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

February 2014 Archives

IRS Permanently Enjoined From Enforcing Tax Preparer Regulations

Admit it, you feel a secret joy when the IRS was permanently enjoined from enforcing regulations on the little people.

In Loving v. IRS, the D.C. Circuit held that the IRS lacked the authority to enforce the Treasury Department Circular 230, which imposed regulations on tax return preparers.

This case demonstrates that minor nuances in statutory language can cost you the case.

FERC Loses BNP Paribas Appeals Case in D.C. Cir.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may need to reconsider its regulations regarding who pays for natural gas storage after the court ruled against it in BNP Paribas Energy Trading GP v. FERC.

It was disputed by BNP Paribas that FERC incorrectly assigned costs for natural gas storage. However, the judicial panel held that FERC failed to show any relevant changes to their historic, proportional-to-usage payment plan.

So how should fees be calculated?

FCC to Rewrite Net Neutrality Rules Following D.C. Circuit Ruling

It's been a long and strange road on the way to net neutrality, and the D.C. Circuit has been a key part of that journey.

As of Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to drop any plans to appeal the D.C. Circuit's striking of the Commission's anti-blocking rules, opting instead to do a re-write, The Washington Post reported.

Can we expect the FCC to produce viable net neutrality guidelines this time around?

3 Wacky Ways Presidents Impacted the D.C. Cir.

With Presidents' Day this week, what are some wacky ways presidents have impacted the D.C. Circuit?

Being commander-in-chief of the United States lets presidents wield substantial power over the courts, particularly when it comes to nominating judges. However, sometimes their powers are extended in less conventional matters.

Oral Arguments Rescheduled For Next Week

Due to Mother Nature's wintery ways, the D.C. Circuit is rescheduling oral arguments that were originally set for Thursday, February 13, 2014 to be heard on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

While it's unclear if the Court of Appeals itself will be closed, attorneys who have oral arguments scheduled for tomorrow will be getting an unexpected extension on their case.

In the meantime, grab some hot cocoa and get to work.

3 Must-Know Circuit Rules for New D.C. Appellate Attorneys

As a new attorney, navigating the rules of the D.C. Circuit or any court can be tough.

Making your first court appearance is incredibly scary and it can lead some lawyers to forget simple things, like filing procedures or how to avoid annoying security. Here are three must-know rules to remember before heading to the D.C. Circuit Court.

So whether you are a new attorney, or just new to appellate work in D.C., here are three rules you need to know:

American Samoans Challenge Denial of U.S. Citizenship

Six American Samoans are getting a chance to challenge a federal law in the D.C. Circuit that labels them as U.S. nationals, but not citizens.

The D.C. District Court granted the government's motion to dismiss, but the D.C. Circuit has decided to give the American Samoans a chance to argue their case, according to the Pacific News Center.

According to the original opinion, the State Department classifies the country as an "unincorporated territory."

Judge Disses Think Tank's 'Imaginative' FOIA Request

A D.C. federal judge tossed out Competitive Enterprise Institute's (CEI) FOIA lawsuit against the EPA partially because it contained an "imaginative conspiracy theory."

In Competitive Enterprise Institute v. EPA, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for D.C. found that CEI was using weak (albeit creative) arguments to compel the EPA to release about a thousand withheld emails.

So what made Judge Boasberg declare CEI's arguments to be an "imaginative conspiracy theory?"