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Dec 26, 2018

Important Opinions January – December 2018

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, arranged by practice area, of the most Important Opinions of 2018, January to June. ADMINISTRATIVE […]

Oct 9, 2018

Homeowner’s suit against lender barred by statute of limitations

The circuit court correctly held that a homeowner’s breach of contract claims against his lender accrued when his debt was accelerated prior to foreclosure for statute of limitations purposes. Background In 2009, Dennis Kerns borrowed money from a mortgage lender to purchase property. The loan was accompanied by a promissory note and a deed of […]

Aug 24, 2018

EDVA: Widow’s foreclosure claims don’t show breach of contract

A plaintiff allegedly trying to assume the loan obligations on a home owned by her late husband did not plausibly allege facts to support her breach-of-contract claims against the lender. The entity that conducted the foreclosure sale was dismissed as a fraudulently-joined, nominal party. Background In 2008, Plaintiff Maryfrances Coon conveyed to her husband, Stanley, […]

Aug 3, 2018

Bank battles insurer after hackers steal $2.4M

A Blacksburg bank says it lost $2.4 million to Russian hackers and its insurance company is refusing to cover the loss. The National Bank of Blacksburg sued Everest National Insurance Co. in Roanoke federal court seeking a declaration as to coverage or damages for breach of contract and bad faith denial of coverage. The bank […]

Jun 4, 2018

4th Cir.: $150,000 sanction on counsel, firms upheld

Attorneys’ “egregious” conduct was designed to, and did, mislead the district court, the 4th Circuit affirmed. They challenged the authenticity of a loan agreement for two years before revealing that they possessed an identical copy, obtained from their client, before filing the complaint. Their firms ratified their conduct and were thus jointly liable, though an […]

Jun 3, 2018

WDVA: No sovereign immunity in tax-lien discharge suit

A bank’s suit seeking a determination that tax liens against a foreclosed property must be discharged was a quiet title action for which the United States has waived sovereign immunity. Background The Knapps, who owned real property in Richlands, Virginia, executed a credit line deed of trust for the benefit of Plaintiff First Sentinel Bank, […]

May 20, 2018

WDVA: Contribution claim was time-barred, not unripe

A business owner suing his partner for contribution to their company’s shared debt could assert the claim even if he had not completely satisfied the debt, but he had not done so within the three-year limitations period. Background Plaintiff Timothy Basham brings this action against Defendant Timothy Jenks, arising out of the insolvency of their […]

Apr 27, 2018

WDVA: Blind man not harmed by inaccessible website

A blind plaintiff lacked standing to sue a Virginia bank for maintaining a website without reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, as he lived 300 miles from the nearest branch. Further, the bank’s voluntary upgrades – made prior to the suit – mooted his claim. Background Plaintiff Keith Carroll is permanently blind, using a screen […]

Apr 27, 2018

4th Cir.: Not all mortgage loans require LPMI disclosures

In a class action against Bank of America for failure to provide information regarding lender-paid mortgage insurance, the district court did not err in concluding that the Plaintiffs’ type of mortgage loans didn’t require such disclosures under the Homeowners Protection Act. Background Each Plaintiff in this case obtained a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan between 2007 […]

Apr 16, 2018

EDVA: Party thwarting jurisdiction not “fraudulently joined”

Because the plaintiff stated a claim against the only defendant to share her citizenship – the substitute trustee that executed foreclosure on her home – the court lacked diversity jurisdiction, and remand to state court was required. Background Plaintiff Norma Gibbs’s claims stem from the foreclosure of a home. Her husband, Walter, purchased the property […]

Apr 16, 2018

CAV: Other bad acts admissible to show intent, plan

In the defendant’s trial for trying to cash a fraudulent check, the trial did not err in admitting evidence that allowed the jury to discover that the defendant’s attempt to cash the check occurred in a short period where he had cashed several other fraudulent checks. Background On July 16, 2015, Amanda Robertson was working […]

Mar 19, 2018

4th Cir.: Conviction, sentence affirmed for bank fraudster

The district court did not err in any respect in convicting and sentencing a defendant alleged to be the ringleader of a conspiracy to convert funds from Capital One accountholders. Background Between January and April 2012, Appellant Junaidu Savage and others devised a scheme to defraud Capital One Bank. Savage recruited Jayad Conteh to use […]

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