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Jul 18, 2018

‘Defense of others’ not an offensive jury charge

In “defense of others” is a defense to a criminal charge, not an instruction for solicitors—at least in this case—to use offensively, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. When laying out its case against murder defendant Steven Otts, the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office told the Saluda County jury during its opening statement that the […]

May 23, 2017

Automaker’s comparative negligence defense nixed

Personal responsibility and product liability collided in a South Carolina Supreme Court opinion that bars automakers from raising the defense of comparative negligence in crashworthiness suits. The state’s highest court held on May 17 that General Motors could not use the defense to reduce its damages in a federal suit over a fatal crash involving […]

Apr 24, 2017

Tort/Negligence – Assumption of Duty – Train Engineer – Traffic Ticket – Defense

McPherson v. CSX Transportation, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-104-17, 15 pp.) (Bruce Howe Hendricks, J.) 4:16-cv-02725; D.S.C. Holding: The North Charleston police cited plaintiff for obstructing a highway while plaintiff was operating one of defendant’s trains. Although plaintiff alleges that various contracts and defendant’s internal policies and procedures required defendant to defend the c[...]

Mar 29, 2017

Prisons & Jails – Failure to Exhaust Is Affirmative Defense

Custis v. Davis, Warden (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-079-17, 10 pp.) (Gregory, J.) No. 15-7533, March 23, 2017; USDC at Norfolk, Va. (Davis, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: The 4th Circuit reverses dismissal of a suit filed by an inmate who was assigned to a lower bunk because of missing toes on his right foot, and who […]

Feb 8, 2017

Arbitration – Court Suit May Waive Arbitration Defense

Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation v. Harmoosh (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-030-17, 16 pp.) (Motz, J.) No. 16-1403, Feb. 2, 2017; USDC at Baltimore, Md. (Russell, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: In a creditor’s suit in Maryland federal court to enforce a judgment from an Iraqi court on a $2 million promissory note guaranteed by appellee debtor […]

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