6th Circuit Decides To Not Throw Out Special Master After His ‘Reply All’ Goof

Oops. Trendy calligraphy. Vector illustrationBack in September, a Special Master overseeing an opioid case was asked to step down because of a reply-all blunder. David R. Cohen did an accidental reply all and shared his personal notes with everyone involved… much to the chagrin of the pharmacy benefit master’s lawyers. They alleged that the notes showed that he wouldn’t be capable of impartiality from their case. Fresh from the 6th Circuit, it looks like they’ll have to tough out any potential biases. From the ABA Journal:

A federal appeals court has rejected a bid to toss a special master from opioid litigation because of a mistaken “reply all” email that included his private notes…Cohen’s email “expressed mild criticism” of the approach taken by the pharmacy benefit managers, but his comments didn’t display bias or partiality, the appeals court said in a Nov. 14 order.

In Cohen’s defense, he seemed even handed despite his dunking on the manager’s lawyers. Even though his private notes suggested he thought that they were stalling strategically, he still showed a willingness to allow them to add third parties in response to plaintiffs amending their complaint.

Goes to show that you can still be impartial even if you dabble in a little badmouthing!

6th Circuit Refuses To Toss Special Master For ‘Mild Criticism’ In His Mistaken ‘Reply All’ Email [ABA Journal]

Earlier: Special Master Should Have Kept His ‘Reply All’ In The Drafts

Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.


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