Please note the below highlights

 

2014 US Supreme Court Decisions

Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al.

Opinion: May 5, 2014

Held:  The town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with prayer that comports with our tradition and does not coerce participation by nonadherents.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-696_4f57.pdf

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

Opinion: April 22, 2014

Held: An amendment to Michigan’s constitution, which prohibits state universities from considering race as part of its admissions process, does not violate the US Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-682_8759.pdf

Prado Navarette v. California

Opinion: April 22, 2014

Held: Under the totality of the circumstances, the traffic stop precipitated by an anonymous but reliable tip to 911 complied with the Fourth Amendment because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the truck’s driver was intoxicated, making the traffic stop reasonable under the circumstances.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-9490_3fb4.pdf

2013 US Supreme Court Decisions

Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. 

Opinion: December 16, 2013

Held: Absent a controlling statute to the contrary, when a participant in an employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the plan agree, by contract, to a particular limita­tions period, that  limitations period is enforceable even if it begins to run before the cause of action accrues, so long as the period is reasonable.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-729_q8l1.pdf

Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Opinion: December 3, 2013

Held:

1.  A forum-selection clause may be enforced by a motion to transfer under §1404(a), which provides that “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transferany civil action to any other district or division where it might havebeen brought or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.”

2.  When a defendant files a §1404(a) motion, a district court should transfer the case unless extraordinary circumstances unrelated to the convenience of the parties clearly disfavor a transfer. No such exceptional factors appear to be present in this case.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-929_olq2.pdf

United States v. Woods

Opinion: December 3, 2013

Held:

1. The District Court had jurisdiction to determine whether the partnerships’ lack of economic substance could justify imposing a valuation-misstatement penalty on the partners.

2. The valuation-misstatement penalty applies in this case.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-562_k5fl.pdf

Burt, Warden v. Tiltow

Opinion: November 5, 2013

Held: The Sixth Circuit failed to apply the “doubly deferential” standard of review recognized by the Court’s case law when it refused to credit the state court’s reasonable factual finding and assumed that counsel was ineffective where the record was silent.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-414_5h26.pdf

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District

Opinion: June 25, 2013

Held: The government’s demand for property from a land-use permit applicant must satisfy the Nollan /Dolan requirements even when it denies the permit.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-1447_4e46.pdf

Shelby County v. Holder

Opinion: June 25, 2013

Held: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional; its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar

Opinion: June 24, 2013

Held: Employee retaliation claims filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must be proved according to traditional principles of but-for causation, not the lessened causation test stated in the 42 U.S.C. § 2000e–2(m).

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-484_o759.pdf

Florida v. Jardines

Opinion: March 26, 2013

Held: A drug-sniffing dog at the front door of a house where police suspected drug activity constitutes a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-564_5426.pdf

Wos v. E.M.A.

Opinion: March 20, 2013

Held: The federal anti-lien provision pre-empts North Carolina’s irrebuttable statutory presumption that one-third of a tort recovery is attributable to medical expenses.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-98_9ol1.pdf

Levin v. U.S.

Opinion: March 4, 2013

Held:  The Gonzalez Act direction in §1089(e) abrogates the FTCA’s intentional tort exception and therefore permits Levin’s suit against the United States alleging medical battery by a Navy doctor acting within the scope of his employment.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-1351_aplc.pdf

 

2011 US Supreme Court Decisions

Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid

Held: The OCSLA extends coverage to an employee who can establish a
substantial nexus between his injury and his employer’s extractive
operations on the OCS.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-507.pdf

 

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al.

Held:
1. The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First
Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their
churches, claiming termination in violation of employment discrimination laws.

2. Because Perich was a minister within the meaning of the ministerial exception, the First Amendment requires dismissal of this employment discrimination suit against her religious employer.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf

 

Minneci et al. v. Pollard et al. 

Held: Because in the circumstance of this case, state tort law authorizes
adequate alternative damages actions—providing both significant deterrence and compensation—no Bivens remedy can be implied here.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-1104.pdf

 

Smith v. Cain, Warden 

Held: Brady requires that Smith’s conviction be reversed. The State does not dispute that the eyewitness’s statements were favorable to Smith and that those statements were not disclosed to Smith. Under Brady, evidence is material if there is a “reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” Cone v. Bell, 556 U. S. 449, 469–470. A “reasonable probability” means that the likelihood of a different result is great enough to “undermine[ ] confidence in the outcome of the trial.”  Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U. S. 419, 434. Evidence impeaching an eyewitness’s testimony may not be material if the State’s other evidence is strong enough to sustain confidence in the verdict. United States v. Agurs, 427 U. S. 97, 112–113, and n. 21. Here, owever, the eyewitness’s testimony was the only evidence linking Smith to the crime, and the eyewitness’s undisclosed statements contradicted his testimony. The eyewitness’s statements were plainly material, and the State’s failure to disclose those statements to the defense thus violated Brady.

Read the Opinion at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-8145.pdf

 

If there is a Court decision you would like us to place on this page, send your request to admin@ncgopattorneys.com

 Stay tuned for more updates…