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

October 2011 Archives

Celebrate Pro Bono Week: Top 5 Reasons to Do Pro Bono Work

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Today's offering: Top Five Reasons to do Pro Bono work.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has deprived us of opinions as of late and it's the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Week; what better time to discuss pro bono work?

Blackwater Revival in Supreme Court? Defense Contractors Appeal

Four former Blackwater contractors are challenging a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling reinstating manslaughter charges against them. The contractors, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Donald Ball, filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court last Friday.

The petition was filed under seal and is not yet available.

In case you don’t remember the specifics of the case, we’ll recap what wasn’t redacted from the facts of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in the matter.

Shenanigans: How to Report Judicial Misconduct in the DC Circuit

Unscrupulous judges' shenanigans are typically the domain of television shows: payoffs, ex parte hearings, and favoritism make for great entertainment.

So what if the federal judge presiding over your case decides that life should imitate art?

Congress, anticipating this possibility, instituted a judicial misconduct reporting procedure in 1980. Under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, anyone can file a complaint in court to report a federal judge's bad behavior. But before you file a complaint, remember that you need evidence. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals warns that almost all complaints filed in recent years have been dismissed for lack of evidence.

DC Circuit Accepting Comments to Proposed Amendment

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed an amendment to Circuit Rule 35 regarding the time limits for filing a petition for panel or en banc rehearing.

The proposed amendments were made to conform to expected changes to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) 40, which the Supreme Court has approved. The Circuit anticipates that FRAP 40 will become effective on December 1, 2011.

Will CSAPR Join the Ghosts of EPA Regulations Past?

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality rule may be the next individual mandate.

The EPA finalized a new rule in July to reduce air pollution and attain clean air standards. The rule, called the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), requires 27 states to reduce power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.

DC Circuit Affirms Abdul Karim Khanu's Tax Evasion Conviction

We have a mildly embarrassing love for British tabloids because they publish the world’s best headlines, and they consistently report on the hijinx of William’s and Harry’s nightclub impresario pal, Guy Pelly.

So today we pretend to be The Daily Mail with our coverage of a tax evasion conviction appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals from the District’s own “nightclub impresario” Abdul Karim Khanu.

Khanu was convicted in 2009 on 22 tax-evasion-related counts stemming from DC Live and Platinum, two D.C. nightclubs he owned and operated between 2000 until 2003.

Heller Challenge Redux: New DC Gun Law Stands

D.C. is a scrappy jurisdiction, which isn't surprising considering that it houses thousands of politicos, but has no voice in Congress. D.C. overcompensates.

For years, the District famously banned handguns. The Supreme Court overturned that ban in the 2008 case, D.C. v. Heller, finding that the Second Amendment does not permit "absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

The District responded to Heller by implementing new laws requiring handgun registration and background checks, and banning semiautomatic rifles and magazines with more than 10 rounds. Dick Heller, (yes, Heller), returned to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the new laws.

Verizon Appeals FCC Net Neutrality Rules in DC Circuit

Verizon Communications is reviving its challenge to the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) net neutrality rules with an appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The circuit court dismissed Verizon’s lawsuit to block the rules in April, finding that Verizon filed prematurely because the FCC had not published the rules in the Federal Register, reports The Tech Journal. The issue is now ripe because the FCC officially published the rule last Friday; the rules are set to take effect on November 20.