[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Wednesday in two cases fraught with procedural issues. In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; transcript, PDF] the court must decide whether to allow the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] to continue to qualify every issue bearing on the scope of an invention claim as a legal issue and not predicated on the trial court’s record and findings of fact. If the court allows the Federal Circuit an exception from the controlling rule on this issue, Rule 52 [text], then the Federal Circuit would continue as the only Circuit court that does not have to adopt the factual conclusions [SCOTUSblog op-ed] from the district courts.
In Jennings v. Stephens [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; transcript, PDF] the issue is whether the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] erred in holding that a federal habeas petitioner must file a separate notice of appeal and motion for a certificate of appealability [LII backgrounder] to raise an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel. The petitioner alleged three deficiencies [SCOTUSblog op-ed] by his counsel, but the main argument is procedural, as the Brief for the Petitioner [text, PDF] states the argument is as follows: “A federal habeas petitioner who prevailed in the district court need not cross-appeal or obtain a certificate of appealability to raise an alternate ground for affirming the district court’s judgment. The Fifth Circuit erred in holding to the contrary.”