Tag Archives: sixth circuit

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

“Lexis on Steroids”: Corpus Linguistics receives mixed reception at the Sixth Circuit

By Zak Lutz (HLS ’20; Squire Patton Boggs summer associate) and Benjamin Beaton Sixth Circuit judges have taken an interest in “corpus linguistics.” At a recent gathering in northern Kentucky, three Sixth Circuit judges engaged in an impromptu discussion of the interpretive tool. And last week, in Wilson v. Safelite Group, two other Sixth Circuit … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Vacates Convictions Due to “Flagrant Misconduct” by Prosecutor

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit vacated the convictions of two defendants charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  Although there was sufficient evidence to support their convictions, the Court held—on plain error review—that certain “remarks made by the prosecutor rose to the level of flagrant misconduct and deprived [defendants] of a fair trial.” Writing … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Issues Interesting Decision on Use of Representative Evidence in FLSA Collective Actions

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit released an interesting opinion addressing the use of representative evidence in “collective actions” brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As discussed below, the Court held that uniform testimony from dozens of individual employees can establish liability without the need for statistical evidence. At the same time, the decision … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth and Eleventh Circuit’s “Discretionary Function” Immunity for TVA

In Thacker v. Tennessee Valley Authority, the Supreme Court held that sovereign immunity does not necessarily shield TVA’s “discretionary functions” from liability.  Justice Kagan’s unanimous opinion reversed the Eleventh Circuit, which had sided with longstanding Sixth Circuit precedent treating many TVA functions as immune from suit. Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government-owned corporation, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Amends “Chalking” Decision to Clarify Scope

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit issued a decision addressing a constitutional challenge to the practice of “chalking” the tires of parked cars for parking enforcement purposes. As we noted, that decision garnered a lot of attention from the national media. Yesterday, the Court issued an amended opinion clarifying the scope of its ruling. The … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Erases Chalking of Parked Cars

It’s not often that a dispute over parking tickets ends up in federal court. But that’s exactly what happened this week in Taylor v. City of Saginaw – a case that has already drawn the attention of the national media. Taylor involved a challenge to “a common parking enforcement practice known as ‘chalking,’ whereby City parking … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Reinstates $15.6 Million Damage Award

On Friday, the Sixth Circuit reinstated a $15.6 million jury verdict awarded to Cranpark, Inc. in its promissory estoppel suit against Rogers Group, Inc. (“RGI”). In 1998, representatives from RGI and James Sabatine, the owner of Hardrives Paving and Construction, Inc. (“Hardrives”), for whom Cranpark is the successor-in-interest, met to discuss a possible joint venture … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules on $200,000 Back Pay Issue

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in Szeinbach v. The Ohio State University. The case centered on Szeinbach’s claim that she was discriminated against while she was employed as a professor with the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Szeinbach alleged that she was the victim of discrimination and retaliation stemming from her … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Tackles Two Questions of First Impression Under CAFA

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit decided two issues of first impression, both of which related to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., the plaintiff alleged that the company’s “buy one get one free” advertisement was misleading. The plaintiff waited until six months after its complaint to tell the defendant … 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

The Connection between Caseload and Per Curiam Circuit Court Opinions

Nearly two years ago, we commented on the increasing frequency with which federal courts of appeals issue per curiam, and often short and unsigned, opinions. Specifically, we noted that the use of such opinions had increased significantly 2013, year over year. This increase was consistent with the general modern trend toward per curiam opinion.   This … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Tackles Administrative Exemption under the FLSA

The FLSA provides that administrative employees are exempt from overtime pay. The FLSA described an administrative employee as one who 1) is paid a salary of at least $455 per week; 2) primarily performs work related to management; and 3) performs duties which primarily require the exercise of discretion and independent judgement. In Lutz v. … Continue Reading

Equitable Considerations under the First-to-File Rule

The first-to-file rule is a doctrine that has grown out of the need to manage overlapping litigation across multiple courts. The doctrine provides that when actions involving nearly identical parties and issues have been filed in two different district courts, the court that first acquires jurisdiction usually retains the suit to the exclusion of the … Continue Reading

A Review of Judicial Vacancies

While all eyes are currently on a vacancy at the Supreme Court, we should not overlook circuit-level vacancies.  Not including senior judges, the Sixth Circuit has positions for 16 judges, but with one vacancy, only has 15 active judges. The vacancy, created when Judge Martin retired on August 16, 2013, has existed on the court … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Agrees to Hear Challenge to Clean Water Act

On Monday, the Sixth Circuit agreed to hear challenges to a controversial rule redefining the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Industry and environmental groups have argued that it would be better for the nearly 20 lawsuits filed regarding the rule to be decided at the district level. In Murray Energy Corporation v. … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Agrees with Eleventh Circuit on TCPA Question

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) makes it unlawful for any person to place a call using any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice to a cell phone number without obtaining the prior express consent of the called party. The FCC has interpretive authority over the TCPA and “has provided extensive … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Oral Argument Statistics

In the 12 months ended June 30, 2015, the Sixth Circuit terminated 4,858 cases. Of the total cases terminated, 3,515 were terminated on the merits, meaning that they were terminated either through consolidation with another case, after the submission of the parties’ briefs, or after oral argument. A review of the judicial statistics surrounding the … Continue Reading

All contract Provisions Contribute to the Intent of the Parties

We all know that courts want to read contracts as a whole to effectuate the intent of the parties.  This case provides a textbook illustration of the principle. In a case arising from the bankruptcy and technology context, Cyber challenged the district court’s interpretation of its contractual agreements with Priva. The dispositive question was whether … Continue Reading
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