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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order granting the Board's petition to enforce the law firm's compliance with the Board's civil investigative demand (CID) to respond to interrogatories and requests for documents. The panel held that the Board's structure was constitutionally permissible in light of Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935), and Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988). These cases indicate that the for-cause removal restriction protecting the Board's Director did not impede the President's ability to perform his constitutional duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. The panel rejected the law firm's contention that the CID violated the Board's practice-of-law exclusion and held that one of the exceptions to the practice-of-law exclusion applied: 12 U.S.C. 5517(e)(3). Section 5517(e)(3) empowered the Board to investigate whether the law firm was violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Finally, the panel held that the CID complied with section 5562(c)(2). View "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Seila Law LLC" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the Forest Service in an action brought by environmental groups challenging travel management plans permitting limited motorized big game retrieval in three Ranger Districts in the Kaibab National Forest. The panel held that the plans did not violate the Travel Management Rule where the new restrictions constitute a "limited" use of motorized vehicles; the Forest Service complied with the rule by limiting motor vehicle use to a defined set of roads in each District; and the Forest Service did not violate the plain terms of the Travel Management Rule. Determining that plaintiffs have standing, the panel held that the Forest Service did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), because the Forest Service's determination that no environmental impact statements (EIS) were needed as to the Districts' travel management plans was reasonable. Finally, the Forest Service did not violate the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), because the Forest Service conducted the required prefield work, consulted with the appropriate entities, and reached a determination consistent with the evidence before it. View "WildEarth Guardians v. Provencio" on Justia Law

Posted in: Environmental Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to direct the district court to vacate its order compelling third parties to arbitration. The petition related to an arbitration clause in a software development and licensing agreement. Considering the factors in Bauman v. U.S. Dist. Court, 557 F.2d 650, 654-55 (9th Cir. 1977), the panel held that the district court applied incorrect legal tests, and did not provide sufficient jurisdictional analysis on the current record. Furthermore, the district court's ultimate finding of jurisdiction was not clear. Therefore, because the district court's finding of jurisdiction over the third parties could possibly prove correct, the highly deferential clear error standard was not satisfied and mandamus relief was improper. The panel also held that the other Bauman factors likewise support denying mandamus relief where the third parties have not shown they lack an adequate remedy at law or they will be damaged or prejudiced in a way not correctable on appeal and third parties have not shown that the district court's order was an oft-repeated error, or manifests a persistent disregard of the federal rules. View "In re Boon Global Limited" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the district court's limited grant of habeas relief as to his death sentence and the state cross-appealed. Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, rape, and sodomy. The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's grant of habeas relief, finding that the California Supreme Court did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law and that its holdings were not contrary to federal law. The panel held that petitioner has shown cause to overcome the procedural default of his claims for ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct for the suppression of his toxicology test results. Therefore, the panel remanded for the district court to consider whether petitioner has established prejudice as to either claim. Finally, the panel declined to expand the certificate of appealability to include petitioner's uncertified claims. View "Bradford v. Davis" on Justia Law

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An IJ is required to inform a petitioner subject to removal proceedings of "apparent eligibility to apply for any of the benefits enumerated in this chapter." 8 C.F.R. 1240.11(a)(2). The apparent eligibility standard of 8 C.F.R. 1240.11(a)(2) is triggered whenever the facts before the IJ raise a reasonable possibility that the petitioner may be eligible for relief. When the IJ fails to provide the required advice, the appropriate course is to grant the petition for review, reverse the BIA's dismissal of the petitioner's appeal of the IJ's failure to inform him of this relief, and remand for a new hearing. A successful Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) application plainly can lead to relief from removal, and SIJ regulations are among those in the referenced subchapter, 8 C.F.R. 1245.1(a), (e)(2)(vi)(B)(3). The en banc court granted a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of the IJ's denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal. The panel held that the IJ who ordered petitioner removed erred by failing to advise him about his apparent eligibility for SIJ status. View "C.J.L.G. v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision affirming the bankruptcy court's order confirming a second amended Chapter 11 plan of five real estate holding companies. The panel held that 11 U.S.C. 1129(a)(3) directs bankruptcy courts to police the means of a reorganization plan's proposal, not its substantive provisions. Therefore, the panel affirmed confirmation of the Amended Plan over the trustee's objection that the lease violated federal drug law because one of the debtors leased property to a company that used the property to grow marijuana. View "Garvin v. Cook Investments NW" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of the Bank's motion for a preliminary injunction against arbitration by FINRA. The panel held that the Bank was likely to succeed on the question of whether the Bank or its Corporate Trust Department (CTD) was a municipal securities dealer and therefore subject to compelled arbitration before FINRA under MSRB Rule G-35. The panel held that neither the CTD or the Bank was a "municipal securities dealer" as defined in the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Bank of Oklahoma, NA v. Estes" on Justia Law

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MRT filed suit against Microsoft, alleging patent infringement stemming from MRT's development of a technology to protect electronic files from content piracy. The Ninth Circuit held that claim preclusion barred the claims in this suit that accrued at the time of MRT's patent-infringement action, because these claims arose from the same events—Microsoft's alleged misappropriation of MRT's software—as the prior patent infringement claims. Furthermore, they merely offer different legal theories for why Microsoft's alleged conduct was wrongful. Accordingly, the panel affirmed the dismissal of these claims. However, the panel held that, under Howard v. City of Coos Bay, 871 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 2017), claim preclusion did not bar MRT from asserting copyright infringement claims that accrued after it filed its patent-infringement suit: namely, claims arising from the sale of Microsoft products after MRT filed its patent-infringement suit. Therefore, the panel reversed the district court's dismissal of these copyright infringement claims and remanded for further proceedings. View "Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit joined the Eleventh Circuit in holding that a district court may order restitution for all losses resulting from a fraudulent scheme, even those caused by conduct occurring outside the statute of limitations. The panel affirmed the district court's order requiring defendant to pay in restitution the full amount of Medicare's losses from convictions arising from a fraudulent healthcare scheme. The panel held that the evidence was sufficient to support the district court's restitution order; the district court properly included losses relating to the overall fraudulent scheme in the restitution amount; and the district court did not plainly err by ordering restitution for the entire amount of damages caused by the fraudulent scheme as alleged in the indictment. View "United States v. Anieze-Smith" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of a complaint brought by a putative class of plaintiffs against an international business that had developed a sophisticated three-tier franchising model. The panel held that Dynamex Ops. W. Inc. v. Superior Court, 416 P.3d 1 (Cal. 2018), which adopted the ABC test for determining whether workers are independent contractors or employees under California wage order laws, applies retroactively and that none of Jan-Pro's other efforts to avoid reaching the merits were viable. Therefore, the case was remanded for the district court to consider the case on the merits in light of Dynamex. View "Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc." on Justia Law