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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Criminal – Jury Instruction – Burden-Shifting – Rule 5A:18 (access required)

Even if defendant’s claim for a burden-shifting jury instruction is before the court on the theory that trial counsel never withdrew the instruction, the Court of Appeals says the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing the jury ...

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Criminal – Rape – Sufficiency – Intoxicated Victim (access required)

A woman’s testimony about her recollection of defendant sexually assaulting her after she became intoxicated at a party, corroborated by medical evidence consistent with assault, and the Court of Appeals upholds defendant’s rape conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-61(A)(ii). The ...

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Domestic Relations – Appeals – Visitation Schedule (access required)

A divorce court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered “reasonable visitation” for husband with his children, and the Court of Appeals rejects husband’s contention that the trial court should have imposed a specific schedule. Even assuming husband preserved ...

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Domestic Relations – Rule 5A:18 – Spousal Support – Survivor Benefit Plan (access required)

Rules 5A:18 and 5A:20(e) preclude the Court of Appeals from hearing husband’s claims challenging $1,800 in monthly spousal support to wife and her receipt of a share of his military retirement pay, but the appellate court upholds the trial court ...

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Employment Discrimination – Race – Retail Employee – Drug Screening (access required)

A Richmond U.S. District Court refuses to dismiss this Title VII race discrimination claim filed by an African-American furniture store employee who alleges he was terminated when he refused to take a drug-screening test, although a Caucasian employee was not ...

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Real Estate – Foreclosure – FCRA – Trustee’s Fiduciary Duty (access required)

A defendant who lost his Woodbridge home through foreclosure has his suit alleging fraud and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act against multiple defendants dismissed by an Alexandria U.S. District Court. In count I, plaintiff John Horvath claims he ...

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Intellectual Property – Corporate Identity Theft – Attorney’s Fees (access required)

A plaintiff who won an injunction and $20,000 in damages in this suit alleging appropriation of plaintiff’s identity as The Flexible Benefits Council, a lobbying organization, can collect attorney’s fees and costs, but the Alexandria U.S. District Court only allows ...

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Criminal – Ineffective Assistance – Mistrial Offer (access required)

The 4th Circuit says the trial lawyer for a former CEO convicted of mail and wire fraud did not render constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel when he allegedly ignored defendant’s direction to accept the district court’s offer of a mistrial ...

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Criminal – Habeas – Ineffective Assistance (access required)

The 4th Circuit says a district court’s “de novo do-over” of a North Carolina murder defendant’s habeas claim alleging ineffective assistance was impermissible under the AEDPA, and it reverses a decision for defendant and remands for dismissal of his habeas ...

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