U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

April 2012 Archives

Supervised Release Ignorance is Not a Defense

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a person doesn’t have to be aware that he’s violating the terms of his supervised release in order to be penalized for violating his supervised release.

In a case involving a man from El Salvador, the New York-based appellate court also clarified that supervised release terms in the U.S. don’t magically disappear when an alien returns to his home country. (Just in case you were considering that argument.)

Second Circuit Taking Pro Bono Panel Applications

We have a quick announcement today from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding pro bono opportunities.

If you’re interested in serving on the Second Circuit’s Pro Bono Panel, read on.

SCOTUS Rejects New York Rent Control Appeal

If you’re the beneficiary of New York City rent control laws, you’ll be delighted to hear that the Supreme Court declined to review a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the decades-old policy this week.

If you’re a landlord, the denied cert is bad news.

Do ERISA Policies Cover Autoerotic Activity? 2nd Cir. Says Maybe

Until yesterday, we would have guessed that an ERISA claim stemming from autoerotic death would be a matter of first impression for any federal court.

We would have been wrong.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals kicked an ERISA claim stemming from a self-electrocution incident back to an insurer for further review this week in a summary order. The court noted that, while the insurer's interpretation of the policy’s “intentionally self-inflicted injury” provision had been accepted by other federal courts in autoerotic asphyxiation cases, the insurer in the present case had not properly explained its reasons for denying the plaintiff’s claim.

Caught Witness Tampering? Say Sayonara to Permanent Residency

Witness tampering can get you kicked out of the country.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a conviction for witness tampering constitutes an "offense relating to obstruction of justice" for removal purposes.

NY Troopers Win Objectively Reasonable Jury Instruction Appeal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of two New York State Troopers this week, finding that the district court did not err in instructing the jury to consider whether the Troopers’ actions were objectively reasonable.

John Terranova, Devin Baldwin, and Lamar Oliver (the Bikers) sued New York State Troopers Raphael Torres and Aaron Riley (the Troopers), claiming that the Troopers violated their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable seizure through the use of excessive force.

Second Cir Explains Sergey Aleynikov Source Code Theft Reversal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion in the Sergey Aleynikov appeal on Wednesday, more than six weeks after the court reversed Aleynikov's source code theft conviction.

Aleynikov was convicted in 2010 of stealing trade secrets from his employer, Goldman Sachs, under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). On appeal, Aleynikov argued that the Goldman Sachs source code at the center of the case was not a "stolen good" within the meaning of the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA), and that it was not related to a product "produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce" within the meaning of the EEA.

Peter Angelos Can Proceed in Pfizer Asbestos Lawsuit

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Tuesday that Pfizer can be named in some class action lawsuits related to its now-defunct subsidiary, Quigley.

The ruling opens the door for Peter Angelos to pursue Pfizer under Pennsylvania law for manufacturer liability. Angelos, a prominent asbestos attorney, argues that Pfizer should be held accountable for Quigley products that contained asbestos because the Pfizer logo appeared on Quigley products, reports Bloomberg.

Disability Advocates Lacks Standing to Bring ADA Housing Claim

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit on behalf of mentally ill adults last week, which could limit housing options for 4,300 adult home residents who live in New York City, reports the New York Daily News.

While the underlying claim in the case may have merit, the court found that the plaintiff, Disability Advocates, Inc., lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

Second Circuit Denies Request for Post-Conviction DNA Testing

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals adopted a standard of review for DNA testing appeals this week. The court established in Tuesday's U.S. v. Pitera decision that the question of whether a prisoner is entitled to DNA testing under the Innocence Protection Act is subject to de novo review.

De novo re view, however, was not enough to help Thomas Pitera win his DNA testing request.

Viacom Lawsuit Reinstated: Will DMCA Safe Harbor Save YouTube?

Viacom and YouTube are heading back to court.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and Google Thursday. Viacom claims that YouTube, which is owned by Google, violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by allowing users to post copyright-protected content from Viacom’s networks without permission, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Comments on New Second Circuit Rules Due April 11

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed two new Second Circuit rules, and you have until April 11, 2012 to tell the court what you think of them.

The new rules require disclosure of attorney assistance with court filings, and detail the procedure for appeals of district court attorney discipline orders.