Hogan Lovells Appellate Team Earns Supreme Court Victory in Jury Recall Ruling
09 June 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. 9 June 2016 – Hogan Lovells secured a decisive victory today in Dietz v. Bouldin, a case before the Supreme Court of the United States. Ruling in favor of Hogan Lovells' client, the Justices decided, by a 6-2 vote, that a federal district court has the inherent authority to recall a jury that has been discharged in order to correct a mistake in the verdict.
As the Court explained, "rescinding a discharge order and recalling the jury can be a reasonable response to correcting an error in the jury's verdict." And in the particular circumstances of this case, the Court concluded, recalling the jury was reasonable because there was "no apparent potential for prejudice" from doing so.
The Court's ruling recognizes a common-sense alternative to conducting a new trial when an error is discovered soon after a jury has been discharged. By recalling the jury for further service, a district court may save all involved—the judge, the parties, the lawyers, the witnesses, and society—from having to endure the heavy expense of a new trial.
Neal Katyal, a partner at Hogan Lovells and the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, argued the case, his 28th argument before the Supreme Court and fourth in the current term alone (associate Frederick Liu argued a 5th case for the firm this year as well). A team of Hogan Lovells appellate lawyers—including Leila K. Mongan from the San Francisco office and Frederick Liu, Colleen E. Roh Sinzdak, and Daniel J.T. Schuker from the Washington, D.C. office—joined Katyal on the briefs.
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