The Seventh Circuit recently issued two opinions with interesting evidentiary issues. We wrote about the multiple levels of hearsay in Jordan v. Binns, No. 11-2134 (7th Cir. Apr. 4, 2013), last week. And, this week, the court’s decision in Lees v. Carthage College, No. 11-3061 (7th Cir. Apr. 16, 2013), reversed part of a district court’s decision about the admissibility of an expert’s testimony.
To update our earlier post on this case: The Court took no action on Elmbrook School District’s cert petition in its April 15, 2013 order. The case has been relisted for the April 19, 2013 conference. You can access the Court’s docket for the case here. If the Court decides the petition this time, it will issue its decision on an Orders List released on the following Monday around 8:30 a.m. Central Time.
During its conference this Friday, April 12, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider Elmbrook School District’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking reversal of a decision issued last summer by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Doe v. Elmbrook School District, 687 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2012).Continue reading this entry
The Seventh Circuit has a gift for lawyers looking to brush up on the Federal Rules of Evidence. It comes wrapped as last week’s decision in Jordan v. Binns, No. 11-2134 (7th Cir. Apr. 4, 2013), where the court examined multiple levels of hearsay. Given its evocation of a law-school exam, it was fitting that the court heard argument at IU-Bloomington’s law school.
What is “excusable neglect” under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1)? The answer is that it depends, but generally it’s not much. That’s the first lesson from the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in In re Canopy Financial, Inc., No. 12-3239 (7th Cir. Feb. 28, 2013). The second is that what happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas — particularly when it’s the consequences of spending over $80,000 of someone else’s money in a few nights at TAO, a Las Vegas nightclub at the Venetian “boast[ing] a 40-foot-long outside terrace with stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip, gorgeous go-go dancers, state-of-the-art audio and lighting systems, and two main rooms each featuring varying music formats” (according to TAO’s website).
In the course of deciding that malpractice cases against patent lawyers belong in state courts (when there is no diversity of citizenship), the United States Supreme Court has issued an important ruling on the scope of “federal question” jurisdiction over claims arising under state law. Gunn v. Minton, No. 11-1118 (Feb. 20, 2013).
Last year, around this time in fact, we wrote about the Federal Arbitration Act and the effect of AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), on an argument under Wisconsin law about the unconscionability of an arbitration clause that waived a right to classwide proceedings. That case was Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. v. Estes, 2012 WI App 12, and, after an order from Wisconsin’s Supreme Court summarily disposing of the petition for review in the wake of Concepcion, the court of appeals held that the FAA preempted the unconscionability argument, ensuring that those arbitration clauses would be enforceable. Now Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has another opportunity to address Concepcion and FAA preemption in a recent certification from Wisconsin’s court of appeals.Continue reading this entry
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Communications Network Int’l, Ltd. v. MCI WorldCom Communications, Inc., a 2-1 decision issued on January 24, dismissed an appeal as untimely because the putative appellant’s lawyer failed to update his email address in the district court’s ECF system when he changed firms. There’s an important lesson about diligence for all lawyers in this.
With the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari on November 26, 2012, in Del Marcelle v. Brown County Corp., No. 12-367, the Seventh Circuit’s inability to resolve the standard by which class-of-one equal-protection claims should be assessed will likely persist for some time. The Seventh Circuit had heard the case en banc to resolve the conflicted case law, hoping to determine whether a class-of-one claim requires pleading malicious or wrongful motivation and to agree on an improved standard, but the en banc court failed in its quest, affirming by an evenly divided court. 680 F.3d 887 (7th Cir. 2012).
June’s decision from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Estate of Kriefall v. Sizzler contains a brief exposition on fees that’s worth noting.