Colter Paulson

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Sixth Circuit Judges Still Write Lots Of Dissenting and Concurring Opinions, But Appear To Be Less Partisan

The Sixth Circuit has a longstanding reputation for having lots of dissents and concurrences.  We analyzed the last three years of opinions and found that the Sixth and D.C. Circuit have about twice the average number of dissents and concurrences opinions per case than other circuits.  Partisan and ideological differences account for some dissents, in … Continue Reading

New Standard For Notice In FLSA Collective Actions:  Clark v. A&L Homecare and Training Center

The Sixth Circuit has announced new standards for collective action lawsuits under the FLSA in Clark v. A&L Homecare and Training Center.  There are already many good summaries of this decision around the legal internet, so this recap will be short.  The question is how to determine whether other potential plaintiffs are “similarly situated” so … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Rejects En Banc Review Regarding Remuneration and Causation Under the False Claims Act

Last week the en banc court rejected a petition in United States ex rel. Martin v. Hathaway, 63 F.4th 1043, 1054 (6th Cir. 2023), a False Claims Act case in which an ophthalmologist and a hospital had an informal agreement to refer patients to each other.  Chief Judge Sutton’s opinion rejected the argument that the … Continue Reading

The Three Circuits That Publish Far More Opinions Than Any Others—And How The Sixth Circuit Stacks Up

The latest statistics on unpublished opinions show an important trend between the circuits.  Across all circuits, 86% of written opinions are unpublished.  That means they are not precedential, so they do not create circuit law.  And most of those unpublished opinions, 69% of them in 2022, were also unsigned.  The Sixth Circuit mirrors the general … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Invalidates Application of Nashville’s Sidewalk Ordinance Under The Takings Clause

In Knight v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville and Davidson County (No. 21-6179), the Sixth Circuit decided a longstanding question about the standard that applies to conditions imposed by a legislature on those applying for building permits.  The issue is common enough:  a city wants more sidewalks to improve safety, health, and traffic.  So the city … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuits Rejects The “Juridical Link” Test For Class Actions

In Fox v. Saginaw County (No. 22-1265/1272), the Sixth Circuit rejected a class action where multiple defendants have identical policies, but the named plaintiff was only injured by one defendant.  Until recently, Michigan law permitted counties to obtain complete ownership of a property during a tax foreclosure, even if the value of the property far … Continue Reading

Judge Davis Nominated to the Sixth Circuit

President Biden has nominated Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis, of the Eastern District of Michigan, to the Sixth Circuit.   She litigated products liability and commercial cases for five years at Dickinson Wright in Detroit, and then joined the US Attorney’s office for newly two decades.  As an AUSA, she received a 2015 “Champion of Justice” award … Continue Reading

A Closer Look at the Sixth Circuit’s Decision on the Contractor Mandate

With OSHA’s decision to withdraw its ETS in the face of a hostile Supreme Court, and the Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the CMS mandate, it’s worth taking a closer look at the Sixth Circuit’s decision to stay the contractor mandate.  Briefing in the Sixth Circuit on the contractor mandate should be finished around March … Continue Reading

The OSHA Mandate Decision and the Sixth Circuit

The Supreme Court’s recent per curiam opinion on OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses takes a practical approach to agency power, though the dissent would rather the Court have taken a more practical approach to the pandemic.  The majority opinion holds that while OSHA has power to regulate dangers in the workplace, it cannot use the … Continue Reading

We will miss Judge Merritt

Judge Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. passed away yesterday, on his 86th birthday.  Judge Merritt leaves behind three children, three grandchildren, and a life well-lived in public service. Judge Merritt was born in Nashville, Tennessee on January 17, 1936.  Aside from receiving a B.A. in 1957 from Yale and an L.L.M. from Harvard in 1962, Judge … Continue Reading

The High Court stays the OSHA mandate but upholds the CMS mandate

The decision we’ve all been waiting for finally arrived today.  In two separate opinions, the Supreme Court, as appeared likely from oral argument, stayed the OSHA mandate but declined to stay the CMS mandate. For the OSHA mandate, the Court issued a per curiam opinion chiefly holding that the mandate flunked the major questions doctrine … Continue Reading

Analysis Of The Supreme Court’s Oral Argument Yesterday

After listening to the oral arguments at the Supreme Court, we think the Court will likely issue an administrative stay to delay implementation of the first ETS deadline by Monday, January 10.  U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar admitted that such a stay might be appropriate if the Court needed some breathing space (as it clearly … Continue Reading

The OSHA Mandate — Supreme Court Oral Argument Preview

Tomorrow morning (Friday, January 7), the Supreme Court hears oral argument in the OSHA (10 a.m. EST) and CMS (11 a.m. EST) mandate cases.  (You can listen to the arguments live here.)  For the OSHA mandate, one group of petitioners consists of a coalition of twenty-seven States, led by Ohio, and the other consists of … Continue Reading

Supreme Options for OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Mandate

In this post, we take a look at the options facing the U.S. Supreme Court as it considers the challengers’ various emergency applications for a stay, several of which were filed just hours after the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the ETS this past Friday evening (December 17).  At this point, it … Continue Reading

ETS Developments in the Supreme Court — and more on the Sixth Circuit’s decision dissolving the stay

Before we dive in the panel’s opinions on the stay motion, we should mention that in the Supreme Court proceedings Justice Kavanaugh gave OSHA until December 30 to respond to the various emergency motions to stay enforcement of OSHA’s ETS mandate.  That is the same day that the Supreme Court gave the challengers in the … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Vacates The Stay Of OSHA’s Mandate, But OSHA Delays Implementation Until January

As you probably know by now, the Sixth Circuit vacated the stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate on Friday evening, allowing OSHA to move enforce its regulation, with an substantial, careful opinion by Judge Stranch (who was joined by Judge Gibbons) finding that OSHA has the statutory authority to issue and enforce the emergency temporary standard.  … Continue Reading

Chief Judge Sutton’s En Banc Dissent On The Merits Of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

We’ve previously discussed the procedural arguments for and against taking the case en banc that Judge Moore and Chief Judge Sutton (briefly) debated in their respective concurrence and dissent.  As we noted in our earlier post, the Court split evenly on the en-banc issue, keeping these cases with the current three-judge panel.  This post reviews … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit and OSHA’s Upcoming December 6th Deadline.

Employers across the United States are wondering whether they need to comply with OSHA’s original, rapidly-approaching December 6th and January 4th deadlines.  And while no-one yet knows with 100% certainty, probably including the judges themselves, a few things seem clear from the Sixth Circuit’s approach in this consolidated appeal.  The Circuit has not ordered parties … Continue Reading

OSHA files emergency motion to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay

At 2:28 a.m. this morning, OSHA filed an (overlength) emergency motion to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate, taking three distinct positions.  OSHA principally argues, as expected, that it is likely to succeed on the merits because, OSHA reasonably concluded that the standard is necessary to address a grave danger, the Fifth … Continue Reading
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