First Circuit Holds That District Court Erred in Striking Summary Judgment Exhibits on Authentication Grounds

In Joseph v. Lincare, Inc., No. 20-1396 (1st Cir. Mar. 2, 2021), the panel vacates summary judgment in a race discrimination employment case. It holds that the district court erroneously excluded important exhibits filed by the plaintiff, produced by the defendants in discovery, on spurious authentication grounds. During Joseph’s brief tenure as a sales representativeContinue reading “First Circuit Holds That District Court Erred in Striking Summary Judgment Exhibits on Authentication Grounds”

Fifth Circuit Wrestles with Diversity and a Quirk in Appellate Jurisdiction in Review of a Burford Abstention Decision

In Grace Ranch, LLC v. BP American Prod. Co., No. 20-30224 (5th Cir. Feb. 26, 2021), the Fifth Circuit – in a case of first impression for that court – decides that, notwithstanding 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d), it has appellate jurisdiction to review a Burford abstention remand to state court. It also dismisses the stateContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Wrestles with Diversity and a Quirk in Appellate Jurisdiction in Review of a Burford Abstention Decision”

Fifth Circuit Affirms Seating of Juror Opposed to Gambling in Criminal Trial Involving Gambling

In United States v. Dejean, No. 19-30865 (5th Cir. Feb. 23, 2021), the Fifth Circuit upholds a mail fraud and false-statement conviction over a challenge to Juror 31, who admitted that the defendant’s gambling might possibly “affect the way [he] judge[s] somebody who … is an avid gambler?” “A jury convicted Patrick Hale Dejean ofContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Affirms Seating of Juror Opposed to Gambling in Criminal Trial Involving Gambling”

Eleventh Circuit Applies the “Fugitive Disentitlement” Doctrine to Dismiss Action

In Vibe Ener v. Martin, No. 19-12258 (11th Cir. Feb. 22, 2021), the panel reviews a district court’s dismissal of a civil action because the plaintiff fled the United States, applying the “fugitive disentitlement” doctrine. “The fugitive disentitlement doctrine empowers courts to dismiss the lawsuits or appeals of fugitives from the law.” The federal actionContinue reading “Eleventh Circuit Applies the “Fugitive Disentitlement” Doctrine to Dismiss Action”

Sixth Circuit Judges Spar Over Whether En Banc Court Could Decide Stay Pending Appeal in Abortion Waiting-Period Case

In Bristol Regional Women’s Center, PC v. Slatery, No. 20-6267 (6th Cir. Feb. 19, 2021), the panel denies a motion to stay pending appeal of an injunction of a Tennessee statute that imposes a waiting period on abortions in the state. The majority and dissenting opinions clash not only over the merits, but (for purposesContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Judges Spar Over Whether En Banc Court Could Decide Stay Pending Appeal in Abortion Waiting-Period Case”

Ripeness Can Blossom on Appeal, Holds Fifth Circuit

In DM Arbor Court, Ltd. v. City of Houston, No. 20-20194 (5th Cir. Feb. 12, 2021), a challenge to a city’s failure to act on applications for construction permits became ripe on appeal because—while it was pending—the City Council ruled and denied the permits. Following flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Arbor Court Apartments appliedContinue reading “Ripeness Can Blossom on Appeal, Holds Fifth Circuit”

Sixth Circuit Reassigns Case from District Court That Failed to Give Defendants a “Meaningful Opportunity” to Investigate Juror Bias

In United States v. Lanier, No. 16-6655 (6th Cir. Feb. 11, 2021), on a third trip to the court of appeals, the panel grants the husband-and-wife defendants a new trial after the district court bobbles an investigation into a juror who allegedly communicated with a state prosecutor during the trial. In 2015, the Laniers “wereContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Reassigns Case from District Court That Failed to Give Defendants a “Meaningful Opportunity” to Investigate Juror Bias”

Second Circuit Holds That Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Was Unenforceable Because There Was No Meeting of the Minds on the Monetary Term

In Electra v. 59 Murray Enterprises, Inc., No. 19-235 (2d Cir. Feb. 9, 2021), the panel – while reviewing summary judgment in a New York Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51 action – holds that plaintiffs had not accepted a Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 offer of judgment because of an ambiguity in theContinue reading “Second Circuit Holds That Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Was Unenforceable Because There Was No Meeting of the Minds on the Monetary Term”

Seventh Circuit Vacates District Court’s Rejection of Magistrate Judge’s Credibility Findings Without a Hearing

In McIntosh v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., No. 19-1095 (7th Cir. Feb. 5, 2021), the Seventh Circuit holds that the district court erred by reversing a magistrate judge’s ruling that a prisoner exhausted his remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) “without itself holding a new hearing upon which to base its own credibilityContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Vacates District Court’s Rejection of Magistrate Judge’s Credibility Findings Without a Hearing”

Sixth Circuit Holds That Notice of Appeal Was Timely Filed When It Was Deposited in the Court Drop Box

In Pierce v. Ocwen Loan Servg., LLC, No. 20-6057 (6th Cir. Feb. 4, 2021), a motion panel denies a motion to dismiss an appeal on limitations grounds, holding that the lawyer dropping the paper notice of appeal in the district court’s drop box constituted filing for purposes of Fed. R. App. P. 4. “Homeowners GeraldContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Holds That Notice of Appeal Was Timely Filed When It Was Deposited in the Court Drop Box”