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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Civil Rights – Excessive Force – Gambling Arrest – Immunity – Interlocutory Appeal (access required)

The 4th Circuit dismisses a police officer’s interlocutory appeal of an order denying him qualified immunity in the fatal shooting of a Fairfax optometrist during his arrest on illegal gambling charges, and his estate’s cross-appeal of the district court order ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – Rule 35 Reduction – Amendment 706 (access required)

Declining to follow two of its own unpublished opinions, the 4th Circuit holds that a district court has authority to consider sentences below the federal sentencing guidelines, with Amendment 706’s modification of offense levels for cocaine base, even though the ...

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Contract – Securities Dealers – Arbitration Award – Vacatur (access required)

In a “rare” move, the 4th Circuit upholds vacatur of an NASD arbitration award of compensatory damages to three Raymond James financial advisors from Richmond who alleged wrongful termination by the financial services firm. On appeal, appellants argue that when ...

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Lawyers’ contempt convictions reversed  (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia has overturned summary contempt convictions and jail terms for two Virginia Beach lawyers and their law clerk. The contempt findings arose during a felony jury trial in which law partners Claude M. Scialdone and Barry ...

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4th Circuit on bolstering, Batson

A Richmond federal prosecutor crossed a line during closing argument in a weapons trial when she told the jury that two government witnesses “told the truth,” the 4th Circuit says. Federal precedent says it is improper for a prosecutor to ...

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Insurance – UIM – Stacking – Motorcycle-Car Accident (access required)

A Chesapeake Circuit Court says a man injured in a motorcycle accident cannot “stack” UM/UIM coverage from his policy that covered two separate vehicles he owned, neither of which was involved in the accident with a driver of another vehicle. ...

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Criminal – Proffer of Testimony – Harmless Error v. Structural Error (access required)

A contention that the denial of a request to call a witness amounted to structural error does not excuse the failure to proffer the testimony of the witness, the Court of Appeals holds in affirming convictions for obtaining money by ...

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