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EDNY Blog

Current Developments in the US District Court for the
Eastern District of New York
Posted: March 12, 2014

Court Retains Jurisdiction Over Child Custody Dispute Involving A Parent Leaving The Federal Witness Protection Program

The domestic relations exception to diversity jurisdiction, which divests federal courts of power to issue divorce, alimony, and child custody decrees, is generally well-known.  But the Witness Security Reform Act of 1984 (the “Program Statute”), which deals with the federal witness protection program, creates a rare exception to the exception by expressly creating a right of action for domestic relations...

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Posted: February 7, 2014

Aeropostale Executive Fails To Escape Conviction For Mail And Wire Fraud

In U.S. v. Finazzo, 10-CR-457 (RRM)(RML) (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 14, 2014), Judge Roslynn Mauskopf denied three post-trial motions by Defendant Christopher Finazzo: (1) for judgment of acquittal (under Fed. R. Crim. P. 29); (2) to vacate the judgment (under Fed. R. Crim. P. 33); and (3) to arrest the judgment (under Fed. R. Crim. P. 34). Finazzo was an executive at the clothing retailer...

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Posted: January 29, 2014

Summary Judgment Denied In Trademark Dispute On The Gowanus

In The Gowanus Dredgers v. Baard, 11 CV 5985 (PKC) (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 17, 2013), the Gowanus Dredgers (the “Dredgers”), a charitable organization established “to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting the Gowanus waterfront in Brooklyn and the broader New York/New Jersey harbor area,” sued Erik Baard, the founder of a group called the Long Island City Community Boathouse (“Boathouse”) that...

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Posted: January 17, 2014

Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees Awarded Under Fee Shifting Statute May Be At Southern District Market Rates But Must Account For Fees Already Recovered From Other Defendants

In Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., 05 CV 0453 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 30, 2013), Judge Brian Cogan granted in part plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees under the Clayton Act, to the extent of awarding $4,093,163.35 in fees, and no costs, out of the $13,724,641.75 in fees and $1,363,307.68 in costs requested.  The case was a seven-year,...

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Posted in EDNY, Attorney Fees
Posted: January 7, 2014

PSLRA’s Safe Harbor

In In re Symbol Techs., Inc. Securities Litigation, 05 CV 3923 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2013), Judge Denis Hurley denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the consolidated amended class action complaint.  The case involves Symbol Technologies, a manufacturer of inventory management products that was the subject of a government investigation into “systematic accounting fraud, including the manipulation of inventory levels to artificially...

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Posted in EDNY, PSLRA
Posted: December 23, 2013

Court’s Misreading Of Data Leads To Successful Motion For Reconsideration

In In re Gentiva Securities Litigation, 10 CV 5064 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 10, 2013), two individual defendants and the defendant corporation moved for reconsideration of Judge Arthur D. Spatt’s order denying their motion to dismiss federal securities claims.  The case is a class action alleging that Gentiva, a health care provider, artificially inflated its stock price through a scheme that involved...

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Posted: December 19, 2013

Affordable Care Act Violates Non-Profits’ Religious Beliefs

In The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. v. Sebelius, 12 CV 2542 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2013), Judge Brian M. Cogan held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) violated certain plaintiffs’ core religious beliefs under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”).   The ACA requires that group health insurance plans cover certain preventative services, including contraception, sterilization...

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Posted: December 16, 2013

Deadline For Making Claim For Attorneys’ Fees In FRCP 54 Does Not Apply To Claims For Appellate Fees

In Long Island Head Start Child Development Services, Inc., v. Economic Opportunity Commission, 00 CV 7394 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2013), Judge Arthur Spatt held that a claim for appellate attorneys’ fees under ERISA’s fee shifting provisions is not governed by the 14-day deadline set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(2)(B).  Under that Rule, a motion for an award...

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Posted in EDNY, Attorney Fees, ERISA
Posted: December 12, 2013

Default Judgment Not Vacated Where Failure To Respond Was Willful

In S.E.C. v. MedLink International, Inc., 12 CV 5325 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 25, 2013), Judge Leonard D. Wexler denied an individual defendant’s motion to vacate a default judgment after he and his counsel apparently played a cat-and-mouse game of engaging with the SEC, only to disappear and fail to respond to communications.  The underlying case involved a year-long investigation by the...

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Posted: December 6, 2013

County Should Have Returned Firearms Despite Gap In State Law

In Dudek v. Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, 12 CV 1193 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2013), Judge Pamela Chen was called upon to resolve what one state court had called a “legislative oversight”:  family court judges have statutory authority to confiscate firearms from individuals involved in domestic incidents, but do not have explicit statutory authority to order their return.  As a result,...

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