3 Supreme Court cases to watch
How the court might help - or hurt - small companies.
Of the 51 cases the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this term, which began in October, eight directly affect small business.
One of the most closely watched is the employment-discrimination case Sprint/United Management Co. v. Mendelsohn, which the court is expected to hear on December 3.
The justices must decide whether to exclude "me too" evidence from employees outside a discrimination suit. NFIB Legal Foundation executive director Karen Harned believes that such evidence is unduly burdensome and forces small businesses with limited resources to litigate more than the issue at hand.
Two preemption cases - Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc. and Warner-Lambert Co. v. Kent - are also potential landmines since they address whether a company is protected from liability claims when the Food and Drug Administration has already deemed its products to be safe.
The court's biggest business-related case is Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., in which the justices must decide if investors can sue third-party businesses for helping firms to commit securities fraud. The outcome could impact a separate suit against banks accused of assisting Enron in disguising its true financial picture.
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