October 18, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court requests response to cert. petition in Shell v. Hebble

Last week we reported on the cert. petition in Shell Oil v. Hebble, which asks the Supreme Court to address the proper method for calculating the ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages in cases where a high rate of interest is imposed as a penalty.   We thought the petition raised some interesting issues, but the respondent apparently did not agree, and did not file a response. 

The Supreme Court has now requested a response, which is due November 12.  While this development certainly does not guarantee a grant of certiorari, the Supreme Court would not grant cert. in a case like this without requesting a response, so this is at least a step in the right direction for the petitioner.

Links: Petition for certiorari, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) amicus brief, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) amicus brief, Supreme Court docket