U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

January 2012 Archives

First Circuit Makes Mob Victims an Offer the Feds Can't Refuse

It was an offer the Feds couldn’t refuse: million-dollar judgments for the families of murdered mob victims.

Upholding a lower court’s ruling, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the federal government to compensate the victims of James “Whitey” Bulger and his associate Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. The First Circuit held that the FBI had shown “negligence of a wildly reckless flavor” in protecting them from criminal protection because they were federal informants.

Obama Nominates William J. Kayatta, Jr. to First Circuit

We recently wondered who would replace long-time First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kermit Lipez, and we may have gotten our answer: William J. Kayatta, Jr.

President Barack Obama announced his pick to replace Maine's only jurist on the First Circuit on Monday.

"I am proud to nominate these outstanding candidates to serve on the United States Court of Appeals," Obama wrote in a statement to the press. "I am confident [Tenth Circuit nominee] Judge Robert E. Bacharach and William J. Kayatta will serve the American people with integrity and distinction."

Blackstone Battle Goes to Mediation, EPA and City Forced to Talk

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to move the Blackstone battle between the Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Worcester to mediation, forcing the two parties to sit down and possibly discuss a compromise.

The battle over the Blackstone River has been a long and contentious one. Federal environmental regulators initially stepped in when they became concerned with the levels of pollutant discharge from the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District plant in Millbury. It claimed that the Blackstone River is one of the most polluted in the state and began implementing limits on pollutants discharged from the plant.

First Circuit Follows Trend: Upholds MERS Authority

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.'s (MERS) power to assign a mortgage without having to possess a beneficial interest in the promissory note.

The plaintiff in the case contended that although the actual bank mortgagee had declared bankruptcy, MERS did not have the authority to act on behalf of a non-existent entity and assign the mortgage to another institution.

In a unanimous decision, the First Circuit agreed with a lower court that "legally MERS was holding the mortgage in trust," meaning it has the authority to foreclose and assign mortgages, even though it was acting as an agent for the new owners.

Top 3 First Circuit Issues to Look Out For in 2012

With the beginning of the New Year comes the anticipation and excitement of a fresh start. That, and the bets on the hot legal issues that will be burning up the mainstream media during the year. Here are our picks for the top three legal issues that will sure to garner a lot of attention for anyone following the First Circuit Court of Appeals:

First Circuit Blocks Release of BC Interviews of IRA Member to UK

The First Circuit Court of Appeals blocked an order from a lower court judge requiring Boston College to turn over documents pertaining to a former member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army to the United Kingdom.

Based on a treaty with the United States that requires both countries to furnish materials that would aid in criminal inquiries, the United Kingdom had originally subpoenaed the college for the recordings of interviews that former IRA member Dolours Price gave to a Boston College oral history project. British authorities wanted the documents as evidence in their investigations of crimes during the sectarian fight for control of Northern Ireland.