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Supreme Court to hear autism representation, Microsoft patent cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] agreed to hear four cases Friday, including one where the Court will decide whether the parents of an autistic child must hire a lawyer or whether they can represent themselves in an accommodation lawsuit against a school district. In Winkelman v. Parma City School District, the boy's parents are appealing a Sixth Circuit decision [PDF text] that they must have a lawyer in their lawsuit under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act [text], despite the parents arguments that they cannot afford legal counsel. AP has more.

The Court also granted certiorari in Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp, where the court will rule on a patent dispute concerning the overseas distribution of a Microsoft Windows program utilizing speech-coding technology of AT&T [corporate website], valued at more than $1 billion. The Court is considering Microsoft's appeal of a 2005 decision [PDF] from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. AP has more.

In Scott v. Harris, an appeal from an Eleventh Circuit decision [PDF text], the Court will decide whether a police officer violated a fleeing suspect's constitutional rights when he bumped his police car into the suspect's car to end a high speed chase. AP has more.

In EC Term of Years Trust v. United States, the Court will decide if an individual taxpayer is entitled to a $3 million refund of wrongly collected taxes, even though the deadline for appealing to the Internal Revenue Service [official website] had expired. Read Friday's full Order List [PDF].

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