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Federal New Releases

New Releases
from Federal Courts

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Alien Tort Statute -- Foreign corporations may not be defendants in suits brought under ATS
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Patents -- Inter partes review, under which process the United States Patent and Trademark Office is authorized to reconsider and cancel an issued patent claim in limited circumstances does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution
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Patents -- Inter partes review -- When Patent Office initiates inter partes review, a procedure that allows private parties to challenge previously issued patent claims in an adversarial process before the Patent Office that mimics civil litigation, it must “issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner” -- In this context, “any” means “every,” and accordingly, the agency cannot curate claims at issue, but must decide them all
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Labor relations -- Fair Labor Standards Act -- Overtime -- Collective actions -- Certification -- Appellants who were employees that opted into FLSA collective action lawsuit by filing consents to become party plaintiffs were parties to the litigation, remained parties in the litigation until dismissal from case, and could appeal adverse judgments against them -- Opt-in plaintiffs become party plaintiffs upon filing written consents to become party plaintiffs pursuant to Section 216(b) and nothing further, including conditional certification, is required to confer party-plaintiff status -- Opt-in plaintiffs remain party plaintiffs until district court determines they are not similarly situated to named plaintiff and dismisses them -- Opt-in plaintiffs could appeal from district court's conditional certification order and its clarification order after final order approving settlement between named plaintiff and defendant because, although appellants were not bound by final order approving settlement, that final order drew into question all prior non-final orders and rulings which produced the final judgment -- Conditional certification -- District court did not abuse discretion in denying motion for conditional certification as untimely where motion was filed nearly eight months after deadline provided by local rules -- Exchange during a phone conference where district court deferred resolution of plaintiffs' discovery request until after conditional certification motion was filed did not constitute “prior permission” to file an untimely motion -- Clarification order -- District court erred in deeming appellants non-parties in clarification order, which had effect of dismissing their claims with prejudice, since it would probably bar them from refiling their claims due to running of applicable statute of limitations -- Appellants are entitled to statutory tolling of their claims beginning on dates they filed their written consents
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Civil rights -- Disabled persons -- Students -- Individual with Disabilities Education Act -- Parents and their intellectually disabled child appeal from dismissal of their disability-based discrimination claims under Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act, alleging that school district discriminated against child based on his disability by failing to furnish him with special education services -- Failure to exhaust administrative remedies -- District court did not err in dismissing plaintiffs' Section 504 and ADA claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies under IDEA where claims neither received an administrative hearing nor a decision from the administrative officer -- Section 504 and ADA claims were subject to IDEA's administrative exhaustion requirement since the gravamen or essence of claims was that school district deprived child of a free appropriate public education -- Plaintiffs' failure to exhaust cannot be excused under either the futility or inadequacy exception -- Limitation of actions -- District court correctly applied IDEA's two-year statute of limitations, restricting plaintiffs' claims to those arising within two years of filing their request for due process hearing -- Tolling -- District court did not clearly err in finding that plaintiffs had not requested an IDEA evaluation of their child until his senior year, at which time the school district promptly informed plaintiffs of their IDEA procedural rights, rendering tolling of limitations period inapplicable -- Right to FAPE -- Claim that school district violated IDEA by depriving child of FAPE during certain semesters cannot be sustained because, based on information drawn from variety of sources, child did not need special education and, therefore, did not qualify as a “child with a disability” under IDEA -- IDEA confers the right to a FAPE only upon “children with disabilities” -- Child did not need special education where he met academic standards, was not recommended for special education by any of his teachers, did not exhibit especially alarming conduct warranting special education, and demonstrated he was learning, while displaying some weaknesses not readily amenable to special-education remediation -- Child-find duty -- School district did not violate its child-find duty under IDEA to “identify, locate, and evaluate” plaintiffs' child -- School district did not owe parents a child-find duty because child was not a “child with a disability” -- Even if child were a “child with a disability,” school district did not breach its child-find duty where school district could not have known that child needed special education given that he generally performed well in his classes and did not exhibit alarming behavior, school district attended to child's academic shortcomings through means other than special education, and school district demonstrated individualized attentiveness and sensitivity to child's difficulties -- Even if child's senior-year academic decline rendered him a “child with a disability,” which the record does not support, school district satisfied its child-find duty by initiating the IDEA-eligibility process at his parents' request and evaluating him within a reasonable time
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