New opinions: a reversal on sua sponte grounds, plus two affirmances

Three published opinions today.

First up is an unusual case where CA3 reversed on a basis first noticed by the court itself. An employee sued this former federal employer, and the district court dismissed on statute-of-limitations grounds. After the employee appealed, CA3 ordered briefing on an issue he hadn’t raised, namely whether that statute-of-limitations applies, and today the court reversed on that basis.

The court declined to deem timeliness waived, even though the appellant hadn’t raised it in district court or his opening brief, because the issue was purely legal and important and the court gave the parties a full opportunity to brief it on appeal. As far as I can tell, the fact that the appellant missed the issue didn’t change his burden at all–since it wasn’t a total waiver, it was scot-free de novo. Surprising.

The case is Kannikal v. Attorney General. Opinion by Rendell, joined by Jordan and Nygaard. Arguing counsel were Faye Riva Cohen for the employer and Stephanie Marcus for the government.


Next up is an affirmance of summary judgment in an employee-discrimination appeal. The core issue was whether the employee had shown a causal connection between her protected activities and the employer’s adverse actions, and CA3 held that on the facts here she had not.

The case is Daniels v. School District. Opinion by Greenberg, joined by Vanaskie and Cowen. The case was decided without oral argument.


Today’s last case is a white-collar-criminal affirmance. The central holding is that the defendant’s purchases of US stocks “through U.S. market makers acting as intermediaries for foreign entities” were a valid basis for conviction and not an improper extraterritorial application of US law. The court also denied a raft of other claims.

The case is U.S. v. Georgiou. Opinion by Greenaway, joined by Chagares and Vanaskie. Arguing counsel were Scott Splittberger for the defendant and Louis Lappen for the government.