Split Fifth Circuit Panel Rejects Eleventh Circuit’s “Fraudulent Misjoinder” Doctrine to Rescue Removed Case and Remands to State Court

In Williams v. Homeland Ins. Co., No. 20-30196 (5th Cir. Nov. 30, 2021), the panel split three ways in addressing whether there was full diversity in a removed action, with the majority holding that that no misjoinder doctrine could rescue the case from remand. The case had proceeded for over a decade in state andContinue reading “Split Fifth Circuit Panel Rejects Eleventh Circuit’s “Fraudulent Misjoinder” Doctrine to Rescue Removed Case and Remands to State Court”

First Circuit Holds That Lawsuit Between U.S. Citizens Over a Collision in the South Aegean Sea Belongs in a Stateside Federal Court

In Curtis v. Galakatos, No. 20-1846 (1st Cir. Nov. 29, 2021), the First Circuit reverses dismissal of a personal injury action on forum non conveniens grounds, where the parties are American citizens, but the accident took place in Greece. In 2018, in the area of the Paros-Antiparos Strait, a boat owned by defendant Galakatos (M/VContinue reading “First Circuit Holds That Lawsuit Between U.S. Citizens Over a Collision in the South Aegean Sea Belongs in a Stateside Federal Court”

First Circuit Holds That Massachusetts-Based Court Lacked Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Website That Allegedly Defamed a Domestic Resident

In Lin v. TipRanks, Ltd., No. 20-1001 (1st Cir. Nov. 23, 2021), the First Circuit elides a difficult question of personal jurisdiction – whether federal constitutional due process “permits a defamation plaintiff to assert personal jurisdiction over an out-of-forum defendant that operates a for-profit website that trades on assertions about individuals’ reputations, absent the defendantContinue reading “First Circuit Holds That Massachusetts-Based Court Lacked Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Website That Allegedly Defamed a Domestic Resident”

Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds that Government Did Not Forfeit Argument on Appeal That the Plaintiff Failed to State a Bivens Claim

In Elhady v. Unidentified CBP Agents, No.20-1339 (6th Cir. Nov. 19, 2021), the panel majority skips over the qualified immunity issue presented in the interlocutory appeal to hold that the plaintiff failed on the merits to state a Bivens claim against several border-patrol agents. The judges disagree about whether the government forfeited this merits argumentContinue reading “Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds that Government Did Not Forfeit Argument on Appeal That the Plaintiff Failed to State a Bivens Claim”

Fifth Circuit Reverses Sua Sponte Dismissal with Prejudice of Section 1983 Damages Action That Named Officers in Official Rather Than Individual Capacity

In Carver v. Atwood, No. 21-40113 (5th Cir. Nov. 18, 2021), the Fifth Circuit reverses a district court’s decision to dismiss an action brought against three Texas state officers of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (“TDCJ”) on sovereign immunity grounds under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) without leave to amend. The plaintiff “alleged theContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Reverses Sua Sponte Dismissal with Prejudice of Section 1983 Damages Action That Named Officers in Official Rather Than Individual Capacity”

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Unsealing of Exhibits That Contain “Inadvisable Hot Takes” and Takes Aim at Abuse of Trendy “(Cleaned Up)” Parenthetical

In Callahan v. United Network for Organ Sharing, No. 20-13932 11th Cir. Nov. 17, 2021), the panel affirms a district court’s decision to unseal exhibits filed in support of a preliminary motion. A consortium of individuals, hospitals, and universities (the hospitals) sued to enjoin a Health and Human Services regulation changing the formula for allocatingContinue reading “Eleventh Circuit Affirms Unsealing of Exhibits That Contain “Inadvisable Hot Takes” and Takes Aim at Abuse of Trendy “(Cleaned Up)” Parenthetical”

Ninth Circuit Holds That Conditional Counterclaim for Damages Does Not Bring Declaratory Action Within Court’s Mandatory Jurisdiction

In Argonaut Ins. Co. v. St. Francis Med. Cntrs., No. 19-17314 (9th Cir. Nov. 17, 2021), the Ninth Circuit holds that the ordinary rule that (1) a declaratory-relief claim brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2201 becomes mandatory if combined with a monetary claim does not apply if (2) the monetary claim is a conditional counterclaimContinue reading “Ninth Circuit Holds That Conditional Counterclaim for Damages Does Not Bring Declaratory Action Within Court’s Mandatory Jurisdiction”

Failure to Effect Service on U.S. Attorney and Attorney General Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(i)(1)(A)–(B) Dooms Lawsuits Against Agencies, Split D.C. Circuit Holds

In Morrissey v. Mayorkas, No. 20-5024 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 9, 2021), the court consolidates two appeals presenting the same issue: whether plaintiffs who properly served the federal agencies where they worked in their age discrimination actions but failed to timely serve the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Attorney General mustContinue reading “Failure to Effect Service on U.S. Attorney and Attorney General Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(i)(1)(A)–(B) Dooms Lawsuits Against Agencies, Split D.C. Circuit Holds”

Another Court of Appeals Has to Write an Opinion Reminding Litigants That Fed. R. Evid. 702 Applies to Nearly All Cases in Federal Court Involving Expert Testimony

In Love v. United States, No. 20-3534 (7th Cir. Nov. 4, 2021), the Seventh Circuit issues a short opinion devoted entirely to knocking down an argument that state rather than federal expert-witness evidence rules apply to a case governed by state law. This mirrors a recent Second Circuit opinion from October 6, 2021. Plaintiff VargasContinue reading “Another Court of Appeals Has to Write an Opinion Reminding Litigants That Fed. R. Evid. 702 Applies to Nearly All Cases in Federal Court Involving Expert Testimony”

Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Had Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Over Complaint with Pseudonymous Plaintiff

In B.R. v. F.C.S.B., No. 21-1005 (4th Cir. Nov. 2, 2021), the Fourth Circuit accepts an interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) and holds that a federal court has subject-matter jurisdiction over a claim despite not knowing the plaintiff’s true name. A plaintiff – named “Kate” in the opinion – “commenced this action byContinue reading “Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Had Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Over Complaint with Pseudonymous Plaintiff”