Legal News & Case Summaries

Case Summaries

Criminal Law & Procedure

[05/16] US v. Khalil
Convictions for smuggling, conspiring to smuggle, transporting, conspiring to transport, and harboring an alien, 8 U.S.C. section 1324, transferring and conspiring to transfer false identification documents, 18 U.S.C. section 1028, and making false statements to federal agents, 18 U.S.C. section 1001, are: 1) reversed as to conviction of transporting an alien within the U.S. for profit, 8 U.S.C. sections 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) and 1324(a)(1)(B)(i), where the evidence presented by the Government was insufficient to prove that defendant transported an alien 'in furtherance of' the alien's illegal stay in the U.S., as required by 8 U.S.C. section 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) and by the district court's jury instructions; and 2) affirmed as to convictions on the remaining counts.

[05/16] Wisniewski v. Fisher
In a prisoner's civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against prison officials, asserting claims of First Amendment retaliation and violations of his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's amended complaint for failure to state a claim is reversed in part where plaintiff's allegations regarding his retaliation claim based on his removal from his Inmate Legal Reference Aide position, are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss.

[05/16] Denault v. Ahern
In an action alleging a common law conversion claim against a police officer, arising out of the seizure and search of plaintiffs' car which produced no evidence but accumulated towing and storage fees owed to the city's towing vendor that exceeded the value of the seized property, the district court's judgment is affirmed over plaintiffs' attempts to revive a civil rights claim that might serve as a basis for an award of attorneys' fees.

[05/16] US v. Diaz-Rosado
In a criminal case in which defendant was indicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida for his role in planning and organizing a maritime smuggling operation involving over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, and five days later, was indicted again in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico for his role in planning and organizing a maritime smuggling operation involving over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, the District Court denial of defendant's motion to dismiss the Puerto Rico indictment is affirmed where the second indictment did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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Family Law

[05/15] Howell v. Howell
In a case in which a case a State treated as community property and awarded to a veteran's spouse upon divorce a portion of the veteran's total retirement pay, and long after the divorce, the veteran waived a share of the retirement pay in order to receive nontaxable disability benefits from the Federal Government instead, the Supreme Court of Arizona's judgment is reversed where a state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the divorced spouse's portion of the veteran's retirement pay caused by the veteran's waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits.

[05/04] In re Priscilla A.
In a juvenile dependency case, in which a Father challenges the juvenile court's jurisdiction and disposition orders. the juvenile court's jurisdiction and disposition orders are reversed where because Daughter was not abused, neglected, or exploited and Father neither did nor failed to do anything to put Daughter at any risk of harm, dependency jurisdiction was not proper here.

[04/19] Gabrielle A. v. Co. of Orange
In an action brought by parent's challenging the detention of their children for six months, specifically, the two months they were detained in Orange County before the case was transferred to Los Angeles, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to social worker-defendants is affirmed where: 1) the parents' knowing and voluntary pleas of no contest to the jurisdictional allegations during dependency proceedings defeats their claims; 2) the social workers are entitled to immunity; and 3) met their burden to establish they were entitled to summary judgment on each cause of action, and plaintiffs failed to raise triable issues of material fact.

[04/17] In re Marriage of Huntley
In a wife's challenge of the trial court's denial of her motion to divide unadjudicated community property under Family Code section 2556, the judgment is reversed where: 1) section 2556 provided the trial court with continuing jurisdiction to divide omitted or unadjudicated community property; 2) the default judgment's silence as to any division of property requires reversal and remand for further proceedings under sections 2550 and 2556.

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Injury & Tort Law

[05/15] Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark
In a consolidated action brought by two family members holding powers of attorney for two decedents against a nursing home, alleging the substandard care had caused their deaths, the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision, that the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the nursing home were invalid because neither power of attorney specifically entitled the representative to enter into an arbitration agreement, is reversed where the Kentucky Supreme Court's clear-statement rule violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.

[05/15] Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark
In a consolidated action brought by two family members holding powers of attorney for two decedents against a nursing home, alleging the substandard care had caused their deaths, the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision, that the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the nursing home were invalid because neither power of attorney specifically entitled the representative to enter into an arbitration agreement, is reversed where the Kentucky Supreme Court's clear-statement rule violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.

[05/11] Amphastar Pharms., Inc. v. Aventis Pharms., Inc.
In a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act alleging that defendant committed fraud against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and obtained an illegal monopoly over enoxaparin and then knowingly overcharged the United States, the district court's judgement is: 1) affirmed as to dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where the complaint was based on public disclosures in the form of allegations of fraud, as well as allegations of the underlying facts, in a prior patent infringement suit; and 2) reversed as to the district court's denial of the defendant's motion for attorneys' fees where the district court had authority to award attorneys' fees after the dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

[05/09] Carlson v. Boston Scientific Corp.
In a suit alleging that a transvaginal mesh product manufactured by defendant injured plaintiff and that defendant failed to warn of risks associated with the mesh, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant and denial of plaintiff's motion to reconsider the summary judgment award are affirmed where neither decision was erroneous.

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