Paul W. Mollica

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In United States v. Sanmina Corp., No. 18-17036 (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2020), the Ninth Circuit considers whether two memoranda by a taxpayer’s in-house counsel must be turned over to the IRS. The Ninth Circuit affirms the district court’s finding that any attorney-client privilege was waived, and remands for further review of attorney work-product protection of attorney “mental impressions, conclusions, opinions or legal theories” under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3). The opinion sets forth…
For the second time in the past two weeks, in United States  v. Portillo, No. 18-50793 (5th Cir. Aug. 5, 2020), a U.S. Court of Appeals publishes an opinion applying the 2014 amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(1)(B) that expanded the admissibility of prior consistent statements. The Second Circuit recently upheld the admission of prior consistent statements in United States v. Purcell, No. 19-238 (2d Cir. July 23, 2020) (see the July 24,
Finding “nationwide injunctions” to be a “drastic and extraordinary remedy” restricted “to the most exceptional circumstances,” a divided Fourth Circuit panel holds in Casa De Maryland, Inc. v. Trump, No. 19-2222 (4th Cir. Aug. 5, 2020) that the district court abused its discretion by issuing an injunction that reached beyond the organization and its members who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit. As in Monday’s decision in New York v. United States Dep’t of Homeland Sec.,
In New York v. United States Dep’t of Homeland Sec., No. 19-3595 (2d Cir. Aug. 4, 2020), the Second Circuit joins the roiling debate about the authority of federal district courts to enter nationwide injunctions against the federal government. The panel affirms a preliminary injunction entered against the Trump Administration’s 2019 amendments to the “public charge rule.” The amendments broadly reinterpret 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to reduce the…
Creating a possible circuit split, the Eleventh Circuit holds in Eloy Rojas Mamani v. Gonzalo Daniel Sanchez De Lozada Sanchez Bustamante, No. 18-12728 (11th Cir. Aug. 8, 2020), that State Department cables containing unattributed observations about conditions in a foreign country are inadmissible hearsay, not covered by the public-records exception of Fed. R. Evid. 803(8). Rule 803(8) provides an exception to the rule against hearsay (Rule 802) a “record or statement of a public…
In Environment Texas Citizen Lobby, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corp., No. 17-20545 (5th Cir. July 29, 2020), noting that heretofore “no court appears to have found standing for some Clean Air Act violations but not others,” a Fifth Circuit panel becomes apparently the first to hold that there must be Article III “standing for each violation for which plaintiff seeks a penalty.” The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a “private attorney general” statute that authorizes…
In Mitze v. Saul, No. 19-3212 (7th Cir. July 31, 2020) (per curiam), the Seventh Circuit reminds litigants that only extraordinary circumstances justify the sealing of a judicial opinion, and that preventing the disclosure of personal medical information alone is insufficient. In 2013, the plaintiff filed an action appealing the denial of Social Security benefits; in 2017, the Seventh Circuit affirmed that denial. Some years later, Mitze moved to seal the “medical information .…
In Patel v. Hamilton Medical Center, Inc., No. 19-13088 (11th Cir. July 30, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit holds that there is no federal-question subject matter jurisdiction over a declaratory action brought by a doctor against a hospital for suspending his privileges. Although the plaintiff’s claim arose under state law (and the parties were apparently non-diverse), the doctor-plaintiff attempted to bootstrap federal jurisdiction by bringing one claim under federal law: a declaratory-judgment action against the…
An internecine battle for control of the Eagle Forum – Schlafly  v.  Eagle Forum, No.  19-2174 (8th Cir. July 30, 2020) – leads to a $9,851.25 attorney’s fees sanction under the district court’s “inherent power,” an award affirmed by a divided Eighth Circuit panel.    Plaintiff Andrew L. Schlafly, son of Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schafly, sued the organization and the board of directors to fend off an effort to remove himself and others from…
In Bunn v. Perdue, No. 19-2138 (10th Cir. July 28, 2020), the court holds that the automatic tolling for the filing of an appeal under Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A) does not apply when a post-judgment motion is “improperly filed” by someone other than counsel of record. Plaintiff, who was represented by counsel, lost his employment-discrimination case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture on summary judgment. Without his counsel either being substituted or withdrawn,…