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Opinion Digests

Sep 18, 2019

Civil Practice Attorneys’ fees award was excessive

Where a class action lawsuit resulted in the dismissal of 10 out of 64 plaintiffs and settled for a total damages award of only 3% the initial amount sought, an award of attorneys’ fees that was almost double the amount of damages awarded was excessive. Background On June 12, 2013, Gregory Randolph filed a proposed […]

Sep 18, 2019

Criminal Conviction for drug trafficking in song lyrics upheld

Where a defendant referenced his involvement with a drug trafficker alleged to be his coconspirator and made multiple allusions to firearms in his rap lyrics and police recovered an illegal firearm and several items associated with drug trafficking from a residence where he had stayed, the defendant’s conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession […]

Sep 18, 2019

Criminal Stop of defendant after hearing gunshots was reasonable

Where the police were immediately responding to the scene of where gunshots were heard, it was not unlawful for them to temporarily stop men walking away from the scene. The case was remanded to determine whether the search, which revealed a revolver, was lawful. Background While patrolling a residential neighborhood after dark, police officers heard […]

Sep 18, 2019

Tort Sprint customer contract found ambiguous

Where Sprint argued that Wireless Buybacks, by purchasing phones from Sprint’s customers for resale, tortiously interfered with contracts between Sprint and its customers, the contracts were found to be ambiguous on whether the practice was forbidden. Background Besides providing cellular service, Sprint also sells phones to its customers. This includes offering “upgraded” phones at steep [&[...]

Sep 18, 2019

Negligence Church gun violence victims can sue U.S.

Where there were lapses in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase his semiautomatic weapon, lawsuits seeking to hold the United States responsible will proceed. Background In the weeks following the tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, James Comey issued a public statement […]

Sep 18, 2019

Civil Rights Jury to decide if prison officials violated inmate’s rights

Where the evidence showed one official within the prison’s health department was aware of the plaintiff’s Hepatitis C status, lack of treatment and resulting risk of harm, and another official postponed treatment for inmates with Hepatitis C knowing it would create a substantial risk of harm, a jury will decide if the officials’ conduct rose […]

Sep 18, 2019

Securities Class action challenging merger revived

Where the complaint plausibly alleged plaintiffs only learned about possibly improper conduct involving a merger within a year of filing suit, the class action was potentially timely; and where plaintiffs plausibly alleged the omission of material facts from proxy documents, the lower court’s dismissal at the motion to dismiss stage was inappropriate. Background This case […]

Sep 18, 2019

Real Property Inverse Condemnation – Tort/Negligence – Trespass – Storm Water Pipe

A 24-inch storm water pipe (the Pipe) has run under plaintiff’s house since the 1920’s. When the defendant-city repaired three large pipes in front of plaintiff’s property in 2012, plaintiff’s attorney advised the city that plaintiff did not consent to the reconnection of the Pipe to any replacement pipes. Nonetheless, the city connected the pipes, […]

Sep 12, 2019

Constitutional Search & Seizure – Civil Rights – False Arrest & Excessive Force Claims

A police officer is not entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the officer—acting on a 911 caller’s tip regarding “suspicious” but not illegal behavior—arrested plaintiff. The court grants defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment claims against defendant Demalo a[...]

Sep 12, 2019

Contract Intellectual Property – Patent License – Civil Practice – Pleadings – Dispute Resolution – Washington Law

The complaint alleges that (1) defendant licensed certain intellectual property from plaintiff in exchange for payment of a royalty to plaintiff, (2) defendant breached the parties’ contract by failing to make the required royalty payments, and (3) defendant’s breach has damaged plaintiff in the amount of $2.6 million and counting. Under governing Washington law, plaintiff’s […]

Sep 12, 2019

Immigration Court does not defer to Attorney General’s opinion

Where an opinion issued by the Attorney General, holding that immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, lacks authority to administratively close a case, was contrary to the plain language of the regulations and would upend settled practice, the court refused to defer to the opinion and instead held the immigration judge […]

Sep 12, 2019

Employment Discrimination Paper company not liable in bias case

Where there was no material fact as to a former paper mill worker’s claims that the company discriminated and retaliated against him and subjected him to a hostile work environment, the court ruled the alleged conduct was insufficient as a matter of law. Background Alleging race-based discrimination, Matthew Perkins brought claims for: (1) disparate treatment, […]

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