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Opinion Digests

4th Cir.: Homestead had no notice of ice near walkway fountain (access required)

A guest at the Omni Homestead did not demonstrate that the hotel had either actual notice of ice she slipped on or constructive notice, based on the hazardous condition allegedly caused by operating the outdoor fountain in sub-freezing conditions. Background ...

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4th Cir.: State water agencies’ review of pipeline effects was sound (access required)

Based on thorough analysis by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, the state Water Control Board had a sufficient basis to certify reasonable assurance that the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project – and the restrictions and protective measures it included – would ...

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4th Cir.: Juror’s voir dire omission demands further inquiry (access required)

In a habeas challenge brought by a defendant on death row for the murder of a Norfolk law enforcement officer, an evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine whether juror bias tainted the conviction. Despite a straightforward inquiry by trial counsel, ...

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4th Cir.: Substitute judge erred in granting reconsideration (access required)

After the initial trial judge’s retirement, the re-assignment judge erred in reconsidering and effectively reversing a highly fact-dependent decision to recognize the defendants’ immunity from suit. The reconsideration exceeded the bounds of Rule 54. Background Defendants Jason Carpenter, Christopher Small, ...

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4th Cir.: Federal agencies’ pipeline permissions vacated (access required)

Authorizations granted by U.S. Interior Department agencies for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline were arbitrary and capricious, failing to provide required explanations for key aspects of the underlying analysis. Background The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a 600-mile pipeline designed to transport ...

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EDVA: Jury must decide whether conduct waived non-waiver clause (access required)

In a contract dispute between a Dominion subsidiary and a pipeline-construction company, the court resolved some issues related to non-payment claims, but held that the scope of the parties’ contract and certain aspects of its performance could not be determined ...

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CAV: Self-help moots remedies sought for deficient roof work (access required)

No remedy existed for condo owners who, unhappy with a roof renovation, wanted the city to inspect the work and cite the roofer.  After a second contractor made fixes, there was nothing for the city to inspect and no opportunity ...

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WDVA: Court strikes “faux counterclaims” against non-parties (access required)

In trade-secret litigation concerning a disputed international patent for a sugar substitute, a defendant’s attempt to “join” related counter-defendants was procedurally improper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 13(h). Background Sugar tastes good. But it’s unhealthy. So companies and scientists ...

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WDVA: Buffet worker’s theft accusations could be defamatory (access required)

A woman and her mother sufficiently alleged defamation by a Golden Corral server, who publicly accused them of hiding food in their purses. But the court dismissed their claim for contract interference on account of their race and also struck ...

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EDVA: Prosecutor, officer face malicious-prosecution claims (access required)

An unsuccessful candidate for county sheriff sufficiently stated claims for malicious prosecution by a commonwealth’s attorney and a state police officer. The plaintiff said they conspired to prosecute him for election fraud with no evidence to support the charge. Background ...

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