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

April 2014 News

The Seventh Circuit is known for delivering benchslaps, so much so that it's acquired the nickname "Benchslappy" (hat tip to Above the Law). Well, they're not the only slap happy bunch around, you can add us now. Let's call it a blogslap.

Why would we be handing out a blogslap? Because the Seventh Circuit website sucks leaves much to be desired, especially when compared with other circuit court websites.

The protests, and dramatic exit of Wisconsin State Senate Democrats, surrounding the legislation of Wisconsin's Act 10 in 2011 are still fresh in our memory, yet they occurred three years ago. The controversial act has already been before the Seventh Circuit on constitutional grounds, and the challenges failed.

This week, in a second case, the Seventh Circuit again found that Wisconsin's Act 10 is constitutional.

So a lady in a banana costume, known as the "Banana Lady," walks in to a court room ... This is not the start of a joke. This is real.

Thankfully, this happened in the "Benchslappy" Seventh Circuit, and Judge Posner was on the panel assigned to this case, and wrote the opinion. You can probably guess where this is going.

In 1997, Hamas orchestrated a triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem that wounded 200 and killed five people. U.S. citizens who were wounded, suffered emotional distress, or lack of consortium sued Iran in federal court arguing that Iran was responsible for the bombings because Iran provided support and training to Hamas.

The plaintiffs were successful and won a $71.5 million judgment against Iran -- though in hindsight, that may have been the easiest part of this litigation.

Motorola has been involved in antitrust litigation for the past five years with AU Optronics, and other defendants, who are part of an alleged foreign price fixing cartel. In one fell swoop, Judge Posner eliminated 99% of Motorola's claim -- what will happen next remains to be seen.

The Sherman Act Claims

Motorola claims that it purchased over $5 billion worth of LCD panels to incorporate them into cell phone manufactured either by Motorola, or its subsidiaries. The breakdown of the claim is as follows: 1 % were bought by and delivered to Motorola in the U.S.; 42% were bought by Motorola foreign subsidiaries and incorporated into products that were shipped to Motorola for resale in the U.S.; and the remaining 57% were bought by foreign subsidiaries and never even entered the U.S. The only sales at issue are the 42%, and Motorola received a little benchslap from Posner when he noted that the inclusion of the 57% was "a frivolous element of Motorola's claim."