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Seventh Circuit Review

Current Issue

Volume 9, Issue 2 (Spring 2014)

Introduction (contains Table of Contents, Masthead, About the Seventh Circuit Review, and Preface)

Civil Procedure

Laundry and Cable Television: How the Seventh Circuit Preserved Consumer Protection Class Action Litigation from Washing Down the Tubes
Stephen D. Pauwels
9 Seventh Circuit Rev. 234 (2014) [Full Article]  [Audio Synopsis]

Abstract: Class actions are an essential tool for plaintiffs seeking relief from relatively minor harms. In recent years, the Supreme Court has handed down a collection of rulings that seem to have created additional hurdles––or heightened those already in place––to obtaining class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23. One such ruling, Comcast v. Behrend, seemed to have enhanced the predominance requirement and thus raised speculation from various commentators about the ability of plaintiffs to bring class actions where resolution of liability and damages questions are raised for the entire class. [Read more...]

Constitutional Law

Judge Posner Got It Right: Requiring Abortion Doctors to Have Hospital Admitting Privileges Places an Undue Burden on a Woman Seeking an Abortion
Kelly K. Koss
9 Seventh Circuit Rev. 263 (2014) [Full Article]  [Audio Synopsis]

Abstract: Anti-abortion activists have sought to undermine and restrict a woman's right to choose ever since 1992, when the Supreme Court replaced Roe v. Wade's strict scrutiny analysis with the looser undue burden test in Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Under Casey's undue burden test, a state regulation cannot have the "purpose or effect of placing a significant obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus." However, the Casey Court failed to define the types of regulations that would run afoul of the undue burden test and create a "substantial obstacle" in the path of a woman seeking an abortion. [Read more...]

Criminal Law

Yes, We Were Wrong; No, We Will Not Make It Right: The Seventh Circuit Denies Post-Conviction Relief from an Undisputed Sentencing Error Because It Occurred in the Post-Booker, Advisory Guidelines Era
Gregory S. Dierdorf
9 Seventh Circuit Rev. 301 (2014) [Full Article]  [Audio Synopsis]

Abstract: Federal courts disfavor granting collateral relief from final criminal judgments. This mentality is premised on a need for finality in the criminal process; the idea that, at some point, a criminal case must come to an end. Post-conviction relief is available, however, where an error in the trial court causes a miscarriage of justice that must be remedied to preserve the integrity of the criminal justice system. [Read more...]


Don't Break the Safety Valve's Heart: How the Seventh Circuit Superimposes Substantial Assistance on the Mandatory Minimum Safety Valve's Complete Truthful Disclosure Requirement
Adrienne N. Kitchen
9 Seventh Circuit Rev. 328 (2014) [Full Article]  [Audio Synopsis]

Abstract: Congress passed the safety valve to mitigate the disparate and often harsh sentences mandatory minimums impose on low-level drug defendants. But judicial interpretation continues to impose disparate sentences. In 2014, in United States v. Acevedo-Fitz, the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed its position in an ongoing circuit split regarding the safety valve. The safety valve requires defendants to meet five criteria, the fifth—sometimes called the heart of the safety valve—requires defendants provide complete truthful disclosure to prosecutors prior to sentencing. Judges interpret this requirement as imposing a burden on defendants to prove they met all five criteria without requiring the government to prove a defendant failed to provide complete truthful disclosure. [Read more...]

Employment Law

Conference, Conciliation, and Persuasion: The Seventh Circuit's Groundbreaking Approach to Analyzing the EEOC's Pre-Suit Obligations
Lisa M. DeLeon
9 Seventh Circuit Rev. 370 (2014) [Full Article]  [Audio Synopsis]

Abstract: In EEOC v. Mach Mining, LLC, the Seventh Circuit sharply diverged with its sister circuits when it held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)'s statutorily mandated conciliation process is immune from judicial review. In Mach Mining, the Seventh Circuit addressed the provision contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that requires the EEOC to engage in "informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion" with an employer before it can file a discrimination lawsuit against that employer. These pre-suit negotiations, or "conciliation," provide an opportunity for the EEOC to reach an out-of-court agreement with an employer without seeking judicial remedy. Although Title VII requires that conciliation occur before the EEOC can file its lawsuit, the Seventh Circuit held that the EEOC's conciliation process is not—and should not be—subject to any level of judicial review. In other words, courts may not conduct any investigation whatsoever into any aspect of the EEOC's conciliation efforts. [Read more...]

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