Today at the Court - Sunday, Feb 17, 2019

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February 2019
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Recent Decisions

January 22, 2019
Helsinn Healthcare S. A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (17-1229)
The sale of an invention to a third party who is obligated to keep the invention confidential may place the invention “on sale” for purposes of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which bars a person from receiving a patent on an invention that was “in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention,” 35 U. S. C. §102(a)(1).

January 15, 2019
New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira (17-340)
A court should determine whether the Federal Arbitration Act’s §1 exclusion for disputes involving the “contracts of employment” of certain transportation workers applies before ordering arbitration; here, truck driver Oliveira’s independent contractor operating agreement with New Prime falls within that exception.

Stokeling v. United States (17-5554)
The Armed Career Criminal Act’s elements clause encompasses a robbery offense that, like Florida’s law, requires the criminal to overcome the victim’s resistance.

January 08, 2019
Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc. (17-1272)
The “wholly groundless” exception to the general rule that courts must enforce contracts that delegate threshold arbitrability questions to an arbitrator, not a court, is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act and this Court’s precedent.

Culbertson v. Berryhill (17-773)
The Social Security Act’s fee cap of 25% of past-due benefits imposed on attorneys who successfully represent Title II benefit claimants in court proceedings applies only to fees for court representation and not to aggregate fees for both court and agency representation.

More Opinions...

Did You Know...

Congress Opens the Doors for Women to Practice before the Supreme Court

On February 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed into law a bill permitting women to be admitted to the Supreme Court Bar. The act to “relieve certain legal disabilities of women” reads:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any woman who shall have been a member of the bar of the highest court of any State or Territory or of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia for the space of three years, and shall have maintained a good standing before such court, and who shall be a person of good moral character, shall, on the motion, and the production of such record, be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.”

A little over two weeks later, on March 3, 1879, Belva Lockwood became the first woman to be admitted to the Supreme Court Bar. Lockwood’s story is featured in the exhibit, In Re Lady Lawyers: The Rise of Women Attorneys and the Supreme Court, located on the ground floor of the Supreme Court Building.


Illustration of Belva Lockwood holding her Supreme Court Bar Certificate as published in The Daily Graphic, March 22, 1879.
Illustration of Belva Lockwood holding her Supreme Court Bar Certificate as published in The Daily Graphic, March 22, 1879.
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