We just got word that the Supreme Court of the United States has granted certiorari to hear United States v. Southern Union, a case which was litigated in the Roger Williams Law School in October, 2010. That hearing, before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, not only featured top federal judges and litigators, but a rare opportunity for our law students to quiz the judges afterward.
Now one of the cases they heard is one of the tiny % of appeals that the Supreme Court agrees to hear each term.
Southern Union is not your typical environmental case, as it involved the prosecution of a utility under federal criminal law. The key issue on appeal is the propriety of the whopping $18 million fine imposed by Federal District Judge Will Smith (a member of the RWU law Adjunct Faculty), which was affirmed by the First Circuit earlier this year.
Judge Will Smith
Click here for coverage of Southern Union from the Washington Post. Read my earlier post highlighting Judge Smith in a 2009 hearing that challenged the "Scarlet Letter Law."