(CN) – The 6th Circuit allowed a disabled attorney to pursue his federal discrimination case, saying it was parallel to a case in state court, not an attempt to overturn a loss in the lower court.
Robert Marks Sr. was sued for legal malpractice after his client claimed that Marks allowed the statute of limitations on his wrongful death lawsuit to expire.
The client won a default judgment against Marks and sought to enforce a lien against the attorney’s three spendthrift trusts.
While representing himself in this case, Marks sought to delay the proceedings several times for medical reasons. He suffers from diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Liddle’s Syndrome, and his right leg and a toe on his left foot have been amputated.
The judge ruled against Marks and admonished him for requesting accommodations for his disability, rather than continuances to delay the case.
Marks appealed the judge’s ruling in state court and also filed a federal lawsuit for disability discrimination.
The federal district judge dismissed Marks’ case, ruling that Marks was attempting to use the federal court to overturn a loss in state court.
Judge Batchelder of the Cincinnati-based federal reversed the decision, ruling that Marks’ two cases were parallel, but not identical, which would have been disallowed by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
“This claim involves different defendants, states a different injury and seeks a different remedy” than the state case, Batchelder ruled.