Sixth Circuit Grants Initial Hearing En Banc in Review of Tennessee Abortion Law, Over Dissent of Six Judges

In Bristol Regional Women’s Center, PC v. Slatery, No. 20-6267 (6th Cir. Apr. 9, 2021), the Sixth Circuit took the unusual step under Fed. R. App. P. 35(a) of granting initial hearing en banc of a challenge to Tennessee’s abortion waiting period law. A prior three-judge panel had denied the state’s motion for a stayContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Grants Initial Hearing En Banc in Review of Tennessee Abortion Law, Over Dissent of Six Judges”

Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That A Federal Civil Litigant Has An Equal Protection Right to a Jury Deliberation Free of Racial Bias

In Harden v. Hillman, No. 20-5056 (6th Cir. Apr. 6, 2021), a split panel vacates and remands a defense verdict in a § 1983 case, where a juror testified post-trial that other jurors engaged in racial stereotyping during deliberations. The plaintiff, who is Black, claimed excessive force against Officer Hillman, who allegedly roughed him upContinue reading “Split Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That A Federal Civil Litigant Has An Equal Protection Right to a Jury Deliberation Free of Racial Bias”

Sixth Circuit Holds Computer-Generated Log of Faxes Were Not Hearsay, But Were Properly Excluded for Lack of Authentication

In Lyngaas v. Curaden AG, No. 20-1199 (6th Cir. Mar. 24, 2021), a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action, the court affirms the district court’s orders concerning the admissibility of a summary-report log that purportedly identified the class members who were called. The class action alleged that the defendants faxed unsolicited ads to thousandsContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Holds Computer-Generated Log of Faxes Were Not Hearsay, But Were Properly Excluded for Lack of Authentication”

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”

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”

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”

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”