US v. Martin — criminal sentencing — affirmance — Hardiman
Can both of these things be true at once?
- A criminal sentence is “based on a sentencing range that has been subsequently lowered by the Sentencing Commission,” but
- the Guidelines chance does NOT have “the effect of lowering the defendant’s applicable guideline range.“
That is, can a sentence be “based on” a guidelines range without that range being the “applicable” guidelines range?
Today the Third Circuit answered that question ‘yes,’ and on that basis it held that the defendant was not entitled to retroactive application of a Guidelines amendment. The defendant’s guilty plea and the sentence he received were based on the drug quantity involved (impacted by the Guidelines amendment), but the sentencing court had found that his advisory guidelines range should be based on his career offender status (not impacted by the Guidelines amendment).
Joining Hardiman were Roth and Fisher. The case was decided without oral argument.
McNelis v. PP&L — employment — affirmance — Hardiman
The Third Circuit ruled that employment-related regulations promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission trumped the Americans with Disability Act.
Joining Hardiman, again, were Roth and Fisher, and again the case was decided without argument.
In re: Howmedica Osteonics — civil / mandamus — reversal — Krause
Successful mandamus petitions are rare. Successful mandamus petitions turning on previously not-very-settled questions of law are rarer still. But the Third Circuit granted such a petition today.
The district court ruling at issue involved forum-selection agreements. The Supreme Court has said such agreements usually must be enforced, but the question in this case was what to do when some of the defendants had signed non-compete clauses with forum-selection clauses, but some hadn’t. The district court decided not to enforce the forum-selection clauses against any of the defendants. Today, the Third Circuit held that this was a clear error, and ruled that the claims against the forum-selection-clause defendants will proceed in one forum while the claims against the no-clause defendants will proceed in another.
Joining Krause were Scirica and Fuentes. Arguing counsel for the mandamus petitioners was Robert Carty Jr. of Texas. Arguing for various defendants were Jed Marcus of Bressler Amery, Anthony Haller of Blank Rome, and Jeffery Brown of California.