U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

9th Circuit November 2017 News

Ninth Circuit Icon Judge Harry Pregerson Dies

Many Californians know the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, but they don't know what the judge had to do with it.

Pregerson, who died at 94, has a legacy in Southern California for stopping the 105 Freeway until construction complied with environmental laws. But his legacy on the court reaches much farther than the freeway.

"He was larger than life," said Dean Kevin Johnson of the UC Davis School of Law.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Yelp Reviews Against Fraud Claims

Everybody knows that bad reviews can hurt business, but it's what you don't know that really hurts.

That's what happened to the plaintiffs in a case against Yelp, the online review site. After news broke about complaints against the company, the plaintiffs alleged their stock depreciated because of the complaints.

But in Curry v. Yelp, Inc., the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals basically said the plaintiffs couldn't prove what they didn't know.

Youth to Argue Climate Change at 9th Circuit

Youth aged 9 to 21 will get their day in court in a climate-change case, and not in a moot-court sort of way.

In Juliana et al v. United States, the young plaintiffs want the federal government to change the way it deals with global warming and fossil fuels. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced it will hear arguments about whether to push the case towards trial.

The Trump administration filed a petition to stay discovery in the case and to dismiss it instead. If denied, the administration may have to confront scientific evidence the President has already dismissed.

Judge Blocks Trump's Sanctuary Cities Order

President Trump's battle with courts over immigration continued as a judge blocked his executive orders against sanctuary cities.

This time, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a permanent injunction against the President's order to cut funds from cities that provide some refuge to immigrants. Judge William Orrick had temporarily blocked the order in April after San Francisco and Santa Clara counties sued.

"The Counties have demonstrated that the Executive Order has caused and will cause them constitutional injuries by violating the separation of powers doctrine and depriving them of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights," Orrick said.

'Bikini Baristas' Argue Freedom of Exposure

Everett city attorneys probably paid too much attention to detail in their clothing ordinance targeting bikini baristas, according to a lawsuit.

The ordinance says the servers must cover "minimum body areas" at all times, including: "breast/pectorals, stomach, back below the shoulder blades, buttocks, top three inches of legs below the buttocks, pubic area and genitals."

Even more cringeworthy, it says the women may not expose "more than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola" and the "bottom one-half of the anal cleft."

Court Ends Steinbeck Family Feud

Another chapter in John Steinbeck's legacy is over -- at least until the next one.

Steinbeck died almost 50 years ago, but his heirs have been fueding over his estate ever since. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrote another chapter in that sad story.

In Steinbeck v. Kaffaga, the appeals court closed the book on claims by the author's sons and daughter-in-law to movie adaptations of his literary work "Of Mice and Men."

Court: Fox Show 'Empire' Doesn't Infringe Trademark

Fox News is in the news these days largely because of fake news.

Discerning the real news is becoming as confusing as distinguishing trademarks, particularly where Fox News is concerned. In Twentieth Century Fox v. Empire Distribution, the company said its "Empire" show did not violate Empire's trademark.

In a word, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said, "correct." The explanation, like sorting out fake news, is a little more complicated.

In the latest chapter in the Trump travel ban saga, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has partially lifted the preliminary injunction issued by the federal district court in Hawaii. After Judge Watson issued the order, the feds appealed and filed for an emergency appeal regarding the preliminary injunction shutting down the travel ban as to the six Muslim majority nations it named.

The Ninth Circuit limited the preliminary injunction only to those foreign nationals with bona fide ties to the United States. For individuals, this means family members extending out as far as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and even siblings-in-law. For businesses, there must be a formal, documented relationship that was not formed for the purpose of evading the travel ban.

Glassdoor, the job posting website that allows visitors to post reviews about employers, has just been ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal to hand over the names of some anonymous reviewers.

Before you get too excited at the prospect of finally finding out which of your former admins talked trash about you, this case is a bit more compelling than the typical Yelp defamation matter. The federal government is seeking the names of former employees that left reviews implicating a business that was engaging in governmental fraud.

A three-judge panel of Ninth Circuit justices heard arguments this week in the DACA decision-making document discovery debacle. And though the feds were hot from a recent Second Circuit win, the Ninth Circuit panel did not hold back when it came to the questions.

After Judge Alsup of California's federal Northern District Court ruled that the administration would have to produce more documents, the Trump administration appealed. Fortunately for the White House and DHS, the order requiring the probably huge document production has been stayed pending the resolution of this appeal. This could buy the Trump administration quite a bit of time as the justices seemed to have rather different thoughts on the matter based on the questions they asked.

Orange County Excessive Force Case Revived

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this video is worth at least 1 million.

Warning. This video contains graphic content and may not be suitable for some audiences. If you watch the video, the question is whether the officer used excessive force.

According to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it is a question for a jury. That's if the case gets that far.