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

February 2013 Archives

Can the New Jersey Supreme Court Take a Joke?

We're often told that life is all about choices. Should I stay or should I go? Leave the gun, take the cannoli. Red pill, blue pill.

But pop culture also gives us faith that it's possible to have the best of both worlds. (See Hannah Montana, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the 2002 Jay-Z/R.Kelley collaboration.)

Which school of thought applies to judges? That's a question for the New Jersey Supreme Court.

No Need to Apply Poulis Factors to Post-Trial Rulings

In Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a district court must consider six factors dismissing a case as a sanction before trial on the merits: extent of the party's personal responsibility, prejudice to the adversary caused by the failure to meet scheduling orders and respond to discovery, history of dilatoriness, whether the conduct of the party or the attorney was willful or in bad faith, effectiveness of sanctions other than dismissal, and meritoriousness of the claim or defense.

This week, the court held that Poulis does not apply in the post-trial context.

Third Circuit Vacates Antitrust Cy Pres Award

Let's say you have a class action lawsuit. You reach a settlement. But then, you realize that a substantial chunk of the settlement funds will go unclaimed. The plaintiffs' collective take will be $3 million. The attorneys' fees total $14 million. There's still $18.5 million looming in legal limbo.

Simple solution? Give the plaintiffs' shares to charity!

Except the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is not so comfortable with that solution, known as cy pres.

Waiver of Appeal Doesn't Apply to Terms of Release Modification

When a criminal defendant waives his right to appeal, the courts take him at his word that he is, in fact, waiving appeals.

A lot of the defendants don't think that "waiving appeal" means what the courts think it means (Inconceivable!) and they appeal anyway. It usually doesn't work. But a Third Circuit concluded this week that a waiver of appeal did not bar an appeal of an order modifying the terms and conditions of supervised release.

3rd Circuit Wants Vincent Fumo to Pay More Restitution

Disgraced politician Vincent Fumo returned to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in December to challenge court-ordered restitution in his fraud case, and may end up paying even more restitution.

Maybe that challenge wasn't such a good idea?

3rd Circuit Hiring Career Staff Attorneys

In a time when law school applications are down, and lawyer unemployment rates are up, it's not often that we get to type the following words: Someone is hiring.

Take a moment to calm down — we know this is big news — and get your resume ready.

You could be the next Third Circuit Career Staff Attorney.

3rd Cir Affirms New Jersey One Gun Ruling

Alas, “One Gun” isn’t just a clever nickname.

New Jersey’s One Gun law effectively limits the number of firearms a person can purchase in the Garden State to one per month. The National Rifle Association — along with the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc. and Bob’s Little Sport Shop — challenged that law, arguing that it was pre-empted by federal law and deprived gun buyers of due process.

Last week, a unanimous Third Circuit Court of Appeals panel denied the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction of the law and affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss the case.