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Northwest, Inc. v. Ginsberg

On April 2, 2014, Bancroft secured a unanimous victory before the Supreme Court in Northwest, Inc. v. Ginsberg, 134 S. Ct. 1422 (2014). The case concerned the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which provides that states may not “enact or enforce a law, regulation or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier.” Bancroft first secured Supreme Court review of an adverse Ninth Circuit decision by filing a successful petition for certiorari. After briefing and oral argument on the merits, the Court held that the Act preempts a state-law claim alleging violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing if the claim seeks to enlarge the obligations voluntary adopted by parties to a contract. The Court also rejected the proposition that the Act only preempts legislation or regulations, holding that because common-law rules have the force and effect of law, the Act preempts common-law rules in addition to positive law. Paul D. Clement argued the case and George W. Hicks, Jr. assisted with the briefing.

Petition for Writ of Certiorari
Petition Reply
Opening Brief
Reply Brief
Supreme Court Opinion

Lawrence Hurley, Supreme Court Rules for Airline in Frequent Flyer Dispute, Reuters (Apr. 2, 2014)