Friday, October 28, 2016

The Chicago Cubs and Supreme Court history - courtesy of Prof. Barrett

For the Jackson List:


United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a Chicago native, has been rooting for the Chicago Cubs almost since they last won a World Series—that was in 1908, just twelve years before Stevens was born.


As Justice Stevens explained in a great interview posted on SCOTUSblog this morning (click here), he has seen many Cubs baseball games in Wrigley Field.  On October 1, 1932, for example, he attended the third game of that year’s World Series and witnessed Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot” home run … and thus saw the New York Yankees beat the Cubs, 7-5, on their way to sweeping that World Series.


On that day in 1932, a man named James M. Marsh, age nineteen, was listening to that game on the radio in western Pennsylvania and keeping score in his scorebook.  Fifteen years later, Jim Marsh was clerking for Justice Robert H. Jackson at the Supreme Court.  Marsh became a close friend of John Stevens, who was clerking then for Justice Wiley Rutledge.  Marsh learned of Stevens’s love for the Cubs, and that he had seen Babe Ruth hit the called shot.  In time, Marsh located his 1932 scorecard and gave it to Stevens.  Justice Stevens then displayed it on the wall of his Supreme Court chambers.


In contrast to Stevens and Marsh (and many of us), Justice Robert H. Jackson was no baseball fan.  In 1951, for example, when Major League Baseball had leadership troubles and Jackson was reported to be under consideration to become its next commissioner, he found the idea distasteful.


In summer 1950, as Jackson was preparing to take a cross-country train trip with his friend Harrison Tweed, a leading New York City lawyer, and he wrote Jackson to suggest that they see a baseball game on a layover day in Chicago, Jackson wrote back immediately, voting no:


Personally, I don’t care much about baseball and haven’t seen a game in a good many years.  Why don’t we take our chances on what we can do during the day[?]  Maybe some good friend like [Chicago lawyer] Tap Gregory will come to our rescue.  I may get in touch with him.


Two summers early, indeed while Jim Marsh was beginning his second year as Jackson’s law clerk, Jackson commented privately, and not approvingly, that Babe Ruth’s death had garnered more news attention than had the death of Tweed’s law partner Walter Hope.  (Really.)


But Justice Jackson did have a near-brush with the Chicago Cubs, and, indeed, with the Cubs in the World Series.  In early October 1945, beginning on the 6th of the month, Jackson was working in Berlin, in preparation for the impending prosecution of Nazi war criminals that he would be leading in Nuremberg.  Jackson kept busy during the next four days with numerous meetings, some social occasions, and his own work.  But really he was waiting for U.S. and other nations’ judges to arrive in Berlin so that the International Military Tribunal could hold its first session there (in the Soviet zone of military occupation), formally receiving the prosecutors’ indictment of the defendants, before adjourning to Nuremberg (in the U.S. zone) to conduct the trial.


By October 10, 1945, Jackson, knowing that he had much work to do in Nuremberg, was fed up with waiting around in Berlin.  He left two of his deputies to continue the work there.  Jackson had command of a military plane, and he ordered it to fly him and some of his team that evening to Nuremberg.


During the flight, Justice Jackson stayed in his seating area on the plane, I am sure.  But others, including his son and executive assistant Bill Jackson, crowded around the cockpit.  They managed to listen there to a radio broadcast of the final game of the World Series, which was being played in Wrigley Field.  (Alas for Cubs fans such as then-first year law student John Paul Stevens, just back in Chicago and civilian life after four years of wartime service in the U.S. Navy, the Detroit Tigers won that World Series game seven, beating the Chicago Cubs, 9-3, and thus the Series.)


In 2016, the long wait of Justice Stevens and all Cubs fans for a World Series championship is compelling.


It bears at least passing note, however, that another Justice, Harold H. Burton (1888-1964), would be rooting the other way.  Justice Burton was colleague of Justice Jackson and Justice Rutledge on the Court, and Burton was everyone’s model of judicial diligence and fairness.  Harold Burton had served as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, from 1935 until 1940.  He then became a U.S. Senator from Ohio, serving from 1941 until he resigned following his appointment to the Supreme Court.


Justice Burton was commissioned a Supreme Court justice on September 22, 1945.


That autumn, seventy-one years ago, was only three years before the Cleveland Indians, the Cubs’ opponent this year, won their most recent World Series.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Charles Desmond Inn of Court launches new FB page

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chautauqua Institute

I am very pleased to report that Tracey Meares, Ward Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale University, will deliver Chautauqua Institution’s 12th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States, on Monday, July 11, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy.

Tracey L. Meares is a leading scholar, teacher and writer, focusing on criminal procedure and criminal law policy and emphasizing empirical investigation of those subjects.  She has worked extensively with the United States government, including from 2004-11 as a member of the Committee on Law & Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, and on National Research Council committees that reviewed, respectively, research on police policy and practices, and the National Institute of Justice.  In November 2010, Attorney General Holder appointed Professor Meares to serve on the U.S. Department of Justice’s newly-created Science Advisory Board.  In December 2014, President Obama named Professor Meares a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Professor Meares has been a Yale Law School professor since 2007.  She previously was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School.  At both the University of Chicago and at Yale, Professor Meares was the first African American woman law professor to be granted tenure.  Before going into academia, Tracey Meares was a law clerk for the Honorable Harlington Wood, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then an Honors Program Trial Attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chautauqua Institution, a special venue of arts, education and recreation in western New York State, was a very significant part of Robert H. Jackson’s life, his broad and self-directed education, his public speaking training and experiences, and his thinking.

For an earlier Jackson List post on Chautauqua Institution, click here.

For Chautauqua Institution’s website, click here.

The Jackson Lecture at Chautauqua Institution is a leading annual consideration of the Supreme Court of the United States, on which Justice Robert H. Jackson served from 1941-1954, in the weeks following the completion of the Supreme Court’s annual Term.  Chautauqua’s Jackson Lecturers have been:
2005:  Geoffrey R. Stone, University of Chicago professor;
2006:  Linda Greenhouse, New York Times writer and Yale Law School professor;
2007:  Seth P. Waxman, WilmerHale partner and former Solicitor General of the United States;
2008:  Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer at The New Yorker and CNN senior legal analyst;
2009:  Paul D. Clement, Bancroft PLLC partner and former Solicitor General of the United States;
2010:  Jeff Shesol, historian, communications strategist and former White House speechwriter;
2011:  Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate;
2012:  Pamela Karlan, Stanford University professor;
2013:  Charles Fried, Harvard University professor and former Solicitor General of the United States;
2014:  Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University professor (click here for video); and
2015:  Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard University professor (click here for video).
For further information on Professor Meares’s upcoming lecture, click here.
Coincidentally (and not), this year’s Jackson Lecture at Chautauqua Institution will occur on July 11th, the 75th anniversary of Justice Jackson’s appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Please share this information with others, and thank you for your interest.


John Q. Barrett
Professor of Law, St. John’s University, New York, NY
Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow, Robert H. Jackson Center, Jamestown, NY

Thursday, April 14, 2016

ABL spoke to pre-law students at Niagara University yesterday

Thank you for the invitation professor Kevin Hinkley, a fellow Skadden alumnus.

Friday, April 25, 2014

NYS Trial Academy proposes language for retainer agreements to reflect new rule from the Appellate Division (see prior post)

Monday, April 21, 2014

ABL cited by SCOTUSBLOG in its "Petition of the Day"

        ABL went last week for the cherry blossoms, and hopes to return to appear before the USSC.

NWS">">NWS v. State of Idaho, (USSC 2014)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Appellate Division amends rule concerning contingency fee arrangements

Thank you to Mike Ross, who presented to the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers on this topic.  The old rule permitted 1/3 of the net recovery, whereas the new rule permits either (1) 1/3 of net recovery (i.e., fee calculated & deducted after costs are paid) IF client pays disbursements as they become due (or uses evergreen account) or (2) 1/3 of gross recovery (i.e., fee calculated & deducted before costs are paid).  This rule does not apply to medical malpractice actions.  It is important to revise retainer agreements to explain this choice in clear language. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

new subpoena rules in federal court

The ABA published a summary of the amendments to Rule 45.

Some of the more interesting changes:

Issuing court is the court in which the case is pending (no longer the court in which the recipient is located).  -- 45(a)(2)

Nationwide service permitted -- 45(b)(2)

Reminder that other parties must be served BEFORE the subpoena is served on the recipient -- 45(a)(4)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Witness reliability (or not)

Here is an interesting presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Loftus

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chief Justice Roberts to speak at the Jackson Center

Chief Justice John G. Roberts spoke at the Jackson Center.

It was not the type of event that Jackson might have considered gaudy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

CLE on Legal Ethics & Social Networking

On Thursday March 28, 2013, the Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court presented a CLE on "Legal Ethics & Social Networking" hosted by ABL. 

ABL will borrow generously from the work of fellow Skadden alumnus Nicole Hyland, whose research and comments are found at

Some of her links include (and lead to these interesting links on the subject)

Likewise, ABL also stumbled across this law review article from Touro Law Review ( 

Here is a short video on the subject, including an interesting hypothetical at the end discussing the differences between an investigator watching a plaintiff versus an investigator "friending" a plaintiff on FB etc. (

See also ABL's 4/29/11 post below. 

NY ethics opinions:

NYSBA Opinion 899 (12/21/11):  lawyer may answer questions in "real time" chatgroup, but may only provide general answers (not individual advice).  If person makes specific request seeking to engage the attorney, then the attorney may provide contact informnation (phone, e-mail etc.) permitting the person to contact the attorney outside of the "real time" site.

NYSBA Opinion 873 (6/9/11):  Offering a prize to join attorney's social networking sites is not prohibited as long as offer is not illegal conduct (which may be governed by other laws, such as those governing games of chance)

NYSBA article (9/2012)

Social Media liability risks

presentation to Theodore Roosevelt Inn of Court (Nassau County), 11/2011

ABA article re pitfalls

Monday, February 11, 2013

NY's Uniform Notice of Claim Act

In December, Governor Cuomo signed the Uniform Notice of Claim Act, which was not subject to much (if any) debate in the Legislature.

This law, among other things:

Adds CPLR 217-a:  making statute of limitations 1 year and 90 days for "every action for damages or injuries to real or personal property, or for the destruction thereof, or for personal injuries or wrongful death, against any political subdivision of the state . . . " 

Adds General Municipal Law sections 50-e(3)(f) and 53:  which permits claimants to either serve the NOC on the public entity (as is the case now) or to serve the NY Secretary of State, who may charge a fee of up to $250 and who will transfer the NOC to the named entities within ten days. 

Media accounts state the the sponsors of the bill signed by the Governor were seeking to "demystify" the NOC process to avoid meritorious claims being dismissed based on "technicalities."  It is not clear, however, that this law accomplishes that.  Any "technicalities" in a NOC that will result in dismissal will continue to remain fatal because Section 53(1) notes in relevant part that "[a]ll the requirements relating to the form, content, time limitations, exceptions, extensions, and any other procedural requirements imposed [under 50-e] . . . shall correspondingly apply to a notice of claim served upon the secretary of state as permitted by this section."

Moreover, if a claimant names the wrong entity (i.e., the Port Authority versus the City of New York), then serving the wrong entity via the NYSOS will not do anything to cure the problem. 

The NYSOS is allowed to charge up to $250 per NOC (and to split it with the named entities IF they have provided the NYSOS with "current and timely statutory designation" for service).  It would seem likely that parties serving a NOC will continue to do so in the normal course to save the fee, especially because many NOC's never ripen into a suit -- and because service via the NYSOS does not appear to do anything to "demystify" the NOC process.  Rather, it adds, at claimant's option, another layer of bureaucracy that delays notice to the municipality -- thus undermining the purpose of the NOC statutes (i.e., giving public entities timely notice of a claim in order to investigate the claim).  The NOC process becomes less efficient while giving claimants little, if any, additional benefit.

Despite its name, the Act does not appear to make the NOC process any more uniform than it already is.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Call me maybe

Prof. Jenny Rivera is on her way to being confirmed, but Cuomo has another seat to fill . . .  ABL is ready to serve (and ABL's law review articles are not full of social science gobbleygook)

Speaking of gobbleygook, ABL will be presenting a CLE to the UB GOLD group in March at the Buffalo Club.  The topic will be "recent developments in governmental immunity" as well as the recently enacted Uniform Notice of Claim Act -- which was passed without much deliberation or fanfare.  ABL thanks Kim Georger, who apparently had no one better to ask. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Olma v. Collins -- dismissed by the 2d Circuit

The 2d Circuit agreed with ABL and dismissed claims against the former County Executive and three county employees based on absolute legislative immunity.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Title VII retaliation must relate to EEOC charge

In Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc., the 2d Circuit addressed an issue of first impression -- whether Title VII's "participation clause covers internal [i..e., employer] investigations not associated with a formal EEOC charge."  The court answered the question in the negtive, holding that Title VII's participation clause only extends to a formal EEOC investigation; "it does not include participating in an employer's internal, in-house investigation, conducted apart from a formal charge with the EEOC."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rehnquist, Jackson, and letters stolen from Library of Congress

“I think that Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.”

In December 1952, Supreme Court law clerk William H. Rehnquist wrote that privately to his boss, Justice Robert H. Jackson.  In December 1971, this Rehnquist memorandum, defending the constitutionality of racial segregation under Plessy’s “separate but equal” doctrine, was discovered.  Rehnquist’s own Supreme Court confirmation then hung in the balance.  He claimed that the memorandum reflected Jackson's views, not Rehnquist's.  He was confirmed, but his explanation triggered charges that he had lied and smeared the memory of one of the Court's most revered justices.

Professor Brad Snyder (University of Wisconsin Law School) and I have just published an essay in the Boston College Law Review that pertains to this subject.

Our essay, “Rehnquist's Missing Letter:  A Former Law Clerk's 1955 Thoughts on Justice Jackson and Brown,” analyzes a newly discovered document, a letter that Rehnquist wrote to Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1955, criticizing Jackson.  This 1955 Rehnquist letter reveals what he thought about Jackson shortly after the Supreme Court declared in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional and, just months later, Jackson’s death.  We explain that this 1955 Rehnquist letter was not known during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1971 and 1986, and that it is now missing and may have been stolen from Justice Frankfurter's Papers in the Library of Congress.

We argue that Rehnquist's 1955 letter represents his disappointment with Brown and the beginning of his outspoken criticism of the Warren Court.  We contend that the letter says less about how Rehnquist felt about Jackson and more about Rehnquist's disappointment over his Justice's role in Brown, the most important Supreme Court decision of the 20th century.

Some links—

For the Boston College Law Review, click here.

For Adam Liptak’s New York Times story about our essay and these issues, click here.

For a filmed excerpt from an August 2010 speech in which attorney E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr., explained the process by which Justice Jackson hired him in 1953 to be his solo law clerk, succeeding Rehnquist and his co-clerk, click here.

Thank you for your interest, and please share this with others.
Best wishes,

Professor John Q. Barrett
St. John’s University School of Law
Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow
Robert H. Jackson Center, Inc., Jamestown, NY

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ABL and former County Attorneys -- Christmas celebration

ABL met with former Erie County Attorneys for a holiday celebration.  Pictured from right to left are:  Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., Larry Rubin, Fred Wolf, Ken Schoetz, Cheryl Green, Jim Magavern, Jeremy Colby, Hon. Patrick H. NeMoyer, and Hon. William Straub.

Friday, November 11, 2011

federal courthouse should be named after Justice Robert Jackson

Friday, April 29, 2011

Metadata Ethics Opinions

What's New for 2011 on Ethics? NYSBA CLE

Need help getting into the cloud or going paperless? Call Eric Posa @ DocuSyst (

NYSBA Ethics Opinions (clieck the title link above).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Justice Robert Jackson

Courtesy of Prof. John Q. Barrett of St. John's:

On February 13, 1952, Justice Robert H. Jackson celebrated his 60th birthday. Although the Supreme Court was in recess that week, Jackson and other justices were working in the building. Late that Wednesday afternoon, they were invited to Jackson’s chambers (today Justice Clarence Thomas’s chambers) for a small celebration that included a birthday cake. Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Associate Justices Felix Frankfurter, Harold Burton, Tom Clark and Sherman Minton attended, along with Jackson’s secretary Elsie Douglas, his law clerks and other Court employees.

Justice Burton, a scrupulous diarist, later made this little entry about the occasion:

Late in PM Justice Jackson had a birthday party in his chambers – the Chief Justice, + Justices Frankfurter, Clark + Minton + I attended – also his law clerks his law clerk C. George Niebank Jr + the other.

Niebank’s name was uncommon, but he had been clerking for Jackson for over a year and Burton clearly had gotten to know him. “The other,” apparently Jackson’s second law clerk, had joined the Jackson staff only a few weeks earlier following his December 1951 graduation from law school. His name, William Rehnquist, also was not common. I am sure that Burton in time came to know both the name and the young man. Rehnquist served as a Jackson law clerk through early June 1953 and then went into private law practice in Arizona.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

e-filing in NYS court

Online Demonstration Video of New
E-Filing System Now Available

A demonstration of the new E-Filing System of the New York State Courts (NYSCEF) is now available online at The demo will allow attorneys to get a password and learn the benefits of e-filing and serving documents through NYSCEF. Free training sessions are also available through the NYSCEF Resource Center, for which attendees can obtain CLE Credits. For more information, contact them at 646-386-3033 or

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Facebook authorizations

In ROMANO v. STEELCASE, INC., (N.Y. Sup. 2010) Supreme Court in Suffolk County (Justice Spinner) engaged in a thorough analysis of whether or not defense counsel is entitled to seek an authorization for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The court held that a plaintiff in a personal injury action who is claiming physical limitations and loss of enjoyment are required to provide consents that authorize defense counsel to review plaintiff's Facebook/MySpace pages. Justice Spinner examined federal and Canadian case law because "there is no New York case law directly addressing the issues raised by this application, there are instructive cases from other jurisdictions." Justice Spinner also found that a plaintiff "has no legitimate reasonable expectation of privacy" in their online postings.

A month later, the Fourth Department decided McCANN v. HARLEYSVILLE INS. CO. of NY (2010 WL 4540599 (4th Dep't 2010), which held that it was error to grant a protective order prohibiting defendant from seeking disclosure of plaintiff's Facebook account. Although the court also affirmed the lower court's decision denying defendant's motion to compel, that decision was based on defendant's failure to establish the necessary factual predicate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thank you Mr. Chief Justice, may I have another!

Last night, John G. Roberts, Jr. (USSC CJ) was the Frank J. Raichle Lecturer. "A Conversation with the Chief Justice" was a conversation (thus appropriately titled) between the Chief Justice and his former partner, Joseph M. Hassett, who asked questions presented by Canisius College students, faculty, alumni . . . and even Chief Judge Skretny. It was an unparalleled evening for the WNY legal community and Buffalo's favorite son.

JGR was entertaining and informative. He deftly handled some not-so-deftly crafted questions (ABL wanted to know what JGR's favorite sit-com is and whether he mows his lawn). JGR also offered other bits of wisdom, such as, you should always eat a donut offered by a Court of Appeals judge. He also recollected that, while clerking for then Justice Rehnquist (6 years pre-CJ for WHR), assisted in writing an article on the duties of the Chief Justice, a position that both men would later hold). Generous references to Justice Robert H. Jackson (Jamestown's favorite son).

ABL almost hit for the cycle, shaking hands with judges on each level of the federal judiciary and two of the three levels of the NY State Court system.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Desmond & Jackson

Officers of the Charles S. Desmond (Buffalo) and Robert H. Jackson (Jamestown) Inns of Court met at the Robert H. Jackson Center. ABL and Greg Peterson, Judge Marshall, Judge Walker, and Arthur Bailey are pictured standing around the chair used by Justice Jackson at the USSC.
The Inns are meeting together on October 16, 2010 in Jamestown in conjunction with a play at the Jackson Center on the career of Clarence Darrow. Members of the bench and var who are interested in joining the Inn should contact ABL.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Caveat Emptor

In AIG Europe, S.A. v. MIH Scrap Metals Intern., LLC, 2010 WL 2720593 (W.D.N.Y.,2010), Judge Arcara decided a personal jurisdiction motion in an interesting case involving a multi-million order of copper from Tanzania, that was supposed to be checked by a agent from London when it was loaded on a ship -- and which turned out to be crates full of rocks and dirt. ABL also hears that when the insurer sent an investigator to Africa to snoop around, that he was promptly greeted by armed gunmen who politely asked him to stop asking questions and to leave.

Start saving your pre 1981 pennies -- which are worth more than a crate full of rocks and dirt.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Legal Marketing blog

Friday, May 14, 2010

unsealed affidavit re stolen 4G Iphone

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Attorney Advertising -- Alexander v. Cahill

recent non-compete decision

by Judge Ramos.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Social Networking can impact your cases & clients

Today's Desmond meeting will discuss this topic.

Attached are some useful links:

Monday, April 19, 2010

USSC decision on attorneys' fees

Perdue v. Kenny A. (pdf is linked).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sen. Orrin Hatch speaks to Federalists & Canisius

Sen. Hatch addressed the Buffalo Chapter of the Federalist Society yesterday afternoon -- and gave the Frank J. Raichle presentation at Canisius (at the wonderfully restored Montante Center). Both events were far better than ABL expected. Hatch is an engaging speaker. It is no wonder he has been in the Senate for 34 years.

The Raichle speech discussed the proper role for federal judges, which is to interpret the Constitution and laws as written, not to interpret them in light of changing social mores or the judge's personal preferences or ideology. He references the umpire analogy used by Chief Justice John Roberts (ABL is ready to clerk for you, have your people call my people) in his confirmation hearing. Judges should be like an umpire at a baseball game, calling balls and strikes as they see them, not as they would like them to have been thrown, and not predicting the outcome of the game based on the pre-game review of the teams' rosters. Sen. Hatch decried judicial activism. Although he admitted that conservative judges can also be activists, it is much more common in liberal judges because it is part of their philosophy to believe that the law is a living breathing thing rather than a written set of rules designed to govern behavior and to constrain government and judges. Sen. Hatch referred to the Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade decisions as examples of what happens when judges decide cases without Constitutional moorings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"virtual parade of linguistic horrors"

"Less substantive but also adding to the confusion, the Court observes that in a world where spell-checking and grammar-checking devices are ubiquitously employed, the proposed amended complaint stands resolutely alone, offering a virtual parade of linguistic horrors. After cavalierly invoking the “jurisdication” (sic) of the Court, plaintiff refers to the defendants using dozens of different abbreviations and acronyms, in some cases so far removed from defendants' names as to render them unidentifiable. She converts bulleted lists into separate paragraphs comprised of inscrutable, open-ended sentence fragments, flouts the rules of grammar and sentence construction to the point that many allegations are entirely nonsensical, and vacillates constantly between referring to herself in the first person and third person narrative modes."

This was after the Court noted that the proposed amended complaint was worse than the originally file pro se version. ABL is only a spectator in this one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Deliberate Speed

Seven years ago, ABL submitted a proposal to the Committee responsible for considering changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This proposal remains pending (2 of 5 from 2003 that have not been closed). The is a hyper-link to a list of other such proposals. ABL's proposal is still pending. I recall hearing from the Committee that the process takes a "long, long" time. They were not kidding.

Friday, February 26, 2010

USSC adopts nerve center test

In Hertz v. Friend, the USSC recently adopted the 7th Circuit's nerve center test for ascertaining a corporation's principal place of business for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, ending a 50 year split amongst the circuits.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2009 Celebration of Excellence

ABL attended the Celebration of Excellence. Met Justices Scalia and O'Connor (I am sure it was the highlight of their evening). Enjoyed fabulous food (the pumpkin soup was rivaled only by the crab cakes). Reconnected with friends. Thanks to SouthWest, ABL was free to move about the USSC. Thank you Cindy Dennis!

Federal Bench & Bar dinner

As always, it was an excellent event. A great opportunity to see colleagues and meet a few new ones. Judge Arcara fondly recalled the life and career of Judge Elfvin (n.b. one friendly supplement: Elfvin started his law school career at Harvard while working at GE and that he transferred to Georgetown when he went to DC to work for the Department of the Navy).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2d Cir. on arbitrators' authority to sanction bad faith

In ReliaStar Life Ins. Co. of New York v. EMC National Life Co., (2d Cir. 2009), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals construed a broad arbitration clause and held that the arbitrators were given discretion to sanction a party for bad faith conduct during the arbitration, including attorneys' fees.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Ethics rules are no joking matter . . .

. . . despite the fact that they took effect on April 1, 2009.

A good article (12/08) from the Daily Record is found here