August 13, 2015

Responding to Ninth Circuit requests: the long and the short of it

Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to interpret an insurance policy for the Ninth Circuit.  The Supreme Court docketed the federal court’s request for help in Gradillas v. Lincoln General Insurance Company only 36 days ago.  That’s fast.  The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on a Ninth Circuit request that quickly since January 2013.

If the response in Gradillas was unusually fast, the wait in Davis v. Devanlay Retail Group, Inc. has been uncommonly long.  The Davis request went on the Supreme Court’s docket 99 days ago, two months before Gradillas.  That might be an unprecedented amount of time.  Over the last five years, the longest previous wait between docketing a request and the Supreme Court’s decision whether to take the case was 70 days.

By the way, in Gradillas, the Supreme Court rephrased the state law question it will answer this way:  “For purposes of coverage under an automobile insurance policy, what is the proper test for determining whether an injury arises out of the ‘use’ of a vehicle?”

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