Michael de Leeuw was featured in a Q&A held by the National Law Journal discussing Cozen O'Connor being named to the NLJ 2020 Appellate Hot List.
Cozen O’Connor’s nationally ranked appellate practice — named to the National Law Journal’s 2020 Appellate Hot List — represents clients in the U.S. Supreme Court and in federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. Our appellate lawyers help guide clients through all stages of the appellate process, but our work often begins pre-appeal. We collaborate with trial teams at all stages of litigation, including during and prior to trial, pre- and post-verdict, and throughout the appellate process.
The firm’s attorneys have successfully handled appellate matters in such diverse legal areas as constitutional law, class actions, antitrust, securities, contract law, business torts, labor and employment, medical device and drug litigation, toxic torts, intellectual property, insurance coverage, subrogation, professional liability, health care, and white collar criminal defense. Our appellate lawyers work closely with our clients, our trial teams, and experts to deliver excellent results. We also represent our clients and related trade organizations in filing amicus briefs on important issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts throughout the country.
There are only limited opportunities to make the winning arguments to an appellate court — a few briefs and oral argument — so experience, big-picture strategic thinking, and foresight are key to appellate success. We understand that appealing a trial court ruling is often a high-stakes proposition with the potential for a business-altering result. With this in mind, we never lose sight of our clients’ business goals and realities.
One example of Cozen O’Connor’s appellate prowess is our victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in a groundbreaking First Amendment case, representing the appellant in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck. The dispute centered on questions of private versus governmental activity and who can be sued under the First Amendment. Convincing the Court to grant certiorari presented a significant challenge, and our team made key strategy decisions at that stage that not only persuaded the Court to take the case, but led directly to the victory. In that case, as in all appeals we handle, our focus was on framing the issue and keeping the Court focused on our framework, regardless of the other side’s repositioning. A perfectly presented appeal does not ask judges to wrestle with a decision, but rather asks them to endorse an inexorable conclusion.
Cozen O’Connor’s appellate team includes more than 40 attorneys around the country with significant appellate experience. They have collectively handled hundreds of appellate matters, authored important amicus briefs on behalf of industry groups and other interested parties, served in prestigious judicial clerkships, authored law review articles, served on law review editorial boards, and participated in numerous court-related committees. This level of professional and academic activity keeps our attorneys on the cutting edge of trends in the appellate courts, which, in turn, allows us to offer our clients superb service and prescient strategic advice.
Handle all types of appellate matters in any appellate forum
Analyze the record, supporting documents, and relevant law to advise clients and develop appellate strategies that ensure the most compelling legal arguments are raised to an appellate court
Provide advice on potential interlocutory appeals
Draft persuasive and comprehensive appellate briefs and other appellate documents
Present compelling oral arguments
Advise trial counsel prior to and during trial to ensure the proper identification and preservation of appellate issues
Draft compelling amicus curiae briefs that are never mere rehashes of the parties’ arguments
April 29, 2021
Stephen Miller and Jonathan Ciriello contributed an article to The Legal Intelligencer discussing how change is coming to the NCAA’s amateurism model.
March 03, 2021
Stephen Miller and Rohan Mohanty contributed an article to The Legal Intelligencer discussing the U.S. Supreme Court case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia.
September 21, 2020
Jason Barsanti discusses the Eleventh Circuit's decision in Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC.
August 07, 2020
Michael de Leeuw and Tamar Wise contributed an article to the ACC New York City Chapter newsletter discussing issues associated with personal jurisdiction and the Internet.
June 24, 2020
Michael de Leeuw and Tamar Wise contributed an article to The National Law Journal discussing the constitutional limits on infringements on religious gatherings.
June 22, 2020
Tom Wilkinson and Ryan Kelly discuss the firm's recent win before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
July 11, 2019
Michael B. de Leeuw and Tamar Wise contributed an article to Silicon Valley Business Journal discussing the Manhattan Community Access Center v. Halleck (MCAC) case.
October 16, 2017
Nicole Sprinzen and Thomas Ingalls discuss the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari and a forthcoming decision on the specific question of whether law enforcement authorities can use the SCA to obtain a third party’s foreign-stored electronic information under the SCA’s warrant provision.
June 13, 2016
Melissa O’Loughlin White discusses a unanimous decision by the Washington Supreme Court that rejected the policyholder’s arguments that certain provisions in a “Vacancy or Unoccupancy” endorsement were ambiguous and must be construed in favor of coverage.
January 30, 2016
Stephen Miller and Stephen Kempa co-wrote this article discussing the extraterritorial application of U.S. law in the contect of RICO, which U.S. Supreme Court will return to this term.
November 12, 2015
Stephen Miller and Leigh Ann Benson discuss Spokeo v. Robins, an appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit raising the question whether Congress may create an “injury-in-fact” simply from the violation of a federal statute.
October 08, 2015
Stephen Miller discusses some of the cases that will occupy the Supreme Court justices’ attention for the next few months.
June 10, 2015
Stephen Miller and Arthur Fritzinger discuss Obergefell v. Hodges, which the Supreme Court will decide later this month.
May 14, 2015
Stephen Miller and Diana Lin discuss the Supreme Court’s examination of a facial Fourth Amendment challenge to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 41.49, which authorized law enforcement officers to routinely inspect hotel guest registers without exigent circumstances, probable cause, or judicial supervision.
April 09, 2015
In an article titled “US Supreme Court Considers Religious Accommodations,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses an important case regarding employers' obligations to accommodate employees' religious practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Must the employer have actual knowledge that the applicant or employee requires a religious accommodation, or does a hunch suffice? And must that knowledge come from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee, or can it come from some other source? The justices will try to answer these questions in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores.
March 12, 2015
In an article titled “US Supreme Court Confronts Testimony in Child Abuse Cases,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Kathryn Young, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss how child abuse cases are difficult to prosecute because there are often few witnesses and those witnesses are often very young. The question whether those young witnesses must testify about their abuse in court, therefore, has great practical and constitutional importance.
February 12, 2015
In an article titled ''Justices Eye Hierarchy of Protected Speech in Street Sign Case,'' Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Leigh Ann Benson, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to overhaul its First Amendment jurisprudence. The Town of Gilbert's sign ordinance was challenged by Good News Community Church and its pastor, Clyde Reed. Good News is a relatively small congregation in Gilbert that meets weekly for fellowship and worship. The church views its signs as ideological while the town considers them to be directional – a distinction that has significant practical effects. Although it seems likely Gilbert's ordinance will be struck down, the more interesting question is whether five Justices will unite around a far-reaching opinion that revamps the court's First Amendment jurisprudence.
January 15, 2015
In an article titled “U.S. Supreme Court Analyzes Pregnancy Discrimination,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Jessica Hurst, an associate in the Labor & Employment Department, discuss Young v. United Parcel Services, in which the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the appropriate standard to apply in determining whether an employer has violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. More specifically, the court will determine under what circumstances pregnant employees are entitled to work accommodations that are provided to their non-pregnant coworkers.
December 29, 2014
In an article titled “Social Media Posts Take Center Stage at U.S. Supreme Court,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Alexa Sebia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss United States v. Elonis, in which the U.S. Supreme Court will attempt to define when comments made on social media platforms cross the line from protected free speech to criminal activity. The case arose in our own Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Anthony Elonis posted violent rap lyrics and graphic messages on Facebook about his estranged wife, co-workers and an FBI agent. The communications were objectively threatening, but the relevant question is whether that speech is protected if the government cannot prove that the speaker intended to act on the threat.
December 24, 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently denied class certification in a consumer fraud case. In Grandalski v. Quest Diagnostics, No. 13-4329 ((3d. Cir. Sept. 11, 2014), the court affirmed a trial court order denying certification of a nationwide class of consumers allegedly overcharged by the defendant. The opinion is instructional on current class action law and underscores the rigor with which trial courts are expected to analyze motions for class certification.
December 04, 2014
In an article titled “U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Federal Procedure Questions,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Stephen Kempa, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss several U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with important issues in the area of federal practice and procedure.
November 09, 2014
In an article titled “Supreme Court Takes on Knowledge Standard in Securities Suits,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Kaitlin DiNapoli, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, in which shareholders invoked the securities laws to sue Omnicare for proclaiming in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registration statement that its contracts with drug companies were lawful. This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will explore the pleading standard necessary to proceed on such a securities claim: May the plaintiffs merely allege that such a statement was objectively wrong, or must the plaintiffs also allege that the speaker did not believe that the statement was true?
November 06, 2014
In an article titled “Supreme Court Addresses Treatment of Incriminating Evidence,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Michael O’Donnell, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss two cases that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide in the coming months relating to incriminating evidence – one concerns finding it, and the other concerns destroying it.
October 02, 2014
In an article titled ''U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Standards for Restitution Orders,'' Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Kaitlin DiNapoli, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss Paroline v. United States, in which the Court crafted a new causation standard for awards of restitution following federal criminal convictions.
September 19, 2014
In an article titled ''Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Whether Social Science is ‘Common Sense’ or a Tool to Correct Juror Misconceptions,'' Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Thomas O’Rourke, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss two recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases.
September 18, 2014
It is axiomatic that to certify a class, plaintiffs must show all members satisfy Article III standing and Rule 23 requirements. While federal courts "do not require each member of a class to submit evidence of personal standing, a class cannot be certified if it contains members who lack standing" to pursue the claim(s) asserted, according to Halvorson v. Auto Owners Insurance, 718 F.2d 773 (8th Cir. 2013).
September 04, 2014
In an article titled ''Preview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October Term in 2014,'' Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses some of the highlights of the U.S. Supreme Court's docket for the upcoming term.
August 27, 2014
There is a split among the circuits regarding what a whistleblower must plead to survive a motion to dismiss in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has now spoken for the first time on the issue. In June, the Third Circuit decided Foglia v. Renal Ventures Management, 754 F.3d 153 (3d Cir. 2014). In its decision, the Third Circuit reversed a district court order granting a motion to dismiss for insufficient detail in the pleadings. In so ruling, the Third Circuit sided with those circuits adopting the less demanding of the competing FCA pleading standards.
July 28, 2014
In an article published in the New York Law Journal, Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the application of the “four-year rule” post-Grimm v. DHCR² (and its progeny), and, specifically, the slow and painful erosion of the rule.
July 03, 2014
In an article published in The Legal Intelligencer, Stephen Miller and Kaitlin DiNapoli, attorneys in Cozen O’Connor’s Litigation Department, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s exploration of two Fair Labor Standards Act cases that have far-reaching consequences for employers, since back pay, overtime and double damages for employees are on the line. The cases involve the compensability of certain activities—donning and doffing protective gear in the case decided in January and going through a security screen in the new case—that employees must complete to perform their jobs, but are not necessarily the crux of the jobs themselves.
June 05, 2014
In an article published in The Legal Intelligencer, Stephen Miller and Jordan Fox, members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's focus on the First Amendment this term. The court heard oral arguments in April in two such cases—one concerning the protections afforded a public employee while testifying under subpoena, and one concerning the ability of individuals to challenge speech-restrictive campaign laws. Both of these cases present the court with the difficult task of applying longstanding doctrine to new and perplexing problems.
May 01, 2014
In an article published in The Legal Intelligencer, Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Departments, and Kristy Miller, an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department, discuss the difficult task of reconciling traditional notions of privacy with evolving species of technology as it relates to two recent cases that address what level of privacy one can expect in data stored on a cellphone.
April 03, 2014
In an article titled “U.S. Supreme Court Tackles Questions of Criminal Intent,” Stephen Miller and Jordan Fox, members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the element of criminal intent. “Guilty knowledge” is often the hardest element for the government to prove in a criminal prosecution. For that reason, criminal practitioners pay special attention to changes in the law that impacts the evidence admissible on the score. The U.S. Supreme Court decided one such case during this term and was set to hear oral argument in another this week.
March 06, 2014
In an article titled "Private Enforcement of Product Labeling Violations," Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, and David Albert, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Intellectual Property Department, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's consideration in April whether a private litigant can sue a company for violating federal restrictions on labeling food and beverage products.
February 27, 2014
In an article titled "Copyright Act's Application to Internet Television Broadcasts," Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, and Thomas Leonard, an associate in the firm's Litigation Department, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision on whether Aereo's system of transmitting television programs over the Internet violates the Copyright Act. The ruling could have a seismic impact on the television industry and how Americans view television shows.
January 03, 2014
The Eighth Circuit recently upheld the removal to federal court of product liability claims filed by over 100 plaintiffs in state court in St. Louis. See Atwell v. Boston Scientific Corp., 2013 (8th Cir. Nov. 18, 2013). The decision illustrates how plaintiffs’ requests to coordinate multiple cases can sometimes sweep “mass tort” cases filed in state court right into federal court as a “mass action” under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. This is no small shift in a litigation, and so Atwell provides a helpful background on some of the characteristics of a plaintiff coordination proposal that can trigger such CAFA removal.
November 14, 2013
The jurisdiction cases reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court are rarely headline-grabbing. Nonetheless, those cases exert a significant effect on the civil litigation that fills the nation's dockets. This fall, the justices are considering two interesting cases from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that may limit the ability of federal courts to exercise jurisdiction over parties in foreign districts.
September 25, 2013
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently decided a case involving a challenge, on religious grounds, to the Affordable Care Act. In Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 13-1144, the Third Circuit rejected a religious-based constitutional challenge to the act's provision requiring companies to offer health insurance that covers contraceptives for women.
July 24, 2013
The heightened pleading standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal has become a familiar tool for defense counsel seeking to dismiss a complaint in federal court. But is what's good for the goose also good for the gander?
June 13, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court is presently considering whether federal law pre-empts state design-defect claims targeting generic pharmaceutical products. Just two years ago, the court insulated generic-drug manufacturers from state-law failure-to-warn claims. It seems doubtful that any of the justices in that majority will treat this case differently, and, thus, generic drugmakers may soon enjoy a new immunity.
May 22, 2013
A settlement is a settlement. The parties agree on its terms, terminate the litigation, and move on. Right? Not always. Class actions, for example, are different. There, the courts must review the settlement to determine whether it is fair and reasonable. If it is not, the court may reject the settlement and require the parties to craft different settlement terms or resume litigation.
May 09, 2013
At oral argument in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Supreme Court recently grappled with the question of whether human genes are patentable. Justice Stephen Breyer seemed to capture the justices' sentiment in the lively argument session: "The patent law is filled with uneasy compromises." The compromises that the justices choose will affect the future work of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and shape the path of genetic research in the future.
April 24, 2013
Most of the federal government's authority is exercised, on a day-to-day basis, through its administrative agencies. Central to the efficiency of those agencies — such as it is — is the judiciary's substantial deference to agency decision-making. Without that deference, people and corporations would often have an incentive to try to impair (or at least delay) agencies' actions through court challenges.
February 27, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in United States v. Ring, upheld a conviction for bribery under the public sector honest-services fraud statute, expanding the definitions of
February 07, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari this term on two issues concerning the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause. The justices heard oral arguments January 15 on a case focused on the conditions that a land-use agency may attach when issuing a development permit.
January 10, 2013
In the most recent Supreme Court term, justices heard oral arguments and granted certiorari on several cutting-edge questions of intellectual property law.
October 23, 2012
Two terms ago, in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized that class actions should be the "exception," not the rule, in federal litigation. In Dukes, the court held that a class of 1.5 million current and former employees of Wal-Mart failed to satisfy the "commonality" requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, and, therefore, could not bring a class action asserting their employment discrimination claims under Title VII.
September 04, 2012
Jonathan Toren of the Global Insurance Department authored this article in Law30 discussing Acticon V. China North East Petroleum. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that even if a stock recovers its value after dropping following a corrective disclosure, a showing of loss causation is not necessarily negated at the pleading stage in a claim for securities fraud, in Acticon AG, et al. v. China North East Petroleum Holdings Ltd., et al., No. 11-4544-cv (2nd Cir., August 1, 2012).
February 07, 2012
New York's Appellate Division Holds that Insurers Cannot Delay Issuing a Disclaimer of Coverage on a Known Coverage Defense While It Investigates Other Potential Grounds for Disclaiming - Global Insurance Alert! - In George Campbell Painting v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 254 (1st Dept. 2012), New York's Appellate Division, First Department, expressly overruled its prior holding in DiGuglielmo v. Travelers Prop. Cas., 6 A.D.3d 544, 766 N.Y.S.2d (1st Dept.2004), which held that "[a]n insurer is not required to disclaim on timeliness grounds before conducting a prompt, reasonable investigation into other possible grounds for disclaimer."
September 12, 2011
PA Firms Making Midlevels Happier - The Legal Intelligencer - The bulk of Pennsylvania firms did a better job keeping their midlevel associates happy this year than they did last year, according to a survey by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer.
November 20, 2007
Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Obtain Significant Appellate Victories - Appellate Alert! - Stephen A. Cozen, with the assistance of Elizabeth Chambers Bailey, recently obtained
victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on behalf of a Bank
in a negligent design case. Vazquez-Filippetti v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Nos.05-2372, 06-1432 (1st Cir. Sept. 27, 2007). The plaintiff had suffered severe physical injuries when she was struck by a car while using the ATM machine
April 12, 2007
Remarks of Adam C. Bonin, Esq. Cozen O'Connor - Campaign Finance Law, Issue Advocacy and the Supreme Court - Remarks from a panel discussion held last Thursday, April 12, 2007, at the American Constitution Society, regarding the upcoming Supreme Court arguments in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life
April 06, 2021
Mike McTigue, Meredith Slawe, and Marie Bussey-Garza in the Class Actions Practice Group; Anna Wermuth in the Labor & Employment Practice Group; and Michael De Leeuw, Stephen Miller, and Tamar Wise in the Appellate & Supreme Court Practice Group collaborated on an amicus brief that was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Monday, April 5.
April 06, 2021
Meredith C. Slawe, Michael W. McTigue Jr., Stephen A. Miller, Marie Bussey-Garza, Michael de Leeuw, Tamar S. Wise, and Anna Wermuth, the attorneys for the amici curiae, were featured in an article published by Law360.
November 12, 2020
The Legal Intelligencer highlighted the firm’s many legal victories as its reason for the honor, including our recent victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, closing $510 million sale of a longtime client, and our win in the Second Circuit on behalf of the 9/11 families.
November 02, 2020
Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that the firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s 2020 Appellate Hot list.
November 01, 2020
Michael de Leeuw was featured in a Q&A held by the National Law Journal discussing Cozen O'Connor being named to the NLJ 2020 Appellate Hot List.
October 16, 2020
Michael de Leeuw was quoted in a Law360 article discussing how a politically neutral proposal such as the Pact Act will likely get more traction than other bills that seek to impose stricter oversight of social media platforms.
September 29, 2020
Super Lawyers has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2020 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.
September 08, 2020
Riley joins the firm as a member within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department. Additionally, Riley will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Class Actions, and Appellate practice groups.
January 15, 2020
Super Lawyers has named nine Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers.
October 29, 2019
Tamar Wise, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been named one of New York City’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars by City & State New York.
September 27, 2019
Super Lawyers has named 17 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2019 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.
June 21, 2019
The team includes Michael de Leeuw, Stuart Shorenstein, Tamar Wise, Stephen Miller, Jesse Loffler, William Lesser, and Anna Hanke.
September 21, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 17 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. Twelve were recognized as Super Lawyers and five were named "Rising Stars."
October 19, 2017
Super Lawyers has named 12 attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2017 lists of top practitioners in the New York metro area. Six were recognized as Super Lawyers and six were named “Rising Stars,” a list that recognizes attorneys under the age of 40.
September 07, 2017
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce the promotion of six members to shareholders of the firm: David Brisco (San Diego), Michael de Leeuw (New York), John Dickenson (West Palm Beach), Jonathan Lichtenstein (Philadelphia), William Walsh (Seattle), and Ingrid Welch (Philadelphia).
August 30, 2017
Cozen O’Connor, alongside co-counsel NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and New Orleans-based civil rights lawyer Ron Wilson, obtained an important trial victory for our clients—the Terrebonne Parish NAACP and four individual Black voters—in a voting rights case in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.