Over the course of the past two weeks, the Seventh Circuit has issued two separate opinions that limit the ability of state and local governments to craft their own labor law policy. In doing so, the court created a circuit split and raised an interesting question of the ability of the lower courts to disregard Supreme Court summary dispositions when the dispositions have arguably been undermined by later case law.
In Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, No. 15-1439 (Mar. 20, 2018), the Supreme Court recently held that certain federal securities-law claims could proceed in state courts—despite the narrowing effect of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) and the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA)—and that those claims were not removable to federal court under SLUSA’s removal provision. But Cyan leaves intact (for now, at least) Seventh Circuit law on the removal of 1933 Act claims under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
Those who follow the workings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit are no doubt accustomed to visiting the court’s website (http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov) to read the daily release of published opinions or to listen to the court’s audio recordings of oral arguments. The former are available here; the latter are available here and normally are posted in the afternoon, a few hours after that morning’s oral arguments.
Court watchers now have a new option available from the Seventh Circuit: video of certain oral arguments. The court reviewed the practices of other courts around the country that video-recorded their oral arguments, and, on May 1, 2018, it adopted Operating Procedure 11, which allows for a “request for video-recording” to “be submitted to the Clerk of the Court not later than one week before oral argument.” The Operating Procedure further provides an opportunity for the parties to object and leaves the decision in the “sole discretion” of the argument panel. (The Operating Procedure notes that “[t]he panel will normally deny the request if one member objects.”)
Collier v. SP Plus Corp., a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, presented the “unusual circumstance” where both the plaintiffs and the defendant argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue under Article III. No. 17-2431 (7th Cir. May 14, 2018). The court issued its opinion per curiam; Judges Daniel Manion, David Hamilton, and Amy Barrett were on the panel.
This unusual alignment arose because the defendant, SP Plus, had removed the case from Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois, where it was filed, and then argued in federal court that the plaintiffs’ case should be dismissed for lack of standing. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois agreed and dismissed the case with prejudice, but the plaintiffs maintained that, without standing to sue under Article III, their case should not have been removed in the first place.
If your work involves civil litigation in Wisconsin, you’ve likely run across Wis. Stat. § 893.07, the state’s borrowing statute, which governs the application of foreign statutes of limitations to cases filed in Wisconsin. And, if you’ve had the occasion to consider § 893.07, you should make a note to remember Paynter v. ProAssurance Ins. Co., No. 2017AP739 (Mar. 27, 2018), a recent decision from District III of the Court of Appeals written by Judge Lisa Stark. The decision reached a number of important holdings related to the statute and, if we had to make a prediction, is likely to be reviewed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.