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Judge Leonie Brinkema

Apr 15, 2020

Defendant’s firearm sentences reduced under First Step Act

A defendant convicted of bank robbery and weapons charges who was sentenced to three 15-year prison terms won a steep reduction in his sentence under the First Step Act. Because of the gross disparity between his sentence and one he would receive under the Act, and Congress’s conclusion that sentences like the defendant’s were unfair […]

Apr 13, 2020

Defamation claim fails as nonactionable, time-barred

Where a Russian-born British scholar sued media outlets alleging defamatory statements, the statements were made more than one year before her suit was filed so they were time-barred and could not be revived by republication or third parties’ electronic references. The remaining statements were not defamatory or could not be the basis for liability. The […]

Apr 6, 2020

Attorneys’ fees reduced due to unreasonable conduct

Although a woman who successfully sued a Korean news outlet under the Fair Labor Standards Act was entitled to recover her attorneys’ fees, her lawyer’s unreasonable conduct, including excessive litigation and inadequate record keeping, and overall lack of success resulted in a sharply reduced fee award. Background Plaintiff Janice Cho’s alleged that her former employer, […]

Mar 23, 2020

Collateral estoppel applies to dispute over contract formation

Where all the elements for collateral estoppel were established, the bankruptcy court did not err in finding a contract was formed between the trustee and a defendant. But because the court did not articulate its reasoning on damages, the issue was remanded for further explanation. Background Before the court is an appeal from a decision […]

Mar 16, 2020

No basis to revise judgment for employer

Where an employee who did not prevail on her ADA claim at a bench trial invoking the incorrect Federal Rule in asking the court to revisit its ruling, and her complaints about the court’s witness and related rulings failed to change the result. Background The court entered judgment after a bench trial in favor of […]

Dec 4, 2019

Carrier never insured company’s driver employee

Where the testimony and evidence at trial demonstrated the transportation company did not comply with two conditions required for coverage for damage to its vehicles caused by its own truck driver, including adding the driver to the policy, the carrier was not required to cover the claimed damages. Background This memorandum opinion constitutes the court’s […]

Dec 4, 2019

Plaintiff fails to explain delay in appealing adverse decision

Even if the 30-day filing time limit imposed by 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(2) is a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule, and not a jurisdictional prescription, and even if nonjurisdictional claims-processing rules permit equitable tolling, the facts alleged were insufficient to meet the high burden to warrant equitable tolling. Background Petitioner is an African American female currently employed [&[...]

Oct 14, 2019

Woman claimed ‘short gut syndrome’ after bowel surgery – Defense verdict

Plaintiff alleged negligence against a defendant radiologist regarding the interpretation of a CT scan without contrast on May 14, 2017. Specifically, plaintiff alleged that the defendant radiologist was negligent in failing to report findings consistent with a small bowel obstruction (SBO). Plaintiff returned to a nearby hospital two days later, on May 16, 2017, and […]

Sep 17, 2019

Evidence supports defendant’s visa fraud conviction

Where the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a woman willingly participated in an H-1 B visa fraud scheme with full knowledge of its illegality, the challenge to her conviction failed. Background After a bench trial of Richa Narang on one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and two counts of visa fraud, […]

Aug 19, 2019

Plaintiff awarded $2.2 million for botched surgery

Where the doctors did not adequately inform the patient about the specific risks of the surgery or a reasonable alternative, and failed to perform certain pre-surgery procedures and made errors during the surgery, the plaintiff is entitled to recover $2.2 million. Background April Allan brings this medical malpractice action against the United States under the […]

Jul 21, 2019

Defendants liable for failing to make contributions to benefit plans

An employer that is a party to a collective bargaining agreement, and a separate company found to be its alter ago, are liable for unpaid contributions to benefit plans and other damages, including interest, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees. Background On Feb. 12, 2019, plaintiffs filed suit against JTL Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. and […]

Jul 15, 2019

Use of domain name in commerce created protectable interest

The owners of certain domain names obtained a protectable interest in those names by using them in commerce before a hacker transferred the names to his control, and the owners were entitled to an order directing that the domain names be transferred back to them. Background On March 12, 2019, plaintiffs Zhangliang Xu, Xiansheng He […]

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