Seventh Circuit Recounts Saga of Lawyer Who Asked to Withdraw from Case Right Before Closing Argument

In Black v. Wrigley, No. 20-2656 (7th Cir. May 10, 2021), the Seventh Circuit affirms a defense jury verdict in a defamation case in which plaintiff’s counsel tried to withdraw at the close of a jury trial due to an apparent  conflict with his client. On Friday, “the day of closing arguments, when [plaintiff]’s trialContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Recounts Saga of Lawyer Who Asked to Withdraw from Case Right Before Closing Argument”

Seventh Circuit Goes Off-Script to Express “Grave … Concerns” About Continuation of 1972 Consent Decree

In Shakman v. Clerk of Cook Cnty., No. 20-1828  (7th Cir. Apr. 16, 2021), while affirming the district court’s denial of a motion to vacate a consent decree over hiring in Cook County, Illinois, the panel urges “[d]iligence, not dormancy” in future proceedings. For those living in Northeastern Illinois, the Shakman Decrees are well-known toContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Goes Off-Script to Express “Grave … Concerns” About Continuation of 1972 Consent Decree”

District Court Cannot Grant Rule 12(b)(6) Motion Solely Because It Struck Plaintiff’s Brief Under Rule 11(a), Holds Seventh Circuit

In Marcure v. Lynn, No. 19-2978 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2021), the panel addresses two unresolved issues in the circuit, holding that (1) the striking of unsigned briefs is mandatory under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a), but (2) even if a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P.Continue reading “District Court Cannot Grant Rule 12(b)(6) Motion Solely Because It Struck Plaintiff’s Brief Under Rule 11(a), Holds Seventh Circuit”

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”

Seventh Circuit Endorses 40-Person Rule of Thumb for Rule 23 Numerosity, Holds That 37 Was Too Few

In Anderson v. Weinert Enterprises Inc., No. 20-1030 (7th Cir. Jan. 28, 2021), the panel affirms denial of class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, where the proposed class fell below the 40-person threshold normally considered the standard for numerosity. The putative class was a state-law wage-and-hour case against a roofing company in northeastContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Endorses 40-Person Rule of Thumb for Rule 23 Numerosity, Holds That 37 Was Too Few”

Plaintiff Gets Her Own Lawsuit Dismissed on Spokeo Grounds in Seventh Circuit

In Thornley v. Clearview AI, Inc., No. 20-3249 (7th Cir. Jan. 14, 2021), a plaintiff fighting removal of her Illinois class action from state court persuades the Seventh Circuit that the federal courts lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over her claim. “Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, familiarly known as BIPA, provides robust protections for the biometric informationContinue reading “Plaintiff Gets Her Own Lawsuit Dismissed on Spokeo Grounds in Seventh Circuit”

Judge Who Returned Jury to Deliberate Over Holdout Juror’s Dissent Committed Plain Error Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 31, Holds Seventh Circuit

In United States v. Banks, No. 19-3245 (7th Cir. Dec. 18, 2020), the Seventh Circuit vacates a conviction that the panel holds was “unacceptably coercive,” when the trial judge exposed a dissenting juror during a poll, then sent the jury back to deliberate at 9pm. The United States prosecuted a federal employee who was chargedContinue reading “Judge Who Returned Jury to Deliberate Over Holdout Juror’s Dissent Committed Plain Error Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 31, Holds Seventh Circuit”

Seventh Circuit Finds No Standing in Four FDCPA Appeals, Remands Fifth for Further Findings

On December 14 and 15, 2020, four different panels of the Seventh Circuit issued five published opinions, holding on various grounds that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege an injury under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016) … but holding in one case that there mightContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Finds No Standing in Four FDCPA Appeals, Remands Fifth for Further Findings”

Plaintiffs Run Out 150-Day Fail Safe Limit Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(c) to Appeal From MDL, Holds Seventh Circuit

In Bell v. Albertson Cos., Inc., No. 19-2581 (7th Cir. Dec. 7, 2020), a two-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit (after Judge Barrett’s elevation to the Supreme Court) reverses the district court’s dismissal of unfair business practice claims, but holds that two of the appeals are time-barred under Fed. R. Civ. P 58(c) and Fed.Continue reading “Plaintiffs Run Out 150-Day Fail Safe Limit Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(c) to Appeal From MDL, Holds Seventh 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”