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Opinion Digests

4th Cir.: Preponderance standard governs Lanham Act fees (access required)

As in the Patent Act, a party prevailing on a Lanham Act claim need only prove an “exceptional” case meriting a fee award by a preponderance of the evidence. And no showing of bad faith is required. Background Appellant XYZ.com ...

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CAV: Real perpetrator’s confession supports actual innocence (access required)

The court of appeals granted two petitions for writs of actual innocence, based on another person’s confession to both robberies for which the petitioner was convicted. Background In 2007, Petitioner Gary Bush was convicted in the City of Petersburg Circuit ...

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SCV: FOIA enforcement affidavit satisfied statute (access required)

An affidavit alleging open-meeting violations by a county board of supervisors was sufficient to support a FOIA petition when the affiant swore to her belief in matters presented on information, the Virginia Supreme Court held. Background Appellant Marian Bragg alleges ...

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WDVA: Autistic plaintiff must testify in real-time (access required)

A plaintiff suing the Virginia Department of Corrections cannot offer a pre-taped deposition as testimony, despite his residence and Florida and difficulty staying on topic due to autism. He will be permitted to testify remotely by live video. Background Plaintiff ...

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WDVA: Ex-employer must arbitrate breach-of-contract claims (access required)

In bringing breach-of-contract and -fiduciary-duty claims against a former employee who took a job with a competitor, an insurance company will be held to the arbitration clause contained in its agent agreement. Background In 2009, Defendant Ryan Gillenwater became an ...

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WDVA: Alleged trespass not a taking under FRCP 71.1 (access required)

A pipeline construction company had no legal right to use an access road on the defendants’ property, and therefore the company did not “possess” the land so as to require just compensation to the owner. Background This matter is before ...

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EDVA: Dog-gene mutation was “natural,” not patentable (access required)

A Swiss researcher who discovered the genetic mutation that causes Nasal Parakeratosis in Labrador Retrievers could not enforce a patent on it, because the discovery was a naturally-occurring phenomenon. Background This action concerns U.S. Patent No. 9,157,114 for an in ...

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