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Family's Claim Revived Against Spanish Museum With Nazi-Looted Painting

How often does a U.S. trial judge get to decide a Spanish case over artwork painted by the French impressionist Camille Pissarro in 1897?

Once, unless of course the case is remanded. That's what is happening in the case of Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed and remanded the case to find out whether a Spanish museum lawfully acquired the artwork from the plaintiffs' great grandmother. The case turned, in part, on one word.

If you're an ERISA lawyer or a history nerd, the Ninth Circuit has a case just for you.

Administrators of a California firefighters' pension plan breached their trust duty when they paid their own fees and expenses from the plan's assets, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. That's some classic self-dealing, according to the court, and a breach of the administrators' fiduciary duty.

Xilinx, Inc. v. Comm'r. of Int'l. Rev., No. 06-74246, involved a tax court petition challenging the IRS's determination that, under the tax regulations in effect during tax years 1997, 1998 and 1999, related companies engaged in a joint venture to develop intangible property must include the value of certain stock option compensation one participant gives to its employees in the pool of costs to be shared under a cost sharing agreement, even when companies operating at arm's length would not do so.

Compton Unified Sch. Dist. v. Addison, No. 07-55751, concerned an administrative claim under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for failure to identify plaintiff-student as disabled.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment on the pleadings for plaintiff, holding that 1) a reading of the IDEA that left parents without an adequate remedy when a school district unreasonably failed to identify a child with disabilities would not comport with Congress' acknowledgment of the paramount importance of properly identifying each child eligible for services; and 2) considering plaintiff's substantial degree of success in administrative and district court proceedings, the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees.

In re: Taylor, No. 08-60033, involved debtors' appeal from the bankruptcy court's order avoiding a transfer of a security interest in an automobile to a bank.  The court of appeals reversed, holding that the bankruptcy court's determination of the value of the security interest was clearly erroneous, because there was no evidence to support the bankruptcy court's finding that the value of the security interest equaled the amount of the original loan at the time the bank perfected its security interest.

In US v. Nevils, No. 06-50485, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's firearm possession conviction, on the ground that, viewing the evidence as required by Jackson v. Virginia, there was sufficient evidence to permit a rational juror to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knowingly possessed firearms and ammunition.

In re: Marshall, No. 02-56002, concerned an action based on defendant's purported tortious interference with a substantial inter vivos gift that plaintiff's late husband intended to give to her.  The court of appeals reversed judgment for plaintiff, holding that a prior Texas probate court judgment should have been afforded preclusive effect because it was the earliest final judgment on matters relevant to the proceeding.

Edgerly v. San Francisco, No. 05-15080, involved a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against police officers and a city alleging that the officers unlawfully arrested and searched plaintiff in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed judgment for defendants in part, holding that 1) plaintiff did not provide sufficient evidence that the officers were acting pursuant to a city policy of conducting strip searches without reasonable suspicion; and 2) the district court did not err in sanctioning plaintiff for filing frivolous motions for reconsideration because its finding that plaintiff's motions did not raise any new issues was not clearly erroneous.  However, the court of appeals reversed in part, holding that, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, a reasonable jury could find that the officers subjected him to an unreasonable search.

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