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Judge Elizabeth Hanes

Apr 25, 2023

Government must analyze impact on Atlantic sturgeon

Where the United States Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, or MARAD, argued that a project would have “no effect” on listed species, but there was no evidence evidencing this decision and it was not supported by the evidence, MARAD must determine whether the project is “likely to jeopardize the continued existence” of Atlantic sturgeon populations […]

Apr 24, 2023

No duty to defend suit for misappropriation of images

Where a restaurant was sued by a group of models who alleged the restaurant had misappropriated their images on its website and social media accounts to promote its business, the insurance carrier had no duty to defend the restaurant. The claims were either outside coverage or excluded by policy exclusions. Background Omega Restaurant & Bar […]

Apr 3, 2023

University dismisses professor’s retaliation claim

Where a professor at Norfolk State University failed to show that he engaged in protected conduct, and failed to causally connect his alleged protected activity to the adverse employment action, his retaliation suit was dismissed.

Apr 3, 2023

University prevails on retaliation claim

Where there was an eight-month gap between a university employee’s protected activity and his termination, and there were no intervening facts suggesting retaliation, Norfolk State University prevailed on the retaliation claim. Background Sylvester T. Watkins brings this action against Norfolk State University, or NSU, and the Visitors of Norfolk State University. Watkins alleges NSU retaliated [...]

Mar 13, 2023

Old Dominion University prevails on retaliation claim

Where individuals who made the decision to end a woman’s employment with Old Dominion University’s Office of Development had no knowledge that she had previously complained to Human Resources, and the decision was part of a department reorganization, the university prevailed on the retaliation claim. Background This case arises out of the termination of Glenda […]

Feb 27, 2023

Court lacks jurisdiction over declaratory judgment suit

Where a suit sought a declaratory judgment that the plaintiffs could use a directional drill, and there was no showing that the value of possession or use of the drill exceeded $75,000, the suit was remanded to the circuit court. Background This action stems from a dispute related to the ownership of a business entity, […]

Feb 27, 2023

Virginia Beach officials defeat student’s suit

Where a middle-school student was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after he shared a photo of a female student’s genitalia, and after the student then filed a civil rights suit against school and city officials, they were granted summary judgment on all claims. Background O.W., a minor, filed this suit after he […]

Dec 15, 2022

Healthcare provider liable for unpaid OT

Where a home healthcare provider failed to pay $759,698.70 in overtime wages, it was liable for that amount. And because the healthcare company and its owners were aware of their obligations, because of a prior investigation for failure to pay overtime, there were liable for an additional equal amount as liquidated damages. Background This is […]

Dec 5, 2022

$30M malpractice suit transferred to Pennsylvania

Where a Virginia-based company sued its Pennsylvania-based law firm for alleged malpractice in connection with a New Jersey lawsuit, but there were insufficient allegations showing the law firm purposefully availed itself of Virginia, the suit was transferred to Pennsylvania, where another dispute between the parties was already pending. Background On Nov. 23, 2021, White & […]

Judge Elizabeth Hanes
Aug 3, 2022

Senate confirms Hanes for Eastern District court

The United States Senate voted to confirm U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Hanes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, filling a vacancy that has been open since last fall. Ten Republican senators voted along with the Democratic majority on Aug. 2 to confirm Hanes in a 59-37 vote. Sens. Mark Warner […]

Feb 21, 2022

Defendant’s failure to join removal results in remand

Where an individual sued his former girlfriend and a police offer for their alleged involvement in his arrest and incarceration for a burglary he did not commit, and the former girlfriend did not join in the notice of removal, the suit was remanded to circuit court because the “rule of unanimity” requires all defendants to […]

Nov 22, 2021

Senators recommend candidates for federal judgeship

Virginia’s two U.S. senators have recommended two candidates for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In a Nov. 4 letter to President Joe Biden, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine recommended U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Hanes and Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa O’Boyle for the vacancy. “Both would serve […]

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