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At issue was the validity of the Treasury regulations implementing 26 U.S.C. 482, which provides for the allocation of income and deductions among related entities. The Ninth Circuit reversed the tax court's decision that 26 C.F.R. 1.482-7A(d)(2) was invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The panel held that the Commissioner did not exceed the authority delegated to him by Congress under section 482. In this case, section 482 did not speak directly to whether the Commissioner may require parties to qualified cost-sharing arrangements (QCSA) to share employee stock compensation costs in order to receive the tax benefits associated with entering into a QCSA, and the Treasury reasonably interpreted section 482 as an authorization to require internal allocation methods in the QCSA context and concluded that the regulations are a reasonable method for achieving the results required by the statute. Therefore, the panel held that the regulations were entitled to deference under Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). The panel also held that the regulations at issue were not arbitrary and capricious under the APA. View "Altera Corp. v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of a final order affirming a citation that Bergelectric violated OSHA's fall protection standards in 29 C.F.R. 1926.501(b)(1). The panel held that Bergelectric was not performing roofing work and that substantial evidence supported the finding that it did not comply with the stricter safety standards governing work on unprotected sides and edges. The panel held that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's conclusion that Bergelectric employees were subject to the danger of falling prior to proper use of the personal fall arrest systems, and thus the ALJ did not err in finding Bergelectric liable for violation of section 1926.501(b)(1). View "Bergelectric Corp. v. Secretary of Labor" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for knowingly possessing a firearm as a felon. Defendant argued that, because firearms manufactured in or before 1898 do not qualify as "firearms" under 18 U.S.C. 922, the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury that, to convict, they had to find that defendant knew that his firearm was manufactured after 1898. The panel held that United States v. Aguilera-Rios, 769 F.3d 626 (9th Cir. 2014), does not override the line of cases holding that a firearm's antique status is an affirmative defense in a criminal prosecution. Furthermore, Staples v. United States, 511 U.S. 600 (1994), which required the government to prove defendant's knowledge of every characteristic of his shotgun that made it incriminating, including age, was not helpful to defendant in this case. Therefore, the panel held that the district court correctly declined to give defendant's proposed jury instruction where he failed to dispute the government's evidence that his gun could not have been manufactured before 1915 and he offered evidence that he reasonably believed that the gun was manufactured before 1899. Likewise, the panel also rejected defendant's sufficiency of the evidence argument. View "United States v. Benamor" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed an order denying respondent's motion to depublish and granting the motion to amend the prior opinion, as well as an amended opinion. In the amended opinion, the panel held that petitioner's conviction under Oregon Statutes section 164.395 for robbery in the third degree is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. The panel held that the minimal force required for conviction was insufficient and the government waived the issue of divisibility. Therefore, petitioner was not statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal and the panel affirmed the petition for review in part. However, the panel denied the petition for review as to the withholding of removal claim, holding that petitioner's proposed particular social group – individuals returning to Mexico who are believed to be wealthy – was overbroad. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Aguirre Barbosa v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The en banc court reviewed five consolidated appeals from the district court's orders and judgment certifying a nationwide settlement class, approving a settlement, and awarding attorney's fees in a multidistrict litigation brought against automakers regarding alleged misrepresentations about their vehicles' fuel economy. After class counsel and the settling parties negotiated a settlement that the district court approved, objectors challenged the certification order and fee awards. The en banc court affirmed and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that common issues predominated where the inclusion of used car purchasers in the class did not defeat predominance and variations in state law did not defeat predominance. The en banc court rejected challenges to the adequacy of the class and held that the notice to class members provided sufficient information; the claim forms were not overly burdensome; and there was no evidence of collusion between class counsel and the automakers. Finally, the en banc court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying fees. View "Ahearn v. Hyundai Motor America" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's order denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence. In this case, a police officer spotted defendant, a black man, who was on foot, and then activated their lights and pursued him by car. The officers did not order or otherwise signal to defendant to stop and he reacted by running for about a block before the officers stopped him at gunpoint. The panel held that the officers lacked reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot before stopping and frisking defendant where there was no reliable tip, no reported criminal activity, no threat of harm, no suggestion that the area was known for high crime or narcotics, no command to stop, and no requirement to even speak with the police. The panel noted that it was particularly hesitant to allow flight to carry the day in authorizing a stop. View "United States v. Brown" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Ninth Circuit dismissed consolidated appeals from a district court order holding two sets of appellants in civil contempt for violating a preliminary injunction prohibiting appellants from publishing any of the recordings made at NAF's annual meetings. The panel held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear either appeal, because final judgment has not yet been entered in the underlying civil action. In regard to defendants, they could only obtain immediate appellate review of the district court's contempt order only if the court had held them in criminal contempt. In this case, the contempt sanctions were civil in nature. As to the non-parties, the panel held that they could not immediately appeal because there was a substantial congruence of interests between the non-parties and the parties to the action. View "National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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A class must be decertified when the class representatives are found to lack standing as to their individual claims. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order decertifying a class of persons alleging that Hanson violated California Penal Code 632, which prohibits the unauthorized connection to or recording of confidential communications. The panel held that NEI, as the class representative, lacked standing to bring its claim against Hanson. Furthermore, because NEI failed to challenge the district court's standing determination, it waived its right to challenge that determination. Finally, neither mootness exception raised by NEI stands for the proposition that a class can be certified if the class representative lacked standing as to its individual claim. View "NEI Contracting and Engineering, Inc. v. Hanson Aggregates Pacific Southwest, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Class Action

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a complaint brought by three male student athletes, alleging that the University discriminated against them on the basis of their sex in violation of Title IX and violated their due process rights in connection with the University's sexual misconduct proceedings. The panel held that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), not the evidentiary presumption set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), provides the appropriate standard for reviewing, at the pleading stage, a motion to dismiss in a Title IX case. In this case, plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient, nonconclusory allegations plausibly linking the disciplinary action to discrimination on the basis of sex. The panel also held that plaintiffs' due process claims failed because they received constitutional due process through the University's disciplinary proceedings. The panel assumed, without deciding, that the student athletes have property and liberty interests in their education, scholarships, and reputation as alleged in the complaint. The panel nonetheless held that they received notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. View "Austin v. University of Oregon" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment and award of attorney's fees to Sanctuary Clothing in an action brought by Fiesta, alleging that Sanctuary clothing copied its fabric design. The panel held that the district court did not err in finding that the design had been published prior to registration and therefore Fiesta's registration application contained an inaccuracy. Furthermore, Fiesta included inaccurate information on its application with knowledge that it was inaccurate. Therefore, the inaccuracy in the registration rendered it invalid as to the design under section 411(b)(1)(B) of the Copyright Act. The panel also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees to Sanctuary Clothing. View "Gold Value International Textile, Inc. v. Sanctuary Clothing, LLC" on Justia Law