MCC Features Rex Heinke Recap of SCOTUS 2013 Term

A presentation by Akin Gump Supreme Court and appellate co-head Rex Heinke and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler has been published by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel as “SCOTUS: A Recap Of The October 2013 Term.”

The presentation, originally a CLE seminar offered at the firm’s Downtown Los Angeles office, covers the Supreme Court’s 2013 Term and the highlights from the decisions made.

Among the topics covered by Heinke during the presentation:

  • Crunching the numbers: “66 percent of the judgments were unanimous, which is the highest since the end of the Second World War. There were only 10 cases that were decided on a 5-4 basis, that’s 10 out of 70 cases…[Also,]the Justices are continuing a very clear pattern: if a case was decided 5-4, you tell me how Justice Kennedy voted and I’ll tell you who won—because he was in the majority on every one of the 5-4 decisions.”
  • Halliburton Corp. v. Erica P. John Fund Inc.: “The Court’s Halliburton opinion has something for everybody. For plaintiffs, the presumption [of reliance based on an efficient securities market] still exists, albeit a rebuttable presumption but it still exists in securities class actions. For defendants, the presumption is still there, but the good news is that it can be attacked at the class certification stage...Halliburton is one of several cases in which the Court this last term was confronted with an attack on a prior decision and found a way to get the case decided without overruling the prior decision.”
  • Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court: “The lesson in this case is: If you have a forum-selection clause in your contract, the Court is going to enforce it and enforce it vigorously, so don’t allow such a clause unless you’re willing to live with it.”
  • American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.: “Aereo’s real defense was that its performance was not done publicly because Aereo used only a single antenna devoted to a particular subscriber. Rejecting that argument, the Court said that, viewed in terms of Congress’s regulatory objectives, the fact that Aereo transmits using a slightly different method than is used by the cable TV system doesn’t make any difference for copyright purposes; therefore, this was not only a performance but a public performance under the Copyright Act.”

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