Saturday, June 15, 2013

Constitutional Litigation Structured as a Skills-and-Doctrine Course

Clinical Professor Sarah Ricks of Rutgers-Camden has published Current Issues in Constitutional Litigation. The book is part of the Context and Practice Casebook series and she uses it to teach a popular course of the same title.  You can read more about it here.

PM

June 15, 2013 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 14, 2013

On Stage at the Ciara Concert: She Got Served?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Erie and Magic Words

Now available on the Florida Law Review Forum is my short piece, Magic Words and the Erie Doctrine. It’s a response to a recent article by Sergio Campos, Erie as a Choice of Enforcement Defaults.

It’s a quick read at <3 pages, where “<3” actually means “less than 3” as opposed to a sideways emoticon heart.

--A

June 12, 2013 in Adam Steinman, Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report Shows Link Between Judicial Campaign Contributions and Pro-Business Decisions

From the National Law Journal:

study released on Tuesday by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy identified a "statistically significant" relationship between ballooning campaign contributions by business interest to state supreme court candidates and pro-business decisions by those courts.

Researchers studied more than 2,345 business-related state high court opinions between 2010 and 2012 and campaign contributions during that same time to sitting state high court judges. As the percentage of contributions from business groups went up, the probability of a pro-business vote by judges — defined as any decision that made a business better off — went up as well.

The study's author was Joanna Shepherd, a professor at Emory University School of Law. During a teleconference, she said the findings demonstrated that state court elections were becoming increasingly politicized and expensive. She pointed to surveys showing concern within the judiciary and among the general public about the influence of outside dollars on the courts.

To read more of the article, click here.

PM

June 12, 2013 in Current Affairs, Recent Scholarship, State Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 10, 2013

SCOTUS Decision on Class Arbitration: Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter

Today was arbitration day at the Supreme Court (well, that and raisins). In addition to granting certiorari in BG Group PLC v. Argentina, the Court issued a unanimous decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter (No. 12-135). Justice Kagan writes the Court’s opinion in Oxford, which begins:

Class arbitration is a matter of consent: An arbitrator may employ class procedures only if the parties have authorized them. See Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., 559 U. S. 662, 684 (2010). In this case, an arbitrator found that the parties’ contract provided for class arbitration. The question presented is whether in doing so he “exceeded [his] powers” under §10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA or Act), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq. We conclude that the arbitrator’s decision survives the limited judicial review §10(a)(4) allows.

Here’s more from Justice Kagan’s opinion on the relationship between Oxford and Stolt-Nielsen [Op. at 6-7]:

Continue reading

June 10, 2013 in Class Actions, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Arbitration: BG Group PLC v. Argentina

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina (No. 12-138), which presents the question: “In disputes involving a multi-staged dispute resolution process, does a court or instead the arbitrator determine whether a precondition to arbitration has been satisfied?”

You can find links to the D.C. Circuit’s decision below and the cert-stage briefing at SCOTUSblog’s case file.

--A

June 10, 2013 in Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Class Settlement of Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation Upheld

     These class actions (consolidated in an MDL in Minnesota) are notable for the whimsical names of their subclasses, the Soggy Plaintiffs and the Cloggy Plaintiffs.  The Eighth Circuit upheld the settlement of several class actions alleging damage caused by defective brass plumbing fittings sold by defendants Radiant and Uponor.  The Soggy Plaintiffs have already experienced leaking (in some cases causing severe damage) and the Cloggy Plaintiffs have not yet experienced leaks but have the same fittings.
     "The proposed settlement agreement stipulated that after two leaks, soggy plaintiffs would be entitled to have their entire plumbing system replaced at Uponor and Radiant's expense. Cloggy plaintiffs who had demonstrated 'by way of a flow test that a differential in water flow . . . of more than 50% [exists] between the hot and cold lines' would also be entitled to replacement of their brass fittings, and if that proved insufficient, to a new plumbing system."
     After notice of the proposed settlement had been sent, Ortega, a California resident, moved to intervene as of right.  His motion was denied as untimely.  He and 26 other class members then objected to the settlement, arguing that notice had been deficient, that the scope of the release of defendants was overbroad, and that the settlement did not account for a cause of action available under California law.  All of these arguments were rejected and the district court's approval of the settlement was upheld.  In re Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation, No. 12-2761 (8th Cir. June 7, 2013).

PM

 

June 9, 2013 in Class Actions, MDLs, Recent Decisions | Permalink | Comments (0)