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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Civil Procedure – Jurisdiction – Preemption – Md. Law – Credit Services (access required)

In this suit by H&R Block to prevent Maryland state regulators from enforcing Maryland’s Credit Services Businesses Act against Block, the 4th Circuit says the district court erred by not analyzing, as the first step in its preemption analysis, whether ...

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Criminal – Habeas Corpus – Double Jeopardy – Abduction & Robbery (access required)

The 4th Circuit can accept that defendant raised a federal double jeopardy claim by citing a state court case based on federal law, but it nevertheless upholds denial of federal habeas relief on defendant’s claim that his separate punishments for ...

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Criminal – Tax Evasion – Sentencing – Home Detention (access required)

The 4th Circuit vacates a sentence of probation – with international travel privileges – for a tax evader who continued to travel and failed to make any restitution until shortly before sentencing; the district court erred by ignoring Sentencing Commission ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – Drug Trafficking – Prior Conviction – Drug Court (access required)

In sentencing a defendant on drug trafficking and firearm charges, a district court erred when it counted disposition by a state court drug supervision program as a “prior sentence” within the meaning of USSG 4A1.1 and 4A1.2, and his sentence ...

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Criminal – Crack Cocaine – Sentencing Guidelines – Amendment 706 (access required)

A district court erred in believing a defendant convicted of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine base could not be sentenced to a term less than 96 months, and the 4th Circuit vacates defendant’s sentence and remands for resentencing. After ...

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Search & Seizure – Warrant – Computer File Search – Plain View (access required)

A search warrant grounded on probable cause to believe evidence relating to the Virginia crimes of threatening bodily harm and computer harassment would be found on defendant’s home computers and digital media authorized police to search the computers and digital ...

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Public notice bill killed

Dow Jones and Virginia local newspapers have been squabbling over public notice rights in the past year. When the Wall Street Journal decided to cherry-pick public notices in Virginia, papers like the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Virginian-Pilot headed to court. ...

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