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Sam Heldman


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Monday, January 13, 2003
I can't believe

that I totally forgot to predict any cases this weekend. Maybe it's because I'm studying for the Virginia Bar; maybe it's because it's been so long since there have been any oral arguments; maybe I'm just forgetful. In any case:

No. 01-1500 Clay v. United States

This is easy. The question is whether the one-year period for filing a federal habeas petition for prisoners runs from the entry of the appellate court's mandate or from the expiration of the time to seek review in the Supreme Court. In state cases, the statute is clear that the time runs from when the conviction "becomes final" through direct review or the expiration of the time to seek such review. The federal statute just says "becomes final." Even the federal government agrees that the expiration of the time to file for cert is the right answer, so the Court had to appoint special counsel to argue as Amicus for the position taken by the 7th Circuit. My boss, Tom Goldstein will be arguing the case, and I will be in the audience. In addition, Tom has arranged it so that I will be able to attend the pre-argument briefing, which, barring actually having a case in the court myself, I would probably have no opportunity to do otherwise, at least for quite some time. By the way, my prediction is based on the merits, not because I work for the firm representing the petitioner, and my prediction is that the Court will REVERSE.

No. 01-1418 Archer v. Warner

Because it's 1:42 am, and I have to get up early to get to the Court, I will admit that all I know about this case is what I read on Goldstein Howe's blog here. Something to do with bankruptcy. I predict the Court will REVERSE.