May 01, 2018 Landslide

When 30 Years of Practice Goes Against You

By James W. Dabney

©2018. Published in Landslide, Vol. 10, No. 5, May/June 2018, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

On March 27, 2017, the case of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC was called for oral argument before the Supreme Court of the United States.1 On the surface, the TC Heartland case raised a straightforward question of statutory interpretation: the proper construction of the phrase, “the judicial district where the defendant resides,” found in 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). But beneath the surface lay a much more fundamental question, which was whether pre-existing Supreme Court precedent construing that very phrase was “law” that lower federal courts were bound to respect.

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