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The First Circuit vacated the judgment of the district court granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment after treating the motion as a motion to dismiss pursuant too Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), holding that the district court applied the wrong legal standard in adjudicating Defendants' summary judgment motion. Plaintiff brought this action alleging that his employer had discriminated against him on the basis of his national origin and subjected him to retaliation. Defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court considered the motion as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a plausible claim and granted the motion. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the district court's attempt to transform Defendants' fully developed motion for summary judgment into a motion to dismiss was an abuse of discretion. View "Rios-Campbell v. U.S. Department of Commerce" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Petitioner's petition for review of the denial of his application for cancellation of removal, holding that Petitioner's arguments failed to make out any colorable legal claim. Petitioner, a citizen of Mexico who entered the United States without admission of parole, filed this petition for review the BIA's decision adopting and affirming the IJ's denial of Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal. Petitioner's sole legal claim was that the BIA erred in adopting and affirming the IJ's decision because the IJ relied "almost exclusively on hearsay police reports in determining that Petitioner did not warrant a favorable exercise of discretion." The First Circuit dismissed the petition, holding that Petitioner failed to raise a colorable claim under established precedent. View "Perez v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed in part and denied in part Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which upheld the immigration judge's (IJ) denial of Petitioner's applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA's decision must stand. Specifically, the Court held (1) because Petitioner filed an untimely application for asylum, this Court did not have jurisdiction to review Petitioner's petition for review of the BIA's ruling on Petitioner's asylum claim; (2) Petitioner waived his challenge to the BIA's ruling affirming the IJ's denial of Petitioner's request for withholding of removal; and (3) Petitioner provided no basis for overturning the BIA's ruling on his CAT claim. View "Rodriguez-Palacios v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in this diversity tort claim, holding that the district court did not err in finding that Defendant could not be found liable because Plaintiff was hurt by the very hazard he was required to remedy. Plaintiff sustained a severe knee injury when he slipped on fluid at an auto dealership owned by Defendant that Plaintiff's company had been hired to clean. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendant, finding that Defendant neither had a duty to warn Plaintiff of the puddle nor acted negligently in failing to address it. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the facts of this case fell squarely within the carve-out in Massachusetts law for injury to an independent contractor resulting from a risk inherent in the job he was hired to perform. See Poirier v. Town of Plymouth, 372 N.E.2d at 227 (Mass. 1978). View "Lapointe v. Silko Motor Sales, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of Appellants' claims in this putative class action against Lexington Insurance Company and other insurers alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq., holding that the facts Appellants pleaded demonstrated the absence of any circumstances constituting fraud. Appellants entered into structured settlement agreements with Lexington Insurance Company pursuant to which Lexington agreed that Appellants would receive specific periodic payments from annuities that Lexington would purchase. Appellants later brought this action alleging that Lexington and other affiliated insurers misrepresented the amount Appellants would receive from the settlements. The district court dismissed Appellants' claims with prejudice. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Appellants failed to state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud under Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). View "Ezell v. Lexington Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the district court granting injunctive and declaratory relief to NACM-New England, Inc., which does business under the name Business Credit Intelligence (BCI) in this breach of contract action between National Association of Credit Management, Inc. (NACM), a national trade association of credit professionals, and BCI, one of its regional affiliates, holding that the district court violated NACM's Seventh Amendment rights. At issue was the termination date of a 2011 agreement between BCI and NACM. BCI sought an injunction to require NACM to continue to abide by the terms of the 2011 agreement, which it claimed NACM had breached. The district court granted an injunction and a declaratory judgment to BCI, ordering that the 2011 agreement remained in effect because NACM did not properly terminate the agreement. The First Circuit held that the district court (1) abused its discretion when it ordered as part of the injunctive relief that NACM shall continue to honor all its obligations under the 2011 agreement; and (2) erred in entering the declaratory judgment because it did so without submitting BCI's breach of contract claim to a jury. View "NACM-New England, Inc. v. National Ass'n of Credit Management, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The First Circuit affirmed the sentence imposed by the district court in connection with Defendant's guilty plea to conspiracy to import a controlled substance and unlawful entry into the United States, holding that the sentence was substantively reasonable. Defendant faced a 120-month mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for his conspiracy to import a controlled substance conviction. The sentencing judge found that Defendant qualified for the safety valve exception to the mandatory minimum sentence but nevertheless imposed a 135-month term of imprisonment to run concurrently with a six month term for the second conviction. Defendant challenged his 135-month sentence on appeal. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the sentence was substantively reasonable and that there were no reasoning errors on the part of the district court. View "United States v. Reyes-Gomez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit reversed the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against Canada for lack of jurisdiction after concluding that Canada was immune from the suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. 1602 et seq., holding that the FSIA did not prohibit Plaintiff's suit. Plaintiff, who was injured in the course of her employment at the Canadian consulate in Boston, Massachusetts, sued Canada for damages in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts pursuant to the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Act, Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 152. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The First Circuit reversed, holding that Plaintiff's claim was not barred by FSIA. View "Merlini v. Canada" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the imposition of an upwardly variant sentence of thirty-six months' imprisonment following a guilty plea by Defendant to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, holding that the sentence was neither substantively nor procedurally unreasonable. As to Defendant's arguments on appeal regarding procedural reasonableness, the Court held that the district court (1) did not plainly err in considering Defendant's arrests not leading to convictions as a matter leading to an upward variance; (2) adequately considered the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors; and (3) did not plainly err in varying upward from the government's sentencing recommendation. The Court further held that as to Defendant's challenges to substantive reasonableness, Defendant's arguments either failed on waiver or simply failed. View "United States v. Rodriguez-Reyes" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit reversed the judgment of conviction on an embezzlement count brought against David Tkhilaishvili and otherwise affirmed the judgments of conviction against the three defendants, David and Jambulat Tkhilaishvili, holding that David's conviction for one count of embezzlement was improper. A jury convicted Defendants of conspiring to commit Hobbs Act extortion and other crimes. During the pendency of these appeals the government conceded that David's conviction on one count of embezzlement could not be sustained. The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the evidence was sufficient to support Defendants' Hobbs Act extortion convictions; (2) there was no instructional error; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted evidence of Defendants' prior violent acts; (4) David's conviction on one embezzlement count must be reversed; and (5) there was sufficient evidence to support David's conviction on the other embezzlement count. View "United States v. Tkhilaishvili" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law