Findlaw Case Summaries: Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 11

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June 3-4, 2009.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, EDUCATION LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW O’Connor v. Pierson , No. 07-1758 In an action brought by a public school teacher against a school, alleging various state and federal tort claims, district court’s of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on grounds that plaintiff’s claim is barred by res judicata is affirmed where: 1) the state court decision against plaintiff on his intentional infliction claim was decided on the merits and bars his pursuit of the substantive due process claims in federal district court; 2) the parties in the state and federal actions are in privity for purposes of res judicata; and 3) plaintiff had a fair and adequate opportunity to litigate his claims, even if they may have eventually been separated from one another.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, SECURITIES LAW Holmes v. Grubman , No. 06-5246 In a fraudulent misrepresentation action involving securities, district court judgment is affirmed in part where: 1) the court properly denied plaintiff’s motion to amend, as the record is devoid of evidence supporting plaintiffs’ contention that good cause existed for the district court to modify its scheduling order; and 2) the court properly dismissed plaintiff’s claim brought under Georgia’s “blue sky” law, as plaintiffs did not cite a specific provision of the statute or refer to particular false or misleading statement that allegedly violated the statute and thus failed to provide defendant with fair notice of their claim and the grounds upon which it rested. The remaining three issues on appeal are certified to the Supreme Court of Georgia, as the state’s highest court has not directly addressed the issues and the present court is unable to predict with certainty how the court would rule on them in the instant case.

ATTORNEY’S FEES, GOVERNMENT LAW, PER CURIAM Pietrangelo v. US Army , No. 07-3124 District court judgment denying a pro se lawyer’s motion for attorneys’ fees under the Freedom of Information Act is affirmed where lawyers who represent themselves in FOIA litigation are not eligible for attorneys’ fees under the Act’s fee-shifting provision, 5 U.S.C. section 552(a)(4)(E). R
GOVERNMENT BENEFITS Encarnacion v. Astrue , No. 07-3550 In an action involving children’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Benefits, district court’s grant of summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where the Commissioner of Social Security’s interpretation of the Social Security Act Act and the disputed policy implementing the Act’s provisions for determining children’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Benefits is entitled to deference under Skidmore. The Commissioner is thus not required to engage in cross-domain combination of less-than-marked limitations, and the regulations adequately take into account the combined effect of a child’s impairments.

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