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Biggest Fall 2018 Cases at the High Court

By George Khoury, Esq. on October 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

This week marks the end of the first round of oral arguments for the SCOTUS 2018 Fall term. Also, the schedule for the arguments to be heard in December was recently announced and includes some hotly contested and high-profile cases.

Below, you can read a quick summary on the biggest cases that are set to be heard by the High Court in November and December.

Notable November Cases

On October 29, the Court will hear a pair of cases deciding major arbitration issues. In Henry Schein v. Archer & White, and Lamps Plus v. Varela, the Court will decide when an arbitrator can decide issues of arbitrability, and when state-law interpretations will govern when agreements are silent on that point, respectively.

Garza v. Idaho will be argued on October 30, and deals with an inmate's claim of inadequate counsel when that counsel refuses to file an appeal on behalf of the convicted. The big question is whether the court should presume a lawyer's failure to appeal equates to prejudice, or whether the convicted needs to show prejudice by calling out appealable issues.

Jam v. International Finance Corp. will be argued on Halloween, but asks whether foreign corporations should be protected the same as foreign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Virginia Uranium v. Warren will be argued on November 5, and deals with whether a state can regulate uranium mining safety while federal regulations cover the mining of resources under the Atomic Energy Act.

Bucklew v. Precythe, to be heard on November 6, involves a death row inmate's challenge to receiving a lethal injection due to his rare medical condition. Alternatively, if the court doesn't overturn the execution, it's requested (by the inmate) to allow the use of the gas chamber.

Culbertson v. Berryhill, the last case in this block, will be argued on November 7. The matter involves whether the 25% cap on attorney fee awards in social security cases applies to both court and administrative court actions.

December Cases

One of the most-watched cases, the Apple v. Pepper case, will decide whether Apple iPhone owners can bring an antitrust lawsuit over the apps they purchased. That case will be heard on November 26.

On the same day, the Court will hear Nieves v. Bartlett, which will hopefully decide whether an officer's probable cause is sufficient to negate a claim of retaliatory arrest.

Lorenzo v. SEC is set to be heard on December 3, and will test whether a misstatement claim that fails can be revised as a fraudulent-scheme claim.

Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, which will be heard on December 4, could make a big impact for inventors and tech companies as the Court decides whether a confidential sale can still qualify as a prior art.

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