Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 02/20/08

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACTS, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, ENTERTAINMENT LAW

Preston v. Ferrer, No. 06-1463When parties agree to arbitrate all questions arising under a contract, state laws lodging primary jurisdiction in another forum, whether judicial or administrative, are superseded by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In a dispute involving the question of whether an entertainment industry attorney acted as an unlicensed talent agent in violation of California’s Talent Agencies Act, or as a personal manager not governed by the TAA, judgment for respondent-talent granting jurisdiction to the state Labor Commissioner is reversed and remanded.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, DRUGS & BIOTECH, FOOD & BEVERAGES, HEALTH LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Riegel v. Medtronic, No. 06-179The pre-emption clause enacted in the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA) bars common-law claims challenging the safety or effectiveness of a medical device given premarket approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

COMMERCIAL LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, TRANSPORTATION

Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transp. Ass’n, No. 06-457A federal statute that prohibits states from enacting any law “related to” a motor carrier “price, route, or service” preempts two provisions of a Maine tobacco law, which regulate the delivery of tobacco to customers within the state.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HABEAS CORPUS

Danforth v. Minnesota, No. 06–8273Teague v. Lane, 489 U. S. 288 (1989), limits the kinds of constitutional violations that will entitle an individual to federal habeas corpus relief, but does not in any way limit the authority of a state court, when reviewing its own state criminal convictions, to provide a remedy for a violation that is deemed “nonretroactive” under Teague.

ERISA, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Assocs., Inc., No. 06-856Although section 502(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not provide a remedy for individual injuries distinct from plan injuries, that provision does authorize recovery for fiduciary breaches that impair the value of plan assets in a participant’s individual account.

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