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Year in Review 2013: Highlights From the First Circuit

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on December 30, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Circuits with interesting cities within their jurisdiction always churn out interesting cases -- and with Boston in its purview, the First Circuit is an example of that.

With Boston making the news quite a bit this year, the First Circuit had its fair share of headlines. Not limited to newsy pieces, we also saw some law coming out of the First that is currently under review by the Supreme Court.

As we reflect on 2013, here's a quick rundown of the big issues of the past year, as we move forward into 2014:

First Circuit in the News

There were two big events that put the First Circuit in the spotlight this year: the Whitey Bulger trial and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Though these cases have not yet been appealed to the First Circuit, we watched closely as the Whitey Bulger case made its way through trial, and as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entered his not guilty plea in district court. It's almost certain that there will be issues that get appealed, no matter what the outcome, and we'll continue to follow these cases into 2014.

Cases Headed to SCOTUS

Some of the cases before the Supreme Court this term originated in the First Circuit, including Ray Haluch Gravel v. Central Pension Fund and McCullen v. Coakley.

SCOTUS recently heard oral arguments in Ray Haluch Gravel, which deals with whether the court must rule on contractual attorney fees before the case is appealable. The Court will hear arguments in McCullen on January 15, 2014, to determine whether a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics is constitutional.

Cases That Make You Go Hmmmm....

And then of course, there are the cases that make you ask the always relevant question: WTF? The First Circuit had its fair share with its holding that fining a person $22,500 per illegal download of a song was not excessive, and with it having to go there (and by there, we mean having to talk about poop).

With all this great law coming out of the First, aren't you excited for the coming year?

What were some of your favorite First Circuit cases from 2013? Let us know on our FindLaw for Legal Professionals Facebook page.

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