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Judge Paul V. Niemeyer

Aug 7, 2023

Appeal dismissed after second untimely notice

Where a man failed to timely appeal from a district court’s judgment, the district court then entered an order reopening the appeal period and allowing him 14 days to appeal and he nevertheless failed to file his notice of appeal within that time period, his appeal was dismissed. Background Donte Parrish claimed that because of […]

Jul 27, 2023

Unpaid leave satisfied employer’s ADA obligation

Where the accommodations requested by a disabled employee were not reasonable under the circumstances, an unpaid leave of absence constituted a reasonable accommodation. Background When Jay Hannah, a package delivery driver for United Parcel Service Inc., or UPS, injured his hip and buttocks, he requested that he be allowed to drive his route with a […]

Jul 7, 2023

Stop of car supported by reasonable suspicion

Where law enforcement stopped a vehicle after receiving information from a reliable informant, and because of the defendant’s past drug-dealing activities, the location of the stop and the manner in which the defendant was operating his vehicle, the stop was supported by reasonable suspicion. Background Suspecting that Xavier Howell was engaged in drug-trafficking activity, law […]

Jun 25, 2023

Employees were terminated for alleged dishonesty

Where the record showed that an employer terminated over 65 employees after it concluded they were dishonest – by submitting virtually identical forms claiming they were injured – it prevailed on their claims for discrimination under federal and state law. Background On June 16, 2017, CSX Transportation Inc., or CSXT, issued furlough notices to employees […]

Marlboro cigarettes
May 26, 2023

Feds immune in seized smokes suit

The United States has immunity in a tort suit over property that was seized for purposes of both civil forfeiture and criminal investigation, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held in an issue of first impression. The federal government seized 1,560 cartons of cigarettes during a smuggling investigation, but later offered to return them […]

May 14, 2023

Suit over expired cigarettes dismissed

In an issue of first impression, the court held that where a seizure of property was effected for both the “purpose of forfeiture” and the purpose of criminal investigation, the United States is immune from a subsequent tort suit over the seizure. Background Reba and David Myers formerly owned “Dollar Stretcher,” a convenience store in […]

May 14, 2023

ACCA enhancement is matter for sentencing

Where this court previously held that district courts may, consistent with the Constitution, use information “found in conclusive judicial records” to determine at sentencing that the defendant has three qualifying convictions for offenses committed on different occasions, and that ruling has not been expressly overruled by the Supreme Court, it remains good law. Background After […]

Apr 10, 2023

Federal court reverses employee’s sex bias verdict

A district court clearly erred when it assumed that an inference of sex discrimination necessarily followed when an employee proved a prima facie case of disparate treatment and their employer’s explanation wasn’t credible, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held. While the district court was entitled to substantial deference, the key evidence showed […]

Mar 28, 2023

Sex discrimination verdict for employee reversed

Where a woman presented no evidence that would allow a factfinder to find that sex played any role in her former employer’s decision to terminate her employment, and the alleged male comparator was not similarly situated to the woman, the trial court erred in awarding the woman compensatory and punitive damages. Background Lincare Inc. terminated […]

Dec 21, 2022

Court rejects attempt to extend ‘Bivens’

Where a detainee suing officials and employees of the Bureau of Prisons attempted to extend Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents to a new context, but there were special factors counseling hesitation about granting the extension of Bivens, his suit was dismissed. Background Raymond Tate sued officials and employees of the Bureau of Prisons, […]

Dec 5, 2022

Lockheed Martin dodges claims arising out of $7B sale

Where a company alleged that Lockheed Martin and other defendants conspired to “cut it out” as the broker for a large, complex international military procurement transaction, but the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the tort claims, and the antitrust claims were time barred, the claims were dismissed. Background Blenheim Capital Holdings Ltd. and Blenheim […]

Nov 8, 2022

Virginia wounding and murder are crimes of violence

Where unlawful wounding proscribed by Virginia Code § 18.2-51 meets the criteria for a crime of violence, and where Virginia murder’s requirement of extreme recklessness satisfies the mens rea of a “crime of violence,” the defendant’s contrary arguments were rejected. Background The issue is whether offenses under 18 U.S.C. § 1959 (violent crimes in aid […]

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