U.S. Ninth Circuit
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blasted government lawyers for "bad faith" tactics in a case by a former Stanford researcher who was placed on the terrorist no-fly list. In Ibrahim v. DHS, the en banc panel said the U.S. attorneys "played discovery games, made false representations," and otherwise misused the court process. And that was only the half of it. The 11-member panel sent the case back to the trial judge to reassess the plaintiff's claim for $3.6 million in attorney's fees.
The Ninth Circuit has declined to reconsider, either in panel or en banc, environmentalists' challenge to Shell's arctic drilling plans. When government regulators approved Shell's spill response plan -- the plan meant to keep a drilling accident from becoming the next Exxon Valdez or Gulf oil spill -- they did so without formal environmental review under the Endangered Species Act or National Environmental Policy Act.
Idaho attorney Jeremy Morris put Clark Griswold to shame when he put over 200,000 Christmas lights on his home in 2015, despite warnings from his homeowners association that the display would lead to trouble. Or perhaps they were more concerned about the live camel and busloads of people visiting the neighborhood.
Fox News is in the news these days largely because of fake news. Discerning the real news is becoming as confusing as distinguishing trademarks, particularly where Fox News is concerned. In Twentieth Century Fox v. Empire Distribution, the company said its "Empire" show did not violate Empire's trademark. In a word, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said, "correct." The explanation, like sorting out fake news, is a little more complicated. Hip Hop Who?
Urban Outfitters, the specialty retail chain geared towards hip teens, has a bit of a reputation for ripping off others' designs. It's not hard to find an artist who claims that the chain has picked up their designs -- sans permission, of course -- turning their art prints into miniskirts or their necklaces into knockoffs. Now, at least one allegedly wronged party has gotten some justice.
The Ninth Circuit decided two cases today, one concerning a habeas petition in a murder prosecution, and the other involving an immigration issue. In Christian v. Frank, No. 08-17236, defendant was convicted of murder in state court and filed a habeas petition, claiming that the state trial court wrongly excluded an allegedly exculpatory confession at trial. The district court granted the petition.
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