County Clerk in New York Lacked Standing to Challenge State’s Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act on Preemption Grounds, Holds Second Circuit

In Kearns v. Cuomo, No. 19-3769 (2d Cir. Nov. 30, 2020), the Second Circuit holds that a county clerk failed to allege an Article III injury in a case that claimed a conflict between the demands of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act and a state law that restricts disclosure of data gathered from driver’sContinue reading “County Clerk in New York Lacked Standing to Challenge State’s Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act on Preemption Grounds, Holds Second Circuit”

Split Seventh Circuit Panel Upholds Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) Order of New Trial That Lifted $80,000 Civil-Rights Verdict to $22 Million

In Fields v. City of Chicago, No 17-3079 (7th Cir. Nov. 20, 2020), a split panel holds that the district court did not abuse its discretion by reopening a case under Rule 60(b) based on new evidence, and holding a retrial resulting in a massively larger judgment: from $80,000 to $22 million. Plaintiff Fields wasContinue reading “Split Seventh Circuit Panel Upholds Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) Order of New Trial That Lifted $80,000 Civil-Rights Verdict to $22 Million”

Split Fourth Circuit Panel Holds That District Court Did Not Err by Admitting Evidence of Parent Companies’ Net Worth in Liability Phase of Nuisance Trial

In McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC,  No. 19-1019 (4th Cir. Nov. 19, 2020) – a closely-watched case against an industrial hog farm for common-law nuisance – a split panel affirms liability, though it remands the punitive damage award for redetermination. In addition to deciding Daubert challenges to the experts and other issues (not otherwise addressed here),Continue reading “Split Fourth Circuit Panel Holds That District Court Did Not Err by Admitting Evidence of Parent Companies’ Net Worth in Liability Phase of Nuisance Trial”

Sixth Circuit Affirms Denial of Recusal Motion, But “With Some Concerns” About Judge’s Ex Parte Letter to Attorney

In Alemarah v. General Motors, LLC, No. 20-1346 (6th Cir. Nov. 18, 2020) (per curiam), the panel affirms summary judgment in an employment discrimination case, but pauses over the district court judge’s “out of the ordinary” ex parte letter to one of the lawyers. The judge’s letter was prompted by the lawyer’s reticence about stagingContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Affirms Denial of Recusal Motion, But “With Some Concerns” About Judge’s Ex Parte Letter to Attorney”

Defendant Did Not Forfeit Affirmative Defenses by Failing to Answer Second Amended Complaint, Holds Ninth Circuit

In KST Data, Inc. V. Enterprise Servs. LLC, No. 19-55422 (9th Cir. Nov. 17, 2020), the Ninth Circuit holds that the district court erred in granting summary judgment sua sponte in a contact case when it denied the defendant the opportunity to argue its affirmative defenses. “Defendant Enterprise Services, LLC (‘ES’) entered into a contractContinue reading “Defendant Did Not Forfeit Affirmative Defenses by Failing to Answer Second Amended Complaint, Holds Ninth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Denies “Exceptional” Request for Intervention into an Appeal

In Richardson v. Texas Sec’y of State, No. 20-50774 (5th Cir. Nov. 12, 2020), the court addresses the motion of three voters who sought and failed to intervene into a voting-rights case in the district court, then sought to intervene into the appeal. The three voters moved in the district court under Fed. R. Civ.Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Denies “Exceptional” Request for Intervention into an Appeal”

“Indicia of Membership” Test Does Not Apply to Traditional Voluntary Membership Organization to Assess Associational Standing, Holds First Circuit

In Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard, No. 19-2005 (1st Cir. Nov. 12, 2020), the First Circuit – in an opinion upholding Harvard College’s admissions policy against a civil rights challenge – addresses the associational standing of the organization that brought the lawsuit. Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (“SFFA”) filed suitContinue reading ““Indicia of Membership” Test Does Not Apply to Traditional Voluntary Membership Organization to Assess Associational Standing, Holds First Circuit”

Ninth Circuit Vacates Class-Settlement Fee Award Under Rule 23(h), Rejecting Lodestar-With-Multiplier Calculation in Case Where 96% of Value Is Coupons

In Chambers v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 16-56666 (9th Cir. Nov. 10, 2020), a Ninth Circuit panel affirms a class settlement, but remands the case for a recalculation of the attorney’s fees under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(h). The panel finds that awarding the lawyers’ billable hours with a 1.69 multiplier – totaling $14.8 million –Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Vacates Class-Settlement Fee Award Under Rule 23(h), Rejecting Lodestar-With-Multiplier Calculation in Case Where 96% of Value Is Coupons”

Faulty Daubert Rulings No Longer Automatically Require A New Trial, Ninth Circuit Holds En Banc

In United States v. Bacon, No. 18-50120 (9th Cir. Nov. 5, 2020) (en banc), the Ninth Circuit overrules several prior decisions holding that the only remedy for an erroneous ruling on expert testimony under Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and Fed. R. Evid. 702 is a new trial. Instead, theContinue reading “Faulty Daubert Rulings No Longer Automatically Require A New Trial, Ninth Circuit Holds En Banc”

$50 Fine for Raising A Ruckus in a Federal Courthouse Lobby Upheld by Second Circuit

In United States v. Wasylyshyn, No. 18-1344 (2d Cir. Nov. 3, 2020), the Second Circuit affirms a misdemeanor conviction for creating a “loud or unusual noise or a nuisance” in the courthouse, in violation of 41 C.F.R. § 102-74.390(a) (the “Noise Regulation”). Defendant Wasylyshyn arrived at the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Binghamton, NewContinue reading “$50 Fine for Raising A Ruckus in a Federal Courthouse Lobby Upheld by Second Circuit”