U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

August 2012 News

Sovereign Immunity: If You've Got It, Flaunt It

Sovereign immunity is a gift to states and state agencies, but not all sovereigns capitalize upon that gift.

Some, like the Indiana University School of Dentistry, actually squander it, according to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Indiana Must Provide Due Process for Sex Offender Registry

Indiana has a sex offender registry. That's not surprising. Most states do.

But the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Indiana's sex offender registry violates due process.

That is surprising.

So where did Indiana go wrong with its registry?

7th Cir: Appellate Counsel Botched Ineffective Counsel Appeal

A jury convicted David Swanson of a number of fraud, tax, and money laundering offenses. He was sentenced to 180 months' imprisonment, which included a § 3B1.1(a) enhancement. Swanson appealed, replacing his trial counsel with new counsel who represented him in his first appeal, at resentencing, in a second appeal, and before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

A focus of Swanson's sentencing hearing was his objection to the PSR's use of the 2001 guidelines and whether the variances between that version and the 1998 edition, proposed by Swanson's trial counsel, mattered. The Seventh Circuit agreed, and Swanson was re-sentenced. This time, the district court gave him 151 months' imprisonment.

Seventh Circuit: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Rip Off Nietzsche

Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, and Nietzsche (figuratively) walk into the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Hilarity ensues.

The Seventh Circuit ruled this week that aspiring hip-hop artist Vince P. can't sue Kanye West for ripping off his song, because both West and P. were ripping off Nietzsche.

No, folks. We can't make this stuff up.

No Qualified Immunity for IL AG in Age Discrimination Lawsuit

No employer is safe from a discrimination lawsuit. Not even those employers who are expected to uphold the law.

Recently, we learned from a Ninth Circuit case that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission isn't above a disability discrimination claim. This week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that individual employees in the Illinois Attorney General's office can't assert qualified immunity to avoid an age discrimination lawsuit.

ITT Wins Retaliation Claim Thanks to Hookahs and Arby's

A whistleblower who isn’t fired for whistle-blowing can’t win a wrongful termination lawsuit, according to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Plaintiff Jason Halasa was the College Director of ITT Technical Institutes’ Lathrop, California Campus for six months. ITT says that Halasa was fired for exhibiting poor management skills and delivering inadequate results; Halasa alleges that he was fired in violation of the False Claims Act after identifying and reporting irregularities in ITT practices.

Court Says Parking Tickets Could Be Illegal

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that an Illinois driver can sue the Village of Palatine for giving him a parking ticket.

Before you get too excited by the prospect of unfettered parking, keep in mind that the decision doesn’t mean that driver will win.

George Ryan to Remain in Prison Until 2013

George Ryan has to serve the rest of his prison term, according to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Chicago-based court denied the former Illinois governor's appeal seeking release from prison on Monday, reports The Associated Press.

Cheapskate Porn Viewers Dodge Bullet in 7th Cir myVidster Appeal

Copyright holders can be rather prickly about their protecting their works. For example, Flava Works, a porn production company, gets antsy when people copy their pay-to-play content and host it for free on other websites. When Flava Works discovered its flava-ful content on MyVidster.com, it joined forces with the Motion Picture Association of America to sue MyVidster for copyright infringement.

Last year, U.S. District Judge John Grady agreed with Flava Works and the Motion Picture Association of American that myVidster, a social video bookmarking site, infringed on copyrighted material by embedding Flava Works' videos and reaping the ad revenue rewards. Judge Grady concluded that myVidster was not protected under Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provision.