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Today, the Supreme Court hears arguments about (1) tax law and the jurisdiction of federal district courts; and (2) the intersection of contracts and the rules governing proper venue for resolving disputes:

(1)  US v. Woods  [see our preview at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-562]

  • Does a district court have jurisdiction to determine whether an overstatement penalty should be applied in a partnership-level proceeding?
  • Does the overstatement penalty apply to an underpayment in federal income tax where the transaction lacks economic substance because the sole purpose of the transaction was to inflate the taxpayer’s basis in property?

(2)  Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. US Dist. Court for the Western Dist. of TX  [see our preview at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-929]

  • Can forum-selection clauses render statutorily proper venue improper?
  • How much weight should courts give forum-selection clauses under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)?

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