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District Court’s Preliminary Injunction Goes Up In Smoke When Sixth Circuit Rules Against Retailers of Roll-Your-Own Cigarette Machines

The Sixth Circuit recently vacated a district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of Ruling 2010-4 by the Department of Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and it remanded the action to the district court with instructions to dismiss.  Ruling 2010-4 deemed retailers that offered roll-your-own cigarette machines to be “manufacturers … Continue Reading

Wading into Circuit Splits, Sixth Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Michigan Township for Violating Telecommunications Act

Last week, the Sixth Circuit upheld a district court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of T-Mobile for violations of the Telecommunications Act.  (T-Mobile Central, LLC v. Charter Township of West Bloomfield)  Interpretation of the Act has led to significant splits among the circuit courts, as outlined in the Court’s opinion.  The defendant, West … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Mortgage Broker Fee Conspiracy Case

In Lee v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., the Sixth Circuit yesterday reversed a grant of summary judgment concerning disclosure of mortgage broker fees, holding that Ohio law prohibits lenders from knowingly conspiring with brokers to conceal “yield spread premiums” or other mortgage costs from borrowers.  The case arose out of a refinancing in which the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit enforces bona fide purchaser’s rights in forfeiture proceeding

In United States v. Huntington National Bank, the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court decision that had rejected a claim by Huntington Bank in connection with a criminal forfeiture proceeding.  The bank held an account by a company that was later found to have engaged in fraudulent activity.  In connection with the government’s prosecution of … Continue Reading

In a split decision, Sixth Circuit sends insurance dispute back for trial

In Phelps v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, a split panel yesterday reversed the grant of a summary judgment in a claim brought under Kentucky’ Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act.  The majority, in an opinion written by Judge Gilman, concluded that the plaintiff had established sufficient factual support that would enable a jury to conclude that … Continue Reading

Update on Sixth Circuit Rules Revision

As we previously noted (here and here) , the Sixth Circuit recently published proposed amendments to the Court’s rules.  These proposed amendments are the result of the efforts over several years by the Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules, consisting of members of the bar of the Sixth Circuit appointed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2077(b), … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit overrules existing precedent

For the second time in about a week, the Sixth Circuit recognized that one of its prior precedents should be overruled.  To say this is unusual is an understatement.  Typically, the Sixth Circuit can only overrule prior precedent if it does so en banc.  Neither of the opinions it issued, however, were en banc dispositions.   … Continue Reading

A Texas Sized Trademark Decision for the Sixth Circuit

In T. Marzetti Company v Roskam Baking Company , the Sixth Circuit decided that the mark “Texas Toast” is not entitled to trademark protection for a specific type of crouton.  Following closely on the heels of the Circuit’s recent Maker’s Mark trademark ruling, the Court continues to develop its jurisprudence on trademark infringement issues, particularly in the context of … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit upholds $59 million tax deduction

In American Financial Group v. United States, the Sixth Circuit recently rejected an IRS appeal seeking a determination that a $59 million deduction taken by an insurance company was inappropriate.  The appeal ultimately turned on an actuarial guideline issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners concerning how insurance companies should handle accounting questions connected … Continue Reading

Dirty laundry: Sixth Circuit affirms class certification in washing machine litigation

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit affirmed class certification in an interlocutory appeal under Rule 23(f) in an MDL concerning alleged design defects in certain front-load washing machines produced by Whirlpool, In re: Whirpool Corporation Front-Loading Washing Products Liability Litigation.  The case involves washing machines that allegedly became susceptible to mold and mildew which allegedly led to … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit upholds Fen-Phen convictions

In United States v. Cunningham,  the Sixth Circuit affirmed the convictions of a pair of Kentucky lawyers related to the $200 million Fen-Phen settlement.  The Court’s opinion chronicles the actions of Shirley Cunningham, Jr. and William Gallion, who were lawyers representing 440 individuals who had opted out of a nationwide Fen-Phen class action.  While the lawyers succeeded … Continue Reading

Justice Kagan Headlines Sixth Circuit Conference

The Sixth Circuit’s Circuit Justice, Justice Kagan, gave a very interesting luncheon presentation today at the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference. She was interviewed by Judge Gibbons and Judge Clay on a number of subjects, from internal Court practice to hunting trips with Justice Scalia. We’ve previously posted about amicus briefs, and Justice Kagan generally had … Continue Reading

The Vanishing Oral Argument?

One of the focuses of the Sixth Circuit over the past year, and certainly at this week’s judicial conference, is expediting the disposition of cases. In that regard, the Court has increased its workload considerably over the past several months, significantly increasing the hearing calendar. The Court has been able to do this by virtue … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference Gets Underway

The Sixth Circuit conference begins in Lexington, Kentucky today, and continues throughout the week. This is probably the biggest event of the year in Lexington, except perhaps for a college basketball national championship.  Among the highlights on the agenda is a conversation with Justice Kagan at Thursday’s luncheon.  We’ll provide periodic updates from the conference, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Scrutinizes Fraud on the Court Standard

In an interesting unpublished decision issued yesterday, General Medicine, P.C. v. Horizon/CMS Health Care Corporation, the Sixth Circuit, in a divided 2-1 decision, considered a fraud on the court challenge to a consent judgment.  In the underlying case, two parties entered into a $376 million consent judgment that was approved by the district court while … Continue Reading
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