Tort Law

United States v. Wong and United States v. June - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-12-15 featuring Richard Peltz-Steele
Richard J. Peltz-Steele May 12, 2015

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.

United States v. Wong and United States v. June - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

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.


Is Tort Reform Conservative? - Event Video

Little Rock Lawyers Chapter
Brian G. Brooks, James R. Copland, Chad W. Pekron July 16, 2014

Courtroom gavelThe 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

Residual Class Action Awards: Cy Pres - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Theodore H. Frank March 21, 2014

gavel money

Cy pres (from the French cy pres comme —“as near as possible”) originated in the trust context, but has more recently been applied to class action litigation, as courts try to determine what to do with sometimes significant amounts of settlement funds remaining after all identified plaintiff awards have been made.  In recent decades, courts have agreed to award such remaining funds to third party recipients who, while not parties to the underlying suits, are deemed worthy by the court.  Sometimes, the courts have selected these third party recipients based on recommendations from the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.  What are the legal underpinnings for such awards to entities or people not party to the underlying case?  What are the policy considerations in making or prohibiting such awards?  These and other questions were discussed by our experts.


  • Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Mr. Theodore H. Frank, Founder and President, Center for Class Action Fairness and Adjunct Fellow, Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy

[Listen now!]