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Sixth Circuit: Foster Parents Can Enforce Right to Foster Care Payments Under Federal Law

A unanimous panel of the Sixth Circuit held today in D.O., et al. v. Glisson that the Child Welfare Act creates a private right to foster-care maintenance payments enforceable by a foster parent under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  The CWA provides for federal foster care and adoption assistance to eligible states.  To be eligible, a state … Continue Reading

SCOTUS To Decide If Clean Water Rule Can Be Challenged Directly In U.S. Circuit Courts

In February of last year, we reported on the Sixth Circuit’s split-panel holding that it had jurisdiction to review challenges to the validity of the “Clean Water Rule” (which clarifies the term “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act). Last week, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in National Association of Manufacturers v. … Continue Reading

Flint Water Controversy Provides Civil Procedure Lesson Under CAFA Exception

In Mason v. Lockwood, Andrews & Neuman, a split panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to remand a class action to state court under the “local controversy” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act.  CAFA requires a court to “decline” jurisdiction over a class action that otherwise qualifies for federal court … Continue Reading

SCOTUS: Dismissal of Claim Under FTCA “Exceptions” Does Not Bar Second Suit

The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Sixth Circuit yesterday in Simmons v. Himmelreich, holding that the Federal Tort Claims Act’s “judgment bar” provision does not apply to claims that are dismissed under the “Exceptions” provision of the FTCA.  The FTCA permits plaintiffs to sue the federal government for certain torts committed by government employees.  But … Continue Reading

Judge Boyce Martin, Jr. Passes Away

Former Sixth Circuit Judge Boyce Martin of Louisville has passed away.  The Louisville Courier-Journal has a nice article about Judge Martin’s life here. One of Judge Martin’s more recent memorable decisions was his ode to bourbon in the Maker’s Mark case (which we certainly enjoyed). Several have commented about how spirited Judge Martin was at … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirmation Leaves More Questions than Answers

Two weeks ago, the jurisprudential ramifications of Justice Scalia’s passing were felt. The incomplete Court decided Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, a case from the Eighth Circuit questioning whether a guarantor is an “applicant” as defined in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Eighth Circuit decision in Hawkins, which held that a guarantor is … Continue Reading

Spokeo, Standing, and the Sixth Circuit

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, an important standing case.  Although Spokeo itself is up from the Ninth Circuit, it bears noting that the Ninth Circuit’s opinion looks to, and relies upon, Sixth Circuit Article III jurisprudence, a backdrop that’s important to keep in mind for Sixth Circuit courts … Continue Reading

Foreign Law In the Sixth Circuit

Some trial court judges are reluctant to apply foreign law or to enforce an international forum selection clause, but such decisions generally cannot survive appellate scrutiny.  These decisions are becoming increasingly prevalent and may reflect the recent debate about whether and how American judges should apply to foreign law or defer to foreign proceedings.  The … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Follows Six Other Circuits In Upholding Obamacare’s Contraception Mandate Accommodation Against Religious Freedom Challenge

The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate is back in the news.  Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit made headlines when it joined six other Circuits in upholding the accommodation scheme for religious non-profits that object to the contraception mandate.  See August 21, 2015 Opinion, Michigan Catholic Conference, et al. v. Burwell, et al. (6th Cir. Case … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Illustrates the Challenges of Establishing Personal Jurisdiction in the Wake of Daimler and Walden

A pair of recent Supreme Court decisions, Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014) and Walden v. Fiore, 134 S. Ct. 1115 (2014) have substantially raised the bar for establishing personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants. In a brief unpublished opinion, Maxitrate Tratamento Termico v. Super Systems, Inc., the Sixth Circuit applied these cases … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Wellness Opinion Effectively Overturns The Sixth Circuit’s Decision On Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction in Waldman

Last week, in Wellness Int’l Network Ltd. v. Sharif, No. 13-935 (May 26, 2015), the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy court can enter final judgment on “non-core” claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157 if the parties consent to that court’s jurisdiction.  It overturned a decision by the Seventh Circuit that relied heavily on the … Continue Reading

“Tying” Products Via Discount Only “Unlawful” When Second Product Sells Below Cost

In Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., the Sixth Circuit recently held that differential pricing—charging more for a product when the customer fails to buy a second “tied” product—constitutes unlawful tying only when the second product is effectively being sold for below-cost.  In adopting this “discount attribution” standard, the court sided with the Ninth … Continue Reading

High Court Asked to Tackle Non-Random Case Assignments; Sixth Circuit Already Uses Them

Last week, Motorola Mobility LLC petitioned the Supreme Court to review a recent adverse antitrust decision by the Seventh Circuit. In the appeal, Motorola claims that the Seventh Circuit is on the wrong side of a circuit split over the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, but—perhaps more interestingly—has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses Sixth Circuit in Closely Watched Securities Fraud Case

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Sixth Circuit yesterday in a securities fraud action brought against Omnicare, Inc., a Cincinnati pharmaceuticals services company, under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77k.  See Omnicare Inc. v Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, Case No. 13-435 (2015) (PDF).  In siding … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Watch: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Massive Sixth Circuit Antitrust Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its new round of orders from its February 27 conference. Among them was the denial of a petition for certiorari in a massive antitrust class action lawsuit—“likely the largest ever certified and upheld by a federal court of Appeals”—against manufacturers of polyurethane foam. In Carpenter Co. v. Ace Foam (aka … Continue Reading

Justice Thomas, The Fourth Circuit, And Circuit Courts Acting Like Certiorari Courts

The issue of unpublished opinions has received extra attention this past week thanks to a dissent to a denial of certiorari by Justice Thomas.  His opinion criticizes the Fourth Circuit for using an unpublished opinion to allow itself to decide important cases without create binding law.  Though much of the media censure of the Fourth … Continue Reading

On Remand From Comcast, Sixth Circuit Refuses Class Certification Appeal

Yesterday, in an unpublished opinion, the Sixth Circuit refused Rule 23(f) certification of an antitrust class action. In re VHS of Michigan, Inc. The Sixth Circuit had previously remanded this case for the district court to revisit its class certification decision in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Comcast. The district court, however, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Overturns The Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Presumption

In M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, the Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit’s longstanding decision in International Union, United Auto, Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F. 2d 1476 (1983), which created an inference that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, collective bargaining agreements intend to vest retirees … Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Review Sixth Circuit’s November 6 Decision Upholding Same-Sex Marriage Bans

The Sixth Circuit is in the national media spotlight this afternoon.  The U.S. Supreme Court has just agreed to review the Sixth Circuit’s landmark (but divided) ruling from November 6 that upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.   See Opinion (6th Cir. Case Nos. 14-1341; 3057; 3464; 5291; 5297; 5818).  The stage is … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Sixth Circuit Discrimination Case

In an order issued Monday (starting on page 27), the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the recent Sixth Circuit case of Kalamazoo County Road Commission v. Deleon. In so doing, the Court allowed the Sixth Circuit’s decision denying summary judgment for the defendant employer to stand. However, Justice Alito authored a strenuous dissent from the denial of certiorari, stating … Continue Reading
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