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Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid Soc'y, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

September 15, 2015, Argued; December 9, 2015, Decided

No. 14-1939

Opinion

 [*621]  DAVIS, Senior Circuit Judge:

Freddie Lee Goode was a Senior Managing Attorney for Central Virginia Legal Aid Society ("CVLAS") until CVLAS's Board of Directors eliminated Goode's position in March 2013. Goode brought suit against CVLAS, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and age. CVLAS filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the ground that Goode had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court granted the motion to dismiss without prejudice, and Goode timely appealed. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the order of dismissal was not a final and appealable [**2]  order, and we therefore dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction and remand the case to the district court with instructions.

Goode, an African-American male, was 72 years old when CVLAS terminated his employment in March 2013. He had worked at CVLAS's Richmond office for 25 years. He had begun working for the organization as an unpaid volunteer in August 1988 and had held many paid positions with CVLAS since that time. As one of CVLAS's two Senior Managing Attorneys in 2013, Goode was responsible for "representing clients in civil matters; drafting legal documents; and advising clients on their legal rights and remedies, generally. [Goode also] . . . coordinat[ed] the activities of the Social Security, elder law and public benefits units[] and supervis[ed] the pro bono hotline." J.A. 8.1 Goode reported to Executive Director Stephen Dickinson, a white male.

Goode alleged in his complaint that CVLAS's Board of Directors had met on March 11, 2013, to discuss a loss of government funding and the corresponding need to reorganize attorney positions within the organization's three offices. When the Board discussed Goode's [**3]  position, someone in the meeting allegedly commented that, due to Goode's receipt of veteran and other benefits, "he would not be impacted as much as others by the restructuring." J.A. 9. Goode averred that, "[a]s a result of the restructuring, five African American employees, including Goode, were let go." J.A. 10. Each terminated employee was over the age of 40, and Goode was the oldest of CVLAS's nine attorneys at the time and the oldest CVLAS employee overall. Goode's termination was effective on March 31, 2013.

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807 F.3d 619 *; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21292 **; 128 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 697

FREDDIE L. GOODE, Plaintiff — Appellant, v. CENTRAL VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY, INC., Defendant — Appellee.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. (3:14-cv-00281-HEH). Henry E. Hudson, District Judge.

Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid Soc'y, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111650 (E.D. Va., Aug. 12, 2014)

Disposition: DISMISSED AND REMANDED.

CORE TERMS

district court, amend, termination, dismissal order, cure, prima facie case, appellate jurisdiction, no amendment, allegations, protected class, grounds for dismissal, employees, factual allegations, race discrimination, amended complaint, cure the defect, replaced, reasons, dismissal without prejudice, age discrimination, sufficient facts, make clear, satisfactory, younger, salary, cases

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Interlocutory Orders, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Labor & Employment Law, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens of Proof, Pleading & Practice, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Discriminatory Employment Practices, Amendment of Pleadings, Leave of Court, Relation Back