Articles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Defendant pleaded guilty to three federal offenses: conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana; discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The district court sentenced defendant to 220 months' imprisonment and defendant appealed his sentence. The court concluded that the appeal was moot because there was no effectual relief available to defendant. Defendant disputed only whether the district court should have imposed the federal sentence "to run concurrently to the remainder of the undischarged term of imprisonment." At this point, because Missouri discharged defendant's state sentence, there was no longer an "undischarged term of imprisonment." Accordingly, the court granted the government's motion to dismiss the appeal and denied the motion to supplement the record. View "United States v. Harris" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs brought suit against defendants for breach of duty, improper taking in violation of international law, conversion, conspiracy to commit a tort, aiding and abetting an improper taking and fraudulent scheme, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal of their claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1). The court held that, because the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. 1330, 1602 et seq., applied to all defendants and no exception to sovereign immunity existed in this case, the judgment was affirmed. View "Community Finance Group, Inc., et al. v. Republic of Kenya, et al." on Justia Law

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Polysilicon producer MEMC entered in exclusive sales representation agreements with Semi-Materials. Under these agreements, Semi-Materials was to serve as the sales representative for MEMC in China and Korea. Semi-Materials brought suit against MEMC, claiming it was entitled to certain commissions. The court held that, considering the four corners of the agreements at issue, the court could not agree with the district court's conclusion that the agreements clearly and unambiguously limited Semi-Materials to receiving commissions only on those sales which included terms whereby the risk of loss remained with MEMC until the product entered China or South Korea. Because the meaning and intent of that language was uncertain and subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, it was necessary to reverse the grant of partial summary judgment and remand this matter to the district court for trial. The court also held that the evidence presented to the jury at trial supported its finding that MEMC clothed a sales manager with the authority to enter into the agreements with Semi-Materials. Accordingly, MEMC could not show there were no probative facts presented at trial supporting the jury's determination that Semi-Materials reasonably relied upon the sales manager's apparent authority to enter into the agreements. Moreover, the court rejected MEMC's argument that Semi-Materials failed to perform a material obligation to the contracts to provide regular reports to MEMC. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's grant of partial summary judgment for MEMC and affirmed its denial of MEMC's judgment as a matter of law. View "Semi-Materials Co., Ltd, et al. v. MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., et al." on Justia Law