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Eighth Circuit Update

01 Feb 2016 9:59 AM | Anonymous

A Member Benefit of the Association of the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Issue No. 5
February, 2016

En Banc Watch

There were no en banc cases of note this month.

Eighth Circuit Cases in Washington

  • Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, No. 14-520 (status of spousal guarantor under Equal Credit Opportunity Act): argued Oct. 5, 2015
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146 (use of statistical techniques in class certification under Fair Labor Standards Act; certification of class that includes persons who were not injured): argued Nov. 10, 2015
  • Nebraska v. Parker, No. 14-1406 (boundaries of Omaha Indian Reservation): argued Jan. 20, 2016
  • CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375 (right of defendant to attorneys’ fees if Title VII case brought by EEOC is dismissed): in briefing stage; set for argument Mar. 28, 2016
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., No. 15-290 (availability of judicial review of determination under Clean Water Act that property includes “waters of the United States”): in briefing stage; set for argument Mar. 30, 2016
  • Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, No. 15-577 (permissibility under First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of exclusion of church from secular grant program): certiorari granted Jan. 15, 2016
  • Mathis v. United States, No. 15-6092 (qualification of predicate conviction under Armed Career Criminal Act): certiorari granted Jan. 19, 2016

Selected Cases Set for Argument

  • United States v. Federal Public Defender, No. 15-3199 (government’s ability to discover communications between defendant and public defender in connection with prior prosecution): set for argument Feb. 9, 2016 in St. Paul before Judges Smith, Colloton, and Erickson
  • Estate of Donegan v. Anesthesia Associates of Kansas City, No. 15-2420 (scienter standard under False Claims Act when governing regulation is ambiguous): set for argument Feb. 10, 2016 in Kansas City before Judges Riley, Loken, and Benton

Recent Notable Oral Arguments

John Watson, V vs. Air Methods Corporation, 15-1900 (E.D. Mo.), was argued Jan. 14, 2016, in St. Louis. The case involves whether a federal airline deregulation statute, and a federal statute intended to protect whistleblowers in the airline industry, pre-empt the ability of a medical crew member on high-speed air transport helicopter to pursue a claim under Missouri’s public-policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine, where the alleged public-policy violation was that plaintiff was fired for reporting violations of federal aviation regulations. The Honorable Ronnie L. White construed the Eighth Circuit’s 2002 decision in Botz v. Omni Air International as giving the Airline Deregulation Act, and the Whistle Blower Protection Program (“WPP”) of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act, pre-emptive effect, to preserve what the Botz decision called “the WPP’s single, uniform scheme for responding to air-carrier employees’ reports of air safety violations.” That pre-emptive effect, together with the absence of a private cause of action under the WPP Act, led Judge White to dismiss the suit under Rule 12(b)(6). The case was argued before Judges Wollman, Melloy, and Colloton.

Here is a link to the streaming audio version of the argument: http://media-oa.ca8.uscourts.gov/OAaudio/2016/1/151900.mp3 It may also be downloaded from this link: ftp://media-oa.ca8.uscourts.gov/OAaudio/2016/1/151900.mp3

The decision below is at http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020150407A17/Watson%20v.%20Air%20Methods%20Corporation

Events and News

  • District Judges Ralph Erickson (D.N.D.) and James Gritzner (S.D. Iowa) will sit with the Eighth Circuit during its February session in St. Paul.
  • The Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference will be held May 3-5, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Rogers, Ark.

Eighth Circuit Bar Association Information

  • On April 13, 2016, the Court will be sitting at the Old Courthouse (where the Dred Scott trial was held) in St. Louis.

Editors: Vince Chadick, Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC, Springdale, Ark. Katie Walsh, Office of the Missouri Attorney General, St. Louis, Mo.

Contributors: John Baker, Greene Espel PLLP, Minneapolis, Minn. Landon Magnusson, Lathrop & Gage LLP, Kansas City, Mo. Brian Walsh, Bryan Cave LLP, St. Louis, Mo.

Cases discussed in this Update may involve officers or directors of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association, editors or contributors to this Update, or their colleagues.

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