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Opinion Digests

Nov 21, 2019

Intellectual Property Case not ‘exceptional’ under Lanham Act

Where the district court’s conclusions that one party was prevailing and that this case was “exceptional” under the Lanham Act were both rejected, an award of attorneys’ fees was reversed. Background Citi Trends Inc. filed a declaratory judgement action against Coach Inc. and Coach Services Inc. The district court exercised its discretion to decline to […]

Nov 14, 2019

Criminal No sentence reduction for felon’s crime of violence

Where a defendant found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm under the Armed Career Criminal Act, or ACCA, had his sentenced reduced because of a 2015 Supreme Court decision, the reduction was in error because his predicate conviction was sufficient to categorically qualify as a crime of violence under ACCA’s force […]

Nov 14, 2019

Criminal Defendant’s threat of ‘manhunt’ for officers supported warrant

Where the defendant made a series of online threats against police officers generally, as well as threats that he was on a “manhunt” for three particular officers, the search warrant was adequately supported. And where he failed to establish that omitted statements were material to the magistrate’s probable cause determination, he was not entitled to […]

Nov 14, 2019

Criminal Police officers guilty of racketeering

Two Baltimore police officers charged with robbing citizens during the course of their police work and committing fraud in obtaining overtime pay were unsuccessful in arguing that the evidence was insufficient to hold them liable for racketeering and conspiracy and that their sentences were excessive. Background In February 2017, a federal grand jury indicted several […]

Nov 14, 2019

Insurance Declaratory judgment ruling was premature

Where an insurance provider asked whether it must pay a judgment against one party if another party prevailed in the underlying state court case and the district court resolved issues as part of its declaratory judgment ruling, that ruling was in error because it was based on a limited record and could have a preclusive […]

Nov 14, 2019

Civil Rights Officer denied qualified immunity after shooting in victim’s home

Where police shot at a man 29 times in his dwelling after officers armed with assault rifles entered the home with a warrant to search for drugs and failed to identify themselves as police, the facts showed an officer’s use of excessive force violated the Fourth Amendment and that this right was clearly established at the […]

Nov 7, 2019

Attorneys Law firm challenges use of ‘filter team’ to review its files

Where a district court allowed a government “filter team” to review privileged attorney-client documents unrelated to the investigation of lawyer A and client A, it was in error because it assigned judicial functions to the filter team and failed to properly weigh the foundational principles that protect attorney-client relationships. Background The appellant is a Baltimore […]

Nov 7, 2019

Immigration Immigration petition properly rejected

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, application of the law that was in effect when an Alien Relative petition brought by an immigrant and his wife was adjudicated, rather than the statute that was in effect when the petition was filed, was not arbitrary treatment and not in error. Background Curtis Dewayne Moore and […]

Nov 7, 2019

Insurance Policy applies where worker injured by third party

Where an employee was injured on the job by the owner of the home that was under construction, his suit against the owner is not precluded by the worker’s compensation exclusion or the employee indemnification and employer’s liability exclusion in his employer’s insurance policy. Background While employees of Milton Hardware LLC, including Milton Hardware’s owner, […]

Nov 7, 2019

Constitutional SC stopped from ending Planned Parenthood agreement

Where the Medicaid Act’s free-choice-of provider provision creates a private right enforceable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Medicaid recipient established she would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction, South Carolina was stopped from terminating Planned Parenthood’s provider agreement. Background The district court here issued a preliminary injunction in favor[...]

Oct 31, 2019

Administrative Denied benefits, woman challenges expert’s testimony

Although a woman argued her residual functional capacity, which limits her to “simple, routine, repetitive tasks,” conflicted with the vocational expert’s testimony about the category of tasks she is able to perform, there is no inconsistency between her capacity and the notion of “detailed but uninvolved … instructions” and tasks with “a few variables.” Background Angela [&he[...]

Oct 31, 2019

Criminal Warrantless search of defendant’s apartment was not unlawful

Where a North Carolina statute authorized warrantless searches of post-release supervisees by a probation officer, the search of defendant’s apartment was not unlawful, even though his own supervision agreement only authorized warrantless searches of his residence by his assigned probation officer, because the statutory condition could not be changed. Background Javion Scott pleaded guilty to p[...]

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