This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a veterans case, one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, and one nonprecedential opinion in a Merit Systems Protection Board case. The court also issued three Rule 36 summary affirmances. Here are the introductions to the opinions and list of the summary affirmances.
Ravin v. Wilkie (Precedential)
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Regional Office in Muskogee, Oklahoma (RO) denied an attorney’s request that the RO withhold his attorney’s fees from an award of a veteran’s past-due benefits, pursuant to a direct-pay fee agreement with the veteran, and pay those fees directly to the attorney under 38 U.S.C. § 5904(d). By statute, an attorney “represent[ing] a person before [VA]” must “file a copy of any fee agreement” with VA “pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary.” 38 U.S.C. § 5904(c)(2). One such regulation is 38 C.F.R. § 14.636(h)(4), which requires the attorney to file “a copy of the [direct-pay] fee agreement” with “the agency of original jurisdiction” (the relevant RO) “within 30 days of the date of execution of the agreement.” Because the attorney did not comply with that regulatory filing requirement, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans Court) held that VA was not obligated to withhold the attorney’s fees from the veteran’s past-due benefits and pay those fees directly to the attorney. Ravin v. Wilkie, 30 Vet. App. 310, 316 (2018). For the reasons explained below, we affirm.
WCM Industries, Inc. v. IPS Corp. (Nonprecedential)
This case returns to us following our decision in WCM Indus., Inc. v. IPS Corp., 721 F. App’x 959 (2018) (“WCM I”) where we reversed-in-part, affirmed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded to the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. On remand the district court determined that damages should be enhanced and that post-judgment interest should accrue from the date of the district court’s December 4, 2015 decision. See WCM Indus., Inc. v. IPS Corp., No. 2:13-cv-02019, Order Revising Enhanced Damages Analysis and Calculation, ECF No. 823 (W.D. Tenn. Mar. 14, 2019); see also id., Third Amended Final Judgment, ECF No. 831 (W.D. Tenn. Mar. 29, 2019). IPS Corporation (“IPS”) appeals these determinations. For the reasons below, we affirm-in-part, reversein-part, and remand.
Martin v. Department of Homeland Security (Nonprecedential)
Joseph H. Martin appeals a decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) sustaining Mr. Martin’s removal from the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (“DHS” or “agency”). Mr. Martin was removed for conduct unbecoming a Customs and Border Protection Officer (“CBPO” or “customs officer”), lack of candor, and failure to follow a non-disclosure warning. We affirm.