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

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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4th Cir.: On deferential review, court’s “pause” shows consideration (access required)

At a revocation hearing, a district court asked to reconsider imposing the maximum sentence based on hardship to the defendant’s family did in fact consider that mitigating factor, as shown by the court’s response of “all right” and a subsequent ...

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4th Cir.: Convictions upheld for terrorism fundraisers (access required)

The district court did not err in convicting and sentencing two U.S. citizens who engaged in online fundraising activities for a foreign terrorist organization. The evidence supporting the convictions – obtained through ex parte, in camera FISA review – was ...

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4th Cir.: Agency analysis of small-refinery exemption is flawed (access required)

Despite past efforts to improve its approach, the Department of Energy’s recommended analysis of economic hardship on small fuel refineries attempting to comply with federal renewable fuel standards is facially flawed. In considering a petition for a small-refinery exemption, the ...

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4th Cir.: Medicaid payment-adjustment policy invalid (access required)

A U.S. Department of Health & Human Services policy for “payment adjustment” calculations by hospitals serving disproportionately needy populations is legislative in nature and should have been promulgated through notice-and-comment rulemaking. Thus, the policy cannot be enforced against a Virginia ...

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Important Opinions January – June 2018 (access required)

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The “Important Opinions” that appear each week on the front page of Virginia Lawyers Weekly are those chosen by our editors as the most likely to impact law practice or a given subject area of law. Below is a listing, ...

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4th Cir.: City had no duty to protect public from unruly kids (access required)

Despite not providing school transportation to students with known disciplinary problems, municipal entities had no duty to stop the students from harming residents of the neighborhoods the students traversed to reach school. Background Richard Fletcher and his wife lived just ...

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