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Top 5 Cases From the Second Circuit This March

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 03, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It was truly a mad March, and we're not just talking about NCAA basketball or Russian spies. We're talking about the Second Circuit, as well. Over the past 31 days, the Second has ruled on everything from puppy mills to workplace discrimination.

We know you don't have time to read through every case, but we do -- well, almost every case. Here are the ones our caselaw experts marked as the top five, selected for their interesting or unusual scenarios or significant impacts on the law.

1. Jacoby & Myers v. The Presiding Judges -- Attorneys Challenge Law Firm Investment Rule

In a putative class action challenging on First Amendment grounds New York's rules, regulations, and statutes prohibiting non-attorneys from investing in law firms, plaintiffs alleged that the infusions of additional capital which the regulations now prevent would enable plaintiffs to improve the quality of the legal services that they offer and at the same time to reduce their fees, expanding their ability to serve needy clients. The district court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where plaintiffs fail to allege the infringement of any cognizable constitutional right.

2. Minda v. US -- When the IRS Gives Away Your Social Security Number

In a case in which the IRS sent a report containing plaintiffs' names, social security numbers, and financial information, to the wrong person --- an unauthorized unrelated third party -- brought under 26 U.S.C. section 7431, the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Government is affirmed where. Plaintiffs are only entitled to $1,000 each in statutory damages for the disclosure of the report, not $1000 for the disclosure of each item of information contained in the report.

3. Geismann v. ZocDoc, Inc. -- Neither Fax Machines Nor This Suit Are Moot

In a putative class action suit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the district court's judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount and under the terms of an unaccepted offer, which would have afforded plaintiff complete relief, and dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that it had become moot, is vacated where the settlement offer did not render the action moot and that judgment should not have been entered nor the action dismissed on that basis.

4. New York Pet Welfare Association, Inc. v. New York City -- Saving the Puppies

In a complaint challenging New York City animal welfare laws, the district court's dismissal on preemption grounds is affirmed where the challenged laws do not discriminate against or unduly burden interstate commerce, and do not conflict with either federal or New York law.

5. Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc. -- Gay People Can Sue for Gender Discrimination Too

In an action against plaintiff's former employer brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that he was subjected to various forms of workplace discrimination due to his failure to conform to gender stereotypes, the district court's dismissal pursuant to Simonton v. Runyon is reversed where the complaint plausibly alleges a gender stereotyping claim cognizable under the Supreme Court's decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

As always, you can keep up with almost every Second Circuit opinion with FindLaw's Cases and Codes section. If that sounds like too much reading, we also have a massive library of case summaries, just like those above. And, if you need them hand delivered, you can even sign up for one of FindLaw's case summary newsletters.

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