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

January 2014 Archives

Stop and Frisk Ok'd for Man at Scene of Burglary With Beer, Gun

The police get a call. Someone is banging on the windows and trying to break into a house.

They respond. A guy is outside, holding a beer, and knocking on the door. He says that he is "here for [his] people." The police ask him to stop, frisk him, and find a .38 caliber revolver. Except he was there for his people, as in to help his people.

And he was a felon in possession of a firearm.

The Curious Marijuana Case of USA v. Gerald and Jeremy Duval

What kind of legal curiosities can arise when state and federal law conflict on the legality of cultivating medical marijuana?

Try this one: a marijuana-cultivating family in Michigan, which complied with state law regarding growing marijuana as caretakers (as for their sales... we'll get to that), was prosecuted in federal court using evidence obtained from a state court-issued warrant that was arguably invalid under state law.

Got all that?

Was Ret. Judge Martin, The Liberal Lion, Lying? Case Sent to DOJ

At the time of his abrupt retirement last August, former Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Boyce Martin stated, "I want to go out at the top of my game rather than having to be carried up and down from the bench."

Allow us to amend that, with recent allegations in mind: "I want to go out at the top of my game rather than having to be carried up and down from the bench [in handcuffs]."

That's better. Now, what scandal forced the "liberal lion" off the bench, and possibly into the defendant's chair?

Judge Benchslapped: Failed to Recuse Juror in Child Porn Case

Things are a bit clearer in the rear view mirror.

When a judge is presiding over a trial, and a juror swears, under oath, that he can't bear to look at the child porn that will be presented at evidence, and he had previously given indications that he couldn't be fair and impartial, you recuse him, right?

It seems clear in retrospect. It seemed clear to the Sixth Circuit court too, which issued an opinion subtly benchslapping the trial judge and reversing the conviction.

It's (Allegedly) a Milk Price Fixing Conspiracy!

Dean Foods and Suiza were the two largest bottlers and processors of milk in the United States. In 2001, they merged, with the approval of the Department of Justice.

The DOJ, however, required certain concessions to be made. The new Dean Foods would have to divest a handful of plants to the Dairy Farmers of America (a cooperative) and the two entities would have to agree to supply contracts that allowed DFA to supply Dean with milk for some of its plants.

The divested plants, as well as five others, were combined into a new competing company, National Dairy Holdings, which was owned by two former Suiza executives, a former business partner of DFA's chief executive officer, and DFA itself, which owned 50 percent of the company and had veto rights.