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Opinion Digests

Failure to ask lawyer to appeal dooms effort to vacate sentence (access required)

A defendant who did not instruct his attorney to bring an appeal cannot later claim the attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel for not appealing his sentence. Background Petitioner was indicted in a 16-count indictment on Oct. 15, 2015. On ...

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Counterclaims in misappropriation case fail (access required)

Counterclaims brought by a former employee accused of misappropriating company funds are dismissed for insufficient facts and lack of evidence. Background Plaintiffs, a business corporation and its president, allege that defendant Teresa B. Barringer was a long-time company employee in ...

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Former employee pleads claim for FMLA retaliation (access required)

Plaintiff’s termination shortly after taking FMLA leave plausibly pleaded a claim for FMLA retaliation. Background Snipes began working for the jail authority in 2005. Snipes supervised several other employees, received employee evaluations demonstrating that he was a commendable employee and ...

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Convicted Blacksburg doctor largely denied post-trial relief (access required)

The court rejected virtually all of the post-trial motions filed by a doctor, finding there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict him on nearly 70 counts of acquiring and possessing controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery and deception. ...

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Challenge to jury’s trade secret verdict fails (access required)

Despite the fact the jury found that only eight of 67 alleged trade secrets were actually trade secrets, and only seven had been misappropriated, its resulting damages award was supported by the record. Background Steves is an independent manufacturer of ...

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Despite exemplary record, inmate’s motion to vacate denied (access required)

Although an inmate had an exemplary record during his 22 years in prison, the court denied his motion to vacate his conviction because the government opposed it. Background On March 5, 1997, after a week-long jury trial, Marty Lorenzo Wright ...

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Age, circumstances of victims admissible in fraud case (access required)

In a case where the defendant is alleged to have defrauded elderly victims, the age and financial circumstances were admissible at trial to support the government’s theory that the scheme targeted unsophisticated investors. Background Raeann Gibson is charged with multiple ...

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