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

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Ever see contemporary art and think "I could do that." Well, actually doing it could cost you a pretty penny, as one real estate billionaire recently found out. Igor Olenicoff, the 156th richest person in the world, was accused of ripping off the work of Donald Wakefield. A federal jury awarded Wakefield $450,000 -- though the court intervened, allowingOlenicoff to walk away without paying a dime.

Until now. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld the jury's award, as well as the court's ordered destruction of the knock-off sculptures.

In many ways, e-Commerce has made our lives as consumers so much easier. Need a book? Order it online. Last minute dry cleaning? There's an app. Looking for a lawyer? Here's an online directory.

But as lawyers, e-Commerce doesn't usually mean easy. Instead, litigating e-Commerce disputes in the federal court system can present unique challenges and unexpected pitfalls. Thankfully, there are resources available to help you overcome those challenges deftly.

The Ninth Circuit upheld California's 10-day 'cool down' period for gun purchasers last week. Under that law, all purchasers must wait for their guns, even if they have previously purchased a firearm or have cleared a background check in under 10 days.

Even then, a 10-day wait is not a violation of buyers' Second Amendment rights, the court explained, since requiring a waiting period is "a reasonable safety precaution for all purchasers of firearms," the court ruled.

Some of California's leading judges and attorneys are coming together for an exceptional CLE event this February. Civil Litigation Challenges: Excelling in the "Big League," presented by The Rutter Group and the California Judges Association (disclosure: The Rutter Group is part of Thomson Reuters, FindLaw's parent company), will feature a California Supreme Court justice, multiple superior and appellate court judges, lawyers from the nation's leading firms, and everyone's favorite law school dean and legal scholar, Erwin Chemerinsky.

It's a rare opportunity to learn from -- and rub elbows with -- some of the West Coast's top legal minds.

The Pacific bearded seal's future is on thin ice, literally and figuratively. The seals, known for their long, mustache-like whiskers, live and feed off the ice flows that cover the shallow waters off the coast of Alaska and the Arctic. Those flows are expected to decline dramatically, shrinking as climate change drives temperatures north. By 2095, loss of ice will leave the Okhotsk and Beringia bearded seal population segments endangered, according to estimates by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

As a result of the threat posed by climate change, NFMS listed the seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, a designation that comes with significant protections. And that listing, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Monday, was wholly allowable, rejecting a challenge that the listing was too speculative.

Life just got a little sunnier for legal practitioners in Alaska. FindLaw just launched its new Alaska Statutes and Constitution section, bringing the best, easiest-to-use Alaska codes to legal professionals in the land of the midnight sun.

So, if you need to know about agricultural loans in Anchorage or solicitation laws in Seward, FindLaw has you covered. And it's all free.

A social media company that accessed Facebook user's profiles, with the user's permission but against warnings from Facebook, violated a federal anti-hacking law, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. Power.com, a now-defunct social network aggregator, had encouraged its users to recruit others through their Facebook accounts, sending form messages and emails promoting its website. And they persisted after being told to knock it off. That continued access of Facebook, after the company issued a cease and desist, constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Ninth Ruled.

The ruling is the Ninth Circuit's second decision taking a broad interpretation of the CFAA in as many weeks and it should give any computer user pause.

The Tohono O'odham Nation did not violate a gaming compact between it and the state of Arizona when it planned to build a casino in Glendale, the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday. Arizona and two other tribes claimed that the tribe's casino plans were in violation of a 2002 gaming compact between the tribe and the state, which allowed gaming on native land but barred casinos on lands taking into trust after 1988. But, that bar did not extend to lands acquired as part of a settlement of a land claim, the court ruled, allowing the casino to go forward.

The ruling is the 19th federal court decision in favor of the project, The Arizona Republic reports. But despite the tribes' winning streak, continued litigation is expected.

Wild bighorn sheep used to number in the millions, grazing along the steep cliffs of rocky mountains. But today, there are less than 70,000 left, their numbers having dwindled as a result of habitat loss, hunting, and disease spread from domestic sheep.

In order to prevent further decline to bighorn sheep populations in Idaho, the U.S. Forest Service closed about 70 percent domestic sheep grazing allotments in the Payette National Forest in Idaho. That closure was perfectly legal, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday, in response to a suit from Idaho wool growers.

The Ninth Circuit may soon be getting a new judge and it is likely to be Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Judge Koh, who we once dubbed the "most powerful woman in Silicon Valley," is best known for presiding over the Apple v. Samsung trial, where she won over our hearts by slapping down Apple's request for additional witnesses by asking its attorney if he was smoking crack. (He wasn't.)

Now she may get to dish out the smack from an even higher bench. Here's what you should know about Koh.