Tuesday, July 19, 2011

U.S. Law Week Summarizes SCOTUS Civil Litigation Cases

U.S. Law Week (7/19/11) has published a summary analysis of the Supreme Court's civil litigation cases from this term. Here is an excerpt:

Court Reins in Class Actions

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes: Avoided employment discrimination “Armageddon” for national corporations by rejecting certification of largest class action in history.

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion: Allows companies to contract around the threat of consumer class actions by upholding an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver.

Honorable Mention: PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing

Preemption, Immigration Cases Deliver Blow

Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting: Arizona may administer the “business death penalty” to employers who hire illegal immigrants.

Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America Inc.: By providing a choice in safety features, federal regulations do not automatically preempt state tort claims against manufacturers.

Honorable Mentions: Thompson v. North American Stainless LP; Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.

Cases Every Lawyer Should Study.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes: By emphasizing commonality considerations under Rule 23(a), the opinion is terra nova for arguments over how much “glue” is needed to hold class actions together.

J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro: Plaintiffs’ lawyers must consider the decision when choosing the proper forum for product liability suits against foreign companies.

Honorable Mention: AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion

More Questions Than Answers

J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro: The court's failure to definitively address the questions left open by Asahi will lead to more litigation and confusion over personal jurisdiction.

PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing: The decision could signal a turning point in the court's preemption jurisprudence that may cause lower courts to struggle with its application.

Honorable Mentions: Global-Tech Appliances Inc. v. SEB S.A.; Turner v. Rogers

Little Fanfare but Significant Impact

Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.: In an area of commercial speech increasingly regulated by states, a bold First Amendment holding should be a warning to legislatures to tread lightly.

Stern v. Marshall: Despite “soap opera facts,” ruling could dramatically burden the dockets of state and federal district courts.

Prison Relief and Unanimity Shock Observers

Brown v. Plata: The court's endorsement of broad injunctive relief, particularly in the area of prison management, was out of character.

Honorable Mention: Unanimous holdings in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, American Electric Power v. Connecticut, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes (on the Rule 23(b)(2) issue), were unexpected.

Got Our Attention, But Earth Didn't Move

Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership: Although Microsoft asked the court to invalidate the long-established clear and convincing evidence standard for patent validity challenges, the court remained steadfast and left the current standard alone.

Flores-Villar v. United States: One of the two cases affirmed by an equally divided court, the decision illustrates the minimal impact Justice Elena Kagan's recusals had on the term.

Honorable Mentions: Snyder v. Phelps; Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association


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At 1:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Just talking with some really smart civil litigation lawyers in California really helped me understand these things better. They can be some really complicated matters and finding the best team for your needs really does make a difference

At 3:40 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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