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The Councils petitioned for review of the Commission's decision to issue a license to Strata to mine uranium in Crook County, Wyoming. The DC Circuit denied the petition and rejected the Councils' claims that the Board was at fault for refusing to migrate Contention No. 4/5A and to admit Contention No. 6, and the Councils' challenge to the final environmental impact statement. The court held that, although the procedure followed by the Commission in this matter was not ideal, the Commission did not violate the National Environmental Procedure Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., nor the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A). Furthermore, the Councils have not identified any substantive flaws in the Commission's decisions. View "Natural Resources Defense Council v. NRC" on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged two sets of orders issued by the Commission regarding a scarcity pricing mechanism in the New England power market. The DC Circuit held that the exhaustion requirements of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824d, deprived it of jurisdiction over the petition to review the Tariff Order. Therefore, the court dismissed the petition in Case No. 16-1023. The court held, on the merits, that the Commission was not arbitrary or capricious in denying petitioners' complaint and thus denied the petition in Case No. 16-1024 seeking review of the Complaint Order. View "New England Power Generators Association v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Commercial truck drivers and their industry association filed suit claiming that they were injured by the Department's violation of its statutory obligation to ensure the accuracy of a database containing driver-safety information. In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), the Supreme Court held that Article III standing requires a concrete injury even in the context of a statutory violation. The DC Circuit held that, under Spokeo, the asserted injury was, by itself, insufficiently concrete to confer Article III standing to plaintiffs. However, the court reversed with respect to two drivers whose information was released to prospective employers because dissemination of inaccurate driver-safety data inflicts an injury sufficiently concrete to confer standing to seek damages. View "Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association v. DOT" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. This appeal stemmed from plaintiff's efforts to recover fraudulent transfers made as a part of a Ponzi scheme. The complaint alleged that because plaintiff's letter to the president of Washington Mutual had advised Washington Mutual and the FDIC of her claim, she was entitled to receive, and had not received, mailed notice of the bar date under the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. 1821. The court held that, taken together, the allegations in the amended complaint showed that although plaintiff mailed a letter to the bank's subsidiary, she did not receive mailed notice of the bar date from the FDIC, and consequently she did not file her claim with the FDIC until months after the bar date had passed, despite being an experienced trustee actively pursuing related bankruptcy claims. View "Feldman v. FDIC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Department in an action challenging the Department's decision to take a tract of land into trust for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and authorized it to operate a casino there. The court held that the North Fork was an Indian tribe for which the Department had authority to acquire trust land under the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). The court rejected plaintiffs' claims that the Department's trust decision violated the IRA, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The court viewed the same extensive record and afforded the appropriate measure of deference to the Department's supportable judgments and concluded that its decisions were reasonable and consistent with applicable law. View "Stand Up For California! v. DOI" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs settled a legal malpractice suit (2009 Litigation) in 2010 against defendant, but alleged that defendant failed to explain that the settlement meant all of their claims were fully and finally dismissed. In 2015, plaintiffs filed suit against defendant for, inter alia, his allegedly negligent settlement advice. The district court twice dismissed the complaint as untimely. The DC Circuit held that, taking the allegations of the complaint as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiffs' favor, plaintiffs' claims were not conclusively time barred at the pleading stage. Under the circumstances of this case, including the parties' attorney-client relationship, plaintiffs' efforts to check in with defendant about the 2009 Litigation every three months following the 2010 settlement plausibly fulfilled their duty to investigate their affairs with reasonable diligence. Therefore, it was plausible that plaintiffs' claims did not accrue prior to May 6, 2012 and thus their claims were not time-barred. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Momenian v. Davidson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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President Trump, by executive order issued in May 2017, established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. EPIC filed suit against the Commission and others, alleging violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and sought a preliminary injunction to prohibit defendants from collecting voter data unless and until they complete a privacy impact assessment as allegedly required by the E-Government Act of 2002. The district court concluded that EPIC had standing and denied a preliminary injunction. The DC Circuit affirmed, but based on a different conclusion than that of the district court. The court upheld the denial of preliminary injunction because EPIC did not show a substantial likelihood of standing to press its claims that defendants have violated the E-Government Act. In this case, EPIC has suffered no informational or organizational injury. View "Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" on Justia Law

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This case stemmed from the district court's issuance of an injunction ordering the Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury to provide meaningful access to paper currency to visually impaired individuals by the next time the Treasury Department released redesigned banknotes. At issue are the next redesigns, which will fall between 2026 and 2038. Plaintiffs asked the district court to modify the injunction to hold the Secretary to an earlier deadline for providing meaningful access to currency. The DC Circuit reversed the district court's decision declining to modify the injunction and remanded for the district court to better support its findings supporting its denial of modified injunctive relief. View "American Council of the Blind v. Mnuchin" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Clarian in an action challenging the legality of HHS's decision to set forth certain policies regarding the means of calculating reimbursements for Medicare providers in an instruction manual without engaging in notice and comment rulemaking. The court held that the Manual instructions embodied a general statement of policy, not a legislative rule, setting forth HHS's enforcement priorities; policy statements did not establish binding norms; they were not "rules" that must be issued through notice and comment rulemaking; nor were the instructions subject to the Medicare Act's independent notice and comment requirement because they did not establish or change a substantive legal standard. Therefore, neither the Administrative Procedure Act nor the Medicare Act required that the Manual instructions be established by regulation. View "Clarian Health West, LLC v. Hargan" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the Service's 2014 and 2015 findings that information concerning the size of the Zimbabwean elephant population and status of conservation efforts in Zimbabwe did not support a conclusion that killing the animal would enhance the survival of the species. The court rejected appellants' contention that the Service erred because it applied a standard that was more stringent than the "enhance" standard in the Service's regulation. However, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Service on a claim under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, because the Service erred in adopting the findings without first following the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements of the APA. The court remanded with instructions. View "Safari Club International v. Zinke" on Justia Law