Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rhyme and Reason

As many of you may have already seen on the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, in response to a 465-page racketeering law suit filed in Washington State federal judge Ronald Leighton wrote this limerick:

Plaintiff has a great deal to say,

But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a).

His Complaint is too long,

Which renders it wrong,

Please rewrite and refile today.

Click here to read the full article. –Counseller/jm

July 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

2d Circuit and Renewal of Rule 50 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

As noted over at Federal Civil Practice Bulletin, the Second Circuit in Brady v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., --- F.3d ---, 2008 WL 259736 (2d Cir. July 02, 2008), discusses the prerequisites for a motion for judgment as a matter of law post verdict. In this matter, a jury awarded the appellee, Brady, $7.5 million. The court reduced the award to $900,000 and Brady appealed. In one point of error, Brady sought a reversal of the courts findings based on his claim that the Appellants had waived their right to move for judgment as a matter of law post verdict by failing to properly move for judgment as a matter of law at the close of all evidence pursuant to the standard set forth in Fed. R. Civ. P. 50. The court sided with the appellants holding that, “where a trial judge has indicated that renewing a previously made motion for judgment as a matter of law at the close of all the evidence was not necessary, and where the opposing party could not reasonably have thought that the motion was dropped, then judgment as a matter of law may be sought post verdict.”

Click here to read the full post over at Federal Civil Practice Bulletin and click here to read a copy of the opinion. –Counseller/jm

July 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

“Facial Challenges Are Out”

David G. Savage writes this article in July’s issue of the ABA Journal discussing the movement of civil rights cases in the Supreme Court. As he puts it: “Facial challenges are out. As-applied challenges are in.” Recent cases reveal that the Roberts court has placed a heavy burden of persuasion on plaintiffs seeking to have state laws ruled facially unconstitutional. –Counseller/nc

July 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Justice Kennedy: “An Accident of History”?

David Broder writes an interesting article discussing the career of Justice Kennedy, his appointment to the Supreme Court, and his role as the Court’s “most influential member.”

The full article, which is posted on, can be read here. –Counseller/nc

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

5th Circuit Proposes Amendment Concerning Admission Fee to Practice

Click here to see the proposed amendment to Fifth Circuit Rule 46.1, concerning admission fees to practice in the Fifth Circuit. The proposed amendment seeks to increase the number of attorneys who are exempt from paying the admission fee. –Counseller/nc

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Supreme Court Limits the Mentally Ill’s Right of Self-Representation

The New York Times recently published an article entitled "Self-Representation by the Mentally Ill is Curbed," which can be accessed here, that discusses the 7-2 decision of Indiana v. Edwards. This ruling denies mentally ill defendants, who are nonetheless determined to be competent to stand trial, the right to dispense with a lawyer and represent themselves. The majority stated that judges could “take realistic account of the particular defendant’s mental capacity” and, deny the constitutional right of self-representation in the interest of achieving a fair trial.  --Counseller/md

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Supreme Court Just as Divided as Ever

We recently posted a link to an article which noted the lack of 5-4 decisions on the Supreme Court this year as compared to last year. But, an article published Monday on SCOTUSblog looks at the overall statistics of the court and notes that this year, although the court did not have as many 5-4 decisions, the court was just as divisive as last year. As evidence, the two most notable decisions this term, Heller and Boumediene, the court was split 5-4.

The entire post is located here

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Foreign Property Attachment Case

The Federal Civil Practice bulletin has recently added a post, which can be access here, regarding the Supreme Court’s granting of cert. in Ministry of Defense and Support for Armed Forces of Islamic Republic of Iran v. Elahi. This case involves a dispute between the Iranian Ministry of Defense and the holders of U.S. default judgments against Iran who want to execute their judgments or attach property located in the U.S. According to the BNA’s summary the question is, “Is an attachment against foreign sovereign property permissible when that property is ‘at issue in claims against the U.S. before an international tribunal,’ and the property is not a ‘blocked asset,’ under terms of the 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act?”  --Counseller/md

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Class Actions and Hospital Bills

As noted by, the third circuit in DiCarlo v. St. Mary’s Hospital recently decided in a unanimous decision to reject a class action suit brought against the hospital by uninsured patients for price gouging. The court reasoned that dismissal was proper because in effect the plaintiffs were asking the courts to solve a political problem, namely the health care system. Click here to read the Third Circuit's opinion and click here to read the article on –Counseller/jm

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)