A Civil Debate: A lineup of major civil rights cases is set to dominate the Supreme Court’s April calendar, reports Tony Mauro. The four arguments include a challenge to an important section of the Voting Rights Act and a reverse discrimination suit. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. had hoped to keep the court’s spring schedule light this year. Better luck next time.
Trial Lawyers on Offense: “The plaintiffs bar is in its best position on Capitol Hill in almost two decades,” David Ingram writes this week. With Democrats running the Congress and the White House, trial lawyers are looking to cash in their campaign donations for a long legislative wish list. Bills banning mandatory arbitration clauses for consumers, allowing military personnel to sue their doctors for malpractice, and ending federal pre-emption on suits over medical devices should all see play in Congress.
All Aboard!: Paley Rothman partner Arthur Blitz has fulfilled a boyhood dream by building a 450-foot model train track that snakes around his backyard in Potomac, Md. He and his wife have created an entire small village, complete with a general store named after themselves. Imagine Shining Time Station, but without George Carlin…or Ringo. Jeff Jeffrey reports.
An Organic Mess: Whole Foods’ bid to purchase rival organic grocer Wild Oats unexpectedly turned into a “food fight of epic proportions” when the FTC stepped in, explains Jenna Greene in the lead article of Legal Times’ quarterly litigation special. Whole Foods eventually settled, and the merger went through, but it’s not completely clear who came out the winner. Many believe that the case resulted in an opinion from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will make it too easy for the FTC to effectively block future mergers.