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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In an interesting unpublished decision issued yesterday, General Medicine, P.C. v. Horizon/CMS Health Care Corporation, the Sixth Circuit, in a divided 2-1 decision, considered a fraud on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

Daubert Issues Back Before Sixth Circuit

One of the major areas in which the Sixth Circuit handed down important decisions in 2011 concerned the admissibility of expert testimony under Daubert.  The court continues to focus on this area, handing down another important Daubert decision recently in Newell Rubbermaid Corporation v. The Raymond Corporation.  In that case, the plaintiff sought to admit … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Decides Interesting Venue Question in Labor Case

In an otherwise unremarkable case concerning an unfair labor practice, the Sixth Circuit tackled a very interesting venue question concerning to which court union election disputes may be appealed.  Brentwood at Hobart v National Labor Relations Board  The union election took place in Indiana, but the appeal was brought to the Sixth Circuit.  Under the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Will Hear Appeal of Order Denying Class Certification to Countrywide Class Action Plaintiffs

The Sixth Circuit has accepted an interlocutory appeal in multi-district litigation pending against Countrywide Bank NA in the Western District of Kentucky.  The proposed class is comprised of all Hispanic and African-American borrowers from Countrywide who originated loans from 2002 to the present.  The plaintiffs claim that Countrywide discriminated against class members by charging minority … Continue Reading

Blue Cross Files Petition for Rehearing En Banc of Antitrust Immunity Appeal

We recently reported on the Sixth Circuit’s decision to dismiss an antitrust appeal for lack of jurisdiction.  The appeal had been taken by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan in connection with an antitrust suit brought by the State of Michigan which sought to enjoin Blue Cross from using most favored nation clauses in its contracts with … Continue Reading

MERS Case Heads to Sixth Circuit

One of the issues that has recently attracted attention (and litigation) in the wake of the global financial crisis is the use of the MERS recording system used by certain banks in connection with the securitization of mortgages.  The MERS system has been attacked by some as a way of avoiding recording fees, and in … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Nixes Car Rental Class Action

Frustration at a car rental company proved inadequate to maintain a class action, the Sixth Circuit held yesterday in Salling v Budget Rent-a-Car Systems. The plaintiff, steamed by a $13.99 refueling charge, brought a putative class action premised on fraud and unjust enrichment theories. Budget successfully removed to federal court pursuant to the Class Action … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Reverses Million Dollar Copyright Judgment

Nashville is both the hotbed for country music and now, apparently, copyright litigation.  In the most recent decision of significance from the Middle District of Tennessee on copyright issues, Roger Miller Music Inc.; Mary A. Miller. v. Sony/ ATV Publishing, LLC. the Sixth Circuit reversed a nearly $1M copyright infringement award concerning song royalties.  The … Continue Reading

Supreme Court reverses Sixth Circuit in habeas case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, reversed the Sixth Circuit in a criminal habeas case concerning the scope of Miranda protections.  Howes, Warden v. Fields. The case involved the question of whether a prisoner who is being interviewed regarding other potential crimes was entitled to Mirandaprotections.  The Sixth Circuit had previously affirmed the grant … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit confirms conviction of Palin e-mail hacker

Perhaps proving the adage that the cover-up is worse than the crime, the Sixth Circuit yesterday affirmed the conviction for obstruction of justice of an individual who hacked Sarah Palin’s e-mail account when she was running for Vice-President. United States v. Kernell In 2008, a college student hacked Governor Palin’s e-mail account and posted details on how he … Continue Reading

The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011: Important Changes for Sixth Circuit Practitioners to Diversity Jurisdiction, Venue and Removal

As we reported previously here, there has been a long-standing split among the Circuits over when the time for removal runs in a multiple defendant case, with the Sixth Circuit adopting the “later-served” rule under which each defendant has a thirty day period to file a notice of removal that ends thirty days after that defendant is … Continue Reading

Bluegrass State to Host Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference

The Sixth Circuit recently announced that the Judicial Conference of the Sixth Circuit will be held April 24-27 in Lexington, Kentucky.  A brochure about the conference is available here.  Consistent with past judicial conferences, the Sixth Circuit’s conference this year has attracted some notable speakers, including former Solicitors General Neal Katyal and Gregory Garre.  There are a number … Continue Reading

Insured Requests Rehearing of Sixth Circuit Decision Dismissing $125 Million Insurance Claim

On December 1, 2011, we summarized the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Bondex International, Inc. v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co.pdf dismissing an insured’s claim for $125 million in insurance.  Read our previous entry to refresh on the facts of the case and the basis of the Sixth Circuit’s original opinion. On Monday, RPM, Inc. requested a … Continue Reading

Judicial Conduct and Disability Committee Clarifies Obligations of Judges Holding Memberships in Organizations that Practice Invidious Discrimination

A complaint for judicial misconduct was filed against Judge George C. Paine, II, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging that Judge Paine’s membership in Belle Meade Country Club violated Canons 2A and 2C of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges and constituted misconduct under … Continue Reading

When do e-mails between counsel constitute an enforceable settlement agreement?

The Sixth Circuit will soon have an opportunity to answer that question in Remark v Adell Broadcasting.  In this copyright dispute that was recently appealed to the Sixth Circuit, counsel between the parties exchanged a number of e-mails regarding a potential settlement.  After new counsel for one of the parties was retained, that party rejected … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reverses Splintered Sixth Circuit Decision

Today the Supreme Court issued a per curiam reversal of the Sixth Circuit in a capital habeas case.  In Bobby v. Dixon the Court reversed the Sixth Circuit’s decision to grant habeas relief based upon confessions allegedly procured in violation of Miranda.  The underlying decision by the Sixth Circuit yielded three separate opinions: Judge Merritt authored the majority opinion, Judge … Continue Reading