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.