SCOTUScast 11-18-15 featuring Edwin Williamson
On October 5, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs. This case involves a dispute regarding whether federal courts have jurisdiction over a lawsuit brought by Carol Sachs against OBB Personenverkher--the Austrian national railroad--when her legs were crushed by a train in Austria while she was using a Eurail Pass that she had purchased in the United States.
The question before the Supreme Court is twofold: (1) whether common law principles of agency apply in determining whether an entity is an “agent” of a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA); and (2) whether, under the first clause of the commercial activity exception of the FSIA, a tort claim for personal injuries suffered in connection with travel outside of the United States is “based upon” the allegedly tortious conduct occurring outside of the United States, or the preceding sale of the ticket in the United States for the travel entirely outside the United States.
To discuss the case, we have Edwin D. Williamson, who is Of Counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. SCOTUScast 5-12-15 featuring Richard Peltz-Steele
On April 22, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in two related cases: United States v. Wong and United States v. June.
In both cases the central issue is whether the time limit for filing a lawsuit or claim with a federal court or agency under the Federal Tort Claims Act can be suspended, or “tolled,” for reasons of equity.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kagan, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that limitations periods under the Federal Tort Claims Act are subject to equitable tolling. Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined Justice Kagan’s opinion for the Court. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas joined. The decision of the Ninth Circuit was affirmed and the case remanded.
To discuss the case, we have Prof. Richard Peltz-Steele, who is a Professor of Law at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth School of Law. SCOTUScast 12-10-14 featuring Paul Figley
Paul Figley December 10, 2014
On December 10, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in two related cases: United States v. Wong and United States v. June.
In United States v. Wong the question is whether the six-month time bar for filing suit in federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b), is subject to equitable tolling. In U.S. v. June, the question is whether the two-year time limit for filing an administrative claim with the appropriate federal agency under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b), is subject to equitable tolling.
To discuss the case, we have Prof. Paul Figley, who is the Associate Director of the Legal Writing and Rhetoric Program at the American University Washington College of Law.
Little Rock Lawyers Chapter
The Little Rock Lawyers Chapter hosted a debate titled "Is Tort Reform Conservative?" at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Room on June 24, 2014. Brian Brooks of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and James Copland of the Manhattan Institute offered their contrasting views on the constitutionality of varying tort reform measures, and also shared their analyses on how those measures align with traditional conservative values.
- Brian Brooks, Counsel, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
- James R. Copland, Senior Fellow and Director, Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy
- Moderator: Chad Pekron, Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC