Opinion Digests

Apr 3, 2023

University dismisses professor’s retaliation claim

Where a professor at Norfolk State University failed to show that he engaged in protected conduct, and failed to causally connect his alleged protected activity to the adverse employment action, his retaliation suit was dismissed.

Apr 3, 2023

Prevailing supervisor denied attorneys’ fees

Although the court previously held an employee’s race discrimination claim was time barred, it refused to award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing supervisor. The fact that the court rejected the man’s “continuing violation” theory wasn’t enough to show that the suit was “frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.” Background Rodney Mills sued the City of Norfolk […]

Apr 3, 2023

Constructive discharge claim doomed by own allegations

Where a bank employee asserted a claim for constructive discharge, but elsewhere alleged that she had been terminated, her claim failed because she did not state she resigned her employment. Moreover, she did not allege facts showing objectively intolerable working conditions, as required for a constructive discharge. Background In her amended complaint, Jenny M. High […]

Apr 3, 2023

University prevails on retaliation claim

Where there was an eight-month gap between a university employee’s protected activity and his termination, and there were no intervening facts suggesting retaliation, Norfolk State University prevailed on the retaliation claim. Background Sylvester T. Watkins brings this action against Norfolk State University, or NSU, and the Visitors of Norfolk State University. Watkins alleges NSU retaliated [...]

Apr 3, 2023

School Board defeats former teacher’s claims

Where the court previously held that the Prince William School Board did not discriminate or retaliate against a former high school teacher when it ended his employment, and the teacher then filed this suit alleging discrimination and retaliation in connection with his post-termination conduct, the suit was dismissed. Background Bruce Pearson is an African-American man. […]

Apr 3, 2023

Search for responsive records request was adequate

Where the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, submitted a declaration explaining the methodology of and rationale behind its search process, indicating the types of searches performed, listing the various locations searched and specifying the search terms used, the court found that the searches were reasonably calculated to find records responsive to a […]

Apr 3, 2023

‘Voltswagen’ prank results in class action

Where a putative class action suit was filed on behalf of persons who purchased stock after Volkswagen announced it was changing its name to “Voltswagen,” but later admitted that was an April Fools prank, the court held the complaint sufficiently pleaded that Volkswagen Group of America Inc. made material misstatements with the requisite degree of […]

Apr 3, 2023

Contempt proceeding violated automatic stay

Where the wife of the debtor initiated a contempt proceeding to enforce a domestic support obligation after the petition for bankruptcy was filed, the contempt proceeding violated the automatic stay. Although the wife argued the contempt proceeding was exempt from the automatic stay because it was a “collection” of a non-estate domestic support obligation, that […]

Apr 3, 2023

BLM protesters’ suit is dismissed

Where protestors alleged that the Augusta County sheriff violated their Fourth Amendment rights by unlawfully seizing them, but their complaint rested only on conclusions and not facts, and there were no allegations regarding the use of any force in the issuance of noise ordinance violation citations, the claim was dismissed. Background BLM of the Shenandoah […]

Apr 3, 2023

Virginia State Bar dismissed from man’s § 1983 suit

Where a man filed a suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Virginia State Bar because it allegedly failed to act on his complaints against various attorneys, but the state agency is not a “person” within the meaning of § 1983, it was dismissed from the suit. Background Christopher Cody Lester, a Virginia detainee […]

Apr 3, 2023

Wife awarded shareholder distribution from business

Where the wife showed that she was a shareholder with her estranged husband in their podiatrist business, and that he made distributions to shareholders in September 2021 but that she failed to receive any distributions, she was entitled to 50.2% of the distributions. Background Renee Mason, a Doctor of Podiatry, has sued her estranged husband […]

Apr 3, 2023

Worker’s claims against state agency dismissed

Where a former community health worker asserted claims for discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment based upon race, but her allegations were insufficient to support plausible claims, her suit was dismissed. Background Teletha Howard alleges that she was hired by Blue Ridge Health District, or BRHD, in March 2021 as a community health worker. […]

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