Alison Frankel

The rise and (apparent) decline of sealed petitions at the Supreme Court

May 27, 2016

(Reuters) – An item at Howard Bashman’s How Appealing blog caught my eye Thursday. Bashman linked to an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and two other Wisconsin prosecutors to file a certiorari petition under seal, with only a redacted version available to the public.

Redskins throw serious shade at The Slants’ counsel in new cert petition

April 26, 2016

(Reuters) –

On Monday, the National Football League’s Washington Redskins asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the cancellation of several of the team’s long-held trademarks for violating the Lanham Act’s non-disparagement clause. One of the team’s arguments is that if the justices plan to consider the constitutionality of the Lanham Act’s non-disparagement provision, they need to hear from the team’s lawyers, who are “best positioned to ensure that this court enjoys the full benefits of the adversarial process.”

In NFL concussion case, 3rd Circuit reopens door for personal injury class actions

April 19, 2016

(Reuters) – Can the National Football League tackle 19-year-old U.S. Supreme Court precedent?

Meet the Thai math prof whose copyright case is headed for SCOTUS – again

April 11, 2016

(Reuters) – In the eight years since the publisher John Wiley & Sons first sued him for copyright infringement, almost all of the particulars of Supap Kirtsaeng’s life have changed. Back then, he was an unmarried graduate student in mathematics at the University of Southern California with a side business reselling Asian-produced versions of American textbooks. Today, after nearly a decade of litigation setbacks and advances, Kirtsaeng is back in Thailand. His textbook business is shuttered and he and his old girlfriend broke up, but he found a job as a professor, married a colleague and is finally feeling financially secure.

Immigration case at SCOTUS could turn on wonky administrative law issue

April 5, 2016

(Reuters) – The future of four million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. rests on the subtle and surprisingly ill-defined distinction between a policy statement and a substantive rule.

Philip Morris to SCOTUS: Don’t revisit corporate money in judicial elections

March 28, 2016

(Reuters) – It now costs, on average, at least $1 million to run a successful campaign for a seat on the state-court bench in Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio, according to an October 2015 report: “Bankrolling the Bench,” by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. In the two most expensive states for judicial campaigns, Michigan and Illinois, prospective judges spent more than $3 million, on average, in the most recent elections.

Unresolved in Tyson, uninjured plaintiffs issue back to SCOTUS on Friday

March 24, 2016

(Reuters) – With class action lawyers on both sides wondering exactly how the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will affect the U.S. Supreme Court’s appetite for class action issues, the justices will consider three notable class action certiorari petitions at their conference Friday.

In Tyson, SCOTUS OKs statistical samples, leaves open uninjured plaintiffs issue

March 22, 2016

(Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy used some quite definitive language Tuesday in his opinion for the six justices in the majority in Tyson v. Bouaphakeo, the wage-and-hour case that asked the court to resolve two big questions about class action litigation.

2nd Circuit to issuers: Don’t worry about Omnicare

March 7, 2016

(Reuters) – It’s been just about a year since the U.S. Supreme Court said in Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry that securities issuers can be liable to investors even if their misstatements are couched as opinions. But in a ruling Friday in In re Sanofi, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that despite Omnicare, issuers don’t have to tell investors about important information that may contradict the opinions they are expressing.

The mind-bending international comity debate in RJR RICO case at SCOTUS

February 9, 2016

(Reuters) – The irony is running thick in a debate at the U.S. Supreme Court between the Justice Department and 26 European governments suing the tobacco company RJR Nabisco under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The issue is international comity and the reach of U.S. courts – but the two sides haven’t taken the positions you might expect.