Willamette Law Online

(18 summaries)

Joanna Fluckey

United States Supreme Court

TitleExcerptFilling Date
Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center & Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. v. Northwest Environmental Defense CenterEnvironmental Law: The EPA should be afforded deference in its interpretation of the Industrial Stormwater Rule (40 CFR §122.26(b)(14)), that stormwater discharges channeled through man-made ditches are “natural runoff” and the ditches are not “point sources” of pollution that require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.(03-20-2013)
Bailey v. United StatesCriminal Procedure: The rule in [italics]Michigan v. Summers,[/italics] 452 U. S. 692, which permits officers executing a search warrant to “detain the occupants of the premises while a proper search is conducted” is limited to the immediate vicinity of the premises to be searched.(02-19-2013)
Lozman v. Riviera BeachAdmiralty: The test for whether a floating structure is a vessel is “[whether] a reasonable observer, looking to the home’s physical characteristics and activities, would consider it designed to a practical degree for carrying people or things over water.”(01-15-2013)
Wood v. MilyardHabeas Corpus: Courts of appeals have authority to raise a forfeited timeliness defense [italics]sua sponte[/italics] in exceptional cases, but the court of appeals abused its discretion when it dismissed petitioner’s habeas petition as untimely because the state had deliberately waived the statute of limitations defense.(04-24-2012)
Kappos v. HyattPatents: A patent applicant’s ability to introduce new evidence in a civil 35 U.S.C. § 145 claim is limited only by the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). The district court is to review new evidence concerning a disputed question of fact [italics]de novo[/italics] taking into account the administrative record of the Patent and Trade Office (PTO) as well as the new evidence.(04-18-2012)
Florida v. Department of Health and Human ServicesConstitutional Law: (1) Whether Congress may make federal Medicaid funding contingent upon States providing expanded health care in order to coerce States into accepting conditions that Congress would be otherwise unable to impose directly; and (2) Whether the individual mandate that requires Americans to purchase health insurance, if deemed unconstitutional, may be severed from the rest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.(03-28-2012)
Reynolds v. United StatesCriminal Procedure: The Sex Offender Registration Act does not require offenders convicted before the Act was passed to register until the Attorney General has validly specified that the registration provisions apply to them.(01-23-2012)
PPL Montana v. MontanaConstitutional Law: (Whether the constitutional test for determining if a river is navigable for title purposes requires an inquiry into whether the stretch in controversy was navigable at the time that the State joined the Union or whether the appropriate test is whether the river as a whole is navigable based on present day use)(12-07-2011)
Smith v. CainCriminal Procedure: Whether Louisiana state courts erred when they rejected petitioner's Brady v. Maryland claims that the district attorney failed to produce evidence favorable to the accused and thus violated his due process rights.(11-08-2011)
Kobel v. Dutch PetroleumCorporations: (1) Whether the question of corporate civil tort liability under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. §1350, is a question of merits or one of subject matter jurisdiction; and (2) whether a corporation may be held liable for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations, such as torture or genocide, under the ATS like any other private party defendant or whether they are immune from such liability.(10-17-2011)
Kappos v. HyattPatents: (1) Whether a plaintiff appealing the denial of a patent by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) through the use of a civil action in Federal District Court under 35 U.S.C. § 145 may introduce new evidence that was not initially presented to the PTO; and (2) whether factual questions related to the new evidence are to be reviewed de novo or whether the district court must give deference to the PTO's decision.(01-08-2011)

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted

TitleExcerptFilling Date
Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.Patents: Whether human genes are patentable.(11-30-2012)
Gunn v. MintonCivil Procedure: Whether federal courts possess exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction over state-based legal malpractice claims that require application of federal patent law.(10-05-2012)
Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center & Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense CenterEnvironmental Law: Whether the Ninth Circuit erred when it rejected the EPA’s position that runoff from forest roads does not require a permit and mandated that the EPA regulate such runoff as industrial stormwater subject to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).(06-25-2012)
Bailey v. United StatesCriminal Procedure: Whether Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981) allows police officers executing a search warrant to detain an individual who left the premises before the warrant was executed.(06-04-2012)
Florida v. HarrisCriminal Procedure: Whether an alert by a narcotics detection dog is sufficient to establish probable cause to search a vehicle.(03-26-2012)
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.Corporations: (1) Whether the question of corporate civil tort liability under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. §1350, is a question of merits or one of subject matter jurisdiction; and (2) whether, like any other private party, a corporation may be held liable under the ATS for committing a tort, such as torture or genocide, in violation of the law of nations, or whether it is immune from liability.(02-28-2012)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. FloridaConstitutional Law: (1) Whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is beyond Congress’ Article I power because it includes a mandate for individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a monetary fine; and (2) Whether the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. §7421(a), bars suits by challengers to the Act.(11-14-2011)