United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted

Opinions Filed in April 2018

Bucklew v. Precythe

(1) Whether, when evaluating a method of execution as-applied challenge, courts should assume that medical staff is competent to ensure an execution will go as planned despite an inmate’s rare and serious medical condition; (2) whether a court may look to the record and determine that a fact finder could conclude that proposed methods of execution are significantly different, or whether there must be a single witness to compare the risks of the State’s and inmate’s proposed methods of execution; (3) whether the Eighth Amendment requires that an inmate challenging a method of execution must prove that another available method will substantially reduce their risk of suffering due to unique medical conditions; and (4) whether Petitioner, in this case, met the burden established in Glossip v. Gross by proving the procedures to be used in his proposed method of execution, the severity of the pain likely to be produced, and how the procedure compares to the State’s method.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Frank v. Gaos

Whether, or in what circumstances, a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that a settlement binding class members must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Remedies

Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela

Whether the Federal Arbitration Act forecloses a state-law interpretation of an arbitration agreement that would authorize class arbitration based solely on general language commonly used in arbitration agreements

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

United States v. Sims

Whether the generic definition of “burglary” under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) includes the burglary of nonpermanent structures or vehicles in which have been adapted for overnight use.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Stokeling v. United States

Whether a state robbery offense which requires a showing of overcoming "victim resistance" for conviction is a "violent felony" subject to Armed Career Criminal sentencing enhancements, if even slight force may satisfy the element of overcoming “victim resistance.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

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