In an opinion this morning, the Second Circuit largely affirmed the decision by Judge Marrero (covered here) to allow the Manhattan DA to enforce a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accountants seeking (among other things) President Trump’s tax returns.

The Second Circuit acknowledged that the President, occupying “a unique position in the constitutional scheme,” could be shielded from certain types of judicial process, but concluded that a subpoena to his accountants did not merit that protection:
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In an opinion this morning, Judge Marrero dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit (see prior coverage here) seeking to block enforcement of a grand jury subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney that seeks (among other things) Trump’s tax returns.

Judge Marrero concluded that, while presidents may enjoy some measure of immunity from criminal process in some circumstances, Trump’s “sweeping” claim of absolute immunity from any criminal process went too far:
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In a complaint filed today (hat tip: Courthouse News), President Trump sued to enjoin the Manhattan District Attorney from enforcing a grand jury subpoena issued to his accountants seeking (among other things) various of President Trump’s tax returns.  President Trump also simultaneously sought a temporary restraining order, and the application will be heard by Judge Marrero next Wednesday.

The complaint alleges that President Trump is immune from all criminal process while in office, including a grand jury subpoena to a third party:
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In a complaint filed this week, a group of seven states (plus the District of Columbia) sued the SEC for having adopted a rule that allegedly does not comply with the mandate in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law for broker-dealers to make recommendations “without regard to” the broker-dealers’ own interests, similar to the fiduciary obligation investment advisers owe their clients.

The standard the SEC adopted instead — that broker-dealers cannot put their interests “ahead of the interest of the retail customer” — is below the standard required by law, according to the complaint, for multiple reasons:
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Earlier this month, Judge Marrero denied a motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) against the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  The complaint challenged the Comptroller’s decision to begin issuing special purpose national banking (SPNB) charters to financial technology (“fintech”) companies that, among other things, exempted the companies from certain federal liquidity and capitalization standards.  DFS argued that the charters undermined New York’s ability to regulate and protect its financial markets.  The Comptroller moved to dismiss, arguing that DFS had not suffered an Article III injury, that the action was not ripe because no SPNB charter applications had been received from fintech companies yet, and that DFS failed to state a claim under the Tenth Amendment.

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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:
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At the end of an opinion today, Judge Failla issued the following warning:

Before concluding, the Court pauses to express its dissatisfaction with the blatant circumvention of its briefing-length restrictions . . .   The parties . . . are hereby warned that future attempts to evade the Court’s page limits, by relegating entire arguments to

In a brief order Thursday, Judge Marrero imposed a sanction of $1,048.09 against a party that deliberately broke his individual rule requiring briefs be double-spaced:

At the March 24, 2017 hearing regarding plaintiff CafeX Communications’s (“CafeX”) Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (“Motion,” Dkt. No. 8.) the Court found that defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“Amazon”)

In the ongoing civil litigation against Madoff feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich and others (see our previous coverage here), Judge Marrero took the unusual step yesterday of denying Standard Chartered’s request for a pre-motion conference for their contemplated summary judgment motion.  Standard Chartered had argued that a summary judgment motion was appropriate on a number