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

September 2013 Archives

Harvard Law Professor Nominated by Obama to 1st Cir.

Call it a Harvard love fest, if you will. President Barack Obama, a Harvard Law graduate, has nominated David J. Barron -- a Harvard College grad, Harvard Law grad and Harvard Law professor -- to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. That's a whole lot of crimson ivy.

These are a few of Mr. Barron's favorite things:

Rhode Island Judge 'Reluctantly' Lifts Foreclosure Injunction

In response to an order from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. has "reluctantly" lifted an injunction preventing foreclosures and evictions from proceeding in the 825 foreclosure cases pending in Rhode Island's federal court.

In June, the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that McConnell's August 2011 order staying foreclosures and evictions in the pending cases was effectively an injunction, despite the parties being unable "to show a likelihood of success" of prevailing in their cases, which is an essential requirement of continuing injunctive relief, reports the Providence Journal.

McConnell's caseload includes borrowers from across Rhode Island who have challenged their foreclosures both before and after the foreclosure process. With the injunction lifted, what will become of the homeowners?

Obama Nominates Maine Supreme Court Justice Levy to Federal Bench

Justice Jon David Levy, an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court since 2002, was one of eight nominated nationally Thursday by President Barack Obama to be a U.S. District Court judge, the White House announced.

Earlier this year, Maine's congressional delegation passed along Levy's name and the names of attorneys William D. Robitzek of Berman & Simmons in Lewiston and Jeffrey N. Young of McTeague Higbee in Topsham to the White House, reports the Bangor Daily News.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Levy, 59 of Portland, will replace U.S. District Judge George Singal, 67, of Portland, who announced last year that he would take senior status July 31, but continue to hear cases throughout the district.

Maine Supreme Court: City Employees Can Run For School Board

In a case that wrestles with an individuals' free speech rights balanced against a government's obligation to be transparent, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the city of South Portland could not prevent two city employees from running for the school board.

In a 5-1 decision, the court said the rights of the employees outweigh the city's interest in preventing hypothetical conflicts of interest. However, because the court felt the government's concerns were legitimate, the force of the decision is actually quite limited.

Massachusetts Supreme Court Hears Pledge of Allegiance Challenge

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will soon revisit the constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance. A family from Boston is arguing that the words ''under God'' in the pledge discriminate against atheists.

But do they really have a case?

The Hotel Meliá ("HMI") has been in business since the 1890s, in the same location in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and hosted the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt. It never registered its mark with the USPTO, or with the Puerto Rico Department of State.

Dorpan, a subsidiary of Sol Meliá, a Spanish company that owns hotels around the world, owns the rights to several marks including the word "Meliá" (referenced together as "Dorpan"). In 2007, Dorpan opened the Gran Meliá, a luxury resort in Coco Beach, Puerto Rico.

HMI sued Dorpan in Puerto Rico Superior Court, Dorpan sued HMI in federal court and removed the state claim to federal court, where both cases were consolidated. The district court granted Dorpan's motion for summary judgment on its declaratory judgment claim that, under the Lanham Act, Dorpan had the right to use the Gran Meliá mark in Puerto Rico, except in Ponce where HMI was located. HMI appealed.