United States Supreme Court

2020

January 2 summaries

Retirement Plans Comm. of IBM v. Jander

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. 409 (2014), the United States Supreme Court held that claims for breach of the duty of prudence by fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 must be supported by a plausible allegation from the plaintiff that a prudent fiduciary in the same circumstances could have taken an alternative action that would not have done the fund more harm than good.

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC

A creditor’s motion for relief from the automatic stay initiates a distinct proceeding terminating in a final, appealable order when the bankruptcy court rules dispositively on the motion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

February 8 summaries

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan v. Feliciano

The Puerto Rican courts lacked jurisdiction to issue payment and seizure orders after the case was removed to federal district court for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Hernandez v. Mesa

A Bivens remedy does not exist for Fourth or Fifth Amendment claims in a cross-border shooting context.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

McKinney v. Arizona

A Clemons reweighing is a permissible remedy for an Eddings error, and when an Eddings error is found on collateral review, a state appellate court may conduct a Clemons reweighing on collateral review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Monasky v. Tagliere

A child's habitual residence under 22 U.S.C. §9003(b) depends on the totality of the circumstances and it is not necessary for there to be an actual agreement between the parents. Further, a first-impression determination of habitual residence is subject to review for clear error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Family Law

Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Bob Richards rule, which provides that in the absence of an agreement, a refund belongs to the group member responsible for the losses that led to it, promulgated in response to issues stemming from the IRS’s allowing affiliated groups of corporations to file consolidated federal tax returns, is not a legitimate exercise of federal common lawmaking.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Holguin-Hernandez v. U.S.

A defendant advocating for a particular sentence communicates that a longer sentence is “greater than necessary” and has thereby informed the court of the legal error for an appellate challenge to the substantive reasonableness of the sentence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma

ERISA §1113's three-year statute of limitations for breaches in which a plaintiff has "actual knowledge" requires a factual showing that the plaintiff was actually aware of the information that constitutes the alleged breach. A showing of constructive knowledge is insufficient.

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

Shular v. United States

Section 924(e)(2)(A)(ii) of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s definition of “serious drug offense,” requires that the state offense involve the conduct specified in the statute; the state offense need not match certain generic offenses.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

March 7 summaries

Kansas v. Garcia

IRCA does not expressly or impliedly preempt state prosecution for fraudulently using another person’s information on state and federal tax-withholding forms even when that same information is found on an I-9 form.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Allen v. Cooper Gov. of North Carolina

Congress lacks the authority to abrogate the government’ sovereign immunity from copyright infringement suits under the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

Comcast Corp. v. Nat’l Ass’n of African American-Owned Media

Under the text and history of 42 U.S.C. §1981, there is no exception to depart from the common law principle requiring a plaintiff to first plead and then prove that its injury would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s unlawful conduct.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Davis v. United States

When a plain error affects substantial rights, neither Rule 52(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure nor federal precedent shields any category of errors from plain-error review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr

An appellate court may review a question of equitable tolling under the Limited Review Provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act as undisputed or established facts present a question of law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Kahler v. Kansas

Due process does not require that a test of insanity as a defense to a crime turn on a defendant’s ability to recognize the moral turpitude of his crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

CITGO Asphalt Ref. Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co.

"Safe-berth" clauses in maritime contracts, depending on the language, embody a warranty of safety, imposing liability for unsafe berth regardless of the care taken by the charterer in choosing a berth.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

April 6 summaries

Babb v. Wilkie

The plain language of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 shows that age need not be the but-for cause of a personnel action for there to be a violation of 29 U.S.C. § 633a(a).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

Kansas v. Glover

When an officer runs a license plate and learns that the owner has a revoked license—absent knowledge of any contradictory facts—it is reasonable for the officer to infer that the driver is also the owner of the vehicle, and the traffic stop is justified.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee

The application for stay presented to Justice Kavanaugh and by him referred to the Court is granted. The District Court’s order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed to the extent it requires the State to count absentee ballots postmarked after April 7, 2020.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian

A state court retains jurisdiction to hear claims arising under state common law despite Congress’ grant of exclusive original jurisdiction to the district courts to hear controversies arising under 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. Landowners within a Superfund site may be considered potentially responsible parties for purposes of needing EPA approval to take remedial action under 42 U.S.C. § 9622(e)(6).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

Ramos v. Louisiana

The Sixth Amendment’s protection against nonunanimous felony guilty verdicts applies to States through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145 (1968)

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP

35 U.S.C. § 314(d) precludes judicial review of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board's decisions regarding the application of §315(b)'s time limitation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

June 0 summaries


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