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Opinion Digests

Workers' Comp – Safety Rule – Ladders – Willful Violation (access required)

Although the employer claimed it had a safety rule regarding use of ladders and that the employees were not allowed to climb on the concrete forms like the one from which claimant slipped and fell, the employer has not been ...

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Labor & Employment – Age Discrimination – ADEA – RIF – Inadequate Performance – Same Hiring & Firing Officer (access required)

Where plaintiff, a 58-year old corporate quality assurance manager who was discharged as part of a reduction-in-force, failed to present any evidence that he was performing at the level of the three other persons retained at his management level and ...

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Labor & Employment – Age Discrimination – Attorney's Fees – 'Substantially Justified' (access required)

Although one of the judges on the 4th Circuit panel dissented from the majority’s earlier decision affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the employer in this age discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this ...

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Administrative – Black Lung Benefits – Regulations On Cross-Appeal (access required)

Where the Administrative Law Judge, in determining the merits of this claim for black lung benefits, relied exclusively on reports from two non-examining physicians, the denial of benefits is reversed. The Benefits Review Board refused to consider claimant’s argument on ...

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Criminal – Right Of Self-Representation – Right To Confront Witnesses – Accused Child Abuser (access required)

Where petitioner, when facing state charges of child sexual abuse, repeatedly requested to represent himself in order to cross-examine his accusers, he properly invoked his right of self-representation and the district court erred in concluding that petitioner failed to invoke ...

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Labor & Employment – Coal Workers' Strike – RICO Suit Against Union (access required)

Where the mining corporation sued the union under the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § § 1961-1968, after union members engaged in a selective strike, the district court did not err in concluding that the corporation failed ...

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Criminal – Sentencing Guidelines – Ex Post Facto – Ineffective Sentencing – Lawyer's Use Of Witnesses – Defendant's Testimony (access required)

Although the pro se petitioner for post-conviction relief alleges that the court applied the federal sentencing guidelines in effect at the time of his sentence rather than the guidelines in effect at the time of his offense, and that his ...

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Criminal – Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel – Conflict Of Interest (access required)

Although defendant alleges that his trial attorney was the target of an investigation in Florida by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and that the trial attorney was at some time counsel for several co-conspirators and government witnesses in this case, thus ...

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Tort/Negligence – Elevator Maintenance – Sudden Two-Floor Drop – Expert's Theory (access required)

Where plaintiff, a speech therapist who alleges she was injured when the hospital elevator in which she was riding suddenly dropped two floors, alleges defendant company that maintained the elevators was negligent in leaving a “jumper” across the elevator’s circuit ...

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Bankruptcy – Exemptions – Household Furnishings – TVs & VCRs – Pension Plans – Spendthrift Provisions (access required)

Where debtor wishes to exempt from the bankruptcy estate his interests in three separate pension plans, his interest in the first plan is exempt because that plan is governed by ERISA and includes a non-alienation provision that is enforceable under ...

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