Home » The Impact of Case Law on Current Legal Practices

The Impact of Case Law on Current Legal Practices

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

The legal landscape is continually evolving, influenced significantly by recent case law decisions. These rulings can reshape legal practices, set new precedents, and require lawyers to adapt their strategies accordingly. This blog post explores some of the recent case law decisions that are having a profound impact on current legal practices and strategies, providing insights into how legal professionals can adapt to these changes.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022

Overview: The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which had established a constitutional right to abortion. This ruling has significantly altered the legal landscape surrounding reproductive rights.

Impact on Legal Practice: This decision has led to a patchwork of abortion laws across states, with some states enacting strict bans and others reinforcing protections. Lawyers specializing in reproductive rights, healthcare law, and constitutional law must navigate this new terrain, which includes advising clients on the legality of abortion procedures and related services in different jurisdictions.

Adapting Strategies:

– State-Specific Legal Advice: Lawyers need to provide tailored advice based on the specific laws of each state, helping clients understand their rights and obligations under the new legal framework.

– Litigation and Advocacy: Legal professionals may engage in litigation to challenge new state laws or to defend against such challenges, depending on their stance. Advocacy for legislative changes at the state level is also crucial.

– Compliance Counseling: Healthcare providers and organizations require guidance on complying with varying state laws, ensuring that their practices align with the current legal standards.

Bostock v. Clayton County (2020)

Overview: In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Impact on Legal Practice: This ruling has broad implications for employment law, particularly regarding workplace policies, discrimination claims, and human resources practices. Lawyers must help employers understand and implement inclusive policies to comply with Title VII.

Adapting Strategies:

– Policy Review and Implementation: Lawyers should assist employers in reviewing and updating their employment policies to ensure they are inclusive and non-discriminatory regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

– Training and Education: Providing training for employees and management on diversity, inclusion, and compliance with Title VII is essential to prevent discrimination and foster a respectful workplace environment.

– Litigation and Defense: Employment lawyers may see an increase in discrimination claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Effective defense strategies and proactive measures can mitigate legal risks for employers.

Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid (2021)

Overview: The Supreme Court’s decision in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid clarified the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), holding that a device must have the capacity to use a random or sequential number generator to qualify as an automatic telephone dialing system.

Impact on Legal Practice: This ruling narrows the definition of what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system under the TCPA, impacting businesses that use automated calling and messaging systems.

Adapting Strategies:

– Compliance Audits: Lawyers should conduct compliance audits for clients using automated calling and messaging systems to ensure they do not fall under the narrowed definition of an automatic telephone dialing system.

– Policy Development: Developing clear policies and guidelines for the use of automated communication tools can help businesses avoid TCPA violations.

– Litigation Management: Lawyers representing clients in TCPA litigation must be well-versed in the technical aspects of automated systems to effectively defend against claims based on the new interpretation of the law.

Van Buren v. United States (2021)

Overview: In Van Buren v. United States, the Supreme Court limited the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), ruling that accessing information for an improper purpose does not violate the CFAA if the individual is otherwise authorized to access the information.

Impact on Legal Practice: This decision affects how the CFAA is applied, particularly in cases involving employee misconduct and unauthorized access to computer systems.

Adapting Strategies:

– Review of Access Policies: Lawyers should help clients review and update their computer access policies to clearly define authorized and unauthorized access, mitigating risks associated with employee misconduct.

– Employee Training: Providing training on appropriate use of computer systems and the legal implications of unauthorized access can help prevent violations.

– Litigation Strategy: Defense attorneys must carefully examine the specifics of each CFAA case to determine if the access in question truly violates the Act under the new interpretation.

California v. Texas (2021)

Overview: In California v. Texas, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate.

Impact on Legal Practice: The decision reaffirmed the ACA’s provisions, impacting healthcare law, insurance regulations, and compliance requirements for businesses and healthcare providers.

Adapting Strategies:

– Healthcare Compliance: Lawyers must ensure that healthcare providers and businesses remain compliant with ACA provisions, including coverage requirements, reporting obligations, and patient protections.

– Insurance Law: Advising clients on insurance policies and practices that align with the ACA’s mandates remains critical, particularly in navigating complex regulatory environments.

– Litigation and Advocacy: Ongoing legal challenges and legislative changes related to the ACA require continuous monitoring and proactive legal strategies to address new developments.

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (2021)

Overview: In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court ruled that Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with a Catholic foster care agency unless it agreed to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violated the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.

Impact on Legal Practice: This ruling has significant implications for cases involving religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, particularly for entities with religious affiliations.

Adapting Strategies:

– Balancing Rights: Lawyers must navigate the delicate balance between religious freedom and anti-discrimination principles, advising clients on how to operate within the bounds of the law while respecting both sets of rights.

– Contractual Agreements: Ensuring that contractual agreements with government entities do not infringe on religious freedoms requires careful drafting and negotiation.

– Litigation and Defense: Legal practitioners may see an increase in litigation involving conflicts between religious rights and anti-discrimination laws, necessitating robust defense strategies.

TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez (2021)

Overview: In TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, the Supreme Court ruled that only plaintiffs concretely harmed by a statutory violation have standing to seek damages in federal court, limiting the scope of class actions under consumer protection statutes.

Impact on Legal Practice: This decision restricts the ability of plaintiffs to bring class action lawsuits unless they can demonstrate actual harm, affecting consumer protection litigation and class action strategies.

Adapting Strategies:

– Class Action Viability: Lawyers must carefully assess the viability of class action lawsuits, ensuring that plaintiffs can demonstrate concrete harm resulting from statutory violations.

– Consumer Protection Compliance: Advising clients on compliance with consumer protection laws is crucial to avoid potential litigation and ensure that any violations do not result in actual harm to consumers.

– Litigation Strategy: Defense attorneys can leverage this decision to challenge class action certifications, focusing on the requirement for plaintiffs to demonstrate concrete harm.


Recent case law decisions are continually shaping current legal practices and strategies. Lawyers must stay informed about these developments and adapt their approaches to effectively navigate the evolving legal landscape. By understanding the implications of these decisions and implementing tailored strategies, legal professionals can better serve their clients and uphold the integrity of the legal system.

Continuing legal education (CLE) programs play a vital role in keeping lawyers updated on recent case law and its impact on practice. Engaging in CLE programs ensures that legal practitioners remain knowledgeable about new precedents, enabling them to adapt and refine their strategies in response to the latest legal developments. As the legal environment continues to change, staying informed and agile will be essential for success in the legal profession.

Stay Up-to-date with Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)

CEB offers comprehensive resources and updates that allow lawyers to stay informed about recent precedents and shifts in the legal landscape. CEB ensures that attorneys can maintain a thorough understanding of current legal standards and changes with its many online resources:

CEB Practitioner:

CEB’s Practitioner Tool offers a vast array of case law, statutes, and practical guides across various legal fields. This tool streamlines research, enhances legal practice efficiency, and provides up-to-date information, making it invaluable for lawyers seeking quick and reliable legal insights. All Practitioner resources are written by California lawyers, for California lawyers. 

OnLAW Pro:

CEB’s all-in-one legal research solution with authoritative practice guides, OnLAW Pro is written by California lawyers for California lawyers. All practice guides are fully integrated with CEB’s primary law research tool, allowing you to research California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court case law, as well as California statutes and the California Constitution. OnLAW also comes with TrueCite®, CEB’s powerful case law citator. 

MCLE Solutions:

CEB’s MCLE solutions, including CLE Passport and CEB’s CLE Compliance Package, provide a robust platform for California lawyers seeking to fulfill their CLE requirements. These solutions offer a diverse range of courses, covering various legal topics and practice areas. Designed for convenience and flexibility, the programs are available online, allowing attorneys to access high-quality, accredited educational content anytime, anywhere. CEB’s MCLE Solutions are an ideal blend of practicality and expertise, ensuring legal professionals stay informed, compliant, and at the forefront of their field.

Sample Templates and Form:

With over 50 billion filings made, CEB’s Sample Templates & Forms offer a seamless solution for creating, printing, and storing these critical legal documents. Subscribers benefit from early access to the latest form updates, ensuring compliance and preventing filing rejections due to outdated forms.

Maximize the effectiveness of your legal practice by integrating CEB’s innovative tools into your work. Visit our website to explore these resources and begin transforming your approach to legal challenges. Empower yourself with the expertise and tools needed to excel in the dynamic legal realm. Stay informed and stay ahead with CEB.