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Judge Dennis Dohnal

Jun 6, 2011

Contract Counterclaim Against FLSA Plaintiff Dismissed

A Richmond U.S. District Court magistrate judge dismisses an employer’s counterclaim against plaintiff, who sued for overtime pay, because employer makes only conclusory assertions and does not allege facts supporting his claims that plaintiff is liable to repay a loan and to reimburse employer for his personal use of a company cell phone. Plaintiff sued […]

May 31, 2011

Some Emails Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege

After in camera examination of a series of emails and other documents that circulated in defendant company, and considering whether in-house counsel appears to be discussing business or legal issues, a Richmond U.S. District Court magistrate judge orders disclosure of eight documents to plaintiff brokerage firm in this contract dispute, but says two additional documents […]

May 18, 2011

Retaliation Trial for Employer Who Shared EEOC Charge

A Richmond U.S. District Court says a boatyard owner is not entitled to summary judgment in an African-American boat painter’s claim that defendant owner violated Title VII when he fired plaintiff without explanation, then retaliated after plaintiff filed an EEOC charge by warning other area boatyard owners about the EEOC charge, allegedly causing plaintiff to […]

Apr 7, 2011

Dismissal Recommended for Third-Party Complaint

In this suit in which a contractor alleges injuries from the explosion of a ship’s propane tank as he refilled it on land for a commercial fishing operation, a magistrate judge for the Richmond U.S. District Court recommends dismissing third-party defendant Northern Neck Gas Company, but denying dismissal of third-party defendant George Noblett Inc. On […]

Mar 29, 2011

‘Show Cause’ Issued Against Pro Se Plaintiff

A Richmond District Court magistrate judge recommends that a self-styled “semi-professional litigator” be ordered to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for filing what appears to be yet another of his ongoing frivolous and vexatious lawsuits, in violation of the court’s pre-filing injunction. A search through all federal dockets yields a total of […]

Mar 17, 2011

Court Says “No” to ESI Costs

In awarding fees and costs to defendant Verizon after it won summary judgment in an employment discrimination suit, a magistrate judge in the Richmond U.S. District Court says “no” to costs for processing, storage and production of electronically stored information and to private process server fees. The court awards Verizon $4,348.70 of the $7,564.49 in […]

Mar 17, 2011

Store Wins Summary Judgment in Slip & Fall

A customer cannot survive summary judgment in his slip-and-fall suit against Wal-Mart with a late proffer of a purported conversation among store employees about the wet spot on the floor where he slipped and was briefly knocked unconscious; the Richmond U.S. District Court grants summary judgment to Wal-Mart. No evidence exists to demonstrate who placed […]

Mar 2, 2011

Boatyard Owner Shared EEOC Charge, Plaintiff Claims

A magistrate judge for the Richmond U.S. District Court says an African-American boat painter with 16 years experience who filed an EEOC charge after he was fired without explanation by Deltaville Boatyard LLC, can amend his Title VII lawsuit alleging the Deltaville owner retaliated against him by faxing plaintiff’s EEOC charge to other boatyard owners […]

Feb 22, 2011

No Fair Debt Liability for Law Firm Summons

A “summons” to answer debtor interrogatories issued by a Virginia state court to debtor is not a “pleading” and debtor cannot sue defendant law firm for an alleged violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, says a magistrate judge of the Richmond U.S. District Court. The motion to dismiss challenges whether a court-issued summons […]

Jan 11, 2011

Bank Sues Lawyer for Overdraft from ‘Check Scam’

In a bank’s lawsuit against a lawyer to cover the trust account overdraft that resulted after a wire transfer on a fake check deposited in a Chinese version of the “Nigerian Check Scam,” a magistrate judge for the Richmond U.S. District Court says the lawyer breached transfer warranties but he should have a chance to […]

Jan 11, 2011

Lawyer falls prey to Chinese ‘check scam’

It wasn’t a Nigerian prince, but a Chinese CEO who tripped up an Ashland lawyer in a newer version of a familiar scam that has the victim forwarding his own funds to cover a fake check. In the Asian version, the scammers may be a little more artful, in their stories and in their counterfeit […]

Dec 2, 2010

Employment Discrimination – Race – Retaliation v. RIF

Defendant Verizon South wins summary judgment in this Title VII and § 1981 employment discrimination suit filed by an African-American woman who lost her job as part of a reduction in force, but who claims she was terminated in retaliation for complaining about the use of an image of a noose at a company management […]

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