In United States v. Robinson, No. 22-10949 (Sept. 28, 2023) (Jordan, Rosenbaum, Newsom), the Court vacated the defendant’s contempt conviction for violating a civil injunction against a stun-gun company.
The Court concluded that the evidence was insufficient that the defendant was bound by the injunction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65. Most notably, the Court declined to consider whether the defendant was liable under an aiding and abetting theory because the government failed to pursue that theory in the district court. And, relying on recent Supreme Court decisions in Percoco and Ciminelli, as well as fair-notice principles, the Court concluded that it could not affirm on a ground that the government did not advance in the district court, a rule that applied equally to bench trials as well as jury trials.