In an opinion today, Judge Woods concluded that sanctions were appropriate as against a plaintiff, referred to as ITM, that brought a claim without evidentiary support, even though the claim was eventually dropped. ITM alleged that it incurred $350,000 in expenses advising the defendant about a certain corporate acquisition, but dropped the claim after discovery. That didn’t solve the problem, as Judge Woods explained: Continue Reading
In an opinion today, Judge Ramos denied a motion to preliminary enjoin recent changes to the admissions process for New York City’s eight elite, specialized schools, which generally admit students based solely on a highly competitive test. Last summer, the City announced modified the criteria somewhat to set aside a larger proportion of each class for disadvantaged students, with the aim of creating greater diversity.
The challengers alleged that the changes discriminate against Asian-Americans, but Judge Ramos, in denying a preliminary injunction, found that they were unlikely to succeed on that claim: Continue Reading
Our prior coverage of the case is here.
In a complaint filed today, Woody Allen’s company sued Amazon for cancelling a multi-film distribution contract. Amazon appears to have relied on the contract law doctrine of “frustration of purpose,” telling Allen’s lawyers in an email:
Amazon’s performance of the Agreement became impracticable as a result of supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way, all of which have frustrated the purpose of the Agreement and support Amazon’s decision to terminate it.
In a 277-page decision today, Judge Furman vacated the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, finding that the decision was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. (Our prior posts on the case are here.)
Judge Furman found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross justified the new question based on a rationale – that doing so would enhance enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) – that was clearly a pretext. Judge Furman stated he was unable to determine “what Secretary Ross’s real reasons for adding the citizenship question were,” but found the evidence overwhelming that “the VRA was a post hoc rationale for a decision that Secretary had already made”: Continue Reading
In an opinion today, Judge Engelmayer prelminarily enjoined New York City’s new ordinance requiring homesharing platforms to share data about hosts and guests to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), adopted to help enforce a law prohibiting short term rentals in certain “multiple dwelling” buildings. (See our prior coverage here.)
He concluded that the Fourth Amendment applied to the compelled production of the data, and that the ordinance was overly broad: Continue Reading
The Cardozo Law Review has published a special issue, inspired by a 2016 essay from Judge Marrero entitled The Costs of Rules, the Rule of Costs, focusing on the way modern practice and procedure have needlessly made litigation so expensive and slow. The special issue includes (among other things) a follow up article from Judge Marrero entitled Motion to Dismiss: A Dismissal of Rule 12(b)(6) and the Retirement of Twonbly/Iqbal, proposing various reforms, including severely limiting motions to dismiss that are aimed at the factual sufficiency of the allegations (as opposed to dispositive legal theories). Judge Marrero argues that the wastefulness that inspired the adoption of the Federal Rules in 1938 (which ushered in the simple, notice pleading standard) has reappeared in a different form in today’s practice: Continue Reading
In an opinion Friday, Judge Ramos, concurring with other federal courts in Pennsylvania, California and Illinois, found that an Executive Order in July 2017 aimed at so-called “sanctuary cities” was unlawful. The Executive Order conditioned certain federal funds for state and local government law enforcement-related programs (such as drug treatment or witness programs) on those governments cooperating in various specific ways with federal enforcement of immigration laws.
Judge Ramos concluded (among other things) that the conditions were arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act: Continue Reading
In the ongoing saga of New York State’s attempt to prevent a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census, Judge Furman has yet again denied an attempt to stay the proceedings pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The request yesterday came on the heels of a request just before the trial in the case (see our coverage here). According to the opinion, the present request was the twelfth time in as many weeks that the defendants had asked the district court, the Second Circuit, or the Supreme Court to stay the case, a number Judge Furman referred to as “astonishing.”
Judge Furman found that, given the trial in the case was already complete, defendants had little ground to stand on in asking for a stay:
Tellingly, this time, Defendants do not even attempt to argue that they are entitled to the extraordinary relief of a stay of all proceedings under the traditional factors. That is not surprising, as Defendants cannot satisfy any of the four factors, substantially for the reasons set forth in Plaintiffs’ opposition to the motion, filed earlier today. Among other things, as the Court stressed last time, the traditional test requires that Defendants show they would suffer “irreparable harm” absent a stay. Defendants could not make that showing before trial, and they certainly cannot make it now. In fact, the words “harm” and “injury” do not appear anywhere in their motion. That is for good reason, as the notion that they — or anyone else — would suffer “irreparable harm” without a stay is laughable. The only “harm” Defendants suffer from denial of a stay is that they would be required to complete and file their post-trial submissions (which are due tomorrow and, presumably, almost done), and to appear for oral argument on November 27, 2018. As the Court has noted before, however, “‘[m]ere litigation expense, even substantial and unrecoupable cost, does not constitute irreparable injury.’”
Our full coverage of the case is here.
On Friday, the Supreme Court, as expected, granted certiorari in the challenge pending before Judge Furman over the addition of a citizenship question to the census. The question presented concerns whether it is appropriate to order discovery outside the administrative record (such as the deposition Judge Furman had earlier ordered of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross).
Judge Furman recently completed a bench trial in the case. The Government this morning asked Judge Furman to halt all further proceedings, but recognized that Judge Furman already indicated he “intends to differentiate findings of law and fact that are based solely on the administrative record and those that are based on extra-record evidence.” In response, Judge Furman issued a text-only order asking the plaintiffs to file a letter with their position by tomorrow.
Our posts on the case are here.