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The Eighth Circuit agreed with American Family that the district court erred in holding that the matching exclusion did not apply to the insureds' policy. Reviewing the district court's interpretation of the insurance policy de novo and applying Minnesota law, the court held that even if it were to discount the matching exclusion's explicit statement that it modifies the Form, as the district court did, other circumstances unambiguously showed that the Minnesota Endorsement, and thus the matching exclusion, applied to the insureds' policy. Therefore, the district court erred in reading the matching exclusion in the policy and, after applying the explicit and unambiguous exclusion, American Family was not obligated to pay for damages attributable to matching difficulties. View "Noonan v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for possession of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant where a reasonable jury could conclude, based on the large amount of easily discoverable meth in defendant's truck, that he knew it was sitting with his cargo; the district court did not err by denying the motion to suppress where the officers' use of a dog sniff was reasonable both because defendant consented to a search and because the extension of the stop was de minimis in light of his consent; and the district court did not err in rejecting defendant's proposed mere presence instruction because the instructions it gave adequately covered his theory of defense. View "United States v. Leon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After Jeffrey Odom died in a motor vehicle accident driving a pick-up truck owned by his employer and insured by Berkley, Odom's widow filed a claim with Berkley for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits. Berkeley then filed a diversity action seeking a declaratory judgment of no UIM coverage and plaintiff counter-claimed. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of Berkley's motion for summary judgment and held that the other driver's vehicle was not an "underinsured motor vehicle" as defined in Berkley's policy and in the auto insurance provisions of the North Dakota Century Code. View "Berkley Regional Insurance Co. v. Bernick-Odom" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The court held that the district court did not err in applying a cross-reference under USSG 2K2.1(c)(1)(B) to USSG 2A1.1, the first degree murder guideline, where defendant gave a firearm to an acquaintance with the understanding that he would use the gun in connection with a drug trafficking activity and to retaliate against a woman, eventually killing her. The court also held that the district court did not plainly err by declining to declare sua sponte that the government breached the agreement. View "United States v. Edger" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's revocation of defendant's supervised release and sentence of 10 months in prison after he admitted to violating conditions of his supervised release. The court held that the district court had a legitimate concern for managing the risk of recidivism and it was proper for the district court to consider defendant's own reservations about immediate release to the community when fashioning the revocation sentence. View "United States v. Newson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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This consolidated appeal stemmed from the trusts' motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining the use of Phyllis Schafly's intellectual property. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the denial of preliminary injunctive relief under 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1) and held that the trusts would not be entitled to the traditional presumption of irreparable harm in trademark cases because they did not promptly seek preliminary injunctive relief concerning the trademark infringement, regardless of whether the presumption survived recent Supreme Court decisions emphasizing the movant's burden to show that irreparable injury was likely in the absence of an injunction. The court dismissed the appeal of the order staying litigation for lack of appellate jurisdiction, because the order was temporary and did not effectively end the litigation. View "Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust v. Cori" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion to preliminarily enjoin enforcement of Bel-Nor's Ordinance 983, which restricts the number of signs displayed on private property. The court held that Ordinance 983 is a content based restriction that is not narrowly-tailored to achieve the compelling government interests of government safety and aesthetics. The court held that the ordinance is also facially overbroad; plaintiff was likely to succeed on his First Amendment claim; and the district court erred in denying the motion for a preliminary injunction. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Willson v. City of Bel-Nor" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that the district court did not clearly err by imposing a four-level sentencing enhancement under USSG 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) for possessing the firearm in connection with the felony offense of drug trafficking. In this case, the weight and packaging of the marijuana, combined with defendant's statements and his firearm possession, constitute sufficient evidence to support the district court's conclusion that he committed the felony offense of drug trafficking. Furthermore, the firearm was found in close proximity to the drugs. The court also held that the district court did not err by denying defendant a third level reduction for acceptance of responsibility. View "United States v. Brockman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit joined the BIA and a unanimous chorus of other circuits that have considered and rejected the argument that a notice to appear that, like petitioner's, does not contain the time and place of removal proceeding is not valid. The court rejected petitioner's claim that a court utilizing such a notice fails to obtain subject matter jurisdiction at its inception and so the entire proceedings and any subsequent removal order are invalid. Determining that it had jurisdiction over the petition for review, the court held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion by denying petitioner's motion to reopen. The court explained that the BIA need not list every possible argument for and against its decision, and it need not write an exegesis on every contention. Furthermore, the BIA's opinion in this case makes clear that it heard and considered petitioner's arguments. Finally, the court rejected petitioner's due process and equal protection challenges. View "Ali v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to St. Luke's in an action brought by plaintiff, alleging that the hospital interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The court held that plaintiff's case consists of an unpersuasive argument of temporal proximity combined with her subjective belief that she was being treated differently and a few stray comments that she perceived to interfere with her FMLA rights. The evidence did not undermine or even raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding St. Luke’s legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for her termination: her work performance. Therefore, plaintiff failed to present a submissible case of retaliation for exercising her FMLA rights. View "Beckley v. St. Luke's Episcopal-Presbyterian Hospitals" on Justia Law