Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NY Times Story on Cy Pres Class Action Settlements

Here’s Adam Liptak’s latest story, When Lawyers Cut Their Clients Out of the Deal, which discusses a recent Ninth Circuit decision on cy pres settlements that is the subject of a pending Supreme Court cert. petition, Marek v. Lane (No. 13-136).

--A

August 13, 2013 in Class Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, In the News, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Are Courts Dying?" ABA Program Explores Question at Annual Meeting

At the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, a panel entitled "Are Courts Dying? The Decline of Open and Public Adjudication" was moderated by Professor Judith Resnik.  Participants discussed "budget cuts and the generally high cost of legal representation."

PM

August 11, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Sequester's Effect on Federal Courts

The Atlantic online has posted an essay entitled "How the Sequester is Holding up Our Legal System" by Andrew Cohen.  It describes federal judges' concerns about issues raised if the budget cuts reach into the next fiscal year.  "The sequester . . . represents an assault by the legislative and executive branches upon core judicial functions. . . . The Administrative Office of the United States already has indicated that it may be forced to eliminate civil jury trials in the month of September . . ." 

The essay also describes public apathy about the issue.

Hat tip: Howard Bashman, @howappealing.

PM 

July 12, 2013 in Federal Courts, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pennsylvania Court Upholds $500,000 Limit on Awards Against Governmental Entities

The Legal Intelligencer reports that a Pennsylvania lower court has upheld the statutory $500,000 limit on damages awards against governmental entities, reducing a $14 million award to a plaintiff for loss of her leg, and setting the stage for a constitutional challenge to the damages cap in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

PM 

July 3, 2013 in In the News, Recent Decisions, State Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Scott Harris Named Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court

Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced that Scott Harris has been appointed to be the twentieth Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, effective September 1. Congratulations!

Coincidentally, the new Clerk’s first and last names are the lead parties of a fairly recent Supreme Court merits decision. Readers will recall Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372 (2007), the summary-judgment-by-car-chase-video case. (You can see the video here.)

--A

July 1, 2013 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Number of civil jury trials declines to new lows in Texas

Friday, June 14, 2013

On Stage at the Ciara Concert: She Got Served?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

NY Times on SCOTUS's Pro-Business Civil Procedure Decisions

Today’s New York Times features a story by Adam Liptak, Corporations Find a Friend in the Supreme Court, which discusses several of the Court’s recent decisions on civil procedure, including Comcast v. Behrend, Wal-Mart v. Dukes, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, and Standard Fire Insurance v. Knowles.

--A 

May 5, 2013 in In the News, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SCOTUS Oral Argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the first of two cases on same-sex marriage. The argument transcript and audio are available on the Supreme Court’s website.

As covered earlier (e.g., here, here, and here), the case presents some interesting Article III standing issues, which received a good amount of attention during the argument.

--A

March 26, 2013 in Federal Courts, In the News, Standing, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Civil Procedure Will Be on February 2015 Multistate Bar Examination

Perhaps I should have titled this post "Lifetime Employment for Civil Procedure Professors Announced."

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has announced that Civil Procedure will be included as the seventh topic tested on the Multistate Bar Examination effective with the February 2015 administration.

With the addition of Civil Procedure, the MBE will continue to have 200 questions, 190 of which are scored (10 are unscored pretest items).  The difference will be that there will be 28 Contracts items, and 27 items each for the remaining six topics (Civ Pro, Con Law, Crim Law and Pro, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts), for a total of 190 tested questions. 

As of July 2013, every state except Louisiana will administer the MBE.

The "test specifications" (I assume this means the subjects possibly tested by) MBE Civil Procedure items will be announced no later than June 30, 2013.

--PM

March 6, 2013 in Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 4, 2013

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Personal Jurisdiction & Venue: Walden v. Fiore

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Walden v. Fiore (No. 12-574), a case involving personal jurisdiction and venue. Here are the questions presented:

1. Whether due process permits a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant whose sole “contact” with the forum State is his knowledge that the plaintiff has connections to that State. 

2. Whether the judicial district where the plaintiff suffered injury is a district “in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred” for purposes of establishing venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) even if the defendant’s alleged acts and omissions all occurred in another district.

You can find a link to the 9th Circuit’s opinion below and other information about the case at SCOTUSblog’s casefile.

Here’s a story on the case from the AP.

--A

March 4, 2013 in In the News, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

More Coverage of Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l

Here are links to some recent coverage of last week’s Supreme Court decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International, which rejected a challenge to federal wiretapping procedures for lack of Article III standing:

--A

March 4, 2013 in In the News, Recent Decisions, Standing, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trial in BP Oil Spill Case

The trial in the BP Oil Spill case began yesterday in New Orleans federal court, before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. Coverage at…

--A

February 26, 2013 in Current Affairs, In the News, Mass Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SCOTUS Oral Argument in Standard Fire v. Knowles

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral argument in The Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (No. 11-1450), which considers whether plaintiffs can block CAFA removal by stipulating that the class is seeking damages below the $5 million threshold for CAFA diversity jurisdiction. Check out the oral argument transcript.

For additional coverage:

--A

January 8, 2013 in Class Actions, In the News, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Even More on Article III Standing in Hollingsworth & Windsor

Discussion of the standing issues in SCOTUS’s two cases on same-sex marriage -- Hollingsworth v. Perry (no. 12-144) and United States v. Windsor (no. 12-307) -- continues:

Earlier coverage here and here.

--A

December 13, 2012 in In the News, Standing, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WSJ on the Launch of Modria, an Online Small Claims Court

“Modria Launches to Become the Online ‘Small Claims Court for the 21st Century,’” from the WSJ’s Venture Capital Dispatch Blog.

--A

(Hat Tip: Suja Thomas)

November 27, 2012 in In the News, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This Week's SCOTUS Oral Arguments: Mootness, Class Actions, And FRCP 54(d) (Oh My!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chief Justice Roberts Appoints New Chairs for Judicial Conference Committees

The U.S. Courts website has the announcement here. The new chairs are:

Judge Lawrence L. Piersol (D. S.D. ), succeeding Judge David A. Katz (N.D. Ohio) as chair of the Committee on Audits and Administrative Office Accountability;

Judge Catherine C. Blake (D. MD), succeeding Judge Claire V. Eagan (N.D. Okla.) as chair of the Committee on Defender Services;

Judge Joel A. Pisano (D. NJ), succeeding Judge George H. King (C.D. Cal.) as chair of the Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System;

Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton (6th Cir.), succeeding Judge Mark R. Kravitz (D. Conn.) as chair of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure; and

Judge Steven M. Colloton (8th Cir.), succeeding Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton (6th Cir.) as chair of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

--A

October 23, 2012 in Federal Courts, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kritzer and Drechsel on Local News Coverage of Civil Litigation

Herbert M. Kritzer and Robert E. Drechsel have posted on SSRN a paper entitled “Local News of Civil Litigation: All the Litigation News That's Fit to Print or Broadcast,” 96 Judicature, No. 1, pp. 16-22.

Abstract:

What is the nature of the coverage of civil litigation by local newspapers and local television? That is the question considered in this paper. Drawing upon news clips from 2004 (11 media markets around the U.S.), 2006 (9 media markets in the Midwest), and 2007 (9 media markets in the Midwest), we present a portrait of litigation as locally reported. We find (a) torts make up a minority of reports, (b) very few verdicts are reported, and (c) dollar figures are mentioned in a modest proportion of cases but when mentioned tend to be large. We also find significant differences in the reporting practices of local television and local newspapers, particularly with regard to the types of cases discussed (more torts on television and more cases against government in the newspapers). We conclude with some speculations about the implications of our analysis for debates over civil justice “reform.”

PM

September 24, 2012 in Current Affairs, In the News, Recent Scholarship, State Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Survey Finds 41% of Americans Doubt Fairness of Civil Justice System

In a survey last month of 1,020 randomly selected adults, DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar, found that 41% of the respondents were not confident about the fairness of civil courts.  A majority of respondents also believed that class actions improved corporate responsibility (but also that plaintiffs' attorneys were unfairly enriched as a result).  Most would rather have a jury decide their civil case than a judge, while admitting that if called as a juror, they would probably have some bias.

The full survey is available here.   

Hat tip: Blog of the Legal Times.

PM

September 20, 2012 in Class Actions, Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)