Weekly Case Digests July 22, 2019 July 26, 2019.


7th Circuit Digests

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Kent Morgan

Case No.: 18-2751

Officials: RIPPLE, ROVNER, and BARRETT, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Double Jeopardy

The jury deciding Kent Morgan's fate had no trouble concluding that he had possessed the 86.5 grams of methamphetamine that he conceded he tossed over the heads of inquisitive law enforcement officers in the Peoria airport on January 7, 2016. But the jury could not come to an agreement as to whether the government proved that he possessed that methamphetamine with the intent to deliver it. They declared themselves deadlocked on that issuethe one actually charged in the indictmentbut found him guilty of the lesser included offense of possession of methamphetamine. Morgan now argues that his Fifth Amendment right to be free from double jeopardy was violated by the government's second attempt to convict him of possession with intent to deliver. In the course of making that claim, he also asserts other improprieties in his trial. In the end we find only harmless errors and no violation of double jeopardy resulting after the deadlocked jury could not come to a conclusion on the indicted count. We therefore affirm the decision of the district court.


Full Text


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: George Kiebala v. Derek Boris

Case No.: 17-3233

Officials: EASTERBROOK, HAMILTON, and SCUDDER, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Court Error Statute of Limitations

Plaintiff-appellant George Kiebala appeals from the dismissal of his complaint against defendant-appellee Derek Boris. Kiebala contends the district court abused its discretion in failing to suggest how Kiebala, who represented himself in the district court, could amend his complaint to avoid dismissal. He also argues that the district court erred in holding that his libel claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

We affirm. District judges do not have an affirmative duty to coach or second-guess the choices that parties, even pro se parties, make about how to litigate their cases. We also agree with the district court that the applicable Illinois statute of limitations bars Kiebala's libel claim.


Full Text


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Emmis Communications Corporation v. Illinois National Insurance Company

Case No.: 18-3392

Officials: FLAUM, MANION, and BARRETT, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Insurance Claim Coverage

Emmis Communications Corporation bought two insurance policies, each from a different provider. From Chubb Insurance Company, it purchased a directors-and-officers liability policy for the period of October 1, 2009, to October 1, 2010. Emmis later bought a second insurance policy, this time from Illinois National Insurance Company. This policy covered liability from October 1, 2011, to October 1, 2012. It had an exclusion for any losses in connection with "Event(s)," which included "[a]ll notices of claim of circumstances as reported under policy 8181-0068 issued to Emmis Corporation by Chubb Insurance Companies."

Both parties sought summary judgmentEmmis arguing that coverage was appropriate, and Illinois National arguing that the policy's complex exclusion provisions prevented coverage. Among the disputes was the meaning of "as reported." Illinois National argued that this provision excluded all notices that were reported to Chubb at any timewhich of course would include the notice in dispute. Emmis, on the other hand, claimed that it excluded only those notices that had been reported at the time that the policy went into effect two years before this notice was reported.

The district court entered summary judgment for Emmis on its claim for breach of contract. It rejected each of Illinois National's theories under the language of the exclusion, including its interpretation of the "as reported" language. It concluded that, while both interpretations were reasonable, Emmis's was better. The court thought that the past tense of "as reported" must "refer[] to events that had already occurred at the time of drafting." It bolstered its holding by invoking the rule favoring coverage when multiple reasonable readings of an insurance policy might apply. See Bradshaw v. Chandler, 916 N.E.2d 163, 166 (Ind. 2009).

On appeal, the parties briefed many legal issues arising from the Byzantine exclusion language. But we can resolve this case on a single issue: the meaning of "as reported." We disagree with the district court's opinion; Illinois National's proposed interpretation is correct. The phrase has no discernable temporal limitations. Once Emmis or one of its agents reports a claim to Chubb, at any time, then that claim is "reported"and so is excluded. The timing of the report is irrelevant. Emmis acknowledged in its brief that it did in fact re- port its claim to Chubb. That resolves our inquiry.

The exclusion applies, so summary judgment should have been entered in favor of Illinois National. The judgment of the district court is REVERSED and REMANDED for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Reversed and remanded

Full Text


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Richard A. Clark, et al. v. Sierra International Machinery, LLC

Case No.: 18-3034...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT