Gowen Rhoades WInograd & Silva PLLC Blog

Information and insight on today's hot legal topics.

Gowen Rhoades WInograd & Silva PLLC Blog - Information and insight on today's hot legal topics.

Supreme Court issues twin rulings that are out of touch with the workplace

office place image

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall.

On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two employer-friendly decisions that will make it more difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in discrimination suits based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. These decisions will significantly and seriously effect an employee’s right to a discrimination-free workplace.

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Are Your Rights Being Signed Away?

image of clauseIn its recent decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, the United States Supreme Court affirmed its commitment to upholding the rulings of arbitrators “however good, bad, or ugly.”  This decision is set to have grave effects on the rights of consumers in disputes with merchants or other large corporations because it further distances their decisions from review by a judge in all but the most egregious cases.

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Maryland DNA Law Going to U.S. Supreme Court

Special thanks to Gowen Group Law Clerk John Langlois for producing this post. 

lab photo from Flickr

On November 9th, 2012 the United States Supreme Court granted review of the case of Maryland v. King to determine if collecting and analyzing the DNA of people arrested and charged with serious crimes is allowed under the Fourth Amendment. The case will be reviewed next year.

The review is in response to a ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals. That state court held that collection of DNA samples from arrestees prior to conviction violated the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable, warrantless searches. Maryland first enacted legislation establishing a DNA database in 1994. Collection of DNA samples was originally limited to individuals convicted of violent crimes or attempts at those crimes. In 2008 the law was expanded to allow collection upon arrest rather than after conviction.

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Juvenile Life Without Parole Decision by the Supreme Court

This post by Gowen Group law clerk Brenna Daugherty


This past week much attention has been on our nation’s highest court. While most of the attention was focused on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court also handed down a decision in Miller v. Alabama, a case involving two 14 year-old offenders convicted of murder from Arkansas and Alabama.  Both were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Elena Kagan, the Court found that the mandatory nature of the punishment as well as preventing the sentencing authority from taking a juvenile’s ‘lessened culpability’ and ‘capacity for change’ into account, violated the Eight Amendment of the Constitution.

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