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Decision about a zoning dispute yields insights for both Federal Courts and appellate practice

The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Benalcazar v. Genoa Township, — F.3d — (6th Cir. June 10, 2021), provides a nugget in the law of Federal Courts regarding consent decrees. It’s also interesting from an appellate-practice perspective. The case concerned a zoning dispute. Landowners in an Ohio township sought to rezone their rural acreage for … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Joins Four Other Circuits in Restricting Plaintiffs’ Standing to Bring Claims under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”)

More than a decade ago, Congress attempted to address a novel threat that was then only in its nascent stages: identity theft.  The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (“FACTA”) provided consumers with several tools to protect their identity, including the ability to request free annual credit reports from the three major credit … 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

Sixth Circuit concludes that the Kentucky Billboard Act violates the First Amendment.

The Kentucky Billboard Act requires a permit for billboards that advertise off-site activities—but no permit is required for on-site billboard advertising. Lion’s Den, an “adult superstore” that sought to advertise to interstate drivers with a billboard on a neighbor’s property, challenged the law as a violation of its rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. … Continue Reading

A “Side Note” About Ripeness

The Sixth Circuit recently decided OverDrive Inc. v. Open E-Book Forum, a copyright case with an Article III twist.  Pertinent here, the plaintiff argued that a potential transfer of assets—that might or might not occur in an impermissible way—would (if it occurred in that certain way) “violate the [Copyright] Act in the future.”  That framing … Continue Reading

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

In staying injunction, the Sixth Circuit effectively upholds Ohio’s limitation of ballot drop boxes to one per county.

Ohioans have four ways to cast a ballot in this (currently underway) Presidential election: (1) vote in person on election day, (2) vote in person at some point in the four weeks leading up to election day, (3) mail in an absentee ballot; or (4) drop off an absentee ballot at a drop box.  Given … 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
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