U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

June 2011 Archives

Medicaid: 3rd Circuit Allows State to Place Liens

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the issue of Medicaid this week in a lawsuit discussing a federal law preventing Pennsylvania from placing liens against the properties of living Medicaid beneficiaries, writes the Pittsburg Tribune Review.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the law doesn`t prevent the state from collecting medical costs from the money beneficiaries receive from lawsuits.

3rd Circuit Says Debt Collection Attorney Violated FDCPA

In the current economic climate, there have been many debt collection scams. Furthermore, the line between fair debt collection practices and unlawful ones has been blurred and many law firms and debt collection agencies find themselves running afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

That's what happened in this Third Circuit Court of Appeals case.

The Kay Law Firm learned the hard way that fast cash isn't always the best kind of cash. The Kay Law Firm is a debt collection law firm within the Third Circuit. The law firm sent a letter to a debtor on January 11, 2009. The letter was sent to collect a debt on a Washington Mutual home equity loan.

3rd Circuit Uphold's Merck's $500M Subpart F Tax Bill

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Merck & Co earlier this week on a transfer pricing tax case involving a refund of $473 million.

The three-judge panel ruled against the drug giant and upheld the lower court ruling from 2010, where the district court found that the drugmaker was not entitled to the refund.

The case is complex, even for tax lawyers as transfer pricing and Subpart F are some of the most complicated parts of tax law. It involves complicated corporate tax schemes, tax havens and a suit for refund. Let’s try to put this into plain English:

Naked DJ's Have Summary Judgment Thrown Out by 3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had an interesting week. Or rather, they had a very interesting copyright lawsuit.

See if you can wrap your legal minds around the following scenario:

A photographer does a photo shoot of two local radio hosts, Craig Carton and Ray Rossi. In this photo, the radio hosts are wearing nothing.

That's right -- buck naked, in the buff, in their birthday suits -- call it what you will, but it's really nothing more than a bit of spice to the case, since the nudity wasn't the issue.

The issue was homosexuality. Or at least allegations of it and a subsequent defamation claim.

3rd Circuit: Schools Can't Punish Students for Off-Campus Speech

The unsettled question of involving freedom of speech in schools and social media sites became a bit more settled this week, at least in Pennsylvania. On June 13, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two students who created vulgar online parody profiles of their principals, holding that the students could not be disciplined by the schools for off-campus speech.

The cases were both similar and at the end of the day, the essential question was the same: Are public schools in violation of constitutional rights of free speech if they punish students for online speech activities when away from school grounds?

Amicus Curiae Briefs: 3rd Circuit Has Liberal Standards

Are you thinking of filing an amicus brief in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals?

In an article in their newsletter, the Third Circuit Bar Association provides some insight into the court's policy on submitting amicus curiae briefs and who may submit an amicus curiae brief to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hazleton Immigration Ruling Remanded to 3rd Circuit

A 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals immigration ruling was struck down today by the highest court of the land. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a controversial immigration law that applied to businesses that hired illegal immigrants.

And this time, it was not in Arizona; but the Arizona illegal immigration law was not out of sight, nor out of mind.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that prevented the city of Hazleton, Pa., from enforcing regulations that would have the effect of denying permits to businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The regulations would also fine landlords who rented to illegal immigrants.

Fort Dix 5 Appear Before 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

FBI informants, wiretaps and prejudicial evidence: the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on these issues last week as the defense attorneys for the “Fort Dix Five” appealed their clients’ case.

The Fort Dix Five case involves a group of New Jersey men who were arrested in 2007 and convicted in 2008 based on their involvement in an alleged plot to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey.

According to Courthouse News, Jordanian-born Mohamad Shnewer and three Albanian brothers - Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka - received life sentences. A fifth man, Turkish-born Serdar Tatar, was sentenced to nearly 33 years in prison.

3rd Circuit: No Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege for Chevron

The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling last week, sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois. The decision involved the disclosure of emails and other confidential communications by the law firm of Kohn, Swift & Graf P.C. in a pollution lawsuit against Chevron, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

This isn't your typical motion to compel discovery, however. The case made it to appeals, largely on the issue of fraud. In a case that began in the 1990's as a pollution case, alleging that drilling operations in Ecuador had contaminated the rainforest, the issue of attorney-client privilege became a central issue after the case was transferred to Ecuador in 2003.