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Opinion

09-2815 Hill v. Potter

Employment Retaliation Where an employee could not show there was work available that she could perform with her limitations, summary judgment was properly granted to the employer on her claim that her hours were reduced in retaliation for engaging in protected activities. “We agree with the district court that Hill has failed to show that Kavanaugh and Fuscaldo sending her ...

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09-3002 Hatmaker v. Memorial Medical Center

Employment Retaliation The participation clause in Title VII does not prohibit retaliation for participation in an internal investigation. The ‘investigation’ to which section 2000e-3 refers does not include an investigation by the employer, as distinct from one by an official body authorized to enforce Title VII. (A possible exception, discussed below, is irrelevant to this case.) The participation clause prohibits ...

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09-3015 Runyon v. Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc.

Employment Age discrimination Where an employee had a turbulent relationship with co-workers from the start, and had several heated disputes with them, his termination was not age discrimination. “Extrusion explained at trial that Runyon was fired primarily because he was involved in three altercations. This is consistent with earlier statements from company officials. Hamilton told Runyon that he was losing ...

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09-3007 & 09-3996 Metavante Corp. v. Emigrant Savings Bank

Civil Procedure Attorney fees Individual scrutiny of line-item entries is not necessary or appropriate in contractual fee-shifting cases. “Emigrant submits that allowing the submission of redacted bills effectively amounts to a prepayment standard- if the prevailing party has paid its legal bills, the opposing party must pay those costs. This result, in Emigrant’s view, would vitiate the reasonableness requirement. In ...

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09-2589 & 09-2593 U.S. v. Favara

Sentencing Reasonableness Where a defendant had a history of fraudulent behavior, it was not disparate to impose a 70-month sentence, while other co-defendants received probation. “Favara’s 70-month sentence was not unwarrantedly disparate from her co-defendants, several of whom received probation. Section 3553 requires the judge to consider, among other things, whether a particular sentence would create unwarranted disparities with other ...

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10-1173 U.S. v. Carlisle

Search and Seizure Reasonable expectation of privacy Where a defendant denied at a suppression hearing that he did not own a backpack he was carrying at the time of his arrest, he has no reasonable expectation of privacy that would allow him to challenge the search of the backpack. “Although Carlisle disclaimed ownership of the bag, there is no dispute ...

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08-2679 U.S. v. Sanchez

Retaliation Against a Witness Sufficiency of evidence Where the government presented no evidence that the defendant knew the targets of his kidnapping plot had given testimony against the drug trafficker for whom the defendant was working, the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for retaliation against a witness. “The government responds that the jury could have inferred that Sanchez ...

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09-1856 U.S. v. Cantrell

Honest Services Fraud Sufficiency of the evidence Where a defendant steered contacts to a third party in exchange for kickbacks, the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction for honest services fraud. “The indictment charged Cantrell with using his position as a public official of North Township of Lake County, Indiana, to secure contracts for Addiction and Family 2 Care, ...

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09-2155 Jay Franco & Sons, Inc., v. Franek

Intellectual Property Trademarks; functionality A round beach towel is not a valid trademark. “Franek wants a trademark on the circle. Granting a producer the exclusive use of a basic element of design (shape, material, color, and so forth) impoverishes other designers’ palettes. See, e.g., Brunswick Corp. v. British Seagull Ltd., 35 F.3d 1527 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (black color of boat ...

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