Market synergy Group, Inc. v United States Department of Labor

Market appealed the district court judgment rejecting its challenge to certain rules regulating the marketing of annuities. The panel affirmed. It held that department gave sufficient notice by requesting comment on treating fixed rate, fixed indexed rate and variable rate annuities differently for regulatory purposes and the rules adopted treating fixed index and variable annuities differently logically flowed from the notice given. It held the rules were not arbitrary or capricious because fixed index annuities are different from fixed rate annuities as they are more complex, are inherently more risky and involve more conflicts of interest than fixed rate products. It also noted department considered existing state regulations as part of the process and held department permissibly concluded the effect of the rules on the relevant market would be modest.

Acosta v Paragon Contractors Corporation

Paragon appealed a contempt finding and the resulting sanctions. The panel affirmed in part and reverse din part. It affirmed the contempt finding as the children involved in harvesting pecans were ordered to do so by their church and the schools were closed during the harvest and families felt compelled to send their children to the fields and thus were employees for purposes of the 2007 order banning child labor by paragon. It held Paragon employed the children as the contract did not distinguish between pecans in tree and those on the ground, the person responsible for administering the contract for the pecan ranch testified Paragon was obliged to harvest pecans from the trees and ground and Aragon received profits form the harvest. It held the man hired by Paragon to fulfil the contract was an employee of Paragon because the man controlled his own hours and details of the work, received a flat fee, supplied no equipment or other supplies was hired for the whole harvest season, needed no specialized skills and was an integral part of the harvest and the children were thus employees of Paragon. It reversed the appointment of a special master as there was no evidence as of the date of the sanction that Paragon was employing children. It affirmed the order to compensate the children as the unpaid wages were the direct result of the contempt and thus permissible.

United States v DeGeare

DeGeare appealed the denial of his habeas petition arguing his sentence was illegally enhanced. The panel reversed. It held that DeGeare’s forcible sodomy convictions were not violent felonies for sentence enhancement purposes as Oklahoma Statutes title 21 section 888(B) is not divisible as it is structured very similarly to Oklahoma’s rape statute which has been declared to be one crime with various means of committing the crime and the means are identical to 888(B), nothing on the face of the language of 888(B) suggests it is divisible, the jury instructions are virtually identical to the rape instructions and do not make it more likely than not 888(B) is divisible and the charging documents can be plausible read to charge violent force or merely track the language of 888 which does not make it more likely than not that 888 is divisible.