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Opinion Digests

Third-party contracts could be double dealing (access required)

A factfinder could conclude that a rail company bargained in bad faith in its contract with a coal shipper. Evidence supported an inference that the rail company actively incentivized third parties to frustrate the shipper’s performance and then refused good-faith ...

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Copyright claim proceeds against congressman (access required)

A photographer sufficiently stated a claim against Congressman Tom Garrett and his 2016 campaign for the unauthorized use of a photo depicting people crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, a U.S. district court held. Background Plaintiff and photographer Todd Bigelow ...

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Drugs in car supported arrest of passenger (access required)

Officers had probable cause to stop a vehicle for speeding and excessive window tinting. Upon smelling marijuana before even making contact with the driver, they lawfully searched the car and detained its passenger. Drugs found behind the passenger’s seat supported ...

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Officers legally searched accused molester’s car (access required)

A warrant to search a vehicle was supported by probable cause, based on facts in the affidavit that a confidential witness observed child pornography on the owner’s laptop computer and that, based on the swearing officer’s experience, people who collect ...

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Colostomy alleviation was serious medical need (access required)

Given evidence that two prison doctors failed to address the plaintiff’s need for approved stoma reversal surgery, summary judgment in their favor on a federal prisoner’s Eighth Amendment claims was not merited. The plaintiff was appointed counsel as to claims ...

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Criminal history includes only active sentences (access required)

Rejecting the reasoning in unpublished 4th Circuit decisions on the question, the court held that under Sentencing Guidelines § 4A1.2, a defendant’s criminal history category calculation did not include petty offenses for which active imprisonment was less than 30 days, ...

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Allegations don’t establish intent to deceive (access required)

Various statements by a contractor related to its performance on a contract (estimated to be worth over $100 million) were optimistic or maybe even false, but the plaintiff’s allegations did not sufficiently allege executives’ scienter, i.e. a motive to deceive ...

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Evidence supported punitives for understaffing (access required)

In three wrongful death suits in which the jury found liability and awarded punitive damages, the district court erred in finding that the plaintiffs failed to show an “aggravating factor” under North Carolina law that would support punitives. Extensive trial ...

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CAV: Post-stop consent to search vehicle was valid (access required)

After being released with a verbal warning for a broken brake light and driving on a suspended license, a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have felt free to leave. Therefore, his consent for a vehicle search was valid, ...

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