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Judge James P. Jones

Sep 1, 2022

Officer sued for arresting man suffering medical emergency

Where an individual was arrested for driving under the influence, but he claimed that he was suffering from a medical emergency at the time, no signs of drug or alcohol were apparent, he passed two breathalyzers and another motorist reported a medical emergency to 911, his malicious prosecution and false imprisonment claims survived the motion […]

Aug 25, 2022

Malicious prosecution claim dismissed against housing authority

Where a malicious prosecution claim requires that the plaintiff obtained favorable termination of the underlying criminal prosecution, a woman’s claim that the Wise County Housing Authority brought false criminal charges against her was dismissed because the underlying state action was still pending. Background Jullian Huffman, proceeding pro se, alleges that defendants Cindi L. Smoot and [&hell[...]

Aug 9, 2022

Lack of knowledge dooms slip-and-fall suit

Where a shopper sued for injuries allegedly suffered when he slipped on dog food while shopping at a retail store, but there was no evidence the store was actually or constructively aware of the dog food prior to the accident, it was granted summary judgment. Background On April 13, 2019, John Rife visited a Tractor […]

Aug 8, 2022

‘Surmise, speculation and conjecture’: No proof store had notice of spilled dog food

A federal court in Virginia has dismissed the claims of a plaintiff who claimed he slipped and fell on dog food that had spilled in a retail store aisle. Judge James P. Jones of the Western District of Virginia said a jury would need to speculate about how long the dog food had been spilled, […]

Jul 25, 2022

Man’s pretrial motions in drug trial denied

Where a man charged with multiple methamphetamine drug charges filed several pretrial motions, including that the Speedy Trial Act was violated, that the government breached its Brady obligations, that statements were obtained in violation of Miranda and that a change in venue was required, each motion was denied. Background The defendant is charged with conspiring […]

Jul 25, 2022

Video with expletive may be played at trial

Where a defendant moved to preclude a portion of a cellphone video showing him, for a few seconds, mouthing the words of a song in which the lyrics include the word “motherf***er,” his motion was denied. In this time and culture, it is unlikely that this would be sufficiently shocking to jury members to cause […]

Terminated attorney leaving office
Jul 1, 2022

Attorney’s retaliatory termination claim survives

A lawyer’s claim that he was terminated by his municipal employer in retaliation for testifying about the mayor’s alleged corruption and abuse of power can go forward. Judge James P. Jones of the Western District of Virginia rejected the town’s argument that the lawyer’s job duties required him to criticize local officials and therefore his […]

Jun 24, 2022

Hostile work, sex bias claims vs. town dismissed

Where a former Town of Abingdon employee suing the town for hostile work environment and sex bias claims exhausted her administrative remedies, but her complaint failed to allege that she had done so and the court could not rely on the extrinsic evidence, the suit was dismissed with leave to replead. Background In this employment […]

Jun 24, 2022

Attorney’s First Amendment retaliation claim survives

Where a former Town of Pound attorney alleged that he was terminated less than one week after he provided deposition testimony about alleged corruption and abuse of power by the mayor, and his interest in speaking on the issue outweighed the town’s interest in providing efficient services, his First Amendment retaliation claim survived the town’s […]

Jun 10, 2022

Claim plausibly alleged vs. non-diverse defendant

Where defendants sued for their alleged responsibility for a motor vehicle accident argued that one company was improperly named as a defendant, but the record showed a potential basis for liability against that company, its presence destroyed diversity jurisdiction and required remand to state court. Background The plaintiff asserts a state-law tort claim for injuries […]

Jun 3, 2022

Fabricated evidence results in dismissal

Where a company suing for trademark infringement willfully fabricated evidence to support its claims, resulting in prejudice to the defendant and the judicial process, the lawsuit was dismissed and the defendants were awarded their attorneys’ fees and costs spent investigating and litigating the misconduct. Background The defendants in this trademark infringement case have moved for […]

Jun 3, 2022

Deputies sued for using excessive force

Where a man alleged Buchanan County deputies punched him with a closed fist, slammed his head into a door frame and attempted to choke him, and that he did not pose a threat at the time, the deputies’ qualified immunity motions were denied. Background Cody J. Donovan asserts various claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 […]

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