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

March 2018 Archives

Benghazi Claims Against Hillary Clinton Dismissed

For better or for worse, Hillary Clinton will forever be linked to the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi. This week, it was better for the former secretary of state.

A federal appeals court agreed to dismiss claims against her by parents whose sons died in the 2012 attacks. The U.S Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Clinton was acting within her office at the time and was not a proper defendant.

In Smith and Woods v. Clinton and the United States of America, the parents claimed Clinton defamed them and lied about the attack. The appeals panel said she just disagreed with them.

While using your smartphone, have you ever sent a text message to or called someone who didn't you give you their number, or explicitly consent for you to call or text? If you have, there's good and bad news.

First the bad news: Apparently, you broke the current FCC commissioners understanding of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) by texting/calling without consent. Now the good news: The D.C. Circuit just killed the FCC's interpretation of the rule that could have, theoretically (in some magical land), been used to allow individuals to sue each other over, and this is according the majority opinion here, unexpected social gathering invitations.

For a pair of former military contractors, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals may have finally cut through all the red tape to let their case get up to the summary judgment stage.

The contractors filed claims of for retaliatory discharge and breach of contract. Notably, although only one was injured on the job, both contractors were abruptly terminated, after a work comp claim was filed, despite their contract requiring an ample notice period for terminations without, or with curable, cause.

In short, while moving sand bags around at an U.S. military base in Iraq, one contractor hurt his back. When the base doctor, another contractor, recommended he seek treatment in the United States, the other listened and took a short leave to do so. While on leave, he filed a worker comp claim. The base doctor had supported the claim. And, to make a long story short, both the doctor and injured worker got fired.

Fine Upheld Against Polish Broadcaster for U.S. Copyright Violations

Court observers saw Spanski Enterprises v. Polska as a copyright stand-off.

In one corner of Poland, Telewizja Polska was broadcasting television episodes on the internet for on-demand users. In another corner of New York City, lawyers discovered by downloading the episodes that the programs violated U.S. copyright law.

The controversy made it to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where the judges resolved it. TV Polska owes the copyright holders more than $3 million.