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Supreme Court hears double jeopardy, transnational securities fraud cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Monday in two cases. In Renico v. Lett [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report], the court heard arguments on whether double jeopardy is violated by a new trial after a state trial court declared a mistrial due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed [opinion, PDF] the decision of the district court that the second trial violated the rights of the defendant, Reginald Lett. The decision overturned a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, which found that the second trial did not violate the double jeopardy bar. Counsel for the petitioner argued that the Sixth Circuit failed to properly defer to the Michigan court under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) [text, PDF]. Counsel for the respondent, Lett, argued that, "habeas relief was properly granted."

In Morrison v. National Australia Bank [oral arguments transcript, PDF], the court heard arguments on whether foreign investors are entitled to bring fraud-on-the-market claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 [text, PDF] when the stock purchased was that of a foreign company on a foreign securities exchange. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed [opinion, PDF] the decision of the district court to dismiss the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. It found that actions outside of the US were more responsible for the fraud than anything that occurred within the US. Counsel for the petitioners argued that the federal court had jurisdiction over the claim. Counsel for the respondents argued, "unlike the rights of action that this Court has addressed in other extraterritoriality cases, the section 10(b) right is purely implied. Congress didn't intend for this right of action to exist even domestically, let alone extraterritorially." Counsel for the US government argued as amicus curiae on behalf of respondents.

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