On Friday, March 16, I attended the American Bar Association’s Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section in Washington, D.C. One of the presentations was entitled: "Developments in the United States Supreme Court that Every Business Lawyer (and Client) Should Know About." One insightful comment by the panel of appellate lawyers who argue before the U.S. Supreme Court is that the common labels of "conservative" and "liberal" that are often attached to U.S. Supreme Court justices do not often "translate" easily when it comes to business cases. For example, the 3 cases to address punitive damages, from the BMW case to the State Farm case to the Phillip Morris case do not have the predictable alignment of justices often seen in other cases. The panel also noted the increasing number of patent appeals that the court takes for 2 reasons. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles these cases, has now been in existence for about 25 years and also because of the increasing importance of these cases to our economy.
I also attended another presentation on cross-border discovery. Of note is a federal statute that allows one, under certain circumstances, to take discovery in a U.S. federal court, regarding proceedings that are pending in foreign jurisdictions.