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Defendant's Conviction for Identify Theft, Plus Civil Rights & Labor & Employment Law Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on August 31, 2010 8:26 PM

US v. Howard, 09-3840, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for access device fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft, for forging her grandmother's signature to obtain a student loan and to apply for credit card accounts.

 

In affirming the convictions, the court held that, even if an indictment names particular victims, the government need not prove intent to harm those named victims.  Also, the defendant cannot show that there was any prejudice to her defense because the government proved her intent to defraud the scheme's victims and not those specifically listed in the indictment.  Lastly, the court held that the district court properly denied defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal as there was sufficient evidence in the record from which a reasonable jury could find that defendant intended to defraud the scheme's victims.

Runyon v. Applied Extrusion Tech. Inc., 09-3015, involved a plaintiff's action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act against his former employer.  In affirming the district court's grant of judgment as a matter of law in defendant's favor, the court held that the district court correctly found that plaintiff did not present enough evidence to reach the jury on the central question of whether age was the real reason for his firing.

Meyers v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger, 09-3323, involved a plaintiff's occupational injury lawsuit against his employer, Amtrack, under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA).  In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant on the ground that plaintiff failed to provide any evidence to establish the required causation element of his FELA action, the court held that because plaintiff failed to comply with Rule 26(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the reports and testimony of his proffered causation experts were properly barred by the district court, and as such, plaintiff failed to raise genuine issues of material fact with respect to the causation element of his FELA claim.

Metavante Corp. v. Emigrant Savings Bank, 09-3007, involved a plaintiff's suit for breach of contract against defendant-bank for nonpayment of fees under the parties' Technology Outsourcing Agreement.  In affirming the judgment of the district court, the court held that an expert's testimony was both relevant and reliable.  Also, district court correctly determined that plaintiff did not breach the Agreement's performance warranty and its duty of good faith, and the district court did not err in concluding that any reliance by defendant on the alleged misrepresentations of plaintiff was not reasonable.  Further, district court committed no reversible error in determining that defendant's fraud claims were without merit, and it determined correctly that defendant's success on the in-house issue does not render it a "prevailing party" within the meaning of the contract.  Lastly, the district court acted within the bounds of its discretion in determining that no additional guarantee of reasonableness was required.

Hill v. Potter, 09-2815, involved a plaintiff's suit against the Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service, for age and disability discrimination and for retaliating against her for engaging in protected activities.  In affirming the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court held that plaintiff's retaliation claim based on the reduction of her hours fails because she has failed to show that she suffered an adverse employment action by having her hours reduced.  Also, because plaintiff has failed to raise a triable issue of fact regarding the Postal Service's proffered reason for not hiring hiring her is pretextual, the Postal Service is entitled to summary judgment on her failure to promote claim.

Hatmaker v. Mem'l Med. Ctr., 09-3002, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment for the hospital in plaintiff's suit against her formal employer for violating 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-3(a), claiming that she was fired as a part-time chaplain at the hospital because she participated in an investigation under Title VII.  In affirming, the court held that the participation clause prohibits retaliation against an employee who has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under Title VII, and a purely internal investigation, as in this case, does not involve a charge or testimony, and neither is it a proceeding or a hearing.  The court also held that plaintiff's opposition claim fails as well as, to be protected by the statute, opposition  must be based on a good faith and reasonable belief that it is opposition to a statutory violation.

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