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8th Cir. Year in Review: Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 30, 2014 5:58 AM

We're wrapping up our 2014 "year in review" series, continuing with a circuit close to my heart -- the Eighth Circuit, home of my native land of Missouri.

What happened in the Eighth Circuit this year? A whole lot of everything, actually. Unlike most other circuits, there were no gay marriage appeals to take over the headlines. Instead, this circuit dealt with everything ordinary: prisoners' rights litigation, allegedly dangerous drugs, and lawyers acting stupid.

Here are your Top 10 Eighth Circuit blog posts for 2014:

10. Supreme Court Grants Cert in Truth in Lending Act Circuit Split

We said "ordinary." We meant it: How much notice is necessary to rescind a loan under TILA -- a lawsuit or a letter?

9. SCOTUS Grants Cert in Case Re: Immigration, Drug Offenses and Deportability

Kansas defines "controlled substance" one way, while the feds define it another way. Can someone be deported for violating the broader Kansas statute if their drug of choice was not on the record?

8. Iowa Supreme Court Reverses Lawyer's DUI Conviction

Even counselors have a right to counsel. And in Iowa, they have the right to be told about the right to an in-person private meeting with counsel. Whoops.

7. White-Collar Criminal Gets Probation Instead of Prison. Why?

We still have no idea why this criminal, who was part of one of the largest corporate frauds in that state's history, and who provided no support to the government's investigation nor admitted responsibility, was given probation, rather than the guideline sentence of more than 10 years.

6. Novartis Failed to Warn About Aredia, Zometa's ONJ Risks: 8th Cir.

A patient suffered from ONJ -- known colloquially as "jaw death" -- after taking two drugs after having teeth extracted. The Eighth Circuit upheld a jury verdict in her favor because of the company's failure to adequately warn of the risks of the drugs, even though her doctor testified that he doesn't read warning labels.

5. Vouching for Your Clients -- a $900,000 Mistake

How do you blow a $900,000 verdict in your client's favor? Vouch for your client by telling your own tragic tale on rebuttal, even though you're already presenting a really strong case to the jury.

4. Fake Child Porn of Half-Sister Is Actually a Close Case

Real child porn is illegal. Fully fake child porn is not. But what about stuff that lands in between -- like simulated images with children's faces placed on adults' bodies?

3. Can Employer Tell Breastfeeding Mom 'Go Home to Your Babies'?

Despite that comment, and other blatant mistreatment of a woman returning from maternity leave, her employer was granted summary judgment. Why?

2. Holt v. Hobbs: SCOTUS to Review Ark. Prison Beard Growing Policy

A Muslim is required to grow a beard for religious purposes. Arkansas only allows inmates to grow mustaches for "security" reasons. SCOTUS will take a look.

1. Virus Alert: Beware Email Scam About Fake Court Cases

Emails, claiming to be from any number of state and federal courts, spread viruses via phony attachments earlier this year. The hopefully obvious lesson: Never open suspicious attachments.

Got a favorite case? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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