February, 2021

CJRI Newsletter

CJRI's February '21 Newsletter

February 17, 2021

California's Shifting Relationship With the Supreme Court

CJRI Chair and Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky discusses what Californians can expect from the Supreme Court with the New York Times.

U.S. Supreme Court
October 4, 2020

5 Supreme Court Access to Justice Cases to Watch

Law 360 reports on upcoming Supreme Court cases this term addressing access to justice and civil rights issues such as unreasonable searches and seizures, non unanimous juries, and religious freedom. In Torres v. Madrid, argued on October 14th, the justices heard arguments about whether police officers who shot at a woman's fleeing car violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures. In Edwards v. Vannoy, to be argued on November 30th, the Court will decide whether one of its previous rulings declaring non unanimous jury verdicts to be unconstitutional should be applied retroactively. In FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir, a freedom of religion case argued on October 6th, the justices considered whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act gives Muslim-American individuals the right to seek monetary damages from FBI agents who allegedly placed them on a no-fly list after they refused to provide information about other Muslims.

April 13, 2020

Supreme Court To Hold Arguments By Teleconference

Law 360 reports on the Supreme Court’s decision to hold half of its March and April oral argument sessions via teleconferencing in May and to postpone the other half for early in the 2020 session. The court announced that it would allow news media, such as CSPAN, to stream live audio feeds of the arguments as they become available.

April 10, 2020

Shift to Remote Civil Litigation Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

Law.com reports on how remote technology is being used in New York to promote access to civil justice. For the time being, jury trials are not likely to proceed while all oral arguments, alternative dispute resolution arbitrations, and emergency hearings will be held via telephone or video conferencing except in the case of exigent need and demonstrated impracticability of conducting the hearing virtually. Similarly, depositions will be conducted by remote means unless a litigant can demonstrate why they would be unfairly prejudiced should remote depositions be allowed to proceed in their case. In addition to traditional platforms like Zoom and Skype, some companies like TSG and Veritext have developed video conferencing technology tailored to depositions, allowing the person taking the deposition to control when a witness and opposing counsel may access exhibits. Though these technologies seem to make cases proceed more efficiently, issues of security and privacy as well as the diminished power of litigators to command attention are major concerns.

February 27, 2020

Justices Shut Courthouse Doors On Border Patrol Victims

Law 360 reports on the Supreme Court’s decision that prevented Jesus C. Hernandez, a father of a Mexican teen who was killed by a Border Patrol officer, from pursuing civil damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents. Bivens would have allowed Hernandez to collect monetary damages for the violation of constitutional rights by a federal officer when no alternative legal remedy would suffice.

November 13, 2019

Comcast poised to beat $20 billion race discrimination case at Supreme Court

CNBC reports on a $20 million racial discrimination case between black comedian Byron Allen and telecommunications company Comcast, with Comcast more reluctant to carry Allen’s black-owned channels as opposed to other white-owned ones. This case concerns the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which “guarantees black and white citizens the equal right to make and enforce contracts.” Erwin Chemerinsky, Allen’s attorney and founding chair of the Civil Justice Research Initiative, said that the argument went well and that he is “hopeful the Court will agree that it is enough to say that race is a motivating factor in the denial of a contract.”