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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court reversing the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s (IDED) decision (the 2016 action) to revoke tax credits that had previously been awarded by IDED to Ghost Player, LLC (the 2012 action). On appeal, IDED argued that the district court erred in ruling that the 2016 action revoking the tax credits was an invalid collateral attack on the agency’s 2012 action and was barred under the doctrine of claim preclusion. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the IDED’s decision to award tax credits to Ghost Player in the 2012 action was not entitled to preclusive effect that would prohibit IDED from attempting to revoke those tax credits in light of the discovery of fraud. View "Ghost Player, LLC v. Iowa Department of Economic Development" on Justia Law

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The Councils petitioned for review of the Commission's decision to issue a license to Strata to mine uranium in Crook County, Wyoming. The DC Circuit denied the petition and rejected the Councils' claims that the Board was at fault for refusing to migrate Contention No. 4/5A and to admit Contention No. 6, and the Councils' challenge to the final environmental impact statement. The court held that, although the procedure followed by the Commission in this matter was not ideal, the Commission did not violate the National Environmental Procedure Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., nor the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A). Furthermore, the Councils have not identified any substantive flaws in the Commission's decisions. View "Natural Resources Defense Council v. NRC" on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged two sets of orders issued by the Commission regarding a scarcity pricing mechanism in the New England power market. The DC Circuit held that the exhaustion requirements of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824d, deprived it of jurisdiction over the petition to review the Tariff Order. Therefore, the court dismissed the petition in Case No. 16-1023. The court held, on the merits, that the Commission was not arbitrary or capricious in denying petitioners' complaint and thus denied the petition in Case No. 16-1024 seeking review of the Complaint Order. View "New England Power Generators Association v. FERC" on Justia Law

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After a previous remand of this case, the First Circuit addressed whether the district court’s ruling in favor of Claimant on her claim for disability benefits based on chronic and severe pain was correct and whether the district court abused its discretion in failing to impose sanctions on one of Claimant’s attorneys. On the first appeal, the First Circuit remanded the case for additional administrative proceedings. On remand, Appellant again denied Claimant’s claim. Appellant appealed. The district court ruled in Claimant’s favor. On appeal, Appellant challenged the district court’s view of the expanded administrative record and the district court’s refusal to impose sanctions on one of Claimant’s attorneys. On cross-appeal, Claimant challenged the district court’s calculations of prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees. The First Circuit (1) affirmed the district court’s rulings on the disability claim and sanctions; but (2) vacated the prejudgment interest award and remanded for consideration of the appropriate rate of interest. View "Gross v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada" on Justia Law

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The DOJ appealed the district court's order requiring the agency to produce two documents contained within the USABook, an internal DOJ resource manual for federal prosecutors, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, request. The DOJ explained that the documents, which relate to the DOJ's use of electronic surveillance and tracking devices in criminal investigations, were exempt from production. The Ninth Circuit held that only the the limited portions of the USABook documents that present original legal analyses, not purely descriptive and not already incorporated in public documents, to guide federal prosecutors in litigation, were properly withheld as attorney work product under Exemption 5; the withheld documents in this case did not provide details or means of deploying law enforcement techniques that would bring them under FOIA Exemption 7(E); and thus the panel remanded to the district court to determine which portions of the documents could be segregated under Exemption 5 and which must be disclosed. View "ACLU v. USDOJ" on Justia Law

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The employer, Allegheny County, was ordered to pay $14,750.00 in attorney’s fees under Section 440 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act after the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (“WCAB”) determined that the County unreasonably contested its liability under the Act. Though the County sought supersedeas of that order, arguing that the finding of liability was in error, supersedeas was denied. Thus, the County complied with the order and paid the awarded fee to the employee’s counsel. Upon reaching the merits of the County’s appeal, however, the Commonwealth Court reversed, concluding that the County not only had a reasonable basis for its contest, but a prevailing one, and that the employee was no longer entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Thereafter, the County filed a separate petition before a Workers’ Compensation Judge (“WCJ”) in which it sought reimbursement of the erroneously awarded attorney’s fees from the employee’s counsel. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allowance of appeal in this matter to consider whether a court could order an employee’s attorney to disgorge erroneously awarded, but already paid, unreasonable contest attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 440, when the substantive basis for the award was later overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court found that the General Assembly, in enacting the Workers’ Compensation Act, did not provide any mechanism by which employers could recoup erroneously awarded counsel fees, once paid. The General Assembly contemplated that when a merits appeal is undertaken, a court may grant supersedeas of an order awarding attorney’s fees. Because such a supersedeas was requested and denied in this case, the Court held that the County may not recoup the already paid attorney’s fees from the employee’s counsel. The Court vacated the Commonwealth Court’s order and reinstated the order of the WCAB, which affirmed the denial of the County’s reimbursement petition. View "County of Allegheny v. WCAB (Parker)" on Justia Law

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The Idaho Supreme Court answered a certified question of Idaho law from the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. The question certified centered on whether, for purposes of the dispute in this lawsuit, the terms ‘state board of correction’ as used in Idaho Code 20-237B(1) and ‘department of correction’ as used in Idaho Code § 20-237B(2), included privatized correctional medical providers under contract with the Idaho Department of Correction. The Court answered the question certified in the negative. View "In Re: Pocatello Hospital, LLC v. Corazon, LLC" on Justia Law

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Securiforce entered into a requirements contract with the government to deliver fuel to eight sites in Iraq. The government terminated the contract for convenience with respect to two sites because Securiforce intended to supply fuel from Kuwait, reasoning that delivery to those sites would violate the Trade Agreements Act, 19 U.S.C. 2501, and that obtaining a waiver would take too long. Weeks later, the government ordered small deliveries to two sites, to occur by October 24. Securiforce indicated that it could not deliver until November. The government notified Securiforce that it should offer justifiable excuses or risk termination. Securiforce responded that the late deliveries were excused by improper termination for convenience, failure to provide required security escorts, small orders, and other alleged irregularities. The government terminated the contract for default. Securiforce filed suit (Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. 1491; Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. 7101-09). The Claims Court found that it had jurisdiction to review both terminations; that the Contracting Officer abused her discretion in partially terminating the contract for convenience; and that the termination for default was proper. The Federal Circuit affirmed in part. The court lacked jurisdiction over the termination for convenience; a contractor’s request for a declaratory judgment that the government materially breached a contract violates the rule that courts will not grant equitable relief when money damages are adequate. The government did not breach the contract by terminating for convenience or with respect to providing security. View "Securiforce International America, LLC v. United States" on Justia Law

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School Boards sued, alleging that Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B)) and Education Code 42238.24 and 56523(f) “implemented . . . broad changes in mandate law that were intended to eliminate or reduce the State’s mandate reimbursement obligations” and shifted the cost of the Behavioral Intervention Plans Mandate ($65 million annually) and the Graduation Requirements mandate ($250 million annually), to districts and county offices of education. Plaintiffs claimed violation of California Constitution article XIII B, section 6 or article III, section 3; that Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B) “impermissibly burdens the constitutional right to reimbursement guaranteed by article XIII B, section 6 and is invalid to the extent it allows the State to reduce or eliminate mandate claims by claiming ‘offsetting revenues’ that do not represent new or additional funding . . . as reflected in the Legislature’s directives in Education Code sections [42238.24] and 56523.” The court of appeal affirmed the rejection of the claims, in part. Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B), as applied in Education Code 42238.24 and 56523(f), does not violate the state’s constitutional obligation to reimburse local governments for the costs of mandated programs and does not violate the separation of powers doctrine. It is constitutional for the legislature to designate funding it already provides as offsetting revenue when reimbursing them for new state-mandated programs where the legislation operates prospectively only. View "California School Boards Association v. State of California" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court quashed the decision of Respondent, the Chief of Police for the City of East Providence, denying Petitioner’s application for a permit or license to carry a concealed weapon and directed Respondent to issue a new decision setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law in conformity with the Supreme Court’s holding in Gadomski v. Tavares, 113 A.3d 387 (R.I. 2015). Petitioner filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of certiorari, arguing that the nature of Respondent’s decision letter lacked the findings of fact and conclusions of law required pursuant to Gadomski. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that Respondent’s decision letter fell short of the court’s clear directive in Gadomski. View "Paiva v. Parella" on Justia Law