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Thursday round-up

Yesterday, the court heard oral argument in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., a case involving a challenge to the use of a structured dismissal to resolve a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Daniel Bussel analyzes the argument for this blog. Another look at the argument comes from Ross Runkel at his eponymous blog.

Tuesday’s argument docket featured Life Technologies v. Promega, a patent case that asked when export of a “substantial portion” of the components of a patented invention for assembly outside the country creates patent infringement liability. John Duffy has this blog’s argument analysis.

Tuesday’s decision in Samsung Electronics v. Apple, in which the court held that for purposes of a patent-damage award, an “article of manufacture” can be a component of a product, continues to attract attention. Jacob Wharton looks at the opinion in The National Law Review, noting that “the decision enables juries and courts to determine that an infringing ‘article of manufacture’ is less than a product as sold in toto, potentially reducing the value of damages available to patentees.” Commentary also comes from Michael Risch in Written Description, who remarks that “this is an area that is not going to be getting clarity any time soon.”

At The Employment Law Group, Scott Oswald takes a look at Tuesday’s opinion in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, in which the court ruled that a violation of the seal requirement does not mandate dismissal of a suit brought under the False Claims Act, concluding that the “Supreme Court has placed responsibility for penalizing seal violations under the False Claims Act (FCA) squarely where it belongs: At the ‘sound discretion’ of the district court whose order was broken.” Additional coverage appears in The National Law Review.

Last week, the court agreed to review County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, a case that asks whether law enforcement officials can be held liable when they intentionally or recklessly provoke a violent confrontation.  At the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen takes a look at the case. Additional coverage comes from Cristian Farias at The Huffington Post, who notes that the case “will offer the justices and the public a chance to learn about a quirk in the law of policing” involving the “so-called ‘provocation rule,’ which only applies in the nine states covered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit,” and which “opens up officers to liability if they act unconstitutionally in the lead-up to their encounters with everyday citizens.”


  • At Bloomberg BNA, Kimberly Robinson and Patrick Gregory begin handicapping the chances of the 21 entries on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court appointees, narrowing the field to ten.
  • In The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro reports that The Slants, the Asian-American rock band whose dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the office’s refusal to trademark the band’s name is before the Supreme Court this term in Lee v. Tam, has released a song about the case; among the lyrics … : ‘There’s no room/ For your backward feelings/ And your backyard dealings/ We’re never gonna settle/ We’re never gonna settle.’”
  • At Disability Scoop, Michelle Diament looks at Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court will determine what level of educational benefits students with disabilities must receive, noting that “the case is garnering attention from all corners.”
  • In her column in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse observes that recent statistics included in the joint appendix in Buck v. Davis, a case that “challenges the Fifth Circuit’s refusal to review an African-American death-row inmate’s death sentence despite the state’s concession 16 years ago that the sentence was most likely infected by racial bias,” “reveal the Fifth Circuit to be the outlier that is has anecdotally long appeared to be.”
  • In The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro looks at possible candidates for solicitor general in the Trump administration, observing that “no matter who becomes solicitor general, the office’s culture and traditions make it unlikely that the rest of the small office will change very much.”
  • In The National Law Review, Brian Casey discusses Tuesday’s decision in Salman v. United States, in which the court upheld an insider-trading conviction, observing that the “brevity of the opinion, the speed from oral argument to decision (scarcely two months), and its unanimity all seem to suggest that this Court is comfortable with the state of its insider trading jurisprudence.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 8, 2016, 7:34 AM),