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”

Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That State Legislature Has Standing to Challenge Injunction of State Election Law

In Priorities USA v. Nessel, No. 20-1931 (6th Cir. Oct. 21, 2020), a 2-1 panel of the Sixth Circuit holds that the Michigan Legislature had standing to seek an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction of state election law when the state’s attorney general refrained from defending it. “Three voter-advocacy organizations challenged” a law “mandatingContinue reading “Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That State Legislature Has Standing to Challenge Injunction of State Election Law”

Admission of “Deeply Offensive Racist and Misogynistic” Audio of Co-Defendant at Criminal Trial Was Reversible Error, Holds Split Sixth Circuit Panel

In United States v. Hazelwood, No. 18-6023 (6th Cir. Oct. 14, 2020), a Sixth Circuit panel divides over whether it was error for the trial judge to admit “audio recordings in which one of the defendants … is heard using deeply offensive racist and misogynistic language.” The panel majority holds that it was inadmissible and,Continue reading “Admission of “Deeply Offensive Racist and Misogynistic” Audio of Co-Defendant at Criminal Trial Was Reversible Error, Holds Split Sixth Circuit Panel”

Sixth Circuit Dashes the Concept of a Rule 23 “Negotiating” Class

In In re Nat’l Prescription Opiate Litig., No. 19-4097 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2020), a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit rebuffs a novel attempt to certify a Rule 23 class in a massive multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding, solely for the purpose of giving the parties a vehicle for negotiating a global resolution. “The nationalContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Dashes the Concept of a Rule 23 “Negotiating” Class”

District Court That Defied Sixth Circuit to Reverse Criminal Sentence a Second Time Gets Fired from Case

In United States v. Schrank, No. 19-5903 (6th Cir. Sept. 14, 2020), the Sixth Circuit sets aside a criminal sentence for a second time, and remands for sentencing before a different judge. The defendant was convicted of downloading 1000 images of child pornography, which under the Sentencing Guidelines called for incarceration in the range ofContinue reading “District Court That Defied Sixth Circuit to Reverse Criminal Sentence a Second Time Gets Fired from Case”