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Civil Rights, Copyright, Criminal, Securities and Tax Matters

By FindLaw Staff on April 27, 2010 3:48 PM

Pacific Inv. Mgmt. Co. v. Mayer Brown LLP, No. 09-1619, concerned a securities fraud action against outside counsel for a corporation that allegedly made false statements in connection with a securities offering.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the grounds that 1) a secondary actor can be held liable for false statements in a private damages action for securities fraud only if the statements were attributed to the defendant at the time the statements were disseminated; and 2) plaintiffs' claims that defendants participated in a scheme to defraud investors were not meaningfully distinguishable from the claim at issue in Stoneridge Inv. Ptnrs., LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., 552 U.S. 148 (2008).

Oneida Indian Nation v. Madison Cty., No. 05-6408, involved an action by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York (the "OIN") against Madison and Oneida Counties to enjoin them from foreclosing on OIN-owned property for non-payment of taxes.  The Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for plaintiff, on the ground that the OIN was immune from the counties' foreclosure actions under the principle that, "as a matter of federal law, an Indian tribe was subject to suit only where Congress authorized the suit or the tribe had waived its immunity."

Bryant v. Media Right Prods., Inc., No. 09-2600, concerned a copyright infringement action based on the copying and sale of plaintiffs' music albums without authorization.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for plaintiffs, on the grounds that 1) the district court correctly awarded statutory damages for each album infringed; 2) the district court did not commit clear error in finding that plaintiffs had failed to prove willfulness and that defendant had proven its innocence; and 3) the district court did not err in calculating damages.

Bridgeport Guardians, Inc. v. Delmonte, No. 09-1063, involved plaintiff-police officers' appeal from the denial of their motion to intervene in a Title VII action filed by African-American officers.  The court of appeals reversed, holding that intervenors had an interest in their employers' employment practices and, therefore, a settlement agreement that they asserted infringed their statutory and constitutional rights, and hence they asserted an interest in their promotion that was sufficient for intervention.

In US v. Cerna, No. 09-1170, the Second Circuit vacated defendant's conviction for illegal reentry into the U.S., on the grounds that 1) the district court's factual finding that defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to appeal his deportation order and so failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by 8 U.S.C. section 1326(d)(1) was clearly erroneous; and 2) ineffective assistance of counsel may be grounds to excuse the requirement of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d)(1) that a defendant charged with illegal reentry who brings a collateral challenge to the prior deportation order must have exhausted administrative remedies in the immigration proceeding.

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