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Opinion Digests

Criminal – Postal Inspector – Drug Activities – Postal Property – Statutory Authority (access required)

Although defendant postal employee contends the postal inspector exceeded his statutory authority under 39 U.S.C. § 404(a)(7) when he investigated defendant for alleged drug activities which did not occur wholly on postal property, the investigation was within the inspector’s statutory ...

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Criminal – Habeas Corpus – Procedural Default – Jury Instruction On Heinousness – Harmless Error (access required)

The district court erred in granting petitioner a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that an instruction on “heinousness” given to the jury that sentenced him to death was unconstitutionally vague and petitioner therefore was entitled to a new ...

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Criminal – Habeas Corpus – Mootness – Unconditional Release From Contempt Jail Sentence (access required)

Although petitioner, a North Carolina attorney, has been unconditionally released after serving his ten-day jail sentence for criminal contempt, because he still may suffer collateral legal consequences resulting from his contempt conviction, his appeal of the denial of his habeas ...

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Criminal – Jury Instruction – 'Reasonable Doubt' – Crack Cocaine Distribution (access required)

Where the jury during deliberations at defendant’s trial for crack cocaine distribution requested “further clarification as to ‘reasonable doubt’,” but the trial court said that the 4th Circuit rule was that the trial court should not try to define reasonable ...

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Criminal – Drug & Firearm Charges – Defendant's Use Of Officer's Gun (access required)

Where a state trooper attempted a roadside arrest of defendant for possession of more than 160 pounds of marijuana, and defendant resisted arrest, seized the trooper’s gun and escaped, defendant was properly convicted of using and carrying a firearm “during ...

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Civil Practice – Notice Of Removal – 30-Day Time Limit (access required)

Where defendant noticed removal to federal court within 30 days of service of the initial pleading, but defendant actually was in possession of the pleading more than 30 days before notice of removal, since it had copied the motion for ...

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Tort\Negligence – Contract – Insurance Agent – Action For Commissions – Underwriters' Failure To Provide Rate Quote (access required)

Where plaintiff insurance agent sues defendant insurance company in contract and tort for the company’s alleged failure to obtain approval from the company’s underwriters for quoted rates for a benefits package for a client nursing home’s employees, and as a ...

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