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MTA Wins Major Second Circuit Victory

As reported on the front page of the New York Law Journal  and in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, the Associated Press  and other media outlets, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision designated for official publication on December 24, less than two weeks after oral argument, that affirmed a grant of summary judgment dismissing claims brought against Paul, Weiss clients the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (also known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels). Plaintiffs, who represented a class of residents of New Jersey and New York, challenged a state-mandated program that gives toll discounts to residents of Staten Island who cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and to residents of the Rockaway Peninsula and Broad Channel Island who cross the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. Plaintiffs asserted claims under the United States Constitution based on their contention that these discounts violated the right to travel and the dormant Commerce Clause. The Second Circuit panel - Judges José A. Cabranes, Richard C. Wesley and Peter W. Hall - rejected those claims. According to the panel, plaintiffs had failed to present any evidence that the tolls at issue were more than a "minor restriction" on travel or that the discounts at issue were distinguishable from discounts that had previously been upheld.

Litigation partner Walter Rieman argued the case in both the Second Circuit and the District Court. Along with Walter, the Paul, Weiss team consisted of litigation partner Leslie Fagen and counsel Steven Herzog.

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