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

Articles Posted in Civil Procedure
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The Second Circuit first addressed this matter by affirming in part, vacating in part, and remanding. Defendants then filed petitions for rehearing, which the court denied, and Defendant Bank Markazi filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General ultimately recommended that the petitions for writs of certiorari be denied because both Houses of Congress had passed separate bills that could substantially affect the proper disposition of the case. Congress then enacted the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and the Supreme Court subsequently granted the petitions for certiorari, vacated the prior decision in Peterson II, and remanded to the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit readopted that portion of its now vacated decision in Part B and Part C.1 of the "Discussion" section of Peterson II as the decision of this court. In regard to subpart C.2, the court reinstated only its judgment that the district court prematurely dismissed the amended complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and remanded for the district court to reconsider that question. However, the court did not reinstate its analysis as to whether the common law and Koehler provide the district court with jurisdiction over the extraterritorial asset, directing the district court to address these issues. Finally, the court respectfully directed the Clerk of this Court to return the matter to this panel for further review and adjudication. View "Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran" on Justia Law

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The judgment the Second Circuit entered in its initial opinion in this appeal was vacated by the Supreme Court and remanded for reconsideration. The court reinstated the judgment. Plaintiffs, participants in IBM's employee stock option plain filed suit alleging that the plan's fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss; this court reversed and remanded; and then the Supreme Court granted defendants' petition for certiorari, which presented the question whether a plaintiff can state a duty-of-prudence claim based on generalized allegations that the harm of an inevitable disclosure of an alleged fraud generally increases over time. The Supreme Court also granted the government's motion to participate in oral argument as an amicus curiae in support of neither party, so that it could present the views of the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission. After oral argument, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded, explaining that defendants' and the government's post-certiorari arguments primarily addressed matters that fell beyond the question presented to the Supreme Court, and that had not been raised before this court. The court held that the arguments raised in the supplemental briefs either were previously considered by this court or were not properly raised. To the extent that the arguments were previously considered, the court will not revisit them. To the extent that they were not properly raised, they have been forfeited, and the court declined to entertain them. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment and remanded for further proceedings. View "Jander v. International Business Machines Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure, ERISA
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Movant filed suit on behalf of plaintiffs, seeking to recover money owed on defaulted Argentina bonds. In 2006, plaintiffs received a judgment in their favor, which went unpaid until plaintiffs settled their claims with Argentina in 2016, without movant's involvement. Movant then moved to enforce his attorney's lien on the settlement proceeds under New York Judiciary Law 475, which the district court denied. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order, holding that the district court had jurisdiction over movant's claim against Argentina under the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. In this case, Argentina's settlement with plaintiffs constitutes an act outside the territory of the United States connected with a commercial activity of Argentina elsewhere, and that act caused direct effect in the United States because it ended in long-running litigation in New York. The court also held that movant's lien on his clients' cause of action attached to the settlement proceeds even though he was not involved in the settlement. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Gleizer v. Republic of Argentina" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit reversed the district court's decision concluding that it had subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) over plaintiffs' suit seeking declaratory relief against Greece. This action stemmed from a dispute between the parties over the ownership of an ancient Greek artifact of a bronze horse figurine. The court held that Greece's claim of ownership over the figurine was not in connection with any commercial activity by Greece outside of the United States. Therefore, the court held that the FSIA does not authorize jurisdiction over this dispute. The court remanded with instructions to dismiss the action. View "Barnet v. Ministry of Culture & Sports of the Hellenic Republic" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion to file an amended securities fraud complaint against the manufacturers of an allegedly defective surgical gown. The court held that plaintiff's proposed amendment would be futile, because he failed to raise a strong inference of collective corporate scienter by (1) relying on the knowledge of employees unconnected to the challenged statements or (2) pleading that the challenged statements concerned a key product with which the company's senior management would be expected to be familiar. View "Jackson v. Abernathy" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit dismissed this interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction. At issue is whether a party to a litigation may immediately appeal a non-final disclosure order adverse to his psychotherapist-patient privilege. The court held that the availability of a post-judgment appeal, along with various other potential avenues for review, suffices to protect the litigant's rights and ensures the vitality of the privilege. Therefore, the court held that this non-final order falls within neither the collateral order doctrine nor the exception to finality created by Perlman v. United States, 247 U.S. 7 (1918). View "Rosner v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure
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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of respondents' motion to compel reciprocal discovery under 28 U.S.C. 1782. Respondents contend that they should have been awarded reciprocal discovery given their involvement and interest not only in the foreign proceeding that formed the basis of movant's section 1782 discovery request but also in another foreign proceeding. In light of the district court's broad discretion under section 1782, the court held that a district court need not consider procedural parity with respect to all possible foreign proceedings when determining whether to grant reciprocal discovery. Therefore, the court declined to read into section 1782 the obligation urged by respondents to consider all pending litigation. View "Sampedro v. Silver Point Capital, L.P." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit certified a question of New York law to the New York Court of Appeals: Under New York City Civil Court Act 1808, what issue preclusion, claim preclusion, and/or res judicata effects, if any, does a small claims court's prior judgment have on subsequent actions brought in other courts involving the same facts, issues, and/or parties? In particular, where a small claims court has rendered a judgment on a claim, does Section 1808 preclude a subsequent action involving a claim arising from the same transaction, occurrence, or employment relationship? View "Simmons v. Trans Express Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure
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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court agreed with plaintiff that her amended complaint was timely filed, notwithstanding the deficiency notice issued by the court clerk. Nevertheless, the court held that when a plaintiff properly amends her complaint and a defendant has filed a motion to dismiss that is still pending, the district court has the option of either denying the pending motion as moot or evaluating the motion in light of the facts alleged in the amended complaint. In this case, the district court evaluated the motion and properly dismissed plaintiff's amended complaint on the merits because it failed to state a plausible claim for relief. View "Pettaway v. National Recovery Solutions, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure
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The Second Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' Sherman Act, RICO Act, and common-law claims against defendants for lack of Article III standing. Plaintiffs are a group of investment funds and defendants are a collection of financial institutions. Plaintiffs' claims stemmed from a scheme to fix the benchmark interest rates used to price financial derivatives in the Yen currency market. The court held that plaintiffs alleged an injury in fact sufficient for Article III standing, because plaintiffs plausibly alleged that defendants' conduct caused them to suffer economic injury. In this case, plaintiffs alleged that they entered into financial agreements on unfavorable terms because defendants manipulated benchmark rates in their own favor. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd. v. UBS AG" on Justia Law