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Plaintiff, an international businessman who resides in Missouri, filed this suit against defendant, the investment and wealth fund of one of the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), alleging that defendant violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and committed the common law torts of conversion and unfair competition when it hacked plaintiff's computers. Plaintiff and defendants previously entered into a broad settlement agreement where they agreed to litigate all future, related claims in England. The DC Circuit held that the forum selection clause was mandatory and applied to plaintiff's claims, and the parties did not dispute that the clause was valid and enforceable. The court also held that the public interest factors that plaintiff raised to support his claim that transferring the case to England was unwarranted, did not defeat the forum selection clause. The court explained that the public did not have an interest in keeping U.S.-based disputes that turn on U.S. law in our courts. In this case, the Settlement Agreement provides that English Law will govern all disputes subject to the forum selection clause. Furthermore, judicial economy and administrative convenience point towards resolving the parties' claims in the same forum. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's decision to the contrary. View "Azima v. Rak Investment Authority" on Justia Law

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Petitioners sought review of the SEC's order approving Rule 2030, which regulates the political contributions of those members of FINRA, prohibiting a placement agent from accepting compensation for soliciting government business from certain candidates and elected officials within two years of having contributed to such an official's electoral campaign or to the transition or inaugural expenses of a successful candidate. The DC Circuit held that NYGOP has standing, but denied its petition on the merits, holding that the SEC acted within its authority in adopting Rule 2030; doing so was not arbitrary and capricious because the SEC had sufficient evidence it was needed; and the Rule does not violate the First Amendment in view of our holding in Blount v. SEC, 61 F.3d 938 (1995), in which the court upheld a functionally identical rule against the same challenge. View "New York Republican State Committee v. SEC" on Justia Law

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These consolidated cases concerned the kind of evidence that the Commission deems relevant to proceedings challenging the rate increase of oil pipelines. The DC Circuit vacated the challenged orders, holding that the Commission failed to provide sufficient reasons for changing its policy. Therefore, the court remanded for the Commission to explain or reconsider its decision to take into account post-rate-increase information. View "Southwest Airlines Co. v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success in connection with their claim that ORR's restriction on abortion access infringes their protected right to choose to terminate their pregnancies. In 2017, the government instituted a policy effectively barring any unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) from obtaining a pre-viability abortion. The district court granted a preliminary injunction and the government appealed. Agreeing that the case was not moot, the DC Circuit affirmed and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in certifying a class consisting of pregnant unaccompanied minors in the government's custody. On the merits, the court held that, under binding Supreme Court precedent, a person has a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy before fetal viability, and the government cannot unduly burden her decision. Consequently, these controlling principles dictate affirming the district court's preliminary injunction against the government's blanket denial of access to abortion for unaccompanied minors. The court vacated in part and remanded to the extent that the preliminary injunction barred disclosure to parents and others of unaccompanied minors' pregnancies and abortion decisions. The court held that this portion of the preliminary injunction warranted further explication to aid appellate review. View "J.D. v. Azar" on Justia Law

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After plaintiff was denied tenure and terminated by the University, he filed suit against the Board of Trustees, claiming that the University discriminated against him based on race and violated both the terms and spirit of its contract with him. The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the University on the Title VII, D.C. Human Rights Act (DCHRA), and contract claims. As to the statutory claims under Title VII and the DCHRA, the court held that plaintiff raised a plausible inference that race was a motivating factor in the University's decision to deny him tenure. As to the contract claims, the court held that the claims were not time-barred. On the merits, the court held that there was an unresolved factual dispute regarding whether an implied-in-fact contract between plaintiff and the University existed and, if it did, what the terms and intent of that contract were. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Mawakana v. Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking documents regarding the government's relationship with Reinhard Gehlen, a former Nazi general. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff, holding that the government conducted an adequate search and properly justified its withholdings. In this case, taken together, the government has sufficiently justified its assertion that the redacted information was of the type protected by the CIA Act. View "DiBacco v. United States Department of the Army" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit held that lacrosse officials working for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) are independent contractors exempt from the protections of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In this case, the union filed a petition with the Board seeking to represent 140 individuals who officiate lacrosse games. PIAA contested the union's right to hold an election. The Regional NLRB Director rejected PIAA's arguments and directed that a union election take place. The court granted PIAA's petition for review and vacated the Board's order, denying the cross-application for enforcement, because the lacrosse officials were independent contractors. View "Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Assoc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Sierra Club filed a petition for the Administrator of the EPA to object to a renewal of an operating permit under Title V of the Clean Air Act issued by the State of Utah for the Hunter Power Plant. After the Administrator denied the petition for objection without examining the merits of Sierra Club's claim, Sierra Club sought vacatur and remand. The DC Circuit held that venue was not proper in this court, because the order denying the petition or objection was neither a nationally applicable regulation nor determined by the Administrator to have nationwide scope or effect. Accordingly, the court dismissed the petition for review under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act. View "Sierra Club v. EPA" on Justia Law

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Defendants Norman, Brantley, and Rowe appealed their convictions on multiple counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, and conspiracy to distribute and possess marijuana with the intent to distribute. The DC Circuit held that the district court did not plainly err by interfering in Brantley's plea negotiations; the district court did not err in its guidelines calculations; but Rowe has made a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The court held that defendants' remaining arguments lacked merit. Accordingly, the court remanded the ineffective assistance of counsel claim and affirmed the district court's judgment in all other respects. View "United States v. Norman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Under the Internal Revenue Code's general rule, the geographic origin of the redemption income would be sourced according to the residence of the taxpayer. However, that general rule is subject to an exception known as the U.S. office rule, where income from any sale of personal property attributable to a nonresident's U.S. office is sourced in the United States (I.R.C. 865(e)(2)). The DC Circuit affirmed the tax court's holding that the U.S. office rule is not satisfied in this case, reasoning that the proper focus in the circumstances is where the redemption itself occurred, as opposed to where the activities causing appreciation of the redeemed partnership interest occurred. Here, the tax court held that the redemption itself should not be attributed to Grecian's U.S. office, and the income should be treated as a foreign source. View "Grecian Magnesite Mining, Industrial, & Shipping Co. v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law