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Tag Archives: Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III

Bon Mots: March 2018 Edition

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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Bon Mots: February 2018

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.: NC voluntary manslaughter requires volition (access required)

Federal law permitted harsher sentencing for a defendant’s drug crimes because his prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter in North Carolina qualified as a “violent felony” under the applicable statute. In sentencing Appellant Antoine Smith for drug-possession convictions, the district court ...

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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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