Tuesday, March 29, 2005

SEC v. Yuen (9th Cir. - March 22, 2005)

You've got to hate it when your colleagues take your case en banc and then outvote you 10-1. Sort of a slap in the face. Which is what happens to Judge Bea here.

The appeal involves $37 million in payments that Gemstar made to some of its insiders during a period in which Gemstar was being investigated by the SEC. The SEC got those payments placed into a 45-day escrow pursuant to Sarbanes-Oxley because they were "extraordinary payments" and the insiders objected. Judge Bea -- alongside Judge Rawlinson -- held that they probably weren't extraordinary, over Judge Trott's dissent.
Then the case gets taken en banc. And the only one who votes in favor of Judge Bea's opinion is Judge Bea himself (Judge Rawlinson having been spared from the indignity of being crushed by the majority by fortuitously not having been selected for the en banc panel). Everyone else -- from all corners of the political and ideological spectrum -- rejects Judge Bea's conclusion and votes to affirm the district court.

That's gotta hurt.

P.S. - This is hardly the first time that you've seen Judge Bea outvoted. But never this badly.