Zach Stern

United States Supreme Court (10 summaries)

Florida v. Harris

A court should find probable cause for a search based on a narcotics detection dog’s alert when the State produces proof that the dog is reliable at detecting drugs in a controlled setting and the defendant fails to contest that showing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Nitro-Lift Technologies v. Howard

When parties enter into a mandatory arbitration contract, any claim attacking the validity of the contract's terms must be decided by the arbitrator in the first instance and any state statute providing otherwise is "displaced by the [Federal Arbitration Act]."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland et al.

Congress' abrogation of state sovereign immunity in FMLA’s “self-care” provision is unconstitutional because it lacks congruence and proportionality to the harm it seeks to remedy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Jackson v. Hobbs

Whether sentencing a fourteen-year-old convicted of aggravated murder to life imprisonment without possibility of parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Howes v. Fields

Police were not required to issue Miranda warnings when interrogating a prisoner for an unrelated offense when the totality of the circumstances suggest that the prisoner was not in an inherently coercive situation

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals

Whether Congress constitutionally abrogated states' Eleventh Amendment immunity when it passed the self-care leave provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards

Whether a private purchaser of real estate settlement services has Article III standing to sue for a RESPA violation when that violation does not affect the price or the quality of the services provided.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

Jackson v. Hobbs

Whether sentencing a fourteen year old to life imprisonment without possibility of parole after being convicted of aggravated murder constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Missouri v. Frye

Whether trial counsel’s failure to disclose an offer made during plea negotiations to his client amounts to ineffective assistance of counsel when the defendant later pled guilty and was sentenced to less favorable terms.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Post-Conviction Relief

Howes v. Fields

Whether police are required to issue Miranda warnings to an incarcerated prisoner during a criminal investigation of an unrelated offense.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted (3 summaries)

Metrish v. Lancaster

(1) Whether the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to abolish a criminal defendant's right to raise diminished capacity as a mitigating defense was “unexpected and indefensible” such that it could not be constitutionally applied retroactively to Respondent's past conduct; and (2) whether the retroactive application of that decision was so lacking in justification that Respondent is entitled to habeas relief.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Alleyne v. United States

Whether Harris v. United States, which held that the Constitution does not require facts which increase a mandatory minimum sentence to be determined by a jury, should be overruled.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Johnson v. Williams

(1)Whether a habeas petitioner's claim has been “adjudicated on the merits” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); and (2) whether, under § 2254, a federal habeas court (a) may grant relief on the ground that the petitioner had a Sixth Amendment right to retain a biased juror on the panel and (b) may reject a state court’s finding of juror bias because it disagrees with the finding and the reasons stated for it, even where the finding was rationally supported by evidence in the state-court record.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus