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

Recently in Court Rules Category

In what's being hailed as a win for the public, one federal court judge ruled (over the weekend) that the federal court system has been misusing the profits generated by the PACER and the CM/ECF system.

The Saturday ruling in the National Veterans Legal Services Program v. U.S.A. case found that several programs and purchases funded by the profits generated by the PACER systems, which climbs into the millions annually, were improper. While not a win, exactly, for either party, the case will continue to move forward as the court determines what exactly PACER fees can be used for.

Risk of Identity Theft Is Injury Enough for Federal Court Standing

With data breaches occurring daily, the courts have become center stages for deciding who is responsible.

In Attias v. CareFirst, Inc., the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reviewed the story of customers against a health insurer after hackers compromised their data. A trial court said the plaintiffs didn't allege sufficient injury to confer federal court standing.

Drawing on "experience and common sense," however, the appeals court turned the spotlight on the company and said the potential for identify theft was injury enough.

Another Federal Case Put on Hold Pending Trump's Inauguration

In case you missed it the first time, the federal courts are putting their cases on hold until after the incoming President of the United States takes office. A federal appeals court in Washington granted a motion to continue a challenge to Obamacare last week, following a federal district court decision to delay action on an immigration case last month. The courts decided the issues were big enough to allow the new administration time to weigh in after the inauguration.

In the Texas case, the court stayed proceedings against the Obama administration's plan to delay deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. Texas and 25 other states have sued the outgoing President's delayed deportation plans. In the DC case, U.S. House Republicans are challenging how Obama funded an insurance subsidy program of the Affordable Care Act. The postponements are temporary wins for the president-elect.

NLRB Can't Order Reimbursement of Court Costs

The National Labor and Relations Board has no unilateral power to order the reimbursement of attorneys and litigation expenses incurred during an NLRB meeting, according to the DC Circuit.

Although the power of the board is wide and expansive, the power to issue a "pay up, or else" order does not exist -- even in the face of repeated bad faith instances of NLRB violations.

DC Cir: No Link Between ACA 'Transition' Program and Health Insurance Premiums

A lawyer for the evangelical group American Freedom Law Center has lost his Obamacare suit in the D.C. Circuit on the grounds of lack of standing.

The appellate court ruled that the AFLCA and Robert Muise, it's co-founder and senior counsel, failed to prove beyond the standard of probability that the Health and Human Service's "transitional" program (allowing non-compliant health plans to continue temporarily) actually caused a jump in his health care premiums.

Hospital Can't Revive Medicare Reimbursement Case, DC Circuit Rules

The D.C. Circuit dismissed the appeal by Canonsburg General Hospital (CGH) involving Medicare reimbursements. In the appeal, the hospital sought to have a 2001 decision reheard. The circuit court wasn't convinced.

This latest ruling against CGH is probably the most significant against the hospital because it essentially closes any future attempts to revive reimbursement claims for procedures "atypical in nature and scope."

Following the D.C. Circuit's decision on Friday, military tribunals will have a more difficult time prosecuting terrorists. The court threw out another charge brought against Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, a former assistant to Osama bin Laden.

For the past 13 years, al-Bahlul has been held in Guantanamo Bay. A number of criminal charges have been brought against him unsuccessfully. The latest charge, conspiracy, was knocked down by the D.C. Circuit for a simple reason: the international law of war doesn't recognize the offense of conspiracy.

The District of Columbia has some positions open for attorneys, so get your resumes ready. To start, the District of Columbia election for Attorney General has proven contentious with the public and politicians at odds about when the election should take place.

And in less controversial job hunting, the D.C. Court of Appeals has announced that the application period for the Criminal Justice Act Panel is now open.

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Today the District of Columbia Court of Appeals announced proposed changes to Circuit Rules 25, 26 and 32. These rules have been a long time coming, as they are designed to replace the requirements for Case Management / Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system, which were adopted by Administrative Order filed on May 15, 2009. The proposed rules would incorporate the CM/ECF requirements into existing Circuit Rules.

Here's a closer look at the changes.

D.C. Circuit Roundup: Conflict Minerals, Trolls, and Filibusted

It's been a busy and exciting week in the D.C. Circuit, with important decisions in a variety of cases, from conflict mineral disclosure regulations, to copyright trolls' jankety joinder, plus a failed attempt to "fix" the filibuster through the courts.

Ready for a surprisingly exciting D.C. Circuit roundup? Read on: