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

May 2012 Archives

DOMA Verdict is In: Denying Benefits to Same-Sex Couples Unconstitutional

What a great year for gay rights activists. First, President Barack Obama comes out publicly to support gay marriage. Now, a federal court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

Yes, that’s right. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has finally weighed in on the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. And same-sex couples are applauding the unanimous decision of the three-judge panel.

Court Upholds $21.6M Award in Stevens Johnson Syndrome Drug Case

The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a monumental products liability verdict in New Hampshire recently. The verdict is the largest jury verdict in state history, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The lawsuit was filed against Philadelphia-based Mutual Pharmaceutical. Plaintiff Karen Bartlett was awarded $21.6 million after a medication she used for shoulder pain caused toxic epidermal necrolysis, or Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening condition that involves the detachment of the top layer of skin from the lower layers. Bartlett suffered burns to 60 to 65 percent of her body and is almost blind.

Supreme Court Won't Hear Joel Tenenbaum's Music Downloading Case

The First Circuit Court of Appeals takes a firm stance on illegal downloads.

Or at least it seems that way in light of the Tenenbaum ruling. Now, the Supreme Court has denied certiorari in his case, and it looks like the $675,000 penalty against the former Boston University graduate student will stand.

Chief Judge Lynch Speaks to Grads at BU

Speak up and have your voice heard. That was the message that Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch aimed to send to the graduating students at her alma mater, Boston University. Judge Lynch spoke before the graduating seniors at Boston University on Sunday.

Judge Lynch is currently the Chief Judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. She graduated from Boston University Law School in 1971.

Supreme Court Denies Hearing Halloran-Whitey Bulger Case

Here are some tales from the seedy underworld of organized crime and mobsters-turned-FBI informants. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal involving a notorious Boston area gangster. The High Court denied certiorari after the First Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the case due to the statute of limitations.

The case involves the murder of Edward Halloran by a former Boston mob boss and FBI informant, James “Whitey” Bulger. The estate of Edward Halloran wants over $2 million in damages from the FBI.

More on Jason Pleau, Gov. Chafee Files Request to Stay Order

The fight for Jason Wayne Pleau isn’t fading away anytime soon. On Friday, Governor Lincoln Chafee asked the First Circuit Court of Appeals to delay issuing an order that could force Jason Pleau to stand trial in federal court.

Jason Pleau May Stand Federal Trial, Could Face Death Penalty

An inmate involved in a federal capital crime can stand trial in federal court, says the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 3-2 decision on Monday, the appellate court reversed its panel decision, and ruled in favor of the government in the case against Jason Pleau.

Nancy Torrensen Sworn in as Federal Judge in Maine

Nancy Torresen was sworn in last week as a U.S. District Court judge in Maine. She is the first woman to hold the position of federal district judge in Maine. The investiture ceremony took place on May 3 at the Edward T. Gignoux U.S. Courthouse.

She was sworn in by Chief District Judge John Woodcock, who administered the oath. Her mother and her husband, former U.S. Attorney Jay McCloskey, helped Torresen with the ceremonial donning of her robe.

Coors Lawsuit Thrown Out for Lack of Jurisdiction

One mega beer company is alleging that it isn’t getting fair treatment under tax laws, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals isn’t cutting the company any slack.

Coors Brewing Company sued the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, asking for federal jurisdiction as it related to taxes.

Court Overturns BIA Deportation Order in Asylum Case

Immigration deportation appeals aren’t easy. Here’s a case out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals that overturns the opinion of the Board of Immigration Appeals in an asylum case.

The petitioner is a Cambodian citizen who has been in the U.S. for several years. Eventually, after his non-immigrant visitor visa ran out, he applied for asylum under the Convention Against Torture.