News and Analysis

Subscribe to News and Analysis RSS Feed

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

Initial En Banc Petitions, Procedural Possibilities, and the OSHA Vaccine Mandate.

It’s been only three days since the Sixth Circuit won the JPML lottery to consolidate and adjudicate every appeal nationwide challenging OSHA’s vaccine mandate. Yet there have already been interesting developments. Many petitioners in the original Sixth Circuit cases have now moved for initial en banc review—which would bypass panel review entirely and send the … Continue Reading

President Biden Nominates Andre B. Mathis to the Sixth Circuit

Yesterday, President Biden nominated Memphis, Tennessee litigator Andre B. Mathis to the Sixth Circuit, filling the seat of Judge Bernice B. Donald, who announced in May that she will assume senior status upon the confirmation of her replacement. Mathis is currently a partner in the Memphis, Tennessee office of the law firm Butler Snow LLP, … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit and the OSHA Vaccine Mandate

Sometimes federal courts of appeals get to play the lottery. The prize is not millions of dollars, but the chance to adjudicate every challenge to a particular federal agency action filed in federal circuit court.  The Sixth Circuit won that lottery yesterday afternoon.  At issue is OSHA’s highly controversial vaccine mandate. On November 5, 2021, OSHA promulgated … Continue Reading

Evolution of the Sixth Circuit Approach to §1292(b) Petitions for Interlocutory Appeals

In our previous post, we discussed the difficulties of succeeding with a Section 1292(b) petition in both the district court in the circuit court.  We also noted that while the Sixth Circuit’s rate of acceptance of orders already certified by district courts has been higher than average for federal circuit courts.  We then reviewed decision … Continue Reading

Invited Error, Erie, and Pleading Standards – What to Make of Smith v. General Motors?

The Sixth Circuit handed down a recent decision, Smith v. General Motors, that, on its face, could be construed as having a wide-reaching impact on the pleading standard for certain product-liability and fraud claims.  But the panel was careful to disclose the larger, admittedly “odd” context of the case, making it difficult to discern just … Continue Reading

Certified Questions To State Supreme Courts Are Especially Rare In The Sixth Circuit

Nearly every state allows federal courts to certify questions of state law to obtain definitive answers from state supreme courts on unsettled issues of state law. The United States Supreme Court has explained that certifications “saves time, energy, and resources and helps build a cooperative judicial federalism.” All states, except North Carolina, have rules or … Continue Reading

New year comings and goings

Happy New Year from everyone here at the Sixth Circuit Blog!  We’re kicking off 2021 with some exciting news.  Ben Beaton, my appellate practice co-chair who often graced these pages, was sworn in last month as a US District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky.  We will miss Judge Beaton and his contributions to … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Update: Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference Rescheduled for June 2021

Those seeking a return to normalcy will be heartened to hear that the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, canceled due to the pandemic, has been rescheduled. Those seeking a cautious reopening will be heartened to hear that the Conference will be held in June…June 2021. From Chief Judge Cole: The Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference has been … Continue Reading

Telephonic oral arguments: tips for advocates

As federal courthouses limit their in-person operations because of COVID-19, telephonic oral arguments will become more common. Already the Second Circuit has announced that all of its oral arguments will proceed by teleconference until further notice. Similarly, the Seventh Circuit will hear oral argument by phone through April. For scheduled oral arguments in the D.C. … Continue Reading

UPDATED Coronavirus Update: Potter Stewart Courthouse Closed 2 Weeks

Cincinnati’s federal courthouse–home to the Sixth Circuit–is closed for two weeks beginning today, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Though the federal courts basically continue to function (to the consternation of my wife, given the number of recent filings made with kiddos underfoot here at the SPB Ky office), the Potter Stewart courthouse and many … Continue Reading

Judge Nathaniel Jones, 1926-2020.

Judge Nathaniel Jones passed away yesterday.  He was a Cincinnati icon, having served as the first African American AUSA in the Northern District of Ohio, leading the civil rights litigation efforts of the NAACP during the 1970s, and serving on the Sixth Circuit for more than twenty years.  For those wishing to review his career, … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Bellwether Settlement on Eve of Trial

On the eve of trial Monday morning, plaintiffs Summit and Cuyahoga Counties struck a deal worth $260 million. This avoided the first bellwether trial in the opioid multidistrict litigation before Judge Polster. The settlement extinguishes the counties’ claims against AmerisourceBergen, Teva, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. Walgreen’s did not settle, but its trial is pushed off … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Sixth Circuit Won’t Halt Bellwether Trial (and more)

Today the Sixth Circuit issued much-anticipated rulings rejecting bids by Ohio and the industry defendants to halt the upcoming opioid MDL bellwether trial. And as noted below, in other venues the opioid litigation has seen recent notable action from another key state plaintiff and Judge Polster. Sixth Circuit denies “drastic and extraordinary” mandamus relief – … Continue Reading

Reviewing the Sixth Circuit’s Performance at the Supreme Court, OT2018 — Part One

During October Term 2018 (“OT2018”), the Supreme Court reversed less than two out of every three cases – its lowest reversal rate in three years. The Sixth Circuit fared particularly well (4 affirmances, 3 reversals), joining the Eleventh and D.C. Circuits as the only circuits to post a winning record.  Notably, the Court did not … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: More Irons in the Fire

The Sixth Circuit activity continues to escalate as the MDL bellwether trial date approaches. In just the last week, since the Court of Appeals’ rare order requesting a response to Ohio’s mandamus petition, we’ve seen: Judge Polster respond—energetically—to Ohio’s mandamus petition, one day sooner than the deadline provided in the Court of Appeal’s order; Defendant … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Eliminates Contractual Limitations Periods For Title VII Claims

Employers in the Sixth Circuit may want to review their employment contracts following a recent decision in which the court ruled that employers cannot contractually shorten the statutory limitations period for Title VII claims—except in the arbitration context. In Logan v. MGM Grand Detroit Casino, Judge Bush (with Judges Boggs and Gibbons joining) explained that Title … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Ohio Asks Sixth Circuit for Mandamus while U.S. Chamber Says Muni Suits by Plaintiffs’ Firms Could Upend Civil Litigation

As we covered in July, the country has its eyes on an Ohio opioid MDL handling more than 2,000 lawsuits brought by more than 1,200 cities, counties, and tribes against drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently filed a mandamus petition at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to enjoin District … Continue Reading
LexBlog