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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Labor – Union Arbitration – Post-Contract Grievance – Limitations (access required)

Although a union sought arbitration of grievances over pension and health insurance benefits after the parties’ collective bargaining agreement had expired, it is clear from the parties’ contracts that they intended to arbitrate, and the 4th Circuit says the union’s ...

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Constitutional – First Amendment – Zoning – Adult Entertainment Venues (access required)

The 4th Circuit upholds a district court’s judgment against plaintiff adult entertainment establishments, who claimed a city ordinance that required them to relocate within a certain time frame violated their First Amendment rights. In 1994, the City of Charlotte enacted ...

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Criminal – Drug Conspiracy – Life Sentence ‘Enhancement’ – ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Standard (access required)

The 4th Circuit affirms two defendants’ several convictions related to a conspiracy to distribute cocaine in northwest Virginia, but the appellate court vacates the life sentence of one defendant under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)’s enhancement provision because the prosecution failed ...

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Commercial – No Lawyer Fees Under Franchise Act (access required)

A Springfield GM dealership dodged a bullet when GM decided not to let a competitor into the Springfield dealer’s turf, but GM doesn’t owe attorney’s fees under the Dealer Franchise Act because GM dropped the planned move before a decision ...

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Domestic Relations – Wife’s ED Award Reversed (access required)

A wife can keep $65,000 for husband’s drinking, adultery and verbal abuse, but the Court of Appeals reversed awards to wife of $75,000 for a capital loss credit, $15,786 for half of a bank account, $50,000 for “dissipation of assets,” ...

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Contract – Rep Can Sue for Commission (access required)

A sales rep for a government tech supplier can sue for her alleged 19-percent commission on million-dollar contracts for sales of Blackberrys and computer monitors, even though she did not attach contract documents to her complaint; an Alexandria U.S. District ...

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Zoning – No ‘Vested Rights’ Under Zoning Letter (access required)

A private security training firm cannot expand its training “school” on a $2.25 million parcel because a “zoning classification letter” did not give the firm “vested rights,” the Supreme Court of Virginia says in a case closely watched by local ...

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Criminal – Post-Conviction Motion – Ineffective Assistance (access required)

An Abingdon U.S. District Court dismisses a federal inmate’s motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based on alleged constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant first asserts that counsel should have done more investigation before advising him to ...

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Bond claim survives CRESPA (access required)

Virginia’s statutory scheme for regulating real estate settlement agents – the CRESPA statute adopted in 1997 – does not prevent a suit to recover under the surety bond that settlement agents have to carry. In the current economic climate, with ...

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