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

November 2013 Archives

Sixth Circuit to Review TheDirty Bengals Cheerleader CDA Case

This case has everything: a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, who slept with (and later became engaged to) a student, sued a gossip website over posts submitted by users claiming that she had multiple sexually transmitted diseases and that she had slept with the entire Bengals football team.

Yes, that's a very loaded sentence, as is the case. Actually, check that: this wouldn't be a loaded case, were it not for a district court judge misapplying the Communications Decency Act of 1996, a law which has unanimously (at least, outside of this single Kentucky-based federal court) been interpreted as protecting websites from being sued for user-submitted content.

Take Your Beating! Prosecutor Can't Vindictively Increase Charges

If at first you don't succeed, don't try again?

A pair of brothers, Daniel and David LaDeau, allegedly exchanged coded messages while David was in jail. The messages contained information on how to obtain and conceal child pornography. Police obtained a warrant and searched Daniel's home, where they found USB flash drives containing child pornography.

Daniel was charged with one count of possessing child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(A)), an offense which carried up to 10 years in prison. It should have been a slam-dunk case, but the actions of investigators, who threatened to reveal the allegations to Daniel's ill wife, moments before she was headed into life-threatening surgery, led the district court to suppress the evidence.

Federal Defender's Name, Reputation, Sanctions Cleared

After reading the Sixth Circuit's lengthy reversal of sanctions orders by District Court Judge John Adams, you seriously have to wonder: what's got his knickers in a twist?

As the court noted, "this case began with a government attorney's unauthorized filing of a motion for sanctions." The overzealous district attorney, after an email argument over a mutual mistake about redacted information in the discovery files, asked for sanctions due to alleged abuses of the discovery process. He later reversed course, and asked for the matter to be dropped, as his supervisors never approved the request for sanctions. In fact, all throughout the multiple sanctions hearings and the appeal, the government has opposed sanctions.

But despite the government's stance, Judge Adams ordered sanctions and a public reprimand against Federal Defender Debra Migdal. A year and a half later, the Sixth Circuit hopes that its order will "remove[] any taint of public censure on her reputation."

LexisNexis's Arbitration Clause is 'Adhesive' Yet Enforceable

The arbitration clause is "one-sided," "adhesive," "favors LexisNexis at every turn, and as a practical matter makes it practically unfeasible" to assert individual claims, as it requires arbitration to be brought in Dayton, Ohio, where LexisNexis is located. Oh, and it also requires the customer to split the tab and cover his own legal fees, regardless of the case outcome.

So why did the Sixth Circuit just enforce such an arguably (but not legally) unconscionable clause? Blame the Supreme Court.

Case Western Dean Takes Leave After Complaints Get Juicier

And they say nothing exciting happens in Cleveland.

A couple weeks ago, we relayed a few salacious rumors about Case Western Reserve University School of Law Dean Lawrence Mitchell's semi-extra-curricular interests. According to a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled professor and former associate dean, as well as a flyer distributed at a recent university event, Dean Mitchell had allegedly been carrying on sexual relationships with students, lawyers, and staff members.

Those rumors got even more salacious last week, with Professor Raymond Ku filing an amended complaint on Halloween. Dean Mitchell announced a leave of absence this morning.