Schwartz Discusses Civil Justice Implications of Supreme Court Cases

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner and Public Policy Practice Chair Victor Schwartz debates Robert Peck, President of the Center for Constitutional Litigation, the plaintiff’s bar’s Supreme Court advocacy law firm, before U.S. House of Representative members and staff of the Civil Justice Caucus on Friday, Oct. 9 in an event sponsored by the George Mason Law & Economics Center.

Schwartz and Peck square off over the merits and potential civil justice implications of five U.S. Supreme Court cases set for the 2015-2016 term. Topics include class actions, the issue of standing to sue, and questions on state law versus the Federal Arbitration Act.

The five cases on the agenda, with links to commentary from SCOTUSblog where available:

  • Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez - Can a plaintiff proceed with an individual and class action claim where the defendant has offered a full settlement of his individual claim?
  • Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins - Can a plaintiff bring an action for a violation of a federal law, The Fair Credit Reporting Act, where he has suffered no actual personal damage?
  • Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo - Can a so-called “average statistical plaintiff” lead a class action where many members of the class suffered no injury at all?
  • DIRECTV v. Imburgia - A defendant signed a contract that voids an arbitration agreement if a state prohibits class actions; will the agreement still bind the defendant even though a state’s class action bar has been deemed preempted in a Supreme Court ruling that took place after the contract was signed?
  • Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - Will tribal jurisdiction and tort law prevail over a tort claim brought against a nonmember of the tribe?