Civil Procedure

Shapiro v. McManus - Post Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 11-24-15 featuring Michael T. Morley
Michael T. Morley November 24, 2015

On November 4, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Shapiro v. McManus. In this case several Maryland citizens sued state election officials claiming that a 2011 redistricting plan violated their rights to political association and equal representation under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  Although federal law normally requires such claims to be heard by a three-judge federal court, a single judge dismissed the suit for failure to state a claim, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether a single-judge federal district court may determine that a claim governed by the Three-Judge Court Act is insubstantial, and that three judges therefore are not required--not because it concludes that the complaint is wholly frivolous, but because it concludes that the complaint fails to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

To discuss the case, we have Michael T. Morley, who is Assistant Professor at Barry University School of Law.

The Texting Case

Short video featuring Richard A. Samp discussing Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez
Richard A. Samp October 09, 2015

Advertising agency Campbell-Ewald sent recruitment texts to Jose Gomez on behalf of the US Navy, violating a little-known law. When Mr. Gomez sued, Campbell-Ewald offered to pay the statutory damages in full. In this upcoming case, the Supreme Court will consider whether or not Mr. Gomez has Article III standing: is there still a controversy since an offer for complete relief has been made?

Washington Legal Foundation Attorney Chief Counsel Richard A. Samp previews the case being argued October 14. Mr. Samp clarifies that although the Supreme Court will decide whether or not Mr. Gomez has standing to sue, the underlying issue involves the possibility of a Class Action lawsuit against Campbell-Ewald.

Mr. Samp authored the Washington Legal Foundation amicus curiae brief in support of petitioner Campbell-Ewald Company.

Federal Class Action Rule Under Construction - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Mary Massaron September 30, 2015

The federal rulemakers have begun a wholesale reexamination of the rule on class actions, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Both the plaintiffs' bar and the defense bar have proposed significant changes. During this Teleforum, we discussed some of these proposals and explained where the rulemaking process is at the present time and how you can get involved to make your views known.


  • Prof. Brian Fitzpatrick, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Mary Massaron, Partner, Plunkett Cooney

Should a royalty agreement exceed the life of a patent?

Short video featuring Greg Dolin
Gregory Dolin May 12, 2015

Professor Greg Dolin of the University of Baltimore School of Law discusses the dispute in Kimble v. Marvel, a case argued before the Supreme Court in March.  Petitioner Kimble invented and patented a toy.  Respondent Marvel contractually agreed to pay royalties on that patent that included a period of time after the expiration of the patent.  The Court is being asked to overrule a precedent dating back to 1964 which held such agreements to be unlawful per se.  

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-3-15 featuring Kristen Osenga
Kristen Osenga February 03, 2015

On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. This case concerned whether a district court’s factual finding in support of its construction of a patent claim may be reviewed de novo--the standard applied by the Federal Circuit in this case--or must instead be reviewed only for clear error, in keeping with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a).

In an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer, the Court held by a vote of 7-2 that when reviewing a district court’s resolution of subsidiary factual matters made in the course of its construction of a patent claim, the Federal Circuit must apply a “clear error,” not a de novo, standard of review.  The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings

Justice Breyer’s opinion was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.  Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice Alito joined.

To discuss the case, we have Prof. Kristen Osenga, who is a Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law.