On May 15, 2023, ECBAWM secured an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the City of Hoboken, New Jersey.
In September 2020, Hoboken sued ExxonMobil, several other big oil companies, and the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s largest lobby, to hold them accountable for more than a half-century of deception about climate change, which has led to devastating impacts on Hoboken. The oil company defendants recently filed a petition in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to remove Hoboken’s case from New Jersey state court to federal court. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition. The case will now proceed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson Vicinage.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision leaves in place an August 2022 decision in Hoboken’s favor by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed an earlier decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, denying the defendants’ attempt to remove the case to federal court.
ECBAWM has reached a major class action settlement with the City of New York for people detained by the City Department of Corrections who experienced delays in their release after paying bail. The City has agreed to pay $3,500 per instance of delayed bail release; over 72,000 people may be eligible for a settlement payment. The settlement needs to be approved by the Court after a fairness hearing.
Further information about the settlement is available at www.NYCBailSettlement.com. If you were released on bail from DOC custody between October 4, 2014 and October 21, 2022, and reasonably believe that your release may have been delayed for more than three hours after your bail was paid, you may be eligible for a settlement payment. You will need to submit a claim form online or by mail in order to receive a payment from the Settlement. If your claim is valid, you will get $3,500 for each time your release on bail was delayed. Claim forms will be mailed to identified class members in approximately January 2023. The deadline to submit a claim form either by mail or online at www.NYCBailSettlement.com is June 6, 2023. You may register through the website to be told when the claim forms go live.
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In Betances v. Fischer, ECBAWM represents a class of over 3000 individuals who were administratively, unilaterally, and unlawfully sentenced to terms of post-release supervision (“PRS”) by New York State corrections and parole officials. The Plaintiff class was certified by the Court in 2015 and the Court subsequently granted summary judgment on liability to Plaintiffs, holding the Defendant State corrections and parole officials personally liable for violating Plaintiffs’ due process rights.
In advance of trial, the Defendant State officials moved to decertify the Plaintiff class on the basis that Plaintiffs’ general damages—which stem from the liberty Plaintiffs lost while on PRS or incarcerated for violating PRS—cannot be determined on a class-wide basis. In a March 14, 2022 decision, United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger denied Defendants’ motion to decertify the class and ruled that “the class should be maintained for the purposes of trial to determine damages for loss of liberty.”
In denying the Defendants’ decertification motion, the Court held that Plaintiffs’ lost liberty “is inherent in any unlawful detention and is compensable as general damages” and “can be determined on a class-wide basis.” The Court further determined that these common injuries “predominate over other, individualized issues” and can therefore be determined on a class basis at trial.
On July 28, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling that Donald Trump, his immediate family, and The Trump Corporation cannot compel arbitration of the fraud case pending against them in the Southern District of New York. The case, filed in the fall of 2018, alleges the Trumps defrauded investors into purchasing memberships in a multi-level marketing scheme called ACN. The Trumps had appealed to the Second Circuit arguing that the fraud case could only proceed in private arbitration because of agreements that the investors had signed with ACN. The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s denial of the Trumps’ motion to compel arbitration and ruled that the Trumps and ACN were never sufficiently connected such that the investors would have understood that any of their contractual obligations with ACN would correspond to obligations with the Trumps.
“We are glad that the Second Circuit has affirmed Judge Schofield’s well-reasoned opinion. We can now press forward in our fight to obtain justice for our clients and hard-working consumers across the county who fell victim to Donald Trump and his family’s fraud. We look forward to receiving discovery from the Trumps, ACN, and the producers of ‘The Apprentice’ as we move into the next stage of our litigation,” said Andrew G. Celli, Jr., an ECBAWM attorney for the Plaintiff investors.