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Tag Archives: Sonia Sotomayor

US high court asks when procedural defaults bar ineffective assistance claims

Less than a year after creating a narrow right to make a federal ineffective assistance of counsel claim in a post-conviction proceeding despite a procedural default in state court, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tried to carve out the contours of that ruling during oral arguments in Trevino v. Thaler.

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US Supreme Court takes up sentencing factors case

In a case that raises the question of whether judges, rather than juries, can constitutionally decide factors that could trigger an increase in the minimum sentence, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed reluctant to shake up a sentencing scheme that Congress and the courts have relied upon for more than a decade.

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High court considers whether counsel affects speedy trial right

During oral arguments that included a rare comment from Justice Clarence Thomas, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether a state’s failure to give money to court-appointed counsel for a murder defendant should be weighed against the state in determining whether speedy trial rights were violated.

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US Supreme Court ponders if lawyers can use records to find clients

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are trying to dissect the language of a poorly worded federal statute that protects drivers’ personal information from misuse in an effort to determine whether lawyers broke the law in looking for potential class action plaintiffs.

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US Supreme Court fractures on expert testimony issue

The Confrontation Clause does not bar an expert from testifying at a criminal trial that a DNA profile produced by an outside laboratory matched the defendant’s state lab DNA profile, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a fractured opinion.

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US Supreme Court rules farm sale income tax not dischargeable in bankruptcy

The federal income tax liability resulting from the sale of a farm after a Chapter 12 bankruptcy filing is not “incurred by the estate” under §503(b) of the Bankruptcy Code and thus is neither collectible nor dischargeable in the bankruptcy plan, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

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