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

April 2012 Archives

3rd Circuit Vacates $6M Verdict Against Environmental Officials

On April 26, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to vacate a jury judgment awarding $6.5 million to workers at the Department of Environmental Protection.

The award had already been vacated by the district court before the case to went to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction Case On Its Way to SCOTUS

CBS is not out of the woods yet on Janet Jackson’s notorious Super Bowl incident from 2004.

The U.S. Supreme Court might be reviewing the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” case. The Federal Communications Commission filed a writ of certiorari, requesting the Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision.

Court Gives Exclusive Jurisdiction in Virgin Islands Tax Case

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit ruled on a tax case that stemmed from the Virgin Islands district court.

While this is a tax case, don't worry -- we won't get into the heavy tax jargon in this post. But the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories which means that there is a little more U.S. oversight on the taxation of income there.

Porn Industry Gets Second Shot at First Amendment Case

A group of porn-industry folks brought a recent lawsuit before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

The lawsuit raised constitutional issues relating to criminal laws that imposed recordkeeping, labeling and inspection requirements on “producers of sexually explicit depictions.”

Court Addresses Elements of Conspiracy in Gov Contracts Case

In a case involving two officers of the U.S. Army Reserve who were deployed to Iraq, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court conviction of conspiracy.

On appeal, the defendants raised issues on the insufficiency of evidence to establish participation in the conspiracy, failure to grant a new trial in the interests of justice, and erroneous refusal to grant "use immunity" to a co-conspirator.

Let's have a look at the sufficiency of evidence argument.

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Hears 'I Heart Boobies' Arguments

On Tuesday, a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in what’s been dubbed the “I Heart Boobies” case. This lawsuit has it all — the First Amendment, the ACLU and “boobies.”

The case involves two female middle school students at Easton Area Middle School. The students were suspended for wearing breast-cancer awareness bracelets that had the words “I Heart Boobies— Keep a Breast Foundation.”

Successive Revoked Sentences do not Count Toward Maximum

Do numerous consecutive sentences add up to the statutory maximum, if each prior sentence is revoked? Or does the court start the tally over, after each revocation?

In U.S. v. Williams, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the prison sentence of a woman who had been accused of bank robbery. The defendant claimed that her sentence exceeded the statutory maximum. During the course of her incarceration and supervised release, there had been several modifications made to the sentence, largely due to her failure to comply with the terms of her supervised release. As a result, the combined number of months she spent in prison was 25 months, which she claimed was over the 24-month limit.

Here’s a primer on the facts:

SCOTUS: Strip Search OK, Upholds 3rd Cir. Florence Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2010 Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the propriety of strip searches for minor offenses in an April 2 decision.

The case, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, dealt with the strip search of a man on a minor traffic offense, finding that such searches were okay under the law.