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Petitions to Watch | Conference of 6.17.10

This edition of “Petitions to Watch” features cases up for consideration at the Justices’ private conference today, Thursday, June 17.  As always, it lists the petitions on the Court’s paid docket that Tom has deemed to have a reasonable chance of being granted.  Links to all previous editions are available in our SCOTUSwiki archive.

Title: Walker v. Martin
Docket: 09-996
Issue: Whether, in federal habeas corpus proceedings, a state law under which a prisoner may be barred from collaterally attacking his conviction when the prisoner “substantially delayed” filing his habeas petition is “inadequate” to support a procedural bar because (1) the federal court believes that the rule is vague and (2) the state failed to prove that its courts “consistently” exercised their discretion when applying the rule in other cases.

Title: Wyeth v. Scroggin
Docket: 09-1123
Issues: (1) Whether a partial retrial limited to punitive damages violates the Seventh Amendment; and (2) whether a trial court can admit the testimony of a scientific expert without expressly addressing the applicability of the factors set out in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993).

Title: Mendoza v. Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire
Docket: 09-1124
Issue: Whether a party to a multidistrict litigation proceeding conducted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 may seek to overturn an adverse forum non conveniens pretrial ruling by the transferee district court through mandamus to the circuit court with appellate authority over the transferor district court, rather than the circuit court with such authority over the transferee district court, after the cases are returned to the transferor district court for trial.

Title: City of Milwaukee Post No. 2874 Veterans of Foreign Wars v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee
Docket: 09-1204
Issues: (1) Whether the Wisconsin Supreme Court violated the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by applying Wisconsin’s “undivided fee rule” in this eminent domain case; and (2) whether that same court violated the petitioner’s constitutional right to due process of law by refusing to permit the petitioner, as the owner of a valuable interest in property being taken through eminent domain, to introduce any evidence of the value of its leasehold property.

Title: Endicott v. Icicle Seafoods
Docket: 09-1393
Issue: Whether the plaintiff’s right to choose a jury trial in state court Jones Act cases is a substantive federal right, as is true for Federal Employees Liability Act cases.

Case in which the United States recently filed an amicus brief in response to the Court’s call for the views of the Solicitor General:

Title: Holy See v. Doe
Docket: 09-01
Issue: Whether the tort exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act confers jurisdiction when the tortious act itself falls outside the scope of employment but state law extends vicarious liability based upon non-tortious precursor conduct falling within the scope of employment.

Title: Chase Bank USA v. McCoy
Docket: 09-329
Issue: When a creditor increases the periodic rate on a credit card account in response to a cardholder default, pursuant to a default rate term that was disclosed in the contract governing the account, does Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. § 226.9(c), require the creditor to provide the cardholder with a change-in-terms notice even though the contractual terms governing the account have not changed?

Title: Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy v. Reinhard
Docket: 09-529
Issue: Whether the Eleventh Amendment categorically precludes an independent state agency from bringing an action in federal court against state officials for prospective injunctive relief to remedy a violation of federal law.

Title: Ortho Biotech Products v. United States ex rel. Duxbury
Docket: 09-654
Issues: (1) Whether a federal court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act that repeats publicly disclosed allegations from prior litigation, when the FCA relator did not provide the government with information on the suit’s allegations before the public disclosure; and (2) whether an FCA relator, alleging that the defendant induced a third party to submit false or fraudulent claims, can satisfy Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure without identifying a single false or fraudulent claim, but merely by alleging facts sufficient “to strengthen the inference of fraud beyond possibility.”

UPDATE: Originally this post included two “redistributed” petitions, 08-1335 and 09-203, that we listed on editions of Petitions to Watch at the beginning of the Term.  These are no longer serious candidates for cert. grants.