-02625)
District Judge: Honorable Mary L. Cooper

Argued July 7, 2009
Opinion Filed September 1, 2009

Judges

Before: Sloviter, Ambro, and Jordan, Circuit Judges
Opinion by Circuit Judge Sloviter

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant: Eric M. Bernstein, Stephen A. Saltzburg

Counsel for Appellee: Nicholas J. Bagley, Jacqueline E. Coleman