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First Amendment Action Concerning Billboard Regulations, and Criminal, Civil Rights, Employment and Immigration Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 30, 2010 10:21 AM

Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. v. St. Paul, No. 09-2670, involved a First Amendment action against the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, after the St. Paul City Council enacted an ordinance prohibiting all billboard extensions.  The court affirmed summary judgment for plaintiff on the ground that a refusal to remand in this situation simply retained the status quo and allowed the City to begin its legislative process anew.

In Fuller v. Fiber Glass Sys., L.P., No. 09-2732, an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claiming discrimination (non-selection), harassment (supervisor and co-worker), and retaliation, the court affirmed judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) a reasonable juror could find that plaintiff did not unreasonably fail to take advantage of preventative/corrective opportunities offered by defendant, and thus defendant was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the Ellerth-Faragher affirmative defense; 2) the testimony regarding plaintiff's emotional distress was sufficient to allow a reasonable juror to award plaintiff $65,000 in compensatory damages; and 3) any issue with the magistrate judge presiding over the punitive damages portion of the trial was moot.

In US v. Washington, No. 09-2884, the court affirmed defendant's crack cocaine distribution sentence, holding that, on the sentencing record, Amendment 706 did not have the effect of lowering defendant's Guidelines range, and thus the district court correctly determined that defendant was ineligible for a sentence reduction and denied his motion for such a reduction.

Jerez v. Holder, No. 09-1283, involved a petition for review of a final order of reinstatement of removal entered by the Department of Homeland Security.  The court denied the petition on the grounds that 1) whether petitioner registered for ABC benefits in a timely manner was a purely factual issue over which the court lacked jurisdiction; and 2) 8 U.S.C. section 1231(a)(5) did not have an impermissible retroactive effect as applied to petitioner.

Waldner v. Carr, No. 09-2246, concerned a breach of contract action arising from failed negotiations for the acquisition and management of a financially struggling trucking company.  The court affirmed summary judgment for defendants, holding that 1) the alleged contract was merely an agreement to agree in the future and did not constitute a valid contract because the necessary Stock Purchase Agreement was never signed by the parties; and 2) because the memorandum explicitly stated that it was not the final contract, plaintiff could not have justifiably relied on its contents.

Mumid v. Abraham Lincoln H.S., No. 08-3041, involved an action against the Institute for New Americans and Special School District No. 1 of the Minneapolis Public Schools, alleging violations of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  The court affirmed summary judgment for defendants on the grounds that 1) the students failed to present sufficient evidence to show that defendants' rationale for denying plaintiffs special education services was a pretext for discrimination based on national origin; and 2) because the district could not bind the school, a court order directed at the district could not redress the alleged injuries of the students.

Studnicka v. Pinheiro, No. 09-1702, concerned an action claiming that defendant-physicians performed surgery on plaintiff without his informed, written consent, and that this action constituted battery under Minnesota law.  The court affirmed judgment for defendants, holding that plaintiff presented no issue that he properly preserved for review.

In US v. Bowie, No. 09-2018, the court affirmed defendants' drug conspiracy convictions and sentences, holding that 1) the district court's paraphrasing of the plea agreement was sufficient to establish a factual basis for defendant's guilty plea; 2) there was no error in the district court's failure to address explicitly defendant's motion for a downward variance based on the sentencing disparity; and 3) the district court was in the best position to observe the witnesses' demeanor and assess their credibility, and thus the court would not disturb the district court's reasoned credibility determinations.

In US v. Dinwiddie, No. 09-2154, the court affirmed defendants' convictions related to a drug conspiracy that resulted in murder, holding that 1) a packing slip and statements that defendant made after the search merely supported the existence of a drug conspiracy involving defendant and the victim, the evidence of which was overwhelming; 2) the fact that defendant was cut out of the drug transactions for a brief period did not prove the existence of a different conspiracy; and 3) any error in sentencing on count four under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.4 would not affect the life sentence on count two and the consecutive life sentence on count three.

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