Supreme Court Update: Final Order List

July 1, 2009 Supreme Court Update

Greetings, Court fans!

The Court issued its final order list yesterday before going on recess for the summer. (Don't you wish you still had a summer recess? Makes me pine for those good old school days.) The Court added seven more cases to its October 2009 docket. Here they are:

Abbott v. Abbott (08-645), presents the question of whether a "ne exeat" clause – which "prohibits one parent from removing a child from the country without the other parent's consent" – confers a "right of custody" within the meaning of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.

American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League (08-661), asks whether the NFL and its member teams are a single entity, such that they (it?) could not violate Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act when granting Reebok an exclusive license to produce headwear and clothing with team logos.

Weyhrauch v. United States (08-1196), was limited to just one question, "whether, to convict a state official for depriving the public of its right to the defendant's honest services through the non-disclosure of material information, in violation of the mail-fraud statute . . . the government must prove that the defendant violated a disclosure duty imposed by state law."

Jerman v. Carlisle, McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich LPA (08-1200), asks the Court to determine whether "a debt collector's legal error qualifies for the bona fide error defense under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act."

Granite Rock Company v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters (08-1214), presents two questions for review: (1) whether a federal court has jurisdiction "to determine whether a collective bargaining agreement was formed when it is disputed whether any binding contract exists, but no party makes an independent challenge to the arbitration clause apart from claiming it is inoperative before the contract is established"; and (2) whether "the Labor-Management Relations Act, which generally preempts otherwise available state law causes of action, provides a cause of action against an international union that is not a direct signatory to the collective bargaining agreement, but effectively displaces its signatory local union and causes a strike breaching a collective bargaining agreement for its own benefit."

Conkright v. Frommert (08-810), also presents two issues for review: (1) whether a district court "has no obligation to defer to an ERISA plan administrator's reasonable interpretation of the terms of the plan if the plan administrator arrived at its interpretation outside the context of an administrative claim for benefits"; and (2) whether a district court has "'allowable discretion' to adopt any ‘reasonable' interpretation of the terms of an ERISA plan when the plan interpretation issue arises in the course of calculating additional benefits due under the plan as a result of an ERISA violation."

Briscoe v. Virginia (07-11191), asks the following question: "If a State allows a prosecutor to introduce a certificate of forensic laboratory analysis, without presenting the testimony of the analyst who prepared the certificate, does the State avoid violating the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment by providing that the accused has a right to call the analyst as his own witness?"

While the Court may issue some miscellaneous orders (in death penalty cases, for example), this should be it for formal order lists until October. You haven't seen the last of me in your inbox though, as I'm still catching up with summaries from the Term.


From the Appellate Practice Group at Wiggin and Dana
For more information, contact Kim Rinehart or any other member of the Practice Group at 203-498-4400