U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

July 2013 Archives

Cooley Grads Lose Appeal, Unreasonably Relied on Stats

We could have disposed of this lawsuit much more quickly by asking whether anyone, with half a brain, could believe the claims of a law school that once released its own rankings, based on chairs, which placed the esteemed Cooley Law as the second-best school in the country.

Besides, we all sold our souls for legal careers, only to find that there were no careers upon graduating. Just because Cooley is shameless doesn't mean you were ripped off (legally).

Or you could take the long way, as the Sixth Circuit did, when, after pointing out Cooley's lowest-of-the-accredited admission standards and awful retention rate, it analyzed the case in light of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, as well as the elements of fraudulent misrepresentation, silent fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.

Clay County, Kentucky's Corrupt Set Free; Retrial to Follow?

Yesterday, we brought you first half of the tale of Clay County’s most corrupt — eight individuals who allegedly conspired to fix elections, were convicted, and now, years later, are being set free on the basis of erroneous evidentiary rulings.

In addition to the prejudicial evidence of pandemic drug cultivation and dealing throughout Clay County over the past few decades, which bore no direct connection to the voter fraud at issue, the court also made numerous other mistakes with evidence directly related to the charged offenses.

Clay County, Kentucky's Corrupt Set Free; Drugs and Voter Fraud

For decades, a group of local politicians allegedly conspired to buy and trade votes in order to control Clay County, Kentucky. The operation came to a halt when eight people were indicted in 2009, and many other alleged co-conspirators flipped and testified on the government’s behalf.

The court’s opinion sets forth the most recent version of the conspiracy, from 2002 to 2006, in detail. In some cases, voters would be paid and shuttled to the polls. Corrupt poll workers would to into the booths to “help” with the machines. In other cases, absentee ballots would be used to ensure that the candidates got what they paid for. When electric machines came to Clay County, votes would be changed by telling the voter that it was unnecessary to finalize their votes.

Breached Sign Sales Deal Brings Return of 1L Contracts

Advance Sign had deals with foodservice customers. Optec had electronic signs. Advance agreed to sell Optec signs exclusively and Optec agreed not to sell directly to Advance’s foodservice customers.

Simple enough, right?

After a pilot program with Sonic Restaurants showed increased sales, Optec negotiated directly with Sonic to sell signs, cutting Advance out of the deal. After lengthy negotiations, the parties agreed to a 12 percent commission on all sales resulting from the Advance-Optec relationship, including Sonic. Advance memorialized the terms in a letter, sent it to Optec, and received only minor non-substantive edits in response, which it corrected and sent back.

Optec never signed the letter, nor did they later uphold their end of the bargain.

Admin Law Basics: Exhaust Military Appeals Before Filing in Court

Commander Furniss Harkness is a Protestant Chaplain in the Unites States Navy Reserves. During his illustrious service in the Chaplain Corps, he has had a bit of a history of speaking his mind, including a prior lawsuit, filed, along with sixteen other non-liturgical Protestants in 2000, that claimed systemic denominational prejudice.

This time, Commander Harkness is miffed about a denied promotion. As one would expect, the Navy has a number of very specific procedures that must be followed when considering officers for promotions, including the formation of a selection board consisting, in part, of at least a single officer of the same classification as the candidate (i.e., another chaplain).

Harkness didn’t immediately leap to litigation. Instead, he petitioned the Secretary to convene a “special selection board” to reconsider the promotion. That request was denied. He also asked for an investigation of the original selection board itself, but that investigation yielded no evidence of wrongdoing.

Congo Refuses to Pay Bill, Wins on Sovereignty

The Sixth Circuit confirmed on Tuesday that countries like the Congo are generally immune from suit unless their commercial activities occur in or directly affect the U.S.

Triple A International, Inc. (no not the auto club, we checked) sued the Congo (formerly Zaire) for payment on military equipment Triple A had sold them in 1993.

Zaire (and now Congo) has refused to pay, and although this behavior is certainly not good for business, the Sixth Circuit confirmed that the Congo is immune from suit.