Legal Issues

What is "standing"? What is "Article III Standing"? How is that different from the "real party in interest" under Rule 17?

Below is an excerpt of a brief I filed in the Sixth Circuit in 2015 explaining the relationship between Article III Standing and the defense under Civil Rule 17 that a party is not the real party in interest.  In particular, it deals with the allegation that the injured plaintiff had sold its right to sue.  For further information, you can access the reply brief and supplemental brief I filed in this case, and the audio of my oral argument.

Our client (a paving company) received a $15.6 million jury verdict in its favor, but the trial judge concluded that our client lacked Article III Standing, which eliminated the verdict entirely.  In a unanimous opinion, the Sixth Circuit reversed, reinstating the verdict and awarding interest.  The case ultimately settled for $24 million.  The excerpts regarding the interplay of Article III Standing and Rule 17 are below.  The case is Cranpark, Inc. v. Rogers Group, Inc., Nos. 14-3753/14-3832.  Trial counsel who obtained the $15.6 million verdict were Michael Pasternak and Jonathan Yarger. 

Police shootings, "reaching for waistbands," summary judgment, and the right to a jury trial.

In October 2016, I filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston, No. 16-515, seeking review of a decision of the Fifth Circuit.  Excerpts of the petition are below.  The City of Houston waived a response, but the Supreme Court requested one.  The City then filed its Brief in Opposition, and we filed a Reply Brief.  

The case involves basic questions of summary judgment under Rule 56--in essence, when is a person entitled to a jury trial?  It also involves a frequent issue that arises in police shootings: How does the judicial system account for the officer's claim that he shot the person because the person allegedly "reached for his waistband"?


When a police officer shoots an unarmed person in the back and the person testifies that he was merely walking away when shot, may a court grant summary judgment to the officer in a suit for excessive force by concluding that it is an “undisputed fact” that the person reached for his waistband just because the officer said he did?