Judge Katherine Forrest has announced that she will be retiring from the federal bench.  Judge Forrest was nominated as a district judge by President Obama in 2011.

For additional coverage, see the New York Law Journal piece here.  Our full coverage of cases before Judge Forrest is here.

H/T NYLJ

This week, Judge Forrest dismissed an action by New York City pedicab drivers challenging city policies towards pedicabs as unconstitutional.  The drivers claimed that NYPD officers were given instructions “from above” to “stop all pedicabs,” which resulted in unwarranted inspections, checkpoints, and fines.

Judge Forrest found that the plaintiffs failed to allege a colorable Fourth Amendment claim:
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In an opinion this week by Judge Forrest (sitting by designation), the Second Circuit reversed in part Judge Castel’s dismissal (covered here) of claims brought by a University of Virginia fraternity against Rolling Stone magazine over a widely discredit article telling the story of a source named “Jackie” being gang raped at a fraternity party.

The Second Circuit found that the complaint made out a plausible claim of “small group defamation” :
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In an opinion unsealed last week, Judge Forrest ruled that a suit by the alleged ghostwriter of former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros’ book Tied Up in Knots could not stay sealed, merely because the revelation that there was a ghostwriter could cause Tarantos “humiliation”:

Defendant argues that, as a well-known television journalist, her credibility

Judge Forrest awarded over $165 million to plaintiff New York State and over $81 million to plaintiff New York City for their claims that UPS failed to prevent the shipment of untaxed cigarettes using its parcel service (see our previous coverage here).  Judge Forrest awarded damages under both a previous Assurance of Discontinuance agreed to by UPS and New York State, as well as under Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act and Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act (CCTA).

Judge Forrest noted that the facts of the case made “significant penalties” appropriate:
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On Friday, Judge Forrest held UPS liable to the City and State of New York for shipping millions of dollars worth of untaxed cigarettes from Native American reservations to locations elsewhere in the state (see our previous coverage of the case here).  The order comes after a bench trial held last September, where UPS asserted that packages it delivered containing untaxed cigarettes did not violate a previous Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD) signed with the State of New York in 2005.

Judge Forrest found that UPS had improperly shipped untaxed cigarettes, and should have known that the packages contained untaxed cigarettes based on numerous red flags.  As a result, significant penalties were appropriate (though the court highlighted UPS’ now-improved internal procedures):
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