Findlaw Case Sumaries: Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

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March 24-26, 2009
US v. Samas , No. 05-5213
Conviction and sentence for possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and cocaine base is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff’s argument that the mandatory sentencing scheme in 14 U.S.C. sec. 841(b) violates the Equal Protection Clause fails, as the Supreme Court’s decision in Kimbrough does not suggest that the powder to crack cocaine disparity in sec. 841(b)is unconstitutional; 2) the parsimony clause in 18 U.S.C. sec. 3553(a) does not conflict with the mandatory sentencing provisions in sec. 841(b); and 3) any error in sentencing did not affect plaintiff’s substantial rights

Kendall v. Employee Retirement Plan of Avon Prods., No. 07-4203
In an ERISA class action, district court’s grant of plaintiff’s motion to dismiss is affirmed where plaintiff lacks the constitutional standing to assert that the plan administrator breached a fiduciary duty or that the plan violates ERISA, as she can cannot show any individualized harm from a direct injury or an injury-in-fact.

US v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., No. 07-0926
In an action involving the FICA tax exemption for students, district court judgment is vacated where the district courts erred in ruling as a matter of law that medical residents are categorically ineligible for the FICA tax exemption for students, as the question of whether a medical resident qualifies for the student exclusion is a separate factual inquiry that must be reviewed on remand. The district court ruling that the monies paid by defendant to medical residents are not scholarships is affirmed.

Pleasant v. TLC Liquidation Trust, No. 07-4641
In a bankruptcy action, district court’s judgment in favor of defendant is reversed and remanded where plaintiff’s claim against defendant was not entered without a contest as defendants initially filed an objection to it. Defendant’s motion to reconsider is thus subject to the one-year time limit under Rule 9024 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and is untimely.

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