By Blawgletter’s count, the Justices have completed more than half of the days they’ve devoted in the 2007 term to oral arguments — 23 out of 40. That leaves 17, but we can detect little bidness meat on the remaining bone.
The biggest case on the docket already produced a 5-3 decision — Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., No. 06-43 (U.S. Jan. 15, 2008). Which, as we dutifully reported, held that fraud participants who hide their involvement can escape responsibility for the fraud.
What remains? How can this term possibly outdo the last one, in which defendants won every dadgum bidness case? We describe, you ponder our descriptions’ accuracy.
- Klein & Co. Futures v. Board of Trade, No. 06-1265 — ability of commodities brokers to sue for losses. Preview here. (Our prediction: they can sue. Whoopy doo.)
- Hall Street Assoc. v. Mattell, Inc., No. 06-989 — can parties contractually force judges to expand review of arbitration awards? (No.)
- Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 06-179 — federal pre-emption by Food and Drug Administration approval of death-dealing device. (The more lethal, the greater pre-emption.)
- LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Assoc., Inc., No. 06-856 — companies’ ability to thwart efforts to recover losses to employees’ pension accounts. Report here. (Thwarting has its limits.)
- Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., No. 06-937 — scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine. (Doctrine will expand.)
- Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-219 — whether Exxon profits from knowingly putting a drunkard in charge of an oil tanker that ran aground offshore Alaska. Post here. (Exxon will indeed get away with evil behavior.)
- Sprint Communications v. APCC Services, Inc., No. 07-552 — whether assigning claims to a trade association deprives the assignee of standing. (Assignability improves enforcement of rights; it therefore must die.)
Each case aims to curtail rights of plaintiffs. If last term provides any guide, there will be curtailment.