U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

February 2013 News

Former Employee Won't Get 'Miller Time' in Court

If an employee sues his employer for discrimination, and is subsequently terminated, he can tack on an unlawful retaliation claim. He may not win, but he’ll probably get a chance to make his case.

Let’s tweak that scenario. If an employee sues his employer for discrimination, leaves the company to start his own business, and later doesn’t get a chance to pitch a software idea to the former employer, he doesn’t then get to sue for retaliation.

That seems pretty obvious, right? At least the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals thinks it is.

7th Cir. Denies Illinois Gun Law Rehearing Request

In December, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in a 2-1 decision that an Illinois ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.

In striking the law, Judge Richard Posner said that Illinois had to provide the court with more than merely a rational basis for asserting that its sweeping ban was justified by an increase in public safety. The court, however, stayed its ruling for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law.

The decision was controversial, particularly after the Sandy Hook school shooting that happened only three days later, but controversy isn't enough to guarantee en banc rehearing. Last week, the Seventh Circuit declined to reconsider its decision.

Are Inter-Department DOJ Communications Attorney Work Product?

Does the attorney work product privilege protect communications between Justice Department lawyers who are assigned to provide legal assistance to federal agencies that have conflicting interests?

The Seventh Circuit ruled this week that communications in such situations can be privileged.

Indiana Company Receives Temporary Birth Control Mandate Pass

A family-owned company in Indiana has won a temporary injunction against the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, Reuters reports.

In a split-panel decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated the case, Grote v. Sebelius, with its December decision in Korte v. Sebelius, and granted the Grote family's request to be exempted from the birth control mandate pending appeal.

Court Can Accept Lay Testimony for Witness Identification

Just as two heads can be better than one, two witnesses authenticating a recording can be better than one. But should Rule 701 or Rule 702 apply to a government witness when authenticating a suspect’s voice on a recording?

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reiterated this week that a sometime government expert can offer lay witness testimony to authenticate recordings.

Veluchamy v. FDIC: APA Claim Can't Seek Money Damages

It seems that the Veluchamy family just can't win. Literally.

The family behind the Harvey-based Mutual Bank lost control of their bank to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 2009. As a result of the FDIC-receivership, they also lost their priority claim to about $30 million dollars. And this week, the Veluchamys lost their Administrative Procedure Act (APA) appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

7th Circuit Opinion Is Right of Publicity Swan Song

It’s a tough world out there for a singing telegram performer.

For a start, did you realize that singing telegrams still existed? And then there’s the fact that it’s nearly impossible for telegram performers to control the distribution of their performances in the Internet age. Everyone has a camera phone.

Last week, the Seventh Circuit added to the singing telegrammer’s already-heavy burden, ruling in an unpublished opinion that a singer simply couldn’t survive summary judgment on her copyright infringement and right of publicity claims after a client recorded her performance.