W&L Law Profs Present On Supreme Court Cases to Roanoke Bar

Prof. Brian Murchison
Prof. Brian Murchison

On August 31, 2017, Professors Joan Shaughnessy, Timothy MacDonnell, and Brian Murchison reviewed notable cases of the 2016-17 Supreme Court Term at a meeting of the Roanoke Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Prof. Shaughnessy discussed two cases.  In the first, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, the latest in a series of decisions taking a restrictive view of the scope of personal jurisdiction, the Justices rejected, 8-1, a sliding-scale approach to specific jurisdiction.  In Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc., the Court unanimously clarified standing requirements for intervention of right.

Prof. MacDonnell discussed County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, in which the Court rejected the Ninth Circuit’s provocation rule in a Section 1983 claim involving Fourth Amendment violations.  He also previewed  an upcoming case on whether the Fourth Amendment requires police to secure a warrant before acquiring cell phone records to determine a person’s physical location during a given time frame.

Professor Murchison reviewed Matal v. Tam, in which the Court struck down the anti-disparagement provision of federal trademark law as viewpoint discrimination under the First Amendment.  He also discussed a decision involving the Sixth Amendment’s “impartial jury” right, Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, in which the Court ruled that the longstanding “no-impeachment” rule gives way to judicial inquiry on evidence that an explicit statement of racial bias was made in jury deliberations.

The panel’s audience included federal judges and practitioners convening at the Patrick Henry in Roanoke.

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