Tag Archive | John Roberts

SCOTUS vindicates 2008 Judge Wilner opinion on tolling of limitations

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

On Monday, in Artis v. District of Columbia, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a division of authority on the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d). Under § 1367(d), when a federal court exercises supplemental jurisdiction over a state-law claim, the limitations period on that claim “shall be tolled while the claim is pending and for a period of 30 days after it is dismissed unless State law provides for a longer tolling period.”

Justice Ginsburg, writing for the five-justice majority, noted a division of authority on the application of the statute:

The high courts of Maryland and Minnesota, along with the Sixth Circuit, have held that §1367(d)’s tolling rule pauses the clock on the statute of limitations until 30 days after the state-law claim is dismissed. See In re Vertrue Inc. Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation, 719 F. 3d 474, 481 (CA6 2013); Goodman v. Best Buy, Inc., 777 N. W. 2d 755, 759–760 (Minn. 2010); Turner v. Kight, 406 Md. 167, 180–182, 957 A. 2d 984, 992–993 (2008). In addition to the D. C. Court of Appeals, the high courts of California and the Northern Mariana Islands have held that §1367(d) provides only a 30-day grace period for the refiling of otherwise time-barred claims. See Los Angeles v. County of Kern, 59 Cal. 4th 618, 622, 328 P. 3d 56, 58 (2014); Juan v. Commonwealth, 2001 MP 18, 6 N. Mar. I. 322, 327 (2001).

Maryland found itself on the winning side of that division of authority, Read More…

Rules Committee recommends ending ethics prohibition on “specialist” label

By Michael Wein

In a report released online on Wednesday, the Maryland Rules Committee recommended to the Maryland Court of Appeals that attorneys be no longer prohibited from advertising themselves as “specialists.” This was proposed as an amendment to Rule 19-307.4, Communication of Fields of Practice. (If you’ve never heard of Chapter 19, which now incorporates the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (MLRPC), you’re in good company, as the reorganization only took effect on July 1.) A briefing on why this change has been suggested can be found in my previous extensive write-up two years ago on this Blog.

Read More…

Justice Kagan tells criminal defense bar to go big or go home

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

In Luis v. United States, a fractured Supreme Court found that, in a prosecution for Medicare fraud, the federal government could not freeze untainted assets needed to retain defense counsel. The vote alignment was unusual, and none of the four opinions commanded a majority. The opinion drawing the most attention is Justice Kagan’s solo dissent, which Ian Millhiser has called “the most interesting opinion the Court has handed down this year.” That dissent, read together with a prior opinion on pretrial seizures, sends an important message to the criminal defense bar – go big or go home. Read More…

Seriously, this is a job for Chief Justice Roberts

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

In a February 15 post, I proposed that Chief Justice Roberts publicly address the harm to the judiciary that would result from Senate Republicans’ proposal to turn the November 2016 election into a referendum on filling the Supreme Court vacancy. I cited Chief Justice Hughes’ 1937 letter undermining the “Court-packing plan” as precedent for such an unusual action. A number of commentators – including Lyle Denniston in a post for Constitution Daily, Ruth Marcus in a Washington Post column, and Gabe Roth in an MSNBC op-ed – later echoed the same argument.

I am under no illusion that Chief Justice Roberts would find the idea of a public statement anything but horrifying. But the political landscape, as it has unfolded over the last month, is far more horrifying. Read More…

This is a job for Chief Justice Roberts, judicial statesman

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

February 13 was likely the worst day for Chief Justice Roberts since he joined the Court in 2005. He lost a good friend. He lost an ally. These developments would be awful at any time. The timing, however, turned Justice Scalia’s death into a challenge to the Chief Justice’s quest to preserve the Court’s institutional integrity. Roberts is a student of history, however, and there is precedent for him to take action to defend the judiciary. Read More…

Joe Loves Tom and Sue: Why Roberts Could Be Writing the Same-Sex Marriage Decision

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

[Update, June 26, 2015: Boy was I wrong…]
At the MSBA’s annual Supreme Court panel, Irv Gornstein mentioned that, during April arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, Chief Justice Roberts asked whether bans on same-sex marriage might unconstitutionally discriminate on the basis of sex. Gornstein thought nothing would come of that questioning, because Roberts didn’t follow up on it. But don’t shocked if on June 29 we learn that Roberts is announcing the opinion for the Court, striking down the four states’ bans based on sex discrimination. If Roberts voted with the majority at the justices’ conference, it was his right to choose which justice would write the opinion. Perhaps his heart wouldn’t be in it, but I see three reasons Roberts might vote with the majority and assign the opinion to himself. Read More…

Chief Justice Roberts, Civil Litigator at Heart

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Across the political spectrum of legal blogs, the Supreme Court’s decision in Kaley v. United States has drawn strong criticism, and Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent has drawn strong praise. A sampling of the commentaries appear at the end of this post.

Writing for the 6-to-3 majority, Justice Kagan summarized the Court’s holding as follows:

A federal statute, 21 U. S. C. §853(e), authorizes a court to freeze an indicted defendant’s assets prior to trial if they would be subject to forfeiture upon conviction. In United States v. Monsanto, 491 U. S. 600, 615 (1989), we approved the constitutionality of such an order so long as it is “based on a finding of probable cause to believe that the property will ultimately be proved forfeitable.” And we held that standard to apply even when a defendant seeks to use the disputed property to pay for a lawyer.

In this case, two indicted defendants wishing to hire an attorney challenged a pre-trial restraint on their property. The trial court convened a hearing to consider the seizure’s legality under Monsanto. The question presented is whether criminal defendants are constitutionally entitled at such a hearing to contest a grand jury’s prior determination of probable cause to believe they committed the crimes charged. We hold that they have no right to relitigate that finding.

Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor, responded: Read More…