Chieftain Royalty Company v Enervest energy Institutional Fund XIII-A, L.P. (George and Nutley objectors)

George and Nutley appealed the award of attorney fees to class counsel and an incentive award to Chieftain. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that the calculation of attorney fees connected with the merits of a case, but not those imposed to deter bad faith litigation conduct, is a matter of state law, this conclusion is consistent with the leading treatises on civil procedure and the consensus among circuits which have considered the issue, the district court here erred in using the percentage of recovery method instead of Oklahoma’s mandatory lodestar method in common fund cases and held Rule of Civil Procedure 23(h) does not have a rule of decision on the method of calculation. It also held that counsel failed to produce the required time record and thus may be barred from any award under Oklahoma law. It reversed the incentive award and remanded as the district court made no findings about the risks and burdens borne by Chieftain and based on the vernal rules concerning incentive awards (as Oklahoma courts have not decided what the rule of decision controls the issue), the panel predicted Oklahoma supreme court would not approve the award here as percentage based awards re disfavored and the record contains no evidence of the time and efforts Chieftain spent on the case.

Kline v Biles

Kline appealed the dismissal of his claims against Biles and other judges and parties involved in suspending him indefinitely from the practice of law for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The panel affirmed. It held that the Rocker-Feldman doctrine bars federal district courts and circuits from reviewing state attorney discipline decisions and the claim about reinstatement was properly dismissed for lack of a case or controversy at it would apply to future events not a current controversy.

Schoenhoffer v McClaskey

Schoenhoffer appealed the district court judgment rejecting her preemption and Sherman act challenges to a Kansas regulation requiring certain application of pesticide in preconstruction sites. The panel affirmed. It held the regulation was not preempted by federal pesticide labeling law as the regulation concerns use not the content of a written label and the application in question is allowed by the label. It held the Sherman act claim failed as recent United States Supreme Court precedent has declared regulations, which reduces consumer choice or which maintains prices are not violation of the Sherman act unless it per se violates the act in all circumstances and the regulation here does not meet that standard.