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

August 2017 Archives

The defamation lawsuit filed in the federal Southern District Court of New York by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin against the New York Times has been dismissed.

Judge Jed Rakoff noted that Palin's case failed to adequately make a showing of actual malice to support the public figure defamation claim. Significantly, the case may be ripe for appeal to the Second Circuit because the dismissal was with prejudice as it came after an evidentiary hearing on the issue of malice.

But based on the opinion of the lower court, there may not be much wiggle room for reversal.

Day Laborers Win Right to Solicit Work

Attorney Elbert S. Hendrickson opened a blacksmith shop in the Town of Oyster Bay at a time when immigrants came to America trying to make a living any way they could.

One hundred fifty years later, lawmakers want to stop day laborers from making a living on the same Long Island streets. They enacted an ordinance that banned mostly immigrants from soliciting drivers for work as they drove through the suburban neighborhood.

However, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ordinance in Centro de la Comunidad Hispana de Locust Valley v. Town of Oyster Bay. While the appeals court said it violated their free speech rights, town leaders vowed to fight on.

"I cannot understand why any court in this nation would allow illegal aliens to gather on residential streets seeking illegal work while avoiding paying taxes," Supervisor Joseph Saladino said, promising to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Our neighborhoods will not become sanctuaries for illegal aliens under my watch."

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed and remanded the lower court's decision denying Uber's motion to compel arbitration in the Meyer v. Uber price fixing case.

Fortunately for Spencer Meyer, the appellate court's decision does not close the door on his case and send him packing to arbitration. Rather, Meyer and Uber will be going back before the district court to argue over whether the case should be forced into arbitration, at least one more time.

Aldo Vera Jr. filed a lawsuit against the nation of Cuba due to the alleged assassination of his father in the late 1970s in Puerto Rico. After receiving a default judgment on his claims in 2008 in a Florida state court, which were presumed to be permissible under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act's terrorism exception, the court awarded him $45 million in damages.

Unfortunately for Mr. Vera, in attempting to enforce the judgment, the Second Circuit Court of Appeal has reversed the district court's decision holding Cuba liable at all. The Second Circuit found that the state court decision that the federal district court based its decision and order on was erroneous, thereby rendering the district court's decision erroneous as well.

Trump Emoluments Case Gets Closer: Arguments Begin Oct. 18

Pressure is mounting in the other Russia case against President Donald Trump.

A federal judge has set a hearing over whether Trump's businesses run afoul of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause. The clause prohibits public officials from accepting any emolument, i.e. money, of any kind from a foreign government.

It is not the same matter being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, but it involves some of the same concerns. How did the president benefit from his ties to Russia?

The case of Davino Watson vs. the U.S.A. is one that most citizens would probably have preferred losing. The case is one of true bureaucratic incompetence, insurmountable legal hurdles, and precedential tragedy.

Mr. Watson, while incarcerated on a drug charge, was investigated by ICE. The ICE case was mishandled so badly that Mr. Watson, a U.S. citizen, was held for three years after he finished serving his time on the drug charge. After his eventual release, he filed suit to recover for the time he was falsely imprisoned by the federal government due to bureaucratic incompetence. He won at the trial level, but had his damages limited. However, on appeal, the court reluctantly stripped Mr. Watson of that win.