Last week brought two significant appeals court victories for Washington Legal Foundation in cases in which we filed amicus briefs. The cases involved two highly contested civil-litigation issues: state-law liability for allegedly misleading food labeling and “fraudulent joinder.”
On March 24, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Kane v. Chobani, Inc.
Also on March 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an 11-4 en banc decision in Flagg v. Stryker Corp. WLF filed an amicus brief on January 11, 2016 urging the full circuit to reverse a previous decision by a three-judge Fifth Circuit panel. The legal question in Flagg was when could a federal district court refuse a plaintiff’s request that a lawsuit be remanded to state court where the plaintiff includes a defendant in the suit for the sole purpose of preventing diversity jurisdiction. WLF’s amicus brief explains the important federalism principles on which the doctrine of “fraudulent joinder” is based, and which the three-judge Fifth Circuit panel ignored in its Flagg decision. The en banc panel ruled that the improperly joined plaintiff did not deny the federal district court of subject-matter jurisdiction.