Monday, October 03, 2005

Supreme Court GVRs Guttman v. Khalsa

Today's orders list from the Supreme Court includes at least one tidbit of interest in the disability law world. In Guttman v. Khalsa, an ADA Title II case in which a doctor challenged the revocation of his license, the Court granted cert., vacated the Tenth Circuit's judgment, and remanded for further consideration in light of Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp.. The Tenth Circuit had held that Dr. Guttman's ADA claim was barred by the so-called Rooker-Feldman doctrine, because Dr. Guttman had previously challenged the license revocation unsuccessfully in state court. Dr. Guttman filed his federal-court ADA case while the state-court proceedings were still pending, but the state-court proceedings were resolved adversely to Dr. Guttman before the federal courts ruled. In Exxon Mobil, which was decided after the Tenth Circuit ruled, the Supreme Court held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not bar federal-court litigation that is initiated before parallel state-court proceedings are concluded. The Tenth Circuit's holding is pretty clearly inconsistent with Exxon Mobil, so on remand the court probably cannot apply Rooker-Feldman to bar consideration of Dr. Guttman's claim.

(Disclosure: I helped Dr. Guttman's lawyer prepare his cert. petition, which sought a GVR in light of Exxon Mobil.)


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