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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants in an action alleging that defendants took adverse employment action against plaintiff in violation of the First Amendment in retaliation for her giving advice to a co-worker who was being arrested by campus police. The court declined to apply the law of the case doctrine where the district court initially entered an order denying defendants' motion for summary judgment before changing its mind, because plaintiff did not point to any prejudice she suffered by reason of the change of ruling and the court saw no impropriety in the district court's exercise of its discretion to revisit its earlier denial of summary judgment. On the merits, the court held that defendants were protected from both liability and the obligation to defend the case because of qualified immunity. In this case, there was no clearly established law to the effect that plaintiff's speech was on a matter of public concern. View "Colvin v. Keen" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's decision affirming the bankruptcy court's dismissal of a Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy petition creditor filed under 11 U.S.C. 303(a) against debtor. The bankruptcy court dismissed for cause under 11 U.S.C. 707(a) after concluding that the petition was simply a judgment enforcement tactic. The court held that creditor was not substantially prejudiced by being denied access to bankruptcy remedies and that the interests of debtor and of the bankruptcy system as a whole were advanced by dismissal. View "Wilk Auslander LLP v. Murray" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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Plaintiff filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), seeking to recover the loss of the inheritance she would have received from her mother's estate if not for her brother's fraudulent schemes, and the approximately $200,000 in legal expenses that she incurred in the course of Connecticut state court proceedings in which she sought to remove her brother as executor. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the related state law claims. The Second Circuit vacated and remanded, holding that plaintiff's claim for distribution of her inheritance and that of her mother's estate was not ripe under RICO because the Estate was not closed and the amount of the lost inheritance was too speculative; her claim under RICO for legal expenses incurred in pursuing her grievances against her brother and other defendants was ripe; she plausibly alleged that her legal expense injuries were proximately caused by defendants' RICO violations; she adequately pleaded that her brother, and Defendant Garvey, and Red Knot violated 18 U.S.C. 1962(b); and she adequately pleaded that all six defendants violated 18 U.S.C. 1962(c). View "D'Addario v. D'Addario" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision ordering petitioner removed under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B) and 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). The court held that petitioner acquired United States citizenship at birth through his United States citizen parent, Jorge Boreland, the husband of his mother and his legal parent under the relevant section of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court noted that the principle guiding this decision—that a child born into a legal marriage is presumed to be the child of the marriage—is a lasting one, with deep roots in the common law. View "Jaen v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Section 6511(d)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code, which establishes an elongated ten-year limitations period on refund claims resulting from foreign tax credits, was applicable only to overpayments attributable to foreign taxes for which the taxpayer elects to claim, but was not applicable to claims resulting from deductions for foreign taxes paid or accrued. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of taxpayer's claim for a deduction of foreign taxes under section 6511(d)(3)(A), holding that taxpayer's refund claim was time-barred. In this case, taxpayer's claim for refund was filed in December 2011 for an overpayment of taxes in 1995, that was attributable to its election to deduct foreign taxes paid in 2002. View "Trusted Media Brands, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a judgment creditor's request for attachment and turnover of blocked electronic funds transfers (ETF) under Section 201 of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. In Calderon-Cardona v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 770 F.3d 993 (2d Cir. 2014), and Hausler v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 770 F.3d 207 (2d Cir. 2014) (per curiam), the court held that blocked wire transfers held at an intermediary bank are subject to execution under Section 201(a) only if the judgment debtor or an agency or instrumentality of the judgment debtor "transmitted the EFT directly to the bank where the EFT is held pursuant to the block." In this case, the court held that neither Grand Stores nor Tajco had any attachable property interest in the blocked funds at JPMorgan since they were not the entities that directly passed the EFTs to JPMorgan. Therefore, the district court correctly concluded that the blocked funds were not attachable under Section 201(a). View "Doe v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking

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A violation of the False Claims Act's (FCA) first‐to‐file bar cannot be remedied by amending or supplementing the complaint. Relator filed a qui tam action against Allergan, alleging that the pharmaceutical company violated the FCA through a kickback scheme. The Second Circuit reversed and remanded with instructions for the district court to dismiss relator's Third Amended Complaint without prejudice. In this case, relator was not the first relator to sue Allergan under the FCA based on the alleged kickback scheme. View "United States ex rel. Wood v. Allergan, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and a quantity of MDMA, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking offense. The court held that the evidence at trial was sufficient to convict defendant of conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; the trial record offered ample evidence from which a jury could infer that defendant carried his service weapon not because he was obligated to do so, but for the purpose of protecting a coconspirator during drug transactions; and the coconspirator's testimony was sufficient for the jury to find the requisite nexus between defendant's possession of the shotgun and cocaine distribution activities. The court also held that the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion for a new trial based on the coconspirator's allegedly false testimony and on newly discovered evidence regarding the coconspirator's post-trial misconduct in prison. Finally, the court held that defendant's sentence was not procedurally unreasonable. View "United States v. Alston" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to distribute drugs. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to show that defendant conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. The court also held that the district court did not err in denying defendant's request to conduct post-trial interviews of jurors approximately five weeks after the jury verdict. In this case, Juror No. 10's allegation that an unnamed juror said, "he knew the defendant was guilty the first time he saw him," without more, did not constitute clear, strong, and incontrovertible evidence that this juror was animated by racial bias or hostility, providing reasonable grounds for further inquiry. Furthermore, Juror No. 10's email did not provide sufficient evidence to trigger mandatory post‐trial juror interviews because Juror No. 10's email did not constitute clear, strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence that a specific, non‐speculative impropriety had occurred. View "United States v. Baker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Second Circuit held that the district court erred in refusing to exercise supplemental jurisdiction in an action brought by laundromat workers against their employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The day before the final pretrial conference and one week prior to the first day of trial, the district court sua sponte, and without notice to the parties or any opportunity to be heard, issued an order revoking its exercise of supplemental jurisdiction, vacating the trial, and dismissing the case. The court held that the district court committed three errors where it acted sua sponte without affording the parties notice and an opportunity; it impugned, on the record, plaintiffs' counsel's motives without affording any notice about this assessment of counsel's conduct or any opportunity to explain himself; and its analysis of the factors considered under 28 U.S.C. 1367(c) for determining whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction was inadequate. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Lopez Catzin v. Thank You & Good Luck Corp." on Justia Law