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Cases coming before the Supreme Court in the coming weeks and the lawyers who will argue them. “Docket Watch” appears at the beginning of each two-week argument cycle when the high court hears cases. Cases to be argued the week of March 27 will be reported in next week’s issue.
MONDAY, MARCH 20 Adrian Martell Davis v. Washington No. 05-5224 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Washington. Question presented: Does an alleged victim’s statement to a 911 operator naming her assailant constitute a “testimonial” statement subject to the confrontation clause restrictions announced in Crawford v. Washington? For petitioner: Jeffrey Fisher, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle. For respondent: James Whisman, senior deputy prosecuting attorney, Seattle, and Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) Hershel Hammon v. Indiana No. 05-5705 Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Indiana. Question presented: Is an oral accusation, made to an investigating officer at the scene of an alleged crime, a testimonial statement within the meaning of Crawford v. Washington? For petitioner: Richard Friedman, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Mich. For respondent: Thomas Fisher, solicitor general, Indianapolis, and Irving Gornstein, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae)
TUESDAY, MARCH 21 Howard Delivery Service Inc., et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co. No. 05-5224 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Question presented: In a bankruptcy case is an unsecured claim for an unpaid premium toward a debtor’s workers’ compensation insurance policy a “contribution to an employee benefit plan arising from services rendered,” as held by the 4th and 9th circuits, or is it not entitled to statutory priority, as held by the 6th, 8th, and 10th circuits? For petitioner: Paul Strain, Venable, Baltimore. For respondent: Donald Verrilli Jr., Jenner & Block, Washington, D.C. Laboratory Corporation of American Holding, dba LabCorp v. Metabolite Laboratories Inc., et al. No. 04-607 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Question presented: Can a patent instructing a party to “correlate test results” claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment, so that a doctor infringes the patent by merely thinking about the relationship after looking at a test result? For petitioner: Thomas Hungar, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. For respondent: Miguel Estrada, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C. Gil Garcetti, et al. v. Richard Ceballos No. 04-473 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Question presented: Should a public employee’s purely job-related speech, expressed strictly pursuant to the duties of employment, be given First Amendment protection because it touches on a matter of public concern? For petitioner: Cindy Lee, Feng & Lee, Glendale, Calif., and Edwin Kneedler, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Bonnie Robin-Vergeer, Public Citizen Litigation Group, Washington, D.C.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 Humberto Fernandez-Vargas v. Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General No. 04-1376 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Question presented: Does a law that orders the removal of an alien who illegally re-entered the United States apply to an alien whose illegal re-entry occurred in 1997, before the effective date of the provision? For petitioner: David Gossett, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Sri Srinivasan, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Jeanne S. Woodford, et al. v. Viet Mike Ngo No. 05-416 Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Question presented: Does a prisoner satisfy the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s administrative exhaustion requirement by filing an untimely or otherwise procedurally defective administrative appeal? For petitioner: Jennifer Perkell, deputy attorney general, San Francisco, and Dan Himmelfarb, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Meir Feder, Jones Day, New York.

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