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Tag Archives: Judge Albert Diaz

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.: 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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Bon Mots: June 2018 Edition (access required)

As seasoned attorneys know, the lofty principles that attract aspiring lawyers can quickly be overshadowed by client emergencies, Sisyphean scheduling conundrums, unreasonable opposing counsel, billing targets, intrafirm politics, and understaffed courts. But from time to time, our esteemed judges take ...

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4th Cir.: Imprisonment not sufficient to appoint counsel (access required)

The district court did not err in dismissing an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims or in declining to appoint counsel, but remand is necessary because the lower court failed to address the plaintiff’s state-law medical malpractice claims. Background Plaintiff Steven Banks ...

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4th Cir.: Statistical significance analysis must be reliable (access required)

Experts’ calculation and application of statistical significance (p-values) must be relevant, reliable, and not likely to confuse jurors. After plaintiffs’ expert opinions were excluded, their non-expert evidence was not sufficient to survive summary judgment, and the district court appropriately granted ...

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4th Cir.: Scam “reloader” targeted vulnerable victims (access required)

The district court did not err in applying a “vulnerable victim” sentencing enhancement to a defendant who worked at a fraudulent telemarketing center as a “reloader,” targeting individuals who had already fallen for the scheme at least once, in the ...

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4th Cir.: Feds could use artist promo photo for ID array (access required)

The government didn’t violate due process by showing a kidnapping victim a photo array with the defendant’s image cropped from his music group’s promotional poster, which the victim had seen before. Background In the summer of 2012, two U.S. citizens ...

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4th Cir.: Feds could use artist promo photo for ID array (access required)

The government didn’t violate due process by showing a kidnapping victim a photo array with the defendant’s image cropped from his music group’s promotional poster, which the victim had seen before. Background In the summer of 2012, two U.S. citizens ...

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