Friday, March 06, 2009

On the connection between the Uniform Arbitration Act and the Federal Arbitration Act

Today, in A & G Coal v. Integrity Coal Sales, Chief Judge Jones of the W.D. Va. held that the parties' dispute was subject to arbitration.

His analysis began with this point: "Since the purchase orders at issue involve interstate commerce,1 the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C.A. § 1-16 (West 1999 & Supp. 2008), applies."

Is that right? My answer would be, yes, but . . . . I made this more complicated in Penn Virginia v. CNX case, arguing that the state arbitration act applied unless and until it was preempted by the FAA, and that it was not where state law was more pro-arbitration even than the FAA (to overstate the point, slightly).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

On being a Super Lawyer

Here the VLW posts a motion filed by Mr. Bondurant, opposing the opposing counsel's motion for continuance, and noting among other things that after all, counsel holds himself out as a "Super Lawyer."

Well, I'm a "Super Lawyer" - super enough not to buck heads with Mr. Bondurant when I can avoid it.

Oof, Supreme Court rejects FDA preemption in Wyeth case

In Wyeth v. Levine, decided today, the United States Supreme Court rejected the argument that federal law regulating the labelling of drugs does not preempt state law tort claims against drug manufacturers related to the sufficiency of the labelling of their products.

The vote was 6-3, evidently, with Roberts, Scalia, and Alito on the losing side. I think that if the vote had gone the other way, Congress would have changed the law promptly, or tried to, as in the Ledbetter case.

Still, the preemption arguments makes an awful lot of sense, when the government controls what can and cannot be said in the drug labels, down to the period and comma.

On replacing Judge Blankenship

The Wytheville paper has this article that says some Southwest Virginia legislators might take a second swipe at picking a successor to Judge Keith Blankenship, who resigned from office, leaving a vacancy on the district court for the 27th District. The article says Del. Crockett-Stark is throwing her support behind Dawn Cox, a Republican from Grayson County.

Monday, March 02, 2009

On picking judges in Virginia

Today's Washington Post has this article about a citizen group that is ticked off over the way Fairfax County Judge Gaylord L. Finch Jr. was appointed in this session of the General Assembly.

The group "is advocating term limits for judges and an overhaul of the state's process of evaluating judges. It also wants public participation in judicial selection from start to finish, hearings that are open to the public and anonymity or immunity for those who testify against sitting judges."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The cow chase case

Rex Bowman reports here on the Floyd County trial against the animal control officer who chased a cow and killed a farmer.