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

Black Lung Benefits – ‘Operator’ – Definition Change – Subsequent Rehire (access required)

When the claimant first worked for petitioner’s predecessor, the predecessor did not fall within the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act’s definition of “operator.” However, after the definition of “operator” was expanded to include mining construction contractors like petitioner’s predecessor, ...

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Arbitrability – JAMS Rules – Arbitrator’s Decision – First Impression (access required)

Where the arbitration clause of the parties’ contract says arbitration is to “be administered pursuant to the JAMS Comprehensive Rules and Procedures,” and where those rules provide that arbitrability disputes are to be decided by the arbitrator, then the arbitration ...

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Sentencing – Procedurally Unreasonable – Downward Departure Arguments (access required)

In imposing a within-Guidelines sentence on defendant for armed robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, the district court made cursory reference to two of defendant’s arguments for a downward departure (his opiate addiction and the influence ...

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Child Pornography – First Impression – Peer-to-Peer Sharing – ‘Distribution’ (access required)

The 4th Circuit joins its sister circuits in holding that, where files have been downloaded from a defendant’s collection of child pornography images, use of a file-sharing program constitutes distribution under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. We affirm the district court’s ...

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Habeas Petition – Constitutional – Solicitation of a Minor (access required)

After MacDonald v. Moose, 710 F.3d 154 (4th Cir. 2013), declared the former version of Virginia’s sodomy statute, Va. Code § 18.2-361(A), to be facially invalid under Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), Virginia’s Supreme Court held that the ...

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Eighth Amendment – Jury Instructions – Intentional Actions (access required)

In this case involving a prisoner who was attacked and injured by another inmate, the district court instructed the jury, “Deliberate indifference is established only if the defendants . . . had actual knowledge of a substantial risk that Anderson ...

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Eighth Amendment – ‘Rough Ride’ – Excessive Force – Deliberate Indifference (access required)

If, as the plaintiff-prisoner forecasts, prison guards gave him a “rough ride” in a prison van in order to teach him a lesson about filing grievances, then the driver used excessive force and the other guard was deliberately indifferent. The ...

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Appeals court rebukes prosecutors in death penalty case (access required)

4tth Circuit Seal FEA

A federal appeals court panel has ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine if undisclosed evidence could upset the conviction of a man sentenced to die for the 2004 Norfolk murders of four people, including two preschool girls. Ruling that U.S. ...

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Partial Dirt-for-Debt – Valuation – Appeals – Post-Petition Interest Adjustment (access required)

Bate Land Co. LP v. Bate Land & Timber LLC (VLW No. 017-2-211, 21 pp.) (Duncan, J.) 16-2037; Dec. 6, 2017; USDC at Wilmington, N.C. (Boyle, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: The bankruptcy court has specialized expertise in valuing property, and ...

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Invasion of Privacy – Teen Sexting – Warrant – Forced Masturbation (access required)

Sims v. Labowitz (VLW No. 017-2-209, 30 pp.) (Keenan, J.) (King, J., dissenting) 16-2174; USDC at Alexandria. (Hilton, S.J.) 4th Cir. Holding: In a child pornography case involving teen sexting, a police detective consulted with an assistant prosecutor and obtained ...

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