DC Circuit - The FindLaw DC Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Last month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia struck down several provisions of President Trump's Executive Orders issued in May of this year. The trio of EOs limited the power of federal employee unions, and as commentators explained, would make it easier to fire union employees.

However, not pleased with the federal court ruling that several provisions could not be enforced, the Justice Department has filed their notice of appeal to the DC Circuit Court.

Former Exec Sues Cushman & Wakefield for Race, Gender Discrimination

Nicole Urquhart-Bradley, a former executive at Cushman & Wakefield, says the "old boys club" there is alive and well.

As the only black woman in her position, she should know because she was once the firm's "ambassador for diversity." But in Urquhart-Bradley v. Cushman & Wakefield, she says she was held back and ultimately fired.

Her lawyers want $30 million in the race and gender case. Apparently, the cost of membership in the old boys club has gone up.

Judge Rules for Students Fighting for Loan Forgiveness, Against Education Dept.

Students saddled with school loans may get a break after a federal judge ruled in a case against the U.S. Department of Education.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had delayed a regulation that gave borrowers a defense against lenders if their schools engaged in misconduct. DeVos stalled the regulation, citing the potential for borrowers to abuse the law.

But the students won a ruling that the department decision was "arbitrary and capricious" in Bauer v. DeVos. In a word, the education secretary got schooled.

For listeners of streaming radio services, like Pandora, the recent decision over the licensing rates for those service providers may not have much of an impact.

But, for some of the copyright holders, the decision in SoundExchange v. Copyright Royalty Board, is bad news. Basically, the appellate court rejected the challengers' argument that the Board failed to adequately represent their rights when negotiating the rates for the 2016 to 2020 time period.

Lawsuit Claims Verizon Throttled Internet for CA Firefighters

As people died in the largest fire in California history, Verizon said firefighters would have to pay more if they wanted better internet service to battle the blaze.

It's an allegation almost too hard to believe, but there it is in a lawsuit joined by 22 states against the Federal Communications Commission. They are demanding the government restore net neutrality, a policy that kept companies like Verizon from throttling internet services.

No sooner had the FCC revoked the Obama-era policy than the reality of throttling broke out. No one expected it would start with a deadly fire that literally spewed smoke across the country.

Court Stems Tide of EPA Rules on Toxic Waste

In a battle against toxic waste, some federal judges may feel like the boy who put his finger in a dike to save his country.

The little Dutch boy, in the novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, sees a leak and stops it with his finger. It ends well after townspeople see him and make the necessary repairs.

But United Solid Waste Activities Group v. Environmental Protection Agency is no fairy tale. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to save the environment, but it may be too late.

Court: Everybody Gets 'La Michoanaca'

In Mexico, "La Michoacana" refers to a Michoacan girl holding a specialty ice cream cone in advertisements.

But in Paleteria La Michoacana Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo, a federal appeals court said the reference is so commonplace it cannot be claimed by one business over another in the United States. The decision settled a decades-long issue in an international trademark dispute.

Unlike the "paleta" ice cream, however, it was a bittersweet decision. The good news is that you don't have to speak Spanish to understand what happened.

Justice Department Takes a Shot at Judge in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to throw out the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal.

Legal observers say the government has a losing argument against the mega-merger, which brings major television programming to AT&T's cable service DirectTV. But that hasn't stopped the government's lawyers.

Mary Wimberly took her best shot in United States of America v. AT&T, arguing that the trial judge made "errors of economic logic and reasoning." However, those are not typical grounds for appeal.

Appeals Court: No Religious Ads on Buses

The writing is on the wall for Pamela Geller, who sued a city bus service that rejected her anti-Muslim ad.

Technically, the Metro refused to put her ad on the side of its buses -- not the wall. But a federal appeals court upheld the bus service's policy in a similar case, and the writing is on the wall because Geller's case is pending.

In Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, the U.S. DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Transit Authority's rejection of an ad from the Catholic church. Not exactly the same as Geller's ad, but it is the same policy: no ads that "promote or oppose any religion, religious practice, or belief."

Court Sends Back Americans' Case Against Hezbollah

In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah militants killed more than 1,000 civilians in a bloody attack on Northern Israel.

After kidnapping and killing several Israeli soldiers, they fired thousands of rockets into civilian cities, towns, and villages. When it was over, nearly 2,000 people were dead.

Some years later, survivors sued for their injuries in Kaplan v. Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unfortunately, their battles are not over.