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

August 2012 Archives

Merck Takes 'Pay for Delay' Appeal to SCOTUS

Merck wants the Supreme Court to resolve the circuit split regarding pay-for-delay arrangements, reports Thomson Reuters News & Insight.

In July, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pay-for-delay arrangements are presumptively anti-competitive. It was the first appellate court to reach that conclusion.

This week, the pharmaceutical giant filed a petition for certiorari, asking the Court to reverse the decision.

NRA to Appeal Wilmington Housing Authority Gun Ban

The National Rifle Association isn’t finished fighting the Wilmington Housing Authority gun ban.

Two residents (represented by NRA attorneys) sued WHA, claiming that the ban on guns in common areas of public housing complexes violated residents’ Second Amendment rights. The plaintiffs argued that the gun ban applied to low-income residents of public housing, and criticized that “wealthier persons who live in another type of government housing, such as the Governor of the State of Delaware, are not deprived of the right to keep and bear arms,” reports WHYY.

Post-Departure Bars and Legal Double-Standards

A regulation called the "post-departure bar" precludes a removed person from filing a motion to reopen immigration proceedings. In Prestol Espinal v. Attorney General, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held the post-departure bar invalid to the extent it conflicted with a statute, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which grants aliens the right to file one motion to reopen under certain conditions.

This week, the Third Circuit ruled that the same bar it rejected in Prestol Espinal can nonetheless be invoked by the agency as a basis for refusing to reopen proceedings sua sponte under the regulation.

New Instructions Discourage Jurors' Social Media Use

If you have an iPhone or an interest in intellectual property law, you may have been following the Apple/Samsung trial over the last few weeks.

Yesterday, the epic trial concluded with hours of closing arguments. Those arguments came after the hours of jury instructions. (District Judge Lucy Koh spent two hours reading 109 pages of jury instructions to the court before the attorneys got to the good stuff.)

Make no mistake: jury instructions are important, especially in a high-stakes trial. That’s why you should be aware of the new guidelines on social media and electronics use in the model jury instructions.

I Heart Boobies: Does the Third Circuit?

"We're not here to demonize 'boobies.'"

Well, that's a relief.

In April, Easton Area School District Attorney John Freund told the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that two middle school students' "I (Heart) Boobies" bracelets -- promoting breast cancer awareness -- were disruptive, even if they weren't actually lewd. The ACLU claimed that the First Amendment protected the students' decision to wear the bracelets, and that their message should be analyzed in the context of the national breast cancer awareness campaign, reports the Student Press Law Center.

Third Circuit Reconsiders Hazleton Immigration Law

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals once again considered the Hazleton immigration law this week. Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee, Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie and Senior Judge Richard L. Nygaard heard oral arguments on Wednesday, reports the Times Leader.

Hazelton adopted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA) in 2006. The ordinance allowed the city to revoke business licenses for those companies that employed illegal immigrants, and fine landlords that knowingly rented to illegal immigrants. In March 2007, U.S. District Court Judge James Munley found that the IIRA, and a related tenant registration ordinance, were unconstitutional.

Walmart Wins Against Illegal Immigrant Worker Lawsuit

Walmart stores have been in the news numerous times for alleged crooked practices. In a recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals case, the court rejected numerous claims against the retail giant.

The facts and allegations of the case are more interesting than the underlying legal arguments. We’ll touch more on the facts in the case for this end-of-week blog post, but if you’re interested in reading the legal arguments further, have a look at the Third Circuit’s opinion. The case has been going on for eight years and there have been at least four opinions on this case.

Class Certification Reversed in BMW Run-While-Flat Tire Lawsuit

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated a district court’s class certification in a lawsuit against auto-maker BMW.

The lawsuit was brought by Jeffrey Marcus, who leased a 2007 BMW 328ci from a New Jersey dealership. He suffered four flat tires during his three-year lease and alleged that the types of tires used (the Run-While-Flat Tires) were defective because they were highly susceptible to punctures. He also claimed that the tires were “exorbitantly priced.”

Prosecutors File Response in Kids-for-Cash Case

Federal prosecutors have responded to the judicial bias arguments in the case of Mark Ciavarella.

Ciavarella is calling for a new trial and alleging judicial bias by U.S. District Court Judge Edwin Kosik in a case involving political corruption, reports the Luzerne County Citizen’s Voice. He is alleging that the district judge expressed bias against him and as such, that his case was prejudiced.

Bus Driver's Sabbath Ruling a Problem for Many Religious Groups

Last month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals released a decision in Roger Fouche v. New Jersey Transit, an appeal involving a born-again Christian bus driver who wanted his Sundays off.

Unfortunately for the bus driver, the New Jersey Transit Corporation fired him, citing that his request placed an undue burden on the company.