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Copyright Infringement Suit Against Eddie Murphy, Plus Criminal, Immigration, & Trademark Matters

By FindLaw Staff on July 02, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Estrada-Ramos v. Holder, No. 09-3611, concerned a Mexican citizen's petition for review of BIA's affirmance of DHS's decision rendering invalid petitioner's move to permanent resident status, on the basis of a criminal conviction in California in 1991 that was later set aside pursuant to state law.  In denying the petition, the court held that petitioner's conviction must have been set aside for ameliorative purposes as he does not dispute that he was convicted of cocaine possession with intent to sell and he does not claim there was any defect in the California proceeding against him.

Murphy v. Eddie Murphy Prod., Inc., No. 09-3267, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to file an amended complaint in dismissing his third lawsuit in his suit against the famous television and a motion film entertainer, Eddie Murphy, and others, claiming that defendants used copyrighted material from his videotape to create and broadcast an animated television show "The PJs." In affirming the decision, the court held that the district court was well within its discretion to deny plaintiff's motion because he did not miss the court-ordered deadline due to excusable neglect.  Furthermore, the futility of plaintiff's proposed amendment serves as an additional, independent ground for refusing to enlarge the time for him to file his amended pleading.

Santa's Best Craft, LLC. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., No. 08-3572, concerned plaintiff's suit against its insurer, arising from an underlying suit against the plaintiff over its marketing of Christmas lights for copying packaging design and for using false and deceptive language. In affirming the district court's judgment, the court held that the insurer had, but did not breach, a duty to defend, and that the district court properly declined to require the insurer to reimburse plaintiff's contract indemnitee's expenses.  However, the court remanded the case to resolve whether the insurer owes prejudgment interest on litigation expenses and reimbursement for the settlement expenses in the underlying suit.

US v. Vasquez, No. 09-2411, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for knowingly failing to register as a sex offender after traveling in interstate commerce.  In affirming, the court held that the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) merely requires that a defendant have knowledge that he was required by law to register as a sex offender, and the government need not prove that a defendant must also know that registration is mandated by a federal statute.  Furthermore, a rational basis existed under the Commerce Clause for Congress to enact section 2250.

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