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Opinion Digests

Criminal – Drug Conspiracy – Money Laundering – Sentencing (access required)

Seven defendants who participated in a drug-distribution conspiracy have their convictions affirmed despite their claims that 1) the government failed to inform them, prior to trial, that the government informant in the case kept a “spiral-bound notebook” with a detailed ...

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Criminal – Obstruction Of Justice – No Specific Finding – Motion For New Trial (access required)

A District Court did not have jurisdiction to entertain defendant’s motion for a new trial under Fed. R. Civ. P. 33, based on defense counsel’s alleged ineffective assistance arising from a conflict in interest; the defendant’s ineffective-assistance claim can only ...

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Criminal – Va. Parole Statute – Deferred Review – Ex Post Facto (access required)

A 1993 Virginia statute that deferred parole review for up to three years for certain categories of Virginia inmates does not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In this case, Virginia inmates challenge the constitutionality of ...

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Admiralty – Indemnity By Stevedore – Warranty For Workmanlike Services (access required)

A stevedore must indemnify a barge owner for fire damage to its barge because the stevedore breached its “duty of providing workmanlike service” by loading a 45-foot container so that it blocked a plainly visible exhaust pipe, which caused a ...

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Creditor's Rights – Fair Debt Collection Act – Collection Agency – Autocall Services For HUD (access required)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers a collection agency that worked for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development providing monthly “autocall” services for HUD’s single family mortgage loans. The plaintiff here alleged that the agency violated the ...

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Social Security – Mental Disability – Limited Physical Disability (access required)

A claimant who suffers only limited impairments in her leg, ankles and wrist, but who has a long history of mental-health problems and treatment, is entitled to social security benefits. Given the administrative law judge’s finding that claimant’s physical impairments ...

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Bankruptcy – Dischargeability Of Debt – Support Payment – 'Hold Harmless' Agreement (access required)

A bank debt incurred by debtor husband for business reasons and personally guaranteed by wife is a nondischargeable “support” payment under 11 U.S.C. § 523 and under a “hold harmless” clause of the parties’ property settlement agreement. Debtor first claims ...

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