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Tag Archives: Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III

4th Circuit Court of Appeals: MDL “bellwether” trial was fair (access required)

A medical-implant manufacturer, the defendant at a consolidated trial arising from a much larger multidistrict litigation, did not demonstrate either that consolidation was unfair or that the trial court otherwise committed reversible error, the court of appeals held. Appellant Boston ...

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Jury instruction on sex-trafficking “fraud” upheld (access required)

The court of appeals upheld Appellant Michael Maynes Jr.’s convictions for sex trafficking, holding that the trial court properly instructed the jury on the definition of “fraud” and also excluded evidence of the victims’ past engagement in commercial sex. A ...

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Arbitration waived by merits-based litigation (access required)

An exotic dance club could not enforce arbitration agreements it obtained from its entertainers when it used those agreements as an “insurance policy” for merits-based litigation, the court of appeals said. Plaintiff/Appellee Alexis Degidio performed as a dancer at Defendant/Appellant ...

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Abortion Disclaimer Ordinance Violates First Amendment (access required)

The district court was correct to strike down a Baltimore ordinance requiring pregnancy centers that do not offer or refer for abortions to disclose that fact via waiting-room signage, the circuit court said. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns ...

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Employer must show reasons for pay disparity actually used (access required)

Pay Gap_FEA

In an Equal Pay Act case, an employer offering reasons for pay disparities between men and women must show it actually applied those reasons in the wage decision process to avoid liability, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ...

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Public Employees – Constitutional – First Amendment – Political Activism – Schools & School Boards – Inappropriate Comments (access required)

Penley v. McDowell County Board of Education (VLW No. 017-2-203, 31 pp.) (Thacker, J.) (Wilkinson J., concurring) 16-2034; Nov. 28, 2017; USDC at Asheville, N.C. (Cogburn J.) 4th Cir. Holding: A state house member allegedly threatened the plaintiff-teacher – who ...

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Public Employees – Constitutional – Free Speech & Association – Assistant State’s Attorney (access required)

Borzilleri v. Mosby (VLW No. 017-2-184, 13 pp.) (Wilkinson, J.) No. 16-1751; Oct. 17, 2017; USDC at Baltimore, Md. (Motz, S.J.) 4th Cir. Holding: Since assistant state’s attorneys implement the policies of their elected bosses, the newly elected defendant-state’s attorney ...

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En Banc Court Strikes Legislative Prayer Practice (access required)

A divided 4th Circuit upholds a decision declaring unconstitutional North Carolina county commissioners’ delivery of pointedly sectarian invocations, composed by individual commissioners, prior to commission meetings; the lawmakers’ prayer practices violate the First Amendment, the court says on rehearing en ...

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No Taxpayer Standing in Religious Exemption Case (access required)

Plaintiffs, including same-sex couples who are either engaged or married, cannot rely on taxpayer standing to challenge North Carolina Senate Bill 2, which grants state magistrates a religious exemption from performing marriages of same-sex couples; the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal ...

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Court Upholds Zoning Limitation Provision (access required)

A district court did not err in dismissing a landowner’s suit challenging a county’s comprehensive plan to extend sewer service, including a grandfather/merger provision designed to limit overdevelopment; finding a regulatory taking or constitutional violation in this situation would invalidate ...

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