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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Bankruptcy – State Property Exemption – Supremacy Clause – W. Va. Law (access required)

The 4th Circuit affirms a decision construing W.Va. Code § 38-10-4, and holds that state property exemptions that apply only in bankruptcy actions are not rendered invalid by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We have before us consolidated ...

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Intellectual Property – Trademark Infringement – Dice Game (access required)

The 4th Circuit upholds summary judgment for defendant Australian company in a Florida company’s suit alleging defendant has infringed plaintiff’s trademark rights in “LCR” and “LEFT CENTER RIGHT,” a dice game. On May 21, 2007, George and Company, LLC brought ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – Counterfeit Bills – ‘Leader’ Enhancement (access required)

There was sufficient circumstantial evidence to convict defendant of counterfeiting charges after he passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store, but the 4th Circuit vacates defendant’s sentence because the four-level enhancement for being a “leader or organizer” of ...

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Criminal – Habeas – Parole Eligibility – Mootness (access required)

A Virginia inmate’s challenge to his parole eligibility determination is not mooted by his mandatory release from custody, but the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of the former inmate’s habeas petition as without merit. The Virginia Parole Board found Carl Townes ...

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Employment Discrimination – Race – Sex – Hostile Environment (access required)

The 4th Circuit reverses summary judgment for employer, a maintenance supply company, in an African-American female’s Title VII suit alleging the company did not adequately respond to her hostile environment claim based on coworkers’ sustained use of racial and sexual ...

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Taxation – Real Property – Transportation Districts (access required)

Fairfax County wins summary judgment in this challenge by a taxpayer business to the constitutionality of two Virginia statutes that authorize taxation of real property, Va. Code §§ 58.1-3221.3 (as within the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority) and Code § 33.1-435 ...

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Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Retirement Account (access required)

A Fairfax Circuit Court looks to unpublished cases from the Court of Appeals to hold that wife can keep her distribution from husband’s Thrift Savings Plan retirement account, even though husband claims the disbursement effects a 61/39 split in favor ...

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Domestic Relations – Spousal Support – Cohabitation – PSA (access required)

Although wife says she and her boyfriend do not share their finances and have separate bedrooms, she pays him rent and they share their lives and a Fairfax Circuit Court says husband can terminate his monthly spousal support payments in ...

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Corporate – Dissolved Corporation – Individual Liability (access required)

A Fairfax Circuit Court denies summary judgment to defendant, an officer, director and shareholder of a dissolved corporation that contracted to replace plaintiff hair salon’s floor, in the salon’s suit alleging defective installation. The complaint alleges that defendant Custom Commercial ...

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