President's weekly report — February 5, 2016
Defending Property Rights in New York
In a decision you’d have to read to believe, an appellate court in New York held that a property owner could not eject a trespasser, because what for 150 years had been private property has now been magically transformed into property available for public use. To the court’s credit, it recognized that its decision “may destabilize long-established expectations as to the nature of private ownership.” But nevertheless, it rejected the idea that real property in the family’s possession for 150 was theirs alone. PLF doesn’t believe the courts can transform private property into public property with a magic wand, and in this amicus brief has asked New York’s highest court to reverse the decision. PLF attorney Mark Miller has the full story in this blog post.
Freedom of contract takes a hit in the Ninth Circuit
Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for an en banc hearing in Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America. The case concerns a judicially created exception to the Federal Arbitration Act. the exception allows employees to get out of arbitration contracts if they bring suit under California’s Private Attorney General Act. PLF filed an amicus brief asking the full court to reconsider this loophole, and to uphold the federal law which preempts this California statute. Now that the Ninth Circuit has denied the petition for an en banc hearing, PLF hopes Luxottica will file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. PLF attorney Deborah La Fetra explains more in this blog post.