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In Gonzalez v. CoreCivic, Inc., No. 19-50691 (5th Cir. Jan. 20, 2021), the panel—reviewing an interlocutory denial of a motion to dismiss—divides over whether to reach an issue not briefed by the parties to resolve the appeal. The district court certified the order denying a Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6) dismissal, specifying the following issue: “Whether the TVPA [the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000] applies to work programs in federal immigration detention…
In New Hampshire Lottery Comm’n v. Rosen, No. 19-1835 (1st Cir. Jan. 20, 2021), the panel holds that it had jurisdiction over New Hampshire’s challenge to the Department of Justice (DOJ) memoranda about enforcement of the Wire Act which, if implemented, might prevent the state from selling lottery tickets over the internet. Section 1084(a) of the federal Wire Act criminalizes the use the use of interstate instrumentalities for “the placing of bets or wagers…
In Erwin-Simpson v. AirAsia Berhad, No. 19-7034 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 19, 2021), the panel affirms an order dismissing a claim for injuries on a 2016 flight from Malaysia to Cambodia, holding that the allegations “did not arise from any activity by AirAsia in the District of Columbia, and the only presence that the airline identifies here is its website.” The plaintiff was burned by a flight attendant who spilled boiling water on her. She sued…
A split panel in Estate of Anderson v. Marsh, No. 19-15068 (9th Cir. Jan. 15, 2021) holds that the court of appeals lacks jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal – at the summary judgment stage – of a denial of qualified immunity. The dissenting judge, though, implores the Supreme Court to review the appellate jurisdiction issue, pointing to the inter- and intra-circuit splits over the issue. The case, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleged that…
In Thornley v. Clearview AI, Inc., No. 20-3249 (7th Cir. Jan. 14, 2021), a plaintiff fighting removal of her Illinois class action from state court persuades the Seventh Circuit that the federal courts lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over her claim. “Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, familiarly known as BIPA, provides robust protections for the biometric information of Illinois residents. See 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq. It does so by regulating the collection, retention, disclosure, and…
In Echeverry v. Jazz Casino Co., LLC, No. 20-30038 (5th Cir. Jan. 12, 2021), the Fifth Circuit affirms liability – but vacates damages – in a negligence case involving a casino and one of its contractors, holding “that none of the objected-to evidence was erroneously admitted at trial.” “Jazz Casino Company … hired Alabama Wildlife Removal (‘AWR’) as an independent contractor in January 2017 to remove birds from palm trees near the Casino. On…
In United States v. Earth, No. 19-1555 (8th Cir. Jan. 11, 2021), the Eighth Circuit upholds a conviction for assault on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, overruling several hearsay objections including comments made for medical treatment and “excited utterances.” Defendant Earth was charged with stabbing a cousin during a domestic dispute. “At trial, the defense conceded that Earth stabbed Sharpe Butte but argued that she did so in self-defense.” The jury convicted Earth of assault…
In United States v. Driscoll, No. 19-3074 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 5, 2021), the panel holds that the district court’s repeated efforts to force a verdict denied the defendant a fair trial and required that the conviction be vacated. “Jury deliberations in Driscoll’s trial began on Tuesday, November 20. The jury deliberated for approximately 45 minutes before breaking for Thanksgiving. After returning on Monday, November 26, the jury sent a note to the District Court…
In JTH Tax, Inc. v. Aime, No. 19-1746 (4th Cir. Jan. 4, 2021), the Fourth Circuit holds that the district court erred – on remand from an earlier appeal – in granting the winning plaintiff (1) additional compensatory damages on the grounds of newly discovered evidence, and (2) nominal damages. Aime operated nine tax franchises from Liberty Tax. Owing to an investigation by the IRS, Aime lost his Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN), which…
In Langere v. Verizon Wireless Servs., No. 19-55747 (9th Cir. Dec. 29, 2020), the Ninth Circuit clarifies the standard for when a three-judge panel may overrule circuit precedent in the face of “irreconcilable” Supreme Court authority. It holds that it is not necessary for the prior circuit caselaw to be on all fours with the intervening Supreme Court decision, only that its underlying reasoning be rejected. The Ninth Circuit had held in Omstead v.…