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

December 2013 Archives

We know it's not OK to play favorites, but we're not going to lie: the Second Circuit is one of our (or specifically, my) favorite circuits to cover. And how could it not be? With New York City in its jurisdiction, it would be hard not to have interesting cases coming out of the Second Circuit.

So, as we leap into the new year, let's take a moment to look back on the legal highlights of the Second Circuit in 2013:

More than a dozen years after the 9/11 terror attacks, memories are stirred almost monthly as 9/11-related litigation continues to make its way through the courts. In the latest development, the Second Circuit reversed the district court, essentially bringing Saudi Arabia back into the mix.

Factual and Procedural Background

There are many 9/11 cases in the judicial system. This particular case involves two: In re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia et al.) ("Terrorist Attacks") and Doe v. Bin Laden. Both cases are brought by plaintiffs seeking damages from Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, respectively for injuries and death resulting from the 9/11 attacks.

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC ("Vermont Yankee") can't seem to play nice with Vermont. The two parties have been in litigation since 1978 -- and the present case arises within this context.

The Vermont Generating Tax

You may recall that earlier this year, the Second Circuit held that Vermont could not shut down Vermont Yankee because of safety concerns. Because Vermont had refused to extend Vermont Yankee's regulatory approval for the plant's operation, Vermont Yankee stopped making payments to the state, agreed upon by the parties in Memoranda of Understanding. As a result, Vermont passed the Generating Tax, a $0.0025 per kilowatt-hour on electricity produced by plants with a capacity to generate at least 200,000 kilowatts.

In a case that will undoubtedly have an effect nationwide, the Second Circuit ruled on Friday that the government's warrantless GPS search of three defendants fell within the good faith exception to the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule.

Cases like this one are making their way through the courts all over the country as defendants contest the use of GPS tracking devices, without a warrant, after the Supreme Court's recent holding in United States v. Jones.

Here, three defendants moved to suppress evidence collected from the use of a GPS device, which was used without a search warrant. The district court denied the motion, defendants were convicted, and this appeal followed.

If the Second Circuit was personified, and had a hand, the slap it gave the Board of Immigrations Appeals ("BIA") would have left a hand print on the BIA's cheek. Why? Well ...

Ellya Indradjaja Seeks Asylum

Ellya Indradjaja is a Chinese Christian who is a native, and citizen, of Indonesia. She spent many years studying her religion outside of Indonesia, and when she returned to Indonesia to practice and minister her faith, she was met with persecution. She did not report incidents to the police, believing they would do nothing to help her.

Though twelve years have passed from that fateful day on September 11, 2001, for any New Yorker present that day, the heartbreaking sight of the World Trade Center towers collapsing, the stench of death and destruction, and the eerie silence looming over New York City, can be recalled in an instant.

Last week, memories of 9/11 came to the forefront as the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's decision dismissing Con Edison's negligence claims against the owners, and contractors, of 7WTC, stemming from the tragic events of that day.

In a criminal case pitting two New York City firemen against each other, the Second Circuit found that the defendant was denied a "fair opportunity to present a defense and a fair trial," when the district court denied him the chance to present surrebuttal evidence.

Fox Searchlight has much to be thankful for right about now, with the Second Circuit granting its motions to appeal both the class certification, and the district judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of the interns, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Two cases, starting in the Southern District of New York, involving questions of whether interns should actually be considered employees are making their way up the appellate ladder -- and companies all over the country are watching closely.