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Opinion Digests

WDVA: Energy companies hash out litigation-cost awards (access required)

The prevailing party in litigation between energy companies sought to recover its litigation costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54. Among costs the court excluded were a video deposition and electronic transcripts accompanying written transcripts. Background Following a jury ...

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WDVA: Jail employee owes inmate $700k+ for sexual assaults (access required)

In a § 1983 action by a former jail inmate, default judgment was granted against a jail employee who failed to appear despite being properly served. The court found that the employee sexually assaulted and raped the inmate and, after ...

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WDVA: Counsel disqualified for past representation of key witness (access required)

Despite informed consent from both clients, a defendant’s attorney was disqualified from representing her on a drug charge because he had previously represented a material witness for the government. Background In a prior criminal drug prosecution, Defendant Lauren Hoback’s defense ...

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WDVA: Bankruptcy firm’s revoked practice privileges affirmed (access required)

After an initial stay pending appeal, the district court reinstated the revocation of privileges for UpRight Law LLC and related entities to practice before the bankruptcy court. Revocation was based on the defendants’ unethical business practices that preyed on bankruptcy ...

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EDVA: FDCPA claim viable against lender, servicer (access required)

Despite skepticism about a plaintiff-debtor’s ultimate chances, the court declined to dismiss his Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim alleging that his mortgage lender and loan servicer intentionally lied to him about whether a home foreclosure was scheduled. Background In ...

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EDVA: Dish Network’s credit inquiry could be FCRA violation (access required)

A plaintiff who said he contacted Dish merely to comparison shop for TV plans sufficiently alleged a consumer-protection claim against the company, arising from an inquiry that appeared on his credit report that the company failed to have removed. Background ...

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4th Cir.: Longtime resident removable based on old drug offense (access required)

After a trip to his native U.K., a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. was denied admission upon his return, based on a seven-year-old conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. His removal order was ...

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4th Cir.: Coin collectors’ quest to ease import restrictions fails (access required)

A numismatics lobbying group that intentionally imported ancient coins under international trade restrictions was unsuccessful in challenging forfeiture of the coins. Abuse of discretion is the appropriate standard for reviewing lower-court decisions to strike pleadings. Background In 1970, the U.S. ...

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4th Cir.: “Habitual drunkard” interdiction laws upheld (access required)

A district court properly dismissed constitutional challenges to Virginia’s civil interdiction process, which can lead to criminal penalties for possession, consumption, or purchase of alcoholic beverages by individuals subject to a civil interdiction order. Background Virginia regulates the consumption, purchase, ...

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