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Civil Practice

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Sep 10, 2023

‘Too stringent’: Court tosses precedent, joins other circuits on attorneys’ fees for injunction wins

Joining every other circuit to decide the issue, a divided 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overruled its precedent that preliminary injunctions can’t convey “prevailing party” status to a plaintiff, which precluded awards of attorney’s fees.

Aug 30, 2023

Precedent on attorneys’ fees for injunction wins overruled

The en banc court overruled its prior precedent and joined every other circuit to decide the issue in holding that when a preliminary injunction provides the plaintiff concrete, irreversible relief on the merits of her claim and becomes moot before final judgment because no further court-ordered assistance proves necessary, the subsequent mootness of the case […]

Aug 30, 2023

University fails to stay suit over retirement benefits

Where Jerry L. Falwell Jr. filed an action over payment of his retirement benefits, and Liberty University moved to stay the federal suit until a pending circuit court action between the parties was resolved, the stay motion was denied. Background Liberty University Inc. asks the court to apply the Colorado River abstention doctrine and dismiss […]

Aug 28, 2023

State court had ‘potential jurisdiction’ to validly nonsuit man’s federal claim

Finding that a Virginia state court had “potential jurisdiction” to validly nonsuit a plaintiff’s employment-related federal claim and toll the statute of limitations pursuant to Code 8.01-229(E)(3), the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a dismissed case.

Aug 21, 2023

Attorney subpoenaed client’s former counsel, gets sanctions

A circuit court properly sanctioned a family law attorney who issued a witness subpoena to his client’s former counsel who couldn’t testify without violating the attorney-client privilege, a panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia has held.

Aug 21, 2023

Real estate development’s incorporation was ‘ultra vires’

A real estate development was enjoined from enforcing restrictive covenants after a Virginia circuit court declared that its incorporation without unanimous consent of its members was an ultra vires act, thus invalidating its subsequent actions as a corporation.

Aug 20, 2023

Time-barred suit saved by Virginia nonsuit statute

Where the federal court borrows a state limitations period, all relevant state rules governing the tolling of the limitations period come along with it. As such, where a former employee timely filed suit under the Rehabilitation Act in circuit court, then filed a motion for voluntary nonsuit and then refiled suit in federal court, he […]

Aug 20, 2023

Defendants must defend sealing request

Where the plaintiff filed certain documents under seal because the defendants marked them as confidential, the defendants were offered an opportunity to explain whether — and, if so, why — these documents should remain sealed. Background This matter is before the court on non-party David B. Briggman’s motion for limited purpose intervention to unseal portions […]

Aug 20, 2023

Court lacks authority to seal name change record

Where this court entered an order 10 months ago allowing the movant to change her name, the court lacks authority to seal the name change order. Overview “Over ten months after the Court entered the name change order, on July 12, 2023, E.B.M. filed the present motion, citing no legal authority for the Court to […]

Aug 20, 2023

Sovereign immunity ruling reaffirmed

Where the court has previously ruled that the Virginia Human Rights Act does not provide “an explicit legislative waiver of sovereign immunity[,]” the court reaches the same conclusion on plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. Reconsideration This case concerns the Norfolk school board’s alleged violations of the VHRA. At a hearing on plaintiff’s motion to reconsider, “[p]laintiff [&h[...]

Aug 16, 2023

Lawsuit against broker barred by res judicata

Where parties previously litigated issues arising out of the sale of an investment and securities brokerage in a FINRA arbitration, res judicata barred claims against the seller for alleged breach of restrictive covenants. Background Plaintiff Colonial River is a Virginia company providing investment advice and other financial services. Its sole member is Devin Garofalo. Defendant […]

Aug 16, 2023

Plaintiffs lack standing in suit attacking IEP process

Where two Fairfax County students with disabilities, their parents and a disability advocacy organization asked the court to declare that Virginia’s Individualized Education Program review process violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, but each of the plaintiffs lacked standing, the suit was dismissed. Background Congress enacted the IDEA to guarantee children with [&[...]

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