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Judge Julius N. Richardson

Nov 6, 2023

Company defeats employee’s unequal pay claim

Where a female employee alleged that she was paid less because of her sex, but her only male comparator did not perform a similar job and she offered no other evidence suggesting the disparate pay was because of her sex, the company prevailed on the claim. Background Ashley Noonan claims that she suffered sex-based wage […]

Oct 3, 2023

Court rejects attempted manufacture of finality

Where the appellants voluntarily dismissed one claim without prejudice in order to appeal the bankruptcy court’s adverse judgment on a second claim, their attempt to manufacture finality was rejected. Background Adiel and Roee Kiviti paid Naveen Bhatt to renovate their Washington, D.C. home. But he wasn’t properly licensed. So the Kivitis sued him in D.C.’s […]

Sep 7, 2023

ADA-retaliation plaintiffs not entitled to jury trial

Because plaintiffs asserting claims for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, are only entitled to equitable remedies, the court joined every other circuit to consider the issue in holding that ADA-retaliation plaintiffs are not guaranteed a jury trial by the Seventh Amendment. Background While working an IT position at Enterprise Services LLC, […]

Aug 20, 2023

Officials granted immunity in suit over man’s death

Where the estate of a man killed by other detainees sued a prison official who admitted that he conducted an improper cell check, but there is no clearly established constitutional right to properly conducted security checks, the guard was entitled to qualified immunity and cannot be held liable on this claim. Background John Telly King […]

Aug 7, 2023

Court reinstates $7.6M jury award

Where a trial court applied the wrong standard in reducing a jury award from $7.6 million to $1.8 million, and the original award was supported by substantial evidence, it was reinstated. Background Ramaco Resources suffered a coal silo collapse and submitted a claim for losses to Federal Insurance Company. When Federal denied the claim, Ramaco […]

Aug 7, 2023

Sale of services doesn’t trigger ERISA §1104 fiduciary duty

Where a plan participant alleged a consulting company acted for its own benefit, and thus violated the duty of loyalty under ERISA, when it pitched the investment committee to outsource its duties, but the duty of loyalty applies only to fiduciary activities (i.e., giving investment advice), and selling services isn’t investment advice, the consulting company […]

Jul 27, 2023

Student fails to allege intentional discrimination

Where Exxon Mobil Corporation rescinded an internship offer after learning a student lacked permanent work authorization, and the student filed suit alleging discrimination against aliens, his suit was dismissed. His allegations failed to show intentional discrimination, as required to state a 42 U.S.C. § 1981 claim. Background Aldo De Leon Resendiz is an alien who […]

Painter working at easel
Jul 24, 2023

Retirement comments aren’t evidence of age bias

A dean’s and provost’s internal deliberations about a professor’s retirement plans and resistance to technology after not renewing her contract were not “direct evidence” of age discrimination, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held.

Jul 7, 2023

Man waived right to challenge jurisdictional element

Where a man charged with sexually abusing a young girl in Japan pleaded guilty to two charges in exchange to giving up his right to appeal, his appeal was dismissed. Although the man argued the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim, his argument was really about the jurisdictional element of the charge, which […]

Jun 25, 2023

Supervisor defeats hostile work environment claims

Where two automobile sales managers claimed their new supervisor perpetuated a racially hostile work environment, but there was insufficient evidence that the harassment was of the employees’ race, the dealership and supervisor prevailed on the claims. Background Not long after getting a new boss at the Priority Automotive Honda dealership, Kenneth Robinson and Christopher Hall […]

Jun 11, 2023

Circuit split over tax mailbox rule deepens

In an issue of first impression, the court joined the Second and Sixth Circuits in holding that 26 U.S.C. § 7502, a uniform statutory mailbox rule for tax filings, supplanted the common-law rule. The decision deepens a split with the Eighth and Tenth Circuits, both of which say the statute merely supplemented the common-law rule. […]

May 1, 2023

‘Express purpose’ not ‘sole purpose

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a military servicemember’s claim that the financing of additional insurance as part of his car loan wasn’t for “the express purpose” of purchasing the car and, thus, was subject to the Military Lending Act, or MLA. On appeal, the servicemember argued that the […]

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