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Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court

Tobacco companies get no relief from high court (access required)

In between hours of oral argument over the federal health care legislation, the justices took the time to deny certiorari in the first of the Florida tobacco suits to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Florida’s individual tobacco suits, known as the Engle litigation, involve separate trials held to determine if a plaintiff was addicted to cigarettes and whether that addiction caused his or her injury.

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Big year leads up to an even bigger one at U.S. Supreme Court (access required)

At the U.S. Supreme Court, 2011 was a remarkable year – not just for the things the justices did, but for the cases they agreed to take up in the near future. After handing down major rulings on class action qualification, mandatory arbitration and preemption of drug and vaccine-based tort suits, the justices agreed to decide the fate of two of the most high-profile and politically charged laws before the Court in decades: the federal health care law and Arizona’s immigration statute.

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High court weighs whether defendants have a remedy for ineffective plea bargains  (access required)

Sometimes criminal defense attorneys mess up. But just what, if any, constitutional remedy is available to defendants when their attorneys are ineffective at the plea bargaining stage? During oral arguments in the case Lafler v. Cooper, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a claim by a murder defendant – who rejected a plea based on an attorney’s bad advice and went on to be convicted by a jury – that he was entitled to constitutional relief.

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U.S. Supreme Court justices tussle over ADA ministerial exception (access required)

During heated oral argument last week in a case involving religious doctrines, government interests and claims of job discrimination, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tried to carve out just how much constitutional leeway religious organizations have to fire employees without facing a job bias claim. The case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, stems from a lawsuit brought by a teacher against a parochial school claiming she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after she took an extended medical leave for narcolepsy.

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The term of the century?  (access required)

This U.S. Supreme Court term has all the makings of a blockbuster, with issues such as the constitutionality of the federal health care reform law, the ability of states to pass tough immigration enforcement laws and same-sex marriage rights all set to fall squarely at the Court’s doorstep. And those are just the cases that have not officially been added to the Court’s docket – yet.

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Greenville lawyer reaps two high court decisions in one week (access required)

Derek Enderlin (pictured) had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed to meet with Michael Turner, who was $5,000 behind in child support and had been jailed for six months or until he came up with the money. “Someone down at the jail asked me if I’d talk to some people locked up on child support,” Enderlin said. “I had no idea how little help they had to get out of jail and how the machine just rolls over people.” Enderlin decided to help Turner, and he gave his help free of charge. But representing a client in Turner’s shoes pro bono wasn’t a small task.

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