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A jury found William Scully guilty of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States through the introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, receipt of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and delivery thereof for pay, introduction of unapproved drugs into interstate commerce, and unlicensed wholesale distribution of prescription drugs. He was sentenced principally to 60 months in prison. The main issue on appeal was whether the district court properly excluded evidence relating to Scully’s advice-of-counsel defense. Because the Second Circuit found that the evidence was admissible and its exclusion was not harmless error, it vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Scully" on Justia Law

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Claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201, are subject to arbitration. In this case, plaintiff filed suit against defendants, alleging that he was denied overtime pay in violation of the FLSA. Plaintiff's employment contract contained a clause requiring arbitration of any dispute arising out of the contract. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's order compelling arbitration of a claim under the FLSA and dismissing the complaint for violations of the Act. The court held that plaintiff's remaining contentions lacked merit. View "Rodriguez-Depena v. Parts Authority, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated defendant's sentence of 60 months in prison, nearly three times the top of the Guidelines range, after he pleaded guilty to one count of illegally reentering the United States after having been removed following a conviction for an aggravated felony. In the context of the Sentencing Commission's statistics for illegal reentry cases and all the circumstances here, the court was not persuaded that the justification offered by the district court was sufficient to support the magnitude of the variance. The court also held that there may have been factual errors in the district court's discussion of the record and the district court's reluctance to credit defendant's acceptance of responsibility (although it did so in the end) suggested that the district court may have conflated defendant's statements in mitigation with a failure to accept responsibility. Accordingly, the court remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Singh" on Justia Law

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Unpaid interns in this case were not "employees" of Hearst for the purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL). The Second Circuit applied the "primary beneficiary" test in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. and considered the seven non-exhaustive considerations specific to the context of unpaid internships. The court held that the facts of this case permit inferences that support Hearst with respect to certain Glatt factors, and inferences that support particular interns with respect to other factors. Such mixed inferences did not foreclose a ruling on summary judgment. The court agreed with the district court, which weighed all factors under the totality of the circumstances, and concluded that the interns were not "employees" for the purposes of the FLSA. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Hearst. View "Wang v. The Hearst Corporation" on Justia Law

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On remand from the Supreme Court, the Second Circuit certified the following question to the New York Court of Appeals: Does a merchant comply with New York's General Business Law 518 so long as the merchant posts the total‐dollars‐and‐cents price charged to credit card users? View "Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez v. United States, ––– U.S. –––, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015), abrogated the Second Circuit's holding in United States v. Harrison, 606 F.3d 42, 45 (2d Cir. 2010). In this case, the court held that the extension of defendant's traffic stop violated the Fourth Amendment. Nonetheless, the court held that the good‐faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied because the officers reasonably relied on the court's then‐binding precedent. Furthermore, the district court did not clearly err in concluding that the initial traffic stop was valid and that defendant consented to the searches. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United States v. Gomez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a petition pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction seeking the return of three children from New York to Thailand. The court held that the Convention does not enter into force until a ratifying state accepts an acceding state's accession and that Article 35 limits the Convention's application to removals and retentions taking place after the Convention has entered into force between the two states involved. Therefore, because the Convention did not enter into force between the United States and Thailand until April 1, 2016, after the allegedly wrongful retention of the children in New York on October 7, 2015, the Convention does not apply to petitioner's claim and the district court did not err in dismissing his petition. View "Marks v. Hochhauser" on Justia Law

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After receiving the answer to two certified questions from the Nevada Supreme Court, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's defamation suit. The Nevada Supreme Court held that a hyperlink to source material about a judicial proceeding may suffice as a report within the common law fair report privilege, and that the online petition, as it existed when plaintiff's complaint was filed, fell within the purview of Nevada's fair report privilege. The state court also held that, pursuant to Delucchi v. Songer, 396 P.3d 826 (Nev. 2017), Nevada's anti-SLAPP statute covers communication that is aimed at procuring any governmental or electoral action, result or outcome which is truthful or is made without knowledge of its falsehood, even if that communication was not addressed to a government agency. In this case, plaintiff failed to allege knowledge of falsity, much less facts to support such a conclusion. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for additional discovery and the district court's application of the anti‐SLAPP statute to this case. View "Adelson v. Harris" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner argued that the introduction at his trial, during the testimony of an expert lab analyst, of a case file concerning DNA testing of petitioner's buccal cheek swab and containing notations made by the expert's coworkers, analysts whom the State did not call to the stand, violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against him. The court held that the Supreme Court cases on which petitioner relied neither clearly established his entitlement to cross‐examine the analysts who prepared the informal, unsworn documents in the case file introduced as evidence at his trial, nor provided a basis for concluding that the state court judgment was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established law. View "Washington v. Griffin" on Justia Law

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Although the Second Circuit agreed with the district court that defendant's substantive due process rights were violated when prison officials assigned plaintiff, who was then a pretrial detainee, to Administrative Segregation, the court held that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. In this case, defendant was discharged from Administrative Segregation and released, arrested again on new drug-related offenses, and then re-admitted into Administrative Segregation. The court held that the law was not clearly established at the time that a substantive due process violation would result from plaintiff's placement in Administrative Segregation based solely on his prior assignment to (and failure to complete) that program. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's judgment for plaintiff. View "Allah v. Milling" on Justia Law