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SUPREME COURT ROUNDUP

In a busy week leading up to today’s expected final day of decisions for the 2010-11 term, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down opinions on a wide range of issues. Here’s a roundup.

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Mass class actions are dead — or are they?

Corporate executives across the U.S. may have breathed a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court found for Wal-Mart in a sex discrimination case, but some plaintiffs’ lawyers weren’t convinced it would hurt their clients’ cases. Other attorneys disagreed.

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SUPREME COURT BRIEFS

Ashcroft shielded from detainee suit The U.S. Supreme Court, bolstering the legal immunity of top government officials, ruled that a man detained without charge for 16 days can’t sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft. The justices unanimously threw out a ...

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Supreme Court kicks arbitration ball back to Missouri

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a hotly anticipated case on class action arbitrations. In a 5-4 decision, the high court said the state of California could not invalidate an arbitration clause because it barred class actions. That ruling had been expected to have a major effect on Missouri law — an expectation that was confirmed last week.

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Supreme Court briefs

U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled they are poised to overturn a Vermont law that would limit the ability of brand-name drugmakers to target individual doctors with sales pitches.

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FLSA retaliation ruling could impact other cases

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that oral complaints about workplace conditions made to a company supervisor are covered by the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act has employment lawyers taking notice. The decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. not only clarifies the protections against retaliation in the FSLA, it could also apply to other statutes with similar wording.

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