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U.S. First Circuit

First Circuit: Active Risk Disclosures Only Required for "Grand Canyon"-Sized Problems

By Laura Temme, Esq.

In a recent First Circuit decision, Karth v. Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., the renal biopharmaceutical company Keryx scored a win while raising the bar for investors hoping to prove securities fraud based on inadequate risk disclosures. The Boston-based company produces a single product, a drug called Auryxia, used to treat kidney disease. For all steps of the manufacturing process, Keryx used third-party contractors.

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Major Win for Online Gambling in First Circuit

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

Feeling lucky? Online betting operators probably are after a First Circuit opinion rejected the Justice Department's interpretation that online state lotteries violate federal law. In 2018, the Department of Justice issued an opinion concluding that the Wire Act prohibited all forms of online betting or wagering, including state lotteries. Anyone wanting to take their long-shot odds for millions had to go to a convenience store.

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First Circuit Upholds Harvard's Affirmative Action in Admissions

By Laura Temme, Esq.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Harvard College in a recent decision on affirmative action in college admissions. The lawsuit, filed by Students For Fair Admissions in 2014, alleged that Harvard's "race-conscious" admissions process discriminates against Asian students. In addition to traditional recruiting and application processes, Harvard employs a system of "tips" for applicants.

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1st Circuit: Sophomore's Post-It Note About “Rapist In Our School" Not Bullying

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

A high school sophomore in Maine posted a sticky note in one of the girls' bathrooms with the words "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is." School administrators, who became aware of the note shortly after it was posted, investigated. They concluded that the note was targeted to a fellow student who was the subject of rumors regarding sexual assault.

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1st Circuit: Denying SSI Benefits to Puerto Ricans Violates Due Process

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

A First Circuit panel held that a provision of the Social Security Act excluding residents of Puerto Rico from receiving Supplemental Security Income violated the Fifth Amendment. SSI provides payments to low-income Americans who are over 65, blind, or disabled. However, under the SSA, only Americans who live in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive benefits. The case arose when a resident of New York City began receiving SSI benefits.

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In Massachusetts, Au Pairs Must Be Paid State Minimum Wage

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

An Au Pair is a nanny and a foreign exchange student in one. Under the Au Pair program, foreign nationals can come to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant J-1 visa to provide daycare services for host families. The Au Pair lives with their host family and can obtain a secondary or post-secondary education. Federal law and regulations from the Department of State require that Au Pairs be given room and board and paid $195 per week.

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