Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cert grants: Civ pro and fed courts topics of interest

Yesterday the Supreme Court granted cert in ten cases, three of which should be of interest to civil procedure and federal courts teachers.  See SCOTUS Blog for links to the opinions below and petitions supporting and opposing certiorari. 

Attorneys' Fees
Astrue v. Ratliff, 08-1322

Issue: Whether an “award of fees and other expenses” under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412(d), is payable to the “prevailing party” rather than to the prevailing party’s attorney, and therefore is subject to an offset for a pre-existing debt owed by the prevailing party to the United States.

Bivens Actions; Federal Tort Claims Act
Migliaccio, et al. v. Castaneda et al. ; Henneford v. Castaneda et al., 08-1529; 08-1547

Issue: Does 42 U.S.C. § 233(a) make the Federal Tort Claims Act the exclusive remedy for claims arising from medical care and related functions provided by Public Health Service personnel, thus barring Bivens actions?

Sovereign Immunity/FSIA
Samantar v. Bashe Abdi Yousuf, et al.; 08-1555

Issue: Whether a foreign state’s immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. § 1604, extends to an individual acting in his official capacity on behalf of a foreign state and whether an individual who is no longer an official of a foreign state at the time suit is filed retains immunity for acts taken in the individual’s former capacity as an official acting on behalf of a foreign state.


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