This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in an appeal from an arbitrator’s decision in an employment case, one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, and one nonprecedential order granting a petition for a writ of mandamus. Here are the introductions to the opinions and the text from the order.
Ramirez v. Department of Homeland Security (Precedential)
The petitioner, Roberto Ramirez, seeks review of an arbitrator’s final award sustaining his removal from his job as a Customs and Border Protection Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Ramirez contends that the arbitrator lacked the authority to order another psychiatric evaluation after stating, in an interim award, that the prior evaluations failed to preponderantly establish that Mr. Ramirez was unfit for duty. Mr. Ramirez further contends that he was denied due process when the agency refused to provide him with the records of the written psychological assessments underlying his psychiatric evaluations. We hold that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority by seeking additional evidence after issuing his interim award. We also hold, however, that Mr. Ramirez was entitled to a meaningful opportunity to review and challenge the written assessments underlying his adverse psychiatric evaluations. Thus, we vacate the final award and remand for further proceedings.
BRYSON, Circuit Judge, concurring.
I agree with the court that the arbitrator’s interim ruling did not constitute a final decision that barred the arbitrator from conducting further review in the matter before him. I also agree with the court that this case must be remanded to the arbitrator for further proceedings on the due process issue. While I agree with much of what Judge Reyna has written in his thoughtful opinion for the court, I would couch the remand directive in somewhat different terms.
The court concludes that Mr. Ramirez was denied due process when he was unable to obtain access to the MMPI2 tests that he took during each of his fitness for duty examinations and to the scoring of those tests done by an independent expert. The remedy, according to the court, is to remand for the arbitrator to order the production of the test results and the scoring of the tests done by the expert. I agree with much of the court’s analysis, but I disagree with the court’s remand order in one respect.
In my view, the remand order should require the agency to ascertain whether the test results and scoring reports are available, and to direct the agency to attempt to obtain those items if they are available. If the agency cannot obtain those materials despite bona fide efforts to do so, however, I would treat those materials as unavailable and would analyze the due process issue accordingly. In that event, in view of the particular circumstances of this case, I would not regard the unavailability of the tests and the scoring results as necessarily having deprived Mr. Ramirez of a fair opportunity to respond to the case against him.
IQASR LLC v. Wendt Corp. (Nonprecedential)
This case concerns the validity of a patent for an automobile scrap recycling process. IQASR LLC appeals the district court’s decision holding U.S. Patent No. 9,132,432 invalid for indefiniteness. IQASR argues that the district court erred in its application of the legal standard for indefiniteness and in its findings on both the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence. Because the district court did not err in its legal analysis or its factfinding, we affirm.
In re HP Inc. (Nonprecedential Order)
HP Inc. petitions for a writ of mandamus to direct the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Largan Precision Co., Ltd. opposes. HP replies. HP also moves without opposition to submit a supplemental appendix. For the following reasons, we grant HP’s petition.
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Even measuring against the high standard necessary to grant a writ of mandamus, under these facts, HP has established the right to a writ to direct transfer.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
(1) The petition is granted. The district court’s June 10, 2020 order is vacated, and it is directed to transfer this matter to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
(2) The motion for leave to submit a supplemental appendix is granted.