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Opinion Digests

Termination based on lack of productivity, not complaints (access required)

Where a school human resources official was terminated, for a history of non-responsiveness and unproductiveness, the school board prevailed in proving her termination was not in retaliation for her complaints. Background Ms. Gooding-Williams raised three claims against FCSB. In Count ...

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Judge’s in-court comments were not basis for recusal (access required)

Where the judge’s comments about the defendant were in direct response to the defendant’s conduct, they did not reflect a wrongful or inappropriate prejudice. Background Walter Graves is charged in a one-count indictment with a bank robbery that occurred on ...

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Wire fraud conspiracy defendants not prejudiced by joint trial (access required)

The defendants, who persuaded their elderly victims to transfer money to the defendants based on postured romantic relationships, failed to persuade the court that the district court made errors during their trial that would have changed the outcome. Background The ...

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Resentencing required as priors are no longer ACCA predicates (access required)

The defendant’s 220-month sentence was based on four prior convictions that rendered him an “armed career criminal.” Now, however, two of those prior convictions no longer qualify as violent felonies, thus requiring resentencing. Background Randall Cornette pleaded guilty to being ...

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Federal gun charge based on state domestic violence conviction (access required)

Although the defendant claimed his federal gun charge could not be based on his Virginia conviction for domestic violence because he did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to a jury trial in Virginia as required under federal statute, ...

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No qualified immunity for actions leading to false convictions (access required)

Where state and county law enforcement officers allegedly coerced a false confession out of two teenage boys with severe intellectual disabilities, the officers are not entitled to qualified immunity because they violated teenagers’ clearly established constitutional rights. Background This case ...

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Improper exclusion of expert results in convictions being vacated (access required)

Where the trial court improperly excluded an expert who would have provided testimony material to the defendants’ defense, two defendants convicted of drug conspiracy charges are entitled to a new trial. Background A federal jury convicted Benjamin Galecki and Charles ...

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