April 29, 2010
To All My Clients
Last year we received two decisions that were not favorable regarding both class actions that we have now appealed. The first case regarding the application of FICA taxes to the foreign contract workers in the CNMI, the Federal Court of Claims ruled in favor of the U.S. Government and found that FICA tax was properly assessed against all workers in the CNMI. In March of 2010, I along with Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt submitted an appeal to U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. At this time, the U.S. Government has requested an extension to respond until July of 2010. We anticipate that with no more extensions, the case will be ripe for oral arguments some time in August or September of 2010. It is only after oral arguments that the Court of Appeals will review the case and render a decision.
As for the second class action regarding the failure of the CNMI government to pay over rebates and accrue interest on late paid rebates, I appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this time, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued an order requiring the CNMI government to respond to my petition. The CNMI government asked for an extension and the Supreme Court granted it until May 29, 2010.
This is the first step in the process of the U.S. Supreme Court considering a case worthy of being heard. This is very exciting news. While this act by the U.S. Supreme Court is not a guarantee that they will hear the case, it is very favorable development.
I will continue to keep you informed. As this is positive news, I will open up my telephone lines and faxes at my CNMI office at the end of May.