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Tag Archives: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

4th Cir.: Fraud conspirator must forfeit only her own proceeds (access required)

Under recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a defendant convicted in a mortgage fraud conspiracy could not be ordered to forfeit the total amount of losses from the conspiracy – over $1.5 million – when she personally had received only $231,000 ...

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4th Cir.: District court couldn’t hear pipeline challengers’ suit (access required)

Congress stripped district courts’ jurisdiction to hear the claims of landowners challenging provisions of the Natural Gas Act, under which Mountain Valley Pipeline obtained administrative approval to begin construction. The district court properly dismissed their suit. Background The Plaintiffs are ...

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4th Cir.: Each wrongly fired officer was a distinct insurance claim (access required)

The district court erred in finding that three police officers, fired in retaliation for their joint action, represented a single claim for municipal insurance purposes. Thus, the per-claim policy limit applied to each officer individually, rather than the trio as ...

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4th Cir.: Student’s attitude outweighed school’s IDEA violation (access required)

High school staff failed to timely respond to parents’ requests for disability testing, but an administrative fact finder reasonably concluded that the student’s poor scholastic record was caused by his frequent absences and disdain for teachers, not the violation. Background ...

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4th Cir.: Pipeline’s federal land permits invalidated (access required)

Under three environmental statutes, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service improperly approved rights-of-way through federal lands for Mountain Valley Pipeline’s construction and operation of the largest pipeline of its kind to cross the Jefferson National Forest. Background ...

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4th Cir.: Market value should dictate recovery for stolen merchandise (access required)

In calculating appropriate restitution to be paid by a video-game thief, the district court erred in accepting the victim’s unsubstantiated estimate of replacement costs, rather than requiring evidence on fair market value. Background Appellant Dominic Steele was convicted of postal ...

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4th Cir.: Corporate structure didn’t change plan administrator (access required)

Although some claims analysts were on a different Hartford subsidiary’s payroll, they nevertheless processed the plaintiff’s disability claim on behalf of the entity designated as plan administrator. Accordingly, under ERISA, the administrator’s decision to terminate benefits was subject only to ...

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4th Cir.: Plaintiffs exhausted chances to cure deficient complaints (access required)

Protracted litigation repeatedly put consumer-plaintiffs on notice that their complaints failed to meet Rule 8 pleading standards, but they never amended their complaints during this time despite having leave to do so. Thus, the district court did not err in ...

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4th Cir.: Slurs read aloud didn’t create hostile environment (access required)

A prosecutor who read racial slurs aloud from potential evidence, which he was evaluating at a pre-trial meeting, did not create a hostile work environment for the black police officers in the room. Even if such conduct could give rise ...

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4th Cir.: Challenge to factual basis can survive appeal waiver (access required)

Even valid appeal waivers in plea agreements do not necessarily bar claims that the factual basis for a guilty plea is insufficient. In this case, however, the stipulated factual basis and other affirmations by the defendant provided enough support for ...

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