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Assessing the amount in controversy when seeking to vacate an arbitral award

Yesterday’s published decision in Hale v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC established the law of the circuit on a nifty issue of subject matter jurisdiction in the context of arbitration. Where a plaintiff from one state has initiated arbitration against a defendant from another state, seeking millions, but has then received an arbitral award of … Continue Reading

Is Title IX’s deliberate-indifference standard a question of law for the court to decide? Yes—at least “in an appropriate case,” says the en banc Sixth Circuit.

Continuing an active year for Title IX precedent, the Sixth Circuit issued an en banc decision in Foster v. University of Michigan, which adds further contour to the Circuit’s Title IX “deliberate indifference” jurisprudence. It also implicitly raises—but does not necessarily answer—important questions regarding the appropriate standard of review for such claims. In Foster, a … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit stays injunction in challenge to Kentucky public health measures that did not exempt religious schools from general prohibition on in-person instruction.

This post arrives thanks to Erica M. Van Heyde, a 2020 graduate of The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law, who joins Squire Patton Boggs as an associate in 2021.  Like most states, Kentucky is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Governor Andy Beshear has responded by implementing a number of public health measures aimed … Continue Reading

Tennessee election officials’ motion to stay injunction “too little, too late,” so first-time voters may continue to vote by mail.

This post arrives thanks to Erica M. Van Heyde, a 2020 graduate of The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law, who joins Squire Patton Boggs as an associate in 2021.  Last week, in Memphis A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Hargett, the Sixth Circuit considered the application of the factors for a stay pending appeal of … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Practice Tip: You Can’t Renew a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law Never Made in the First Place.

The bar exam, so the saying goes, is like fording a river that is a mile wide but only an inch deep.  Cliché though it may be, the analogy serves as a useful reminder that the exam tests candidates largely on settled, black-letter law rather than novel questions typical of law school exams.  Most readers, … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Sixth Circuit reverses order certifying a negotiation class

The opioid MDL continues to generate significant decisions in the law of civil procedure. Arguably the most significant arrived last week in a much-anticipated ruling, when a divided panel issued a published opinion reversing the district court’s certification of a “negotiation class” in the case. Judge Clay wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge McKeague, … Continue Reading

Title IX’s shifting landscape

The Sixth Circuit has issued a steady stream of Title IX cases in recent months.  Of particular note are Kollaritsch v. Michigan State University Board of Trustees, 944 F.3d 613 (6th Cir. 2019), which deepened a circuit split regarding institutional liability for “deliberate indifference” under Title IX, and Doe v. Oberlin College, 963 F.3d 580 … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: “Negotiation Class” Under Review

On Friday, Nov. 8, a Sixth Circuit panel (Guy, Griffin, and Kethledge) granted interlocutory appeals of drug manufacturers and distributors embroiled in the Northern District of Ohio opioid MDL. The appeals, brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), oppose the district court’s certification of the novel “Negotiation Class.” Under the proposed procedure, any class … Continue Reading

Panel Rehearing Granted On TCPA Agency Principles

The Sixth Circuit has granted a rare panel rehearing in Lucas v. Telemarketer Calling from (407) 476-5680 & Other Tel. Nos., a case filed under the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act.  Our sister SPB blog, TCPAWorld, one of the web’s leading sources for intelligence and lawyering on TCPA defense, has a detailed post here.  The panel … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit certifies Pennsylvania security-screening comp question

Several suits by Amazon workers seeking pay for time spent in security screening have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the Western District of Kentucky. In one of the putative state-law class actions, Pennsylvania-based workers argue that under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Amazon owes them for the several minutes per shift they spend … 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

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: 6th Circuit Orders Mandamus Response from Judge Polster, Bellwether Counties

If anyone doubted the Sixth Circuit was paying close attention to the opioid MDL, that’s been put to rest. Today, in a short order issued by Circuit Clerk Deborah S. Hunt, the Sixth Circuit requested a response to the Ohio AG’s mandamus petition, supported by many states and the U.S. Chamber, seeking to enjoin the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit’s Plain-Meaning Approach to Foreign Arbitration Discovery

Parties may now seek discovery from district courts within the Sixth Circuit for use in foreign private arbitrations. In Abdul Latif Jameel Transportation Company v. FedEx, a unanimous panel held that the plain meaning of the phrase “foreign or international tribunal” included non-governmental tribunals. The decision addresses an important foreign-discovery provision that, according to some … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: Bank Fraud Requires … a Bank

A divided Sixth Circuit panel overturned the convictions of two alleged fraudsters because the government failed to prove that they intended to obtain property from a bank (technically, a “financial institution,” under 18 U.S.C. §1344).  Back in the heady 2000s, the defendant homebuilders in the companion cases of U.S. v. Banyan and U.S. v. Puckett … Continue Reading

July Wrap-Up: First Amendment Arrest Edition

The Sixth Circuit wrapped up July with two decisions addressing similar protest-arrest claims under the First Amendment.  But the panel opinions and outcomes looked quite different. Parma police parody: Anthony Novak was fed up with the Parma Police Department. So he created a “farcical Facebook account” (i.e., “meme” page) designed to look like the police … Continue Reading

June Wrap-Up: Opioid non-disclosure and Obamacare non-discrimination

The Sixth Circuit wrapped up June with two weeks of oral arguments, some of which we’ll feature later this week. And the Circuit got a pat on the back from the Supreme Court, which affirmed its decision striking down a Tennessee liquor law under the “dormant” Commerce Clause. (Stay tuned for more on the Circuit’s … Continue Reading

En Banc Watch – New Decisions on Probable Cause and Sentencing Commission Authority

Good Faith and Probable Cause: In another en banc decision, Judge John Rogers and eleven others held in United States v. Christian,that probable cause existed for Grand Rapids law enforcement to search the house of Tyrone Christian. As the affidavit detailed Christian’s four previous felony drug convictions, two previous drug busts at his house, and … Continue Reading

En Banc Watch: Fight Over Substantive Due Process Sees Court Refuse to Rehear Flint Water Case

The Sixth Circuit denied Flint, Michigan’s petition for en banc review of a panel decision allowing citizens exposed to contaminated water to sue city and state officials. The order drew two concurrences, one dissent, and plenty of skepticism about the plaintiffs’ case—which is nevertheless allowed to proceed in the district court. The plaintiffs’ theory is … Continue Reading

Last Week at the 6th Circuit: Substantive unreasonableness, maiden voyages, and railroaded state law

No arguments at the court last week, but we received 13 published opinions and 9 unpublished opinions. Plus, as we’ll discuss later this week, one white-hot denial from en banc review that produced four separate opinions. Here’s what you may have missed: A substantively unreasonable sentence – A divided Sixth Circuit panel vacated the sentence … Continue Reading
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