A couple of interesting opinions out of the Ninth Circuit today. One’s notable for employment and perhaps corporate contract folks, and the other’s just interesting for the Ethicist vibe Legal Pad got while reading it.
In Doe v. Wal-Mart Stores, the superstore corporation was sued by a bunch of employees at its foreign suppliers, who wanted to hold Wal-Mart liable for the conditions they worked in. Their claims were based in large part on a code of conduct Wal-Mart included in its contracts with suppliers, which said those whose working conditions don’t adhere to local laws and standards, or who don’t let Wal-Mart inspect their facilities, could have their orders canceled and their relationship with Wal-Mart cut off. At any rate, the plaintiffs accused Wal-Mart of reaping the PR benefits of this clause while being lax in its monitoring or even turning a blind eye. The Ninth Circuit turned down the plaintiffs’ four different theories of liability, affirming the Central District. (Judges Ronald Gould, Betty Fletcher and Raymond Fisher)
And in Kardoh v. United States, a Syrian national arrested — but deported rather than prosecuted — for paying $40,000 for alien registration cards from an undercover agent posing as a corrupt immigration official wanted his money back. Northern District Judge Vaughn Walker said okay, noting that Kardoh hadn’t been convicted, but the Ninth Circuit said no way. (Judges Richard Clifton and Procter Hug, and Federal Circuit Judge Glenn Archer Jr., who was sitting by designation)
— Pam Smith