U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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Court: Plaintiff Can't Prove Benzene Caused Leukemia

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down a leukemia victim who said a refinery gave her cancer.

In Hall v. Conoco, Samantha Hall sued Conoco for strict liability and negligence, alleging the company's refinery emitted cancer-causing benzene into the air where she grew up. A trial judge excluded her expert witness, however, saying the doctor's opinion was unreliable.

The expert said benzene particles potentially caused her disease, but did not rule out an unknown cause of the cancer. So it turns out what you don't know really can hurt you.

10th Cir. Dismisses Class Toxic Tort Claims for Lack of Standing

Noting that a reasonable concern of injury does not satisfy the need to plead an actual or imminent injury, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court dismissal of a class action suit against an industrial defendant. The ruling was with prejudice, too.

As any practitioner knows, causation must be alleged in order to support a cause of action. This seems to be something that the plaintiffs' lawyer forgot in this case.

10th Cir. OKs Exclusion of 700 Pages of Nonconforming Docs

Calling something a legal "technicality" is like calling a judge an "activist" or, in George Orwell's formulation, anyone a "fascist." The word doesn't mean anything except "I don't like that person." In the law, "technicality" just means "I lost."

The Tenth Circuit emphasized the importance of process, though, as it decided a district court in Kansas was correct in refusing to consider 700 pages of documents not filed in compliance with local rules.

From the 10th: the 2 Most Boring SCOTUS Grants of the Term (So Far)

We're sorry to have to do this. We'll try to minimize your agony. But be warned: These are the two least interesting cases currently on the Supreme Court's docket, and the only two cases to come out of the Tenth Circuit (so far).

What are talking about? Sufficient fact pleading for removal of massive class action lawsuits to federal court and some barely comprehensible case involving the federal Tax Injunction Act and the ability of federal courts to hear non-taxpayers' complaints about a state reporting law that is a "secondary aspect of state tax administration."

Actually, on second thought, these are kind of interesting ... in a "law school casebook fodder/exam torture" sort of way.

10th Cir.'s Proposed Rule Changes Include Electronic Appendices

Rule changes are never exciting. (Heck, I fell asleep four times reviewing these.) But rule changes are important. Why? Because if you file a printed addendum instead of an appendix, Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe will leave Lawrence, Kansas, get into her car, drive to your office, and kick you in your appendix. Or something like that.

The rule changes include Fed-wide changes to bankruptcy appeals, as well as tweaks to the local rules for appendices and other housecleaning.

The Supreme Court released its order list Monday, and two notable cases originating in the Tenth Circuit were on it.

One case deals with a procedural issue, and seeks clarification on the pleading requirements for seeking removal to federal court. In the other case, the Court was asked to weigh in on whether New Mexico's public accommodations statute violated the First Amendment's prohibition on compelling speech.

Here's a breakdown of the two cases:

3 Electronic Filing Tips for the Utah District Court

For new attorneys practicing in the Utah District Court, it's essential to have a good handle on using the electronic case filling (ECF) system.

If you've practiced in the Tenth Circuit, you're probably e-filed before, but each court has its own unique rules.

Here are three tips for using the CM/ECF system in the Utah District Court, according to the local rules:

3 Quick Tips For New 10th Circuit Attorneys

For the new batch of appellate attorneys being sworn in this year, here are a few quick tips for practicing in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Moot court was enough to make some palms sweat, but appearing before the second-highest court level in the U.S. is a huge step up. When you get consumed by the bigger picture, like your argument or clients, it's easy to forget the little things.

These three tips on the little things might help you avoid that "doh!" moment.

I will be the first to admit that procedure is just not my thing. I like studying issues pertaining to Constitutional law and civil rights. Procedure? Meh. For example, when learning about res judicata in law school, I had to invoke "The Lion King" and sang res judicata to the tune of "Hakuna Matata" just to keep myself from falling asleep.

So, if at any point while reading this you feel the same urge, please feel free to join me in singing (or humming).

So why this case? Because it has the best opening line ever: "The trouble began when Javier and Jesus Carranza approached a dancer at a strip club and offered to pay her for sex." (Oh, and when your editor assigns you a post, you do it).

Colorado Federal Court Offers ECF System Training

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado is offering in-person and online training for its Electronic Case Files (ECF) system.

Like many other jurisdictions, e-filing your federal court documents is pretty much mandatory in Colorado unless there's an exceptional circumstance, according the district court's website.

The ECF training is open to attorneys and law firm staff members, including paralegals and law clerks.