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

September 2012 Archives

Asylum Request Needs Showing of Systematic Persecution

Sometimes, credibility of testimony isn't the only bar to a claim of asylum. The history of persecution of a group can be an important factor in determining whether a petition against removal can stand.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals looked at one such asylum case earlier this week and ruled in favor of deportation for a Guatemalan citizen who invoked the Convention Against Torture.

Special Relevance Defeats FRE Prior Bad Acts Challenge

A cocaine trial and a botched murder culminated in the rejection of the defendant’s appeal this week, in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The underlying case involved a conspiracy to distribute cocaine. While the trial was pending, a federal witness was stabbed several times. The witness survived and his assailant received a 360-month sentence, which he appealed.

Federal Court Hosts Legal Fellowships for Boston Students

America celebrated Constitution Day this week with hoopla and fanfare and a possibly-unconstitutional requirement that educational institutions which receive federal funds must hold educational programs about the Constitution on Constitution Day. Whether or not the observance violates the First Amendment, the late Sen. Robert Byrd created Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution and to help students learn about the history of the document.

And so a "holiday" was born.

Perhaps Constitution Day sparks a lifelong love of the law for some students; if you know of such students in the Boston area, then you should tell them about the Nelson and Lindsay Fellowships through the U.S. District Court in Boston.

First Circuit Remands Attorney's Fees for Recalculation

After obtaining a $7,650 jury verdict in an age discrimination lawsuit, Carmen Diaz went after Jiten Hotel Management for the big bucks: attorney’s fees and costs. Diaz asked the court for $139,622 in attorney’s fees and $13,389.34 in costs.

The district court awarded $25,000 in fees and $9,434.74 in costs. This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the district court’s numbers needed a bit of tinkering.

Not So Fast: Maine's Request for 'Swift Action' is Moot

Maine wants to eliminate Medicaid coverage for thousands of residents, but it has a small problem: It needs the federal government's approval for the plan.

So Maine took to the federal courts to demand "swift action" from the feds on its Medicaid waiver request, The Associated Press reports.

No Comment: Local Rule 35.0 Becomes Effective

You probably grew up hearing the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” (We’ve always preferred the Alice Roosevelt variation, “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me,” but the advantages of that theory are a discussion for another time.)

Today, we’re considering if the converse of the “don’t say anything at all” adage is true in the context of federal court rules: If people don’t say anything, does it mean that they didn’t have anything nice to say? If so, then no one had anything nice to say about the amendments to the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ Local Rule 35.0. Despite a request in June for public comments on proposed amendments to the En Banc Determination rule, the public failed to respond with opinions about the changes.

Maybe it’s because the changes were non-substantive.

BC Researchers Argue Ask Court to Block IRA Tape Release

Boston College researchers are still fighting to withhold oral history interviews from foreign authorities.

Back in January, 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. In July, the court ruled that Boston College to hand the recordings over to British authorities, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Unpleasantness Isn't Persecution in Asylum Appeal

Unpleasantness — even extreme unpleasantness — does not qualify as persecution in an immigration appeal, according to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

This week, the Boston-based appellate court ruled that a Ukrainian woman who was harassed, beaten, and arrested in Ukraine for her Pentecostal beliefs had endured some tough times, but had not proven persecution.