Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of a putative class action on behalf of investors who traded Qihoo 360 Technology securities between December 18, 2015, and July 15, 2016. The investors alleged that defendants violated the Exchange Act by, among other things, deceiving investors about the plan to relist the company. The court concluded that the allegations in the complaint were sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss on that ground. In this case, plaintiffs alleged, and provided supporting evidence, that defendants represented to shareholders that there were no plans to relist the company following a shareholder buyout, when in fact the company had such a plan at the time of the buyout. Therefore, plaintiffs adequately alleged a misstatement or omission of material fact. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Altimeo Asset Mgmt. v. Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd." on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law
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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's motion to reopen proceedings. The court explained that recent Supreme Court jurisprudence has established that Notices to Appear issued under 8 U.S.C. 1229(a)(1) that fail to provide time-and-place information for removal proceedings in a single document do not satisfy the statutory requirements in 8 U.S.C. 1229(a)(1), and thus do not cut off the alien's time of continuous presence in the United States needed for discretionary relief from removal.In this case, the court concluded that an Order to Show Cause, an older version of a charging document issued pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1252b(a)(1) (1994) prior to the enactment of 8 U.S.C. 1229(a)(1), need not provide that information in a single document in order to cut off the alien's continuous presence in the United States. The court considered petitioner's remaining arguments and found them to be without merit. Accordingly, the court denied all pending motions and applications and vacated all stays. View "Naizhu Jiang v. Garland" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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Plaintiffs, commercial merchants seeking monetary and injunctive relief under both federal and California antitrust laws against American Express, filed suit alleging that American Express's anti-steering rules caused merchant fees to rise across the market. The district court considered the four "efficient enforcer" factors and concluded that plaintiffs lacked antitrust standing, dismissing the claims.The Second Circuit affirmed, concluding that the efficient-enforcer factors structure a proximate cause analysis according to which there must be a sufficiently close relationship between the alleged injury and the alleged antitrust violation to establish antitrust standing. In cases of economic harm, the court explained that proximate cause is demarcated by the "first step" rule, which limits liability to parties injured at the first step of the causal chain of the defendants' actions. Here, American Express restrained trade to raise its own prices and only later did its competitors follow suit. The court stated that plaintiffs were harmed at that later step, and thus failed the first-step test. After considering all four factors, the court concluded that—taking the allegations of the complaint as true—plaintiffs are not efficient enforcers of the antitrust laws and therefore lack antitrust standing. View "In re American Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litigation" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part in an action where defendants were convicted of charges related to defendants' personal use of grant money that the UN awarded to their non-profit organization. Defendants received a grant in the amount of $500,000 for the sole purpose of establishing a radio station in Iraq dedicated to women's programming. However, defendants siphoned off more than $65,000 of the grant to pay personal debts, bills, and taxes.Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the court concluded that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict on the wire fraud and related counts. The court remanded for the district court to consider defendants' motion for a new trial on these counts. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the court concluded that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict defendants for their false statements. The court discerned no errors with respect to the false statement convictions that would require a new trial. View "United States v. Jabar" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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Plaintiff filed suit on behalf of the United States under the False Claims Act (FCA) against AECOM, alleging that AECOM submitted fraudulent claims for payment to the government. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that AECOM overstated its man-hour utilization rate, improperly billed the government for labor not actually performed, and failed to properly track government property, resulting in significant financial costs and government waste.The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of most claims, but concluded that the district court's materiality analysis of plaintiff's 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1)(A)-(B) claims premised on the labor billing allegations was flawed because the district court improperly relied on materials extraneous to the complaint. The court also concluded that the public disclosure bar does not provide an alternative basis to affirm. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment, reversed the district court's dismissal of the section 3729(a)(1)(A)-(B) claims premised on the labor billing allegations; affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's other claims; and remanded for further proceedings. View "United States ex rel. Foreman v. AECOM" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment entered pursuant to a jury verdict and a retrial on damages, awarding $90,000 in compensatory damages and $355,000 in punitive damages to plaintiff on his excessive force claims against police officers. Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleged that the officers subjected him to unprovoked, excessive force, and then took substantial coordinated steps to cover up their misconduct. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in upholding the jury's $355,000 punitive damages award after retrial and that the damages were reasonable in light of the officers' misconduct. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in remitting the compensatory damages award after the first trial to $115,000. Therefore, the compensatory award of $90,000 after retrial stands. View "Jennings v. Yurkiw" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendants' convictions and sentences for conspiring to manufacture, distribute, or possess a controlled substance on a vessel. The court concluded that the district court did not procedurally err in denying minor-role reductions pursuant to USSG 3B1.2 and 2D1.1(a)(5)(iii) and applying two-level enhancements for defendants' roles as pilot or navigator of a vessel carrying controlled substances pursuant to USSG 2D1.1(b)(3)(C). The court also concluded that Defendant Torres' 240 month sentence and Defendant Salas' 180 month sentence were substantively reasonable where the district court weighed the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) sentencing factors and did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentences. View "United States v. Torres" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's denial of the Bank's motion for judgment on the pleadings. In this case, the district court concluded that plaintiffs have Article III standing to sue the Bank for violating the timely recordation requirements imposed by New York State's mortgage-satisfaction-recording statutes and certified the question for interlocutory appeal. The court held, however, that plaintiffs' allegations fail to support their Article III standing, and that they may not pursue their claims for the statutory penalties imposed by the New York Legislature in federal court. In this case, plaintiffs have not suffered a concrete harm due to the Bank's violation. View "Maddox v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon Trust Co., N.A." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A). The court explained that, although section 3582(c)(1)(A) permits a district court to end its analysis if it determines that extraordinary and compelling reasons for granting the motion are absent, the court's review on appeal is aided considerably when the district court, as here, also analyzes the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) sentencing factors—particularly in those cases where it is a close call whether extraordinary and compelling circumstances exist. In this case, the district court considered the section 3553(a) factors and reasonably concluded that defendant's early release would undermine respect for the law and undermine the deterrent purpose of the original sentence given his very serious offenses. The court rejected defendant's contentions to the contrary. View "United States v. Jones" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint (SAC) based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The SAC sought review of the USCIS's revocation of Plaintiff Nouritajer's previously-approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140); the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office's (AAO) denial of Nouritajer's revocation appeal on August 1, 2018; and the May 29, 2019 denial of plaintiffs' motion to reopen and reconsider the revocation. The court agreed with the district court that the jurisdictional bar to a substantive challenge to a discretionary decision by the Secretary of Homeland Security applies here, because plaintiffs do not assert a procedural challenge to the revocation decision. Rather, plaintiffs assert several arguments which essentially challenge the underlying reasons for the revocation of the immigration petition. View "Nouritajer v. Jaddou" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law