Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Judge Patricia Tolliver Giles

Microphones for press conference
Apr 3, 2023

Ex-judge’s free speech retaliation claim survives

A former magistrate judge’s First Amendment retaliation claim against her employers in their official capacities has survived dismissal in the Eastern District of Virginia. Elizabeth Fuller was fired after she made comments on the city’s bail practices in a local newspaper. Judge Patricia Tolliver Giles said Fuller’s “statements are ‘not the kind of “individualized” internal [&hellip[...]

Mar 28, 2023

Man’s claims against ex-wife don’t belong in federal court

Where the court dismissed all federal claims brought by an estranged husband, it declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims asserted against his former wife relating to their custody agreement. And, in any event, the court lacked jurisdiction to modify an existing custody order and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precluded the attempted […]

Mar 28, 2023

COVID closure insurance suit remains dismissed

Where a candymaker moved to reconsider the court’s decision dismissing its suit for coverage over Covid-19 business losses, and to certify the question to the Virginia Supreme Court, its motion was denied. It failed to present an intervening change in controlling law, clear error of law or manifest injustice. And there was ample state and […]

Mar 13, 2023

USCIS moots claims in FOIA suit

Where a woman sued to compel United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to produce immigration records under the Freedom of Information Act, the claim was dismissed as moot because USCIS produced the records. Background In this action under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, Shirley Borromeo seeks to compel United States Citizenship […]

Mar 13, 2023

Ex-judge claims officials punished her for speech

Where a former state court magistrate judge was terminated after she made comments to a local paper about pending matter, her First Amendment retaliation claim may proceed. Background Elizabeth Fuller was employed as a magistrate judge in the Eighteenth Judicial District. She alleges that defendants retaliated against her and violated her right to free speech […]

Oct 16, 2022

Records, reports support non-disability finding

Where an insurer relied on medical records, an independent medical exam report, two independent physician peer review reports and the 2017 transferrable skills analysis, or TSA, in concluding a man was not fully disabled, and thus no longer entitled to long-term disability, or LTD, benefits, it prevailed on the claim. Background Jeremy Smith, a former […]

Oct 16, 2022

Wage and overtime suit sent to arbitration

Where drivers alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors under Massachusetts law, but their independent contractor agreements delegated any challenge to the interpretation or application of the arbitration provision to the arbitrator, the arbitrator will determine the arbitrability of the choice-of-law for plaintiffs’ substantive wage and overtime claims. Background Anderson Buck[...]

Sep 24, 2022

Res judicata bars debtor’s fraud, forgery claims

Where the debtor previously claimed that her debt was obtained by fraud and forgery and the district court dismissed her claims in a final judgment, her claims were barred by res judicata. Background On June 5, 2017, Esther Mammie Yates filed a voluntarily petition in the bankruptcy court related to her home. She received a […]

Sep 8, 2022

Joint venture partner terminates other partner

Where one government contractor terminated the other party in a joint venture, the terminated party’s breach of contract claim failed because it first breached the agreement in material ways.  Background This breach of contract case arises out of a dispute between Advanced Training Group Worldwide Inc., or ATG, and ProActive Technologies Inc. The parties were […]

Jul 20, 2022

Arlington schools not liable under IDEA

Where the Arlington Public School System proposed individualized education programs, or IEPs, that included significant and tailored increases in a minor’s special education services in the least restrictive environment, it satisfied its obligation to provide a free appropriate public education, or FAPE. Background Plaintiffs, a minor child, identified as L.C., and the child’s parents, J.C. [&[...]

Feb 14, 2022

Court lacks jurisdiction over Florida defendants

Where Florida-based defendants who were sued for trademark infringement by a mortgage services company have not been involved with loans in Virginia, Virginia residents have not registered with or submitted any loan applications through their website and they have not contracted with Virginia residents about the provision of mortgage brokerage services, there was no personal […]

Feb 14, 2022

Misconduct, not retaliation, led to worker’s termination

An employer was granted summary judgment against hostile work environment and retaliation claims filed by a former employee who reported sexual harassment by a co-worker but admitted she leveraged an offensive video to “elicit a cash payment” from the harasser. The employer had a legitimate, nonretaliatory reason for firing the plaintiff because her conduct violated […]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests