Judge Denies Muslim Inmate's Lawsuit Over Beard

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) Virginia's prison system did not violate a Muslim inmate's religious rights when it refused to allow him to grow a 1/8-inch beard, which he believes is required by his religion, a federal judge has ruled. William Couch, a 50-year-old Sunni Muslim, is a medium-security prisoner...

Supreme Court Rejects Quick Review Of Health Care Law

ASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) The Supreme Court rejected a call Monday from Virginia's attorney general to depart from its usual practice and put review of the health care law on a fast track. Instead, judicial review of President Barack Obama's signature legislation will continue in federal appeals...

Consumer Web Site Review Of Texas Lawyer Leads To Defamation Lawsuit

Consumer review sites continue to grow in popularity. Sites like Angie's List , Avvo , and Yelp (to name but a few) allow people to post their experiences with lawyers, doctors, hairdressers, restaurants, roofers, and just about anyone else, and assign a rating to the service provider they used....

4th Circuit Considers Whether Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) The federal government argued before a panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 that a district court judge erred in finding that the individual mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is unconstitutional, while the...

4th Circuit Panel In Virginia Hears Health Care Cases

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) A federal appeals panel dominated by appointees of President Barack Obama heard more than two hours of arguments Tuesday in two Virginia lawsuits challenging his health care overhaul. The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vigorously questioned lawyers on...

4th Circuit Considers If Dismissal Of Health Care Law Challenge Appropriate

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) A group of plaintiffs in Virginia, including a private Christian university, argued before the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 that a lower court erred in finding that Congress acted within its power in enacting the individual mandate contained in the Patient...

In Lawyer's Defamation Action, Draft Complaint Afforded Absolute Privilege

Virginia courts have long held that statements made in connection with judicial proceedings are entitled to absolute protection from defamation liability. To encourage truthfulness in litigation, Virginia public policy has extended an absolute privilege to statements made in a party's pleadings,...

Lawyer's Defamation Arguments Rejected In Virginia Court, Town Dismissed From Lawsuit

When SolAVerde's attorney spoke to the media about his client's defamation claims against the Town of Front Royal and certain councilmen, he sounded pretty confident. The court, however, disagreed with his arguments and dismissed the Town from the lawsuit, finding it to be immune. The court also...

New York Air Crash Families Can Pursue Unlimited Punitive Damages

BUFFALO, N.Y. - (AP) Families suing over the 2009 plane crash of a Continental Connection flight into a house near Buffalo, which killed 50 people, will be allowed to pursue unlimited punitive damages from the flight's operators, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge William Skretny had...

4th Circuit: Virginia Lacked Standing To Challenge Health Care Reform Act

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 8 reversed a lower court ruling holding that the individual mandate provision contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was unconstitutional, finding that the State of Virginia lacked standing...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Jury Awards DuPont $920M In Virginia Intellectual Property Case

By Dabney Carr Yesterday [September 14th], in what we believe is the largest verdict in an intellectual property case in Virginia, a jury in the Richmond Division of the Eastern District of Virginia awarded Dupont $920 million for misappropriation of trade secrets against the Korean company, Kolon...

Virginia Petitions High Court Over Dismissal Of Challenge To Health Care Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Commonwealth of Virginia on Sept. 30 filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in finding that Virginia lacked standing to challenge the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

Virginia's High Court Rules On Law Of Fraudulent Conveyances In Apartments Sale Dispute

Once a plaintiff has introduced evidence to establish a " badge of fraud ," a prima facie case of fraudulent conveyance is established and the burden shifts to the defendant to establish that the transaction was not fraudulent. So held the Virginia Supreme Court, in reversing the Henrico County...

Virginia's 2-Year Statute Of Limitations Dooms Swedish Firm's Negligence Lawsuit

A Swedish law firm has failed in its effort to sue a director of a former client for "misrepresentation" in Virginia federal court after the court ruled the claim was barred by Virginia's two-year statute of limitations applicable to negligence claims. The law firm had conceded that it...

Fosamax Jaw Injury Claims Not Tolled By Class Action, Virginia Supreme Court Says

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) Virginia does not recognize either equitable or statutory tolling for class actions brought by different plaintiffs in another jurisdiction, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled March 2 in an appeal by four Fosamax jaw injury plaintiffs ( John Casey, et al. v. Merck & Co...

Williams Mullen E-Discovery And Information Governance Team: A Cautionary Tale For All Litigators And A Must Read For Virginia Attorneys

B y Bennett B. Borden and Monica McCarroll Judge Payne's Opinion in ePlus Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc. is a "must-read" for all attorneys practicing in the E.D. Va. and a cautionary tale for all litigators. Judge Payne provides a primer as to what privilege is, when it can be asserted...

Virginia Federal Judge Bars Former Attorney From Filing Frivolous Lawsuits

When former attorney Ann Marie Miller had a bone to pick with Jennifer Ann Kelley, Miller used her knowledge of the legal system to represent herself in numerous suits of questionable merit against Kelley, according to Judge Wilson of the Western District of Virginia. In Miller v. Kelley , the court...

Sands Anderson PC: Itemized Damages Permitted in Closing Arguments

By Sarah Warren Beverly In an opinion that the Virginia Supreme Court handed down in March of this year, Justice Powell, writing for the majority, held that counsel for the plaintiff, in his closing argument, was permitted to assign a fixed dollar amount for each element of damages sought. Wakole...

Failure To Demonstrate Basis For Subject Matter Jurisdiction Can Lead To Monetary Sanctions

If you're going to file a lawsuit against someone, you'd better explain the basis for it. A complaint doesn't need to include much detail, but it must at least allege facts showing that you've been wronged and that you are entitled to a remedy of some sort. In federal court, you must...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Tobacco Buyout Dispute

By Troutman Sanders Tobacco Practice In an earlier blog post, we discussed a case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia evaluated the methodology used by the United States Department of...

Williams Mullen: State Attorneys General Served ‘Home Cooking’ By The Supreme Court Of The United States

By Charles E. “Chuck” James Jr. and Brendan D. O’Toole On January 14, 2014, in Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp. , the Supreme Court held that a parens patriae action (one brought by the state on behalf of its injured citizens) does not constitute a ‘mass action’ and...

Vandeventer Black LLP: U.S. Supreme Court Establishes Enforceability Of Forum-Selection Clauses

By James Rixey In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court established that contractual forum-selection clauses deserve near absolute deference and should be enforced in all but the most exceptional cases when deciding transfer of venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) [ enhanced opinion available...

Texas Federal Court Is Latest To Strike Down State Prohibitions On Same-Sex Marriage

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia of the Western District of Texas struck down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. This ruling was the latest in a series of federal rulings handed down in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675...

Michigan Federal Judge Is 6th To Strike Down Prohibition On Same-Sex Marriage In Wake Of United States v. Windsor

On March 21, Senior U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan struck down MCLS Const. Art. I, § 25 , an amendment to the Michigan Constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage, Deboer v. Snyder, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37274 ( E.D. Mich. Mar...

Vandeventer Black LLP: Are All Damages Equal?

By Edward E. Nicholas III and Maggie D. Finnegan If liability is clear (that is, the breach of contract cannot be disputed), then it comes down to damages. How much may the plaintiff recover? All damages caused by the defendant’s breach? Not necessarily, because, to answer the question posed...