Significant Decisions From the United States

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Significant Decisions From the United States

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Significant DecisionsFrom the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the First Circuit and the District of Maine

Office of the Maine Attorney General

Continuing Legal Education Program

August 1, 2013


Mead v. Independence Ass'n684 F.3d 226 (1st Cir. 2012)

Interference With Private Employment

While the right to hold private employment free from unreasonable government interference is protected by the Due Process Clause, the right is generally implicated only by government interference that is direct and unambiguous.


Knowlton v. Shaw704 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2013)

Prosecutorial Immunity

Negotiating and executing a consent agreement to resolve civil violations was prosecutorial in nature and warranted absolute prosecutorial immunity.


Clukey v. Town of Camden717 F.3d 52 (1st Cir. 2013)

Right to Recall to Employment

A collective bargaining agreement may create a constitutionally protected right on the part of laid-off public employees to be recalled.

-- If an employee has such a right, he cannot be deprived of it without sufficient due process.


Gove v. Career Sys. Dev. Corp.689 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2012)


Arguments not raised in an appellate brief, or adverted to in a perfunctory manner, are deemed waived.


Gove v. Career Sys. Dev. Corp. (cont.)In Dialysis Access Center, LLC v. RMS

Lifeline, Inc.

, 638 F.3d 367, 376 (1st

Cir. 2011), this Court described the impact of the

strong policies favoring

arbitration on the determination of the scope of arbitration agreements


“When deciding whether the parties agreed to arbitrate a certain

matter . . ., courts generally . . . should apply ordinary state law principles that govern the formation of contracts.” [

First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan


514 U.S. 938, 944 (1995)]. In carrying out this endeavor, “’due regard must be given to the federal policy favoring arbitration, and ambiguities as to the scope of the arbitration clause itself resolved in favor of arbitration.’” Mastrobuono v. Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc., 514 U.S. 52, 62, 115 S. Ct. 1212, 131 L.Ed.2d 76 (1995) (quoting Volt Info. Scis., Inc. v. Bd. of Trs. Of Leland Stanford Junior Univ., 489 U.S. 468, 476, 109 S.Ct. 1248, 103 L.Ed.2d 488 (1989)). See also PowerShare, Inc. v. Syntel, Inc., 597 F.3d 10, 15 (1st Cir. 2010) (noting that “federal law undeniably includes a policy favoring arbitration” (citing Volt, 489 U.S. at 475-76, 109 S.Ct. 1248)).

Excerpt from Appellant’s Brief


Gove v. Career Sys. Dev. Corp. (cont.)As the Supreme Court recently clarified in Granite Rock, courts “discharge this duty by: (1)

applying the presumption of


only where a validly formed and enforceable arbitration agreement is ambiguous about whether it covers the dispute at hand; and (2) adhering to the presumption and ordering arbitration only where the presumption is not rebutted.” [

Granite Rock of Chicago v. Int’l Brotherhood of Teamsters

, 130


. 2847, 2858-59 (2010)] ;

see also IOM Corp. v. Brown Forman Corp.

, 627 F.3d 440, 450 (1st Cir. 2010) (“

In evaluating the scope of . . . arbitration clauses, . . . arbitration will be ordered unless it may be said with positive assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute.” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). Excerpt from Appellant’s Brief


Gove v. Career Sys. Dev. Corp. (cont.)On the other hand, “generally speaking, the presumption in favor of arbitration applies to the resolution of




Paul Revere Variable Annuity Ins. Co. v.


, 226 F.3d 15, 25 (1st Cir. 2000);

First Sealord Surety, Inc. v.



. Corp.,

765 F. Supp.2d 66, 72 (D. Mass. 2010) (“Contra preferentem applies to questions such as whether a ‘party has entered an arbitration agreement or whether an arbitration agreement is enforceable vel non’ but the presumption in favor of arbitration applies to the resolution-of-scope questions.”).Excerpt from Appellant’s Brief


Noveletsky v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.2012 WL 4510964 (D. Me. 2012)

Work Product Doctrine

Even if document was prepared because party subjectively believed that litigation was likely, and even if that belief was objectively reasonable, work product protection does not apply if the document would have been created regardless of whether litigation was anticipated.


Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Nextera Energy Resources, LLC 2013 WL 1835379 (D. Me. 2013


Seeking Injunctive Relief

A plaintiff’s “leisurely pursuit” of preliminary injunction motion undermines its claim





165 Park Row, Inc. v. JHR Dev., LLC  2013 WL 633403 (D. Me. 2013


Failure to Disclose Witnesses

On summary judgment, party could not rely on affidavits from witnesses who party did not disclose during discovery.


Sebunya v. Holder2012 WL 5993160 (D. Me. 2012)

Answering Complaints

In response to allegations regarding the content of documents, statutes, or regulations, may not be appropriate to plead that the document “speaks for itself.”

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