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Federal New Releases

New Releases
from Federal Courts

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Criminal law -- Driving under influence -- Search and seizure -- Incident to arrest -- Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Prior crime qualifies as an ACCA predicate if, and only if, its elements are the same as, or narrower than, those of the generic offense listed in the Act -- ACCA does not make an exception to that rule when a defendant is convicted under a statute that lists multiple, alternative means of satisfying one, or more, of its elements -- Because elements of Iowa's burglary law are broader than those of generic burglary, convictions under that law cannot give rise to an ACCA sentence
VIEW OPINION

Equal protection -- Colleges and universities -- Admissions -- Race-conscious admissions plan used by University of Texas at time petitioner sought acceptance to the university was lawful under Equal Protection Clause -- Petitioner failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that she was denied equal treatment at the time her application was rejected -- University articulated concrete and precise goals that mirror compelling interest Court has approved in prior cases and gave “reasoned, principled explanation” for its decision to adopt the challenged admissions process, which includes race as a factor in holistic review of applicants, in a lengthy proposal written after a year-long study revealed that university's race-neutral policies and programs did not meet its goals
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Copyright infringement -- Architectural works -- Floor plans depicting residence with bedrooms arranged in “four-three split plan” -- Substantial similarity -- District court did not err in granting defendant's Rule 50(b) motion for judgment notwithstanding jury's verdict finding defendant's plans were substantially similar to protected elements of plaintiff's copyrighted plan -- No reasonable jury could deem the floor plans at issue substantially similar at the level of protected expression
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive petition -- U.S. Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. United States does not apply to federal guidelines sentence for purpose of permission to file second or successive section 2255 petition
VIEW OPINION

Criminal Law -- Hobbs Act -- Robbery -- Interstate commerce nexus -- The prosecution in a Hobbs Act robbery case satisfies the Act's commerce element if it shows that the defendant robbed or attempted to rob a drug dealer of drugs or drug proceeds -- By targeting a drug dealer in this way, a robber necessarily affects or attempts to affect commerce over which the United States has jurisdiction -- In the case at issue, government met its burden on the commerce element by introducing evidence that defendant's gang intentionally targeted drug dealers to obtain drugs and drug proceeds -- Proof that robberies were committed with express intent to obtain illegal drugs and the proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs is sufficient to meet the commerce element of the Hobbs Act -- Court's holding is limited to cases in which the defendant targets drug dealers for the purpose of stealing drugs or drug proceeds
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Attenuation -- Evidence seized as part of a search incident to defendant's arrest is admissible based on an application of the attenuation factors from Brown v. Illinois -- Where there was no purposeful or flagrant police misconduct, arresting officer's discovery of a valid, pre-existing, and untainted arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the unconstitutional investigatory stop and the evidence seized incident to a lawful arrest
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive petition -- New rule of constitutional law -- Because binding precedent clearly classified as elements-clause offenses petitioner's Florida state law convictions for aggravated battery and aggravated assault relied upon by sentencing court as ACCA predicates, application for permission to file second or successive section 2255 motion based on U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States is denied
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive petition -- New rule of constitutional law -- Because petitioner's three prior ACCA predicate convictions qualified under the elements clause of the ACCA without regard to the Act's residual clause, his application for order authorizing district court to consider a second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States is denied
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive petition -- Petitioner is granted leave to file second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence where he made prima facie showing that his claims involve a new rule of constitutional law made retroactive to cases on collateral review by Supreme Court -- Claim that sentence is unconstitutional under Johnson v. United States because it was improperly enhanced under career offender guideline based on his Florida conviction for burglary implicates Johnson where status of law at time petitioner was sentenced suggests that sentence may have been enhanced under residual clause, so that sentence would be void under Johnson
VIEW OPINION

Insurance -- Underinsured/uninsured motorist -- Excess coverage -- Claims against employer's excess and umbrella liability insurers by plaintiff who was injured in accident during course and scope of employment while driving truck owned by insurer and who obtained judgment in excess of tortfeasor's automobile liability limits -- Where each of three umbrella or excess liability policies covered by plaintiff's employer contained an unambiguous statement that coverage would not apply until the insured exhausted the $10 million policy limit of employer's primary policy, defendants were under no obligation to provide any coverage where plaintiff failed to exhaust primary policy limits -- Although Georgia's UM statute imposed upon the defendants an unconditional obligation to provide UM coverage, they did so in the permissible excess way -- Georgia statute does not render void the vertical exhaustion requirements of umbrella and excess liability policies governed by Georgia law -- District court erred in concluding that statute imposed upon umbrella and excess liability insurers an unconditional obligation to provide UM coverage to plaintiff as if they were primary insurers and that defendants' failure to tender payment amounted to breach of contract
VIEW OPINION

Labor relations -- Fair Labor Standards Act -- Overtime -- Exemptions -- Section 213(b)(10)(A), which establishes an exemption from the FLSA overtime provisions for certain employees engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, must be construed without placing controlling weight on the Department of Labor's 2011 regulation, which interpreted the statutory term “salesman” to mean only an employee who sells vehicles, with little explanation for its decision to abandon its prior practice of treating service advisors as exempt under statute -- Department's lack of reasoned explanation for a regulation that is inconsistent with longstanding earlier position results in a rule that cannot carry the force of law, and so the regulation does not receive Chevron deference
VIEW OPINION

Patents -- Inter partes review -- Section 314(d) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which provides that the Patent Office's decision whether to institute an inter partes review shall be final and nonappealable, bars judicial review of the Patent Office's decision to institute inter partes review -- Patent Office regulation requiring the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to apply the broadest reasonable construction standard to interpret patent claims is a reasonable exercise of the rulemaking authority granted to Patent Office by statute
VIEW OPINION

Racketeering -- Jurisdiction -- Extraterritorial -- For purposes of determining RICO's reach to events outside the United States, the Court would apply the canon of statutory construction known as presumption against extraterritoriality: Absent clearly expressed congressional intent to the contrary, federal laws will be construed to have only domestic application -- Presumption against extraterritoriality has been rebutted with respect to certain applications of RICO's substantive prohibitions in Section 1962 -- Sections 1962(b) and (c), which both prohibit employment of a pattern of racketeering, apply extraterritorially in tandem with the underlying predicate without regard to the locus of the enterprise -- Irrespective of any extraterritoriality of Section 1962's substantive provisions, Section 1964's private right of action does not overcome the presumption against extraterritoriality, and thus a private civil RICO plaintiff must allege and prove a domestic injury to business or property and cannot recover for foreign injuries
VIEW OPINION

Securities -- Unlawful profit from non-public information -- Administrative enforcement proceedings -- Constitutionality -- Jurisdiction -- District court action filed by plaintiffs who were respondents in SEC administrative proceedings and sought to challenge the constitutionality of those proceedings -- Respondents in administrative enforcement action brought by Securities and Exchange Commission cannot bypass Securities and Exchange Act's review scheme by filing a collateral lawsuit in federal district court challenging the administrative proceeding on constitutional grounds -- It is “fairly discernible” from review scheme provided in 15 U.S.C. section 78y that Congress intended respondents' claims to be resolved first in administrative forum, and then, if necessary, on appeal to appropriate federal court of appeals -- District court's orders preliminarily enjoining administrative proceedings vacated -- Remand with instructions to dismiss actions for lack of jurisdiction
VIEW OPINION

Torture Victim Protection Act -- Interlocutory appeal from denial of rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss action by heirs to civilians killed in 2003 by Bolivian troops acting under direction of President and Minister of Defense at that time -- Exhaustion of adequate and available remedies in place in which conduct giving rise to claim occurred -- Successful exhaustion of foreign remedies does not operate to bar a TVPA claim seeking additional amounts to fully compensate claimants for their losses -- Whether recoveries claimants received in Bolivia have any preclusive effect under principles of res judicata is not an issue that was raised in instant appeal -- Appellate court declines to consider whether second amended complaint failed to state claims for relief under TVPA, as issue is not a pure question of law
VIEW OPINION

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