Dewitt v Southwestern Bell Telephone Company

Dewitt appealed summary judgment to Bell in her disability discrimination and retaliation case. The panel affirmed. It held the discrimination claim failed as a matter of law as the manager who fired Dewitt honestly believed that Dewitt intentionally hung up on two customers in violation of company policy and thus in violation of her last change agreement and this belief was reasonable given the actions needed to end a call, the lack of witnesses that Dewitt was in diabetic shock and Dewitt’s decision to not take a break dur8ing the time period and the manger believed Dewitt had a motive to lie about the calls. It held that Dewitt’s evidence in opposition was irrelevant at it directed at why the hang ups occurred which is not relevant or bias in a different manager which did not influence the termination, the fact a lesser consequence was possible did not prove pretext and by allowing Dewitt to give her side of the story, Bell fulfilled any duty to investigate. The panel refused to abandon the circuit’s honest belief precedent as it properly places the burden of proof on pretext on the employee while allowing truly perpetual reasons to be challenged with competent evidence. It held that the accommodation claim failed as employers are not required to excuse past misconduct based on the guidance form the EEOC and the unpublished decision of a circuit panel and published opinions in other circuits. It rejected the EEOC’s argument that the hang ups were not a violation of conduct rules as Bell specifically states in its policies that employees must treat customers in a professional courteous manner and hanging up on customers is not courteous and the record supports the conclusion that Bell would have acted the same way if Dewitt was not disabled. It finally rejected the family leave retaliation claim as the proffered evidence of pretext was the same as that offered in the discrimination claim and failed for the same reasons.United States v Humphrey

Humphrey appealed the denial of his motion to dismiss his child pornography indictment arguing the commerce clause does not reach purely intrastate production of child pornography. The panel rejected his argument holding the circuit’s precedent applying the ban on child pornography to purely intrastate production remains good law as the Obamacare and recent Hobbs act decisions of the united states Supreme Court reaffirm the underlying principles that congress may regulate conduct which in aggregate has an effect on commerce and noted that all other circuits to face the issue have ruled in the government’s favor.

Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v Lexington Insurance Company

Lexington appealed the summary judgment ordering it to pay 46% of a fire damage claim arguing it should pay nothing and Philadelphia cross appealed arguing Lexington should pay more. The panel, with one member dissenting in part, affirmed. It first held that Philadelphia has standing to use as it sought a declaration of how the two polices interacted and thus what its own liability is. The panel noted standing in these kinds of cases has been recognized in the circuit for more than 40 years. It held that under controlling Oklahoma law, the two polices’ excess coverage clauses cancelled out as applying them here would result in no coverage for fire damage and thus the policies’ pro rata division clauses controlled the amounts each company must pay. It rejected Lexington’s contrary arguments holding the polices here both cover the school district landlord’s interests not separate interests; the lease agreement cannot change the terms of the insurance policies; and the fact that the Lexington policy covers more buildings does not change the fact that both policies equally cover the loss suffered here. The majority held that the district court correctly applied the liability limit in Lexington’s policy to cap coverage at the amount of loss instead of the face value of $100 million and thus the 54/46 split was correct. The dissent argued that the liability limit used by the majority is irrelevant as the limit on insurance, not liability, is the measure for pro rata distribution under Oklahoma law and thus Lexington should bear 94% of the loss not 46%.

Hackford v State of Utah

Hackford appealed the denial of his petition for injunction to prevent Utah form prosecuting certain traffic violations. The panela affirmed. It held that the violations in questions did not occur in Indian country because, as recognized in earlier cases, the part of Wasatch county where Hackford was pulled over was removed from the reservation and lost status as Indian country when Congress declared it withdrawn, extinguished Indian tribal title and paid for the land. I further held that the later transfer of the land in question to a national forest did not reinstate Indian country status as the transfer was done for administrative convenience and noted states have permission to enforce their traffic laws in national forests.