A recent ABA article reported the surprising view of Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf of Nebraska that the U.S. Supreme Court is not all that relevant to the daily work of trial courts. Judge Kopf cited as an example the Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, which required sufficient foundation for expert opinions. According to Judge Kopf, Daubert “was supposed to be a big deal,” but in reality, there was “little or no change in what was actually going on in most federal trial courts” following the decision. Judge Kopf also cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, wherein the Court revised the standard for deciding a motion to dismiss. He stated that “[p]rior to Twombly, most of the time, the goofy cases got weeded out,” and that it has been the “same after Twombly.” Judge Kopf summarized his view by stating that “while the Supreme Court may exist at the ‘center of the universe,' it frequently plies its trade in a ‘galaxy far, far away.'"
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SCOTUS is often 'simply irrelevant' to daily work of trial courts, federal judge says
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