February 6, 2017 Injury & Tort Law, Communications Law (United States Ninth Circuit) - In a qui tam action brought by a state prosecutor alleging that the largest telecommunications companies in the United States were fraudulently overcharging the federal government for surveillance services, the district court's dismissal of the action under the False Claims Act's (FCA) public disclosure bar, which states that once allegations of fraud have entered the public domain a person may not bring a qui tam action unless he can prove that he was an original source of those allegations,31 U.S.C. section 3730(e)(4) (2006), is affirmed where plaintiff did not qualify as an original source.
February 3, 2017 Labor & Employment Law, Class Actions, Dispute Resolution & Arbitration (United States Ninth Circuit) - In an employment class action, the district court's order denying defendants' motion to stay proceedings, compel arbitration of claims arising out of the plaintiff's employment, and dismiss class and representative claims, is reversed where: 1) although the Incentive Bonus Agreement was an adhesion contract, it was not procedurally or substantively unconscionable under California law; and 2) the dispute resolution provision was valid and enforceable once the judicial carve-out was extirpated and the waiver of representative claims was limited to non-PAGA claims.
February 3, 2017 Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law (United States Ninth Circuit) - In an employment action alleging gender discrimination claims under Title VII and the Idaho Human Rights Act, a claim under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Idaho Wage Claim Act, the district court's grant of summary judgment to employer-defendant is reversed where: 1) as to the gender discrimination claims, plaintiff presented sufficient evidence that defendant's proffered reasons for terminating her were pretextual because she offered ample direct evidence of discriminatory animus, as well as specific and substantial indirect evidence challenging the credibility of defendant's motives; 2) as to the COBRA claim, there was a genuine dispute of fact regarding the true reason for the plaintiff's termination; and 3) summary judgment was improper on the state and federal wage claims.
February 2, 2017 Securities Law, Administrative Law (United States Ninth Circuit) - In a pro se petition for review brought by a registered broker dealer seeking review of an SEC decision that a $1000 penalty that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposed on petitioner was not a 'live' sanction capable of redress, the petition is granted where the SEC's decision was interpretation of Securities Exchange Act Section 19(d)(2) was unreasonable and inconsistent with applicable law.
February 2, 2017 Administrative Law, Environmental Law (United States Ninth Circuit) - In a citizen suit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it registered certain pesticide active ingredients and pesticide products without undertaking consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to the dismissal of all category one, two and three sub-claims; and 2) reversed in part as to the dismissal of all category four sub-claims, which alleged that the EPA's approval of individual pesticide products was an agency action, where those claims were barred by the collateral attack doctrine.
February 2, 2017 Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States Ninth Circuit) - Dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus relief from life sentence for attempted murders is reversed where, because petitioner's petition was only partially exhausted, he should have been allowed to delete the unexhausted claims and proceed on the exhausted claims if his motion to stay and abey his federal case were denied.
Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. February 7, 2017 In many ways, e-Commerce has made our lives as consumers so much easier. Need a book? Order it online. Last minute dry cleaning? There's an app. Looking for a lawyer? Here's an online directory. But as lawyers, e-Commerce doesn't...
Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. February 6, 2017 It's been a busy weekend for lawyers fighting over President Trump's immigration ban. On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order pausing the enforcement of ban. While the President took to Twitter to decry...
William Vogeler, Esq. February 3, 2017 The Ninth Circuit ruled that a customer who gave his phone number to a gym cannot sue the company for contacting him by text message -- even after the customer cancelled his membership. According to the ruling, it was...
Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. January 30, 2017 On Friday, Trump issued an executive order barring visitors, immigrants, and refugees from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States. Soon after, lawyers began swarming America's major airports, seeking to file habeas petitions on behalf of those detained...
William Vogeler, Esq. January 25, 2017 The Ninth Circuit has ruled that lending companies operated by Native American tribes are subject to investigation by federal lending authorities. According to the circuit's ruling, the companies, operated by various tribes, must comply with civil investigative demands from...
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