In an opinion yesterday, Judge Abrams found that the court lacked long-arm jurisdiction over British rocker Jeff Beck in a case over the rightful ownership of one of his guitars. The guitar purchaser, plaintiff Perry Margouleff, sought a judicial declaration to refute Beck’s claims that the guitar was stolen from him at a 1969 concert in New York.  As Judge Abrams explained, being the victim of a theft in New York does not amount to the necessary “purposeful availment” that would subject Beck to the court’s jurisdiction:
Continue Reading Judge Abrams: Jeff Beck Cannot Be Sued in New York Just Because 1969 Guitar Theft Leading to Ownership Dispute Occurred Here

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and other plaintiffs responded Friday to President Trump’s motion to dismiss their case to enforce the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.  President Trump argued that the clause, which prevents government officers from receiving gifts from foreign countries, was never intended to cover the president’s private business dealings unrelated to his office or service to a foreign power (see our previous coverage of the motion here).

Continue Reading Opposition Brief: Trump’s Emoluments Argument Has “No Support in Two Centuries of History”

In a brief filed Friday, President Trump asked Judge Abrams to dismiss the suit seeking to enjoin his business dealings to the extent they violate the Emoluments Clause (see our post on the original complaint here, and see the current, second amended complaint here).

The brief argues (among other things) that, based on extensive historical evidence, the Emoluments Clause was never intended “to reach benefits arising from a President’s private business pursuits having nothing to do with his office or personal service to a foreign power.”
Continue Reading President Trump Moves to Dismiss Emoluments Clause Case

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Abrams dismissed a suit by an Upper East Side resident complaining about the opening of an Apple Store “eighty-seven and one-half” feet from his home.  The plaintiff claimed that “there will be a massive increase in pedestrian traffic,” that “the very existence of an Apple store creates and multiplies crowds,”

Yesterday, Judge Abrams granted Quinn Emanuel’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed overtime claims brought by a purported class of contract attorneys.  The plaintiff, hired by a third-party staffing firm that provided contract attorneys for Quinn Emanuel’s document review projects, argued that he was entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New

This morning, Judge Abrams dismissed a purported class action against Disney Interactive for alleged violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), a 1988 privacy law that was passed after Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental history became public.  According to the plaintiff, Disney had disclosed “personally identifiable information” to a third party data analytics firm (Adobe, a non-party), who was then able to use the information to identify specific users and the Disney Channel videos they watched on a Roku device.

Continue Reading Judge Abrams: ’80s Law About Video Rental Privacy Does Not Cover Anonymous, Streaming TV Data

The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at www.sdnyblog.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern District while we were away:

  • Judge Berman vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.  Judge Berman concluded that “Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation.”


Continue Reading SDNY Blog Returns as Steptoe Blog

In an entertaining opinion Friday, Judge Abrams granted heavyweight boxer Fres Oquendo $775,000 and injunctive relief against a German promotional firm referred to as Terek, which failed to pay Oquendo his fill purse after a WBA world heavyweight tile match in Chechnya against Ruslan Chagaev.  Oquendo lost the fight and, under the parties’ contract, was entitled to a rematch.  Judge Abrams rejected Terek’s primary defense — that the contract was unenforceable — and, in addition to awarding Oquendo his payment shortfall, enjoined Terek from promoting any bout for Chagaev within the next 18 months unless it first scheduled the promised rematch. She explained that an injunction was appropriate in these circumstances because of the unique nature of a title fight:
Continue Reading Judge Abrams: Boxer Entitled to Injunction Over Heavyweight Title Rematch

Judge Abrams yesterday dismissed the complaint of a former Federal Reserve bank examiner who claimed she was fired after identifying a lack of internal controls at Goldman Sachs.  The plaintiff had alleged that she told her supervisors at the Fed that Goldman had “no firmwide conflict of interest policy,” in violation of SR 08-08, a Federal Reserve guideline that served as the basis for the plaintiff’s examination of Goldman.  When she refused to alter her conclusion, the plaintiff alleged, she was fired in retaliation. The Court dismissed the claims under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act’s whistleblower statute (Section 1831j).  First, Judge Abrams held that the statute did not apply to individuals, dismissing the claims against the plaintiffs’ former supervisors.  Moving next to the claims against the New York Fed, Judge Abrams held that neither of the plaintiff’s theories stated a claim under the whistleblower statute:

Continue Reading Judge Abrams Dismisses Whistleblower Suit Against New York Fed