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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Overrules Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts But Were Stare Decisis and Abortion Also on Trial?

Back in August 2019 I wrote about Calvin Duncan, a jailhouse lawyer with only a 10th grade education who got the Supreme Court of the United States to look at the issue of non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases, a procedure permitted in only two states: Louisiana and Oregon. (see https://courtroomstrategy.com/2019/08/power-of-persistence-jailhouse-lawyer-takes-case-to-scotus/ ) Well in October […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Power of Persistence: “Jailhouse Lawyer” Takes Case to SCOTUS

Only two States in the country, Louisiana and Oregon, allow for non-unanimous verdicts in criminal cases. One man – Calvin Duncan – has been fighting it in his home State of Louisiana for over 20 years. Duncan does not have a law degree. In fact he only had a 10th grade education when he was […]

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Wrongful Convictions

SCOTUS Won’t Overturn $28MM Wrongful Conviction Verdict from Nebraska

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a rural Nebraska county’s appeal of a $28 million court judgment rendered in 2016 compensating six people wrongfully convicted of a 1985 rape and slaying. Gage County had filed a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to look at the verdict after a Federal appeals court upheld the […]

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Employment Law

Big Boost to Employers: 5-4 SCOTUS Upholds Arbitration Clauses in Employment Agreements

Giving employers a significant win, a sharply divided Supreme Court upheld the right of employers to include arbitration clauses in their employment agreements that seriously curtail employees’ ability to file class actions and pursue court claims for wage and hour violations. The case was closely watched by advocates on both sides of the issue as […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Colorado Gay Wedding Cake Case: Is Selling A Cake “Speech”?

On Tuesday The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on one of the most anticipated cases on the docket for this term: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Back in 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins were set to celebrate their wedding in Denver, after having been married in Massachusetts. Jack Phillips, a well […]

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Constitutional Law Intellectual Property Litigation

SCOTUS Ends Forum Shopping in Patent Cases

Well the docket of the Eastern Texas Federal District Court is going to get much lighter in the coming months and years. In a unanimous 8-0 decision, in a case titled TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the Supreme Court held that a person or entity claiming patent infringement must bring the […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Changes Face of Criminal Trials With New Decision About Jurors and Race

The Supreme Court threw open the normally tightly-sealed doors of the jury room in overturning the conviction of Miguel Pena-Rodriguez in the case of Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado. In a 5-3 decision written by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled that a juror’s racial basis in the jury room – which was only revealed to the public […]

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Intellectual Property Trademark Law

SCOTUS to Decide If “Scandalous” “Immoral” Terms Can Be Trademarked

In a case that presents a crossfire of First Amendment and intellectual property issues, the Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case involving an Asian-American band that calls itself “the Slants.” The Slants had been denied a trademark for their name by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under a Federal law that […]

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Constitutional Law

Heavy Issues Await Eight Member Supreme Court This Term

The 2016-2017 term of the Supreme Court of the United States will be heard by an eight member court since the Senate refuses to act on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the seat vacated by Judge Antonin Scalia’s death. In several media appearances during the summer break, SCOTUS justices expressed concern over […]