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4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Jul 7, 2023

Man waived right to challenge jurisdictional element

Where a man charged with sexually abusing a young girl in Japan pleaded guilty to two charges in exchange to giving up his right to appeal, his appeal was dismissed. Although the man argued the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim, his argument was really about the jurisdictional element of the charge, which […]

Jul 7, 2023

Stop of car supported by reasonable suspicion

Where law enforcement stopped a vehicle after receiving information from a reliable informant, and because of the defendant’s past drug-dealing activities, the location of the stop and the manner in which the defendant was operating his vehicle, the stop was supported by reasonable suspicion. Background Suspecting that Xavier Howell was engaged in drug-trafficking activity, law […]

Jul 7, 2023

Public safety concerns supported warrantless search

Where police searched a van that was parked outside a bank after they saw an AR-15 style rifle, a handgun case, ammunition and explosive material all in plain view, the warrantless search of the van was justified by public safety concerns. Background A grand jury indicted Alexander Hillel Treisman him for possession of child pornography […]

Jul 7, 2023

Defendant fails to show guilty plea was invalid

Where a doctor argued his guilty plea to improper distribution of controlled substances was invalid because the district court did not expressly state that the government would be required to prove that he knew or intended that his prescriptions were unauthorized, but the indictment essentially made this point clear, his argument was rejected. Background Jong […]

Jul 4, 2023

Debtor’s affiliate granted protection from claims

Where the bankruptcy court entered an order preventing thousands of asbestos claims from proceeding against an affiliate of the debtor, it did not err. Because those suits could have an adverse effect on the debtor, the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to enter the preliminary injunction. Background The district court affirmed a bankruptcy court order that […]

Jul 4, 2023

Court clarifies service under Rule 5(b)(2)(C)

Where the return of mail as undeliverable establishes that notice of a judgment or order was not received, service pursuant to Rule 5(b)(2)(C) is not the functional equivalent of notice for purposes of Rule 4(a)(6). Background Melodie Shuler, an attorney, filed a civil rights action against two Orangeburg County, South Carolina sheriff’s deputies. As a […]

Jul 4, 2023

Immigration judge applied incorrect standard

Where an immigration judge focused the analysis on the reasons why a gang in El Salvador threatened and persecuted the petitioner’s family, rather than on the reasons why the gang threatened the petitioner himself, it erred. Background Marvin A.G. seeks review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, denying his motion […]

Jul 4, 2023

Defendants sanctioned for repeated discovery violations

Where defendants sued for making telemarketing calls repeatedly violated their discovery obligations, the district court did not err in striking their defenses and then entering judgment in the plaintiff’s favor for over $828,000. Background After receiving a flood of telemarketing phone calls concerning debt relief through lower interest rates on credit cards, Diana Mey sued […]

Jun 25, 2023

Professor disciplined for making sexual comments

Where a university professor was disciplined after students complained about his making comments about his personal sex life and the sex lives of his students, he failed to state a claim against the university under Title IX, for procedural due process and for First Amendment retaliation. Background Todd Kashdan, a tenured psychology professor at George […]

Jun 25, 2023

Employees were terminated for alleged dishonesty

Where the record showed that an employer terminated over 65 employees after it concluded they were dishonest – by submitting virtually identical forms claiming they were injured – it prevailed on their claims for discrimination under federal and state law. Background On June 16, 2017, CSX Transportation Inc., or CSXT, issued furlough notices to employees […]

Jun 25, 2023

Supervisor defeats hostile work environment claims

Where two automobile sales managers claimed their new supervisor perpetuated a racially hostile work environment, but there was insufficient evidence that the harassment was of the employees’ race, the dealership and supervisor prevailed on the claims. Background Not long after getting a new boss at the Priority Automotive Honda dealership, Kenneth Robinson and Christopher Hall […]

Jun 25, 2023

Lack of independent economic value dooms claim

Where one company claimed a competitor misappropriated its trade secrets, but failed to adduce evidence showing its 75 alleged trade secrets met the independent economic value requirement, the competitor prevailed on the claim. Background Both Risk Based Security Inc., or RBS, and Synopsys Inc., identify vulnerabilities in the source code of software and share information […]

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