District Court Has No Discretion to Vacate a Partial Verdict Because It Is Supposedly “Irreconcilably Inconsistent” With A Hung Jury on Another Count, Holds Fourth Circuit

In Jordan v. Large, No. 19-7855 (4th Cir. Mar. 4, 2022), the Fourth Circuit holds that the district court erred when it vacated a partial verdict in favor of a prisoner-plaintiff because it was supposedly “irreconcilably inconsistent” with the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on another count. Plaintiff, “a prisoner in Red Onion StateContinue reading “District Court Has No Discretion to Vacate a Partial Verdict Because It Is Supposedly “Irreconcilably Inconsistent” With A Hung Jury on Another Count, Holds Fourth Circuit”

Parents of Children with Disabilities Obtain Conflicting Standing Rulings in the Fourth and Eighth Circuits While Challenging State Mask-Mandate Bans in Schools

Two circuits reach different results on standing to bring an injunctive action against the governors of states that banned local school districts from imposing COVID-19 pandemic mask-mandates for students and staff. In both cases, parents and associations challenged the state-level bans under federal statutory law: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Section 504Continue reading “Parents of Children with Disabilities Obtain Conflicting Standing Rulings in the Fourth and Eighth Circuits While Challenging State Mask-Mandate Bans in Schools”

Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Had Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Over Complaint with Pseudonymous Plaintiff

In B.R. v. F.C.S.B., No. 21-1005 (4th Cir. Nov. 2, 2021), the Fourth Circuit accepts an interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) and holds that a federal court has subject-matter jurisdiction over a claim despite not knowing the plaintiff’s true name. A plaintiff – named “Kate” in the opinion – “commenced this action byContinue reading “Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Had Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Over Complaint with Pseudonymous Plaintiff”

Website Has Standing but Fails to Overcome State Secret Doctrine in Challenge to NSA “Upstream” Surveillance Program, Holds Splintered Fourth Circuit Panel

In Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA, No. 20-1191 (4th Cir. Sept. 16, 2021), a three-way split panel holds 2-1 that Wikimedia has Article III standing to challenge National Security Agency’s (NSA) domestic surveillance of transmission lines, but a different 2-1 majority holds that the case fails because of the “state secret doctrine.” The Fourth Circuit hadContinue reading “Website Has Standing but Fails to Overcome State Secret Doctrine in Challenge to NSA “Upstream” Surveillance Program, Holds Splintered Fourth Circuit Panel”

Fourth Circuit Judge Decries Proliferation of “Advisory” Dissents from Denial of Rehearing En Banc

In Doe v. Fairfax Cnty. Sch. Bd., No. 19-2203 (4th Cir. Aug. 30, 2021) (order), denying rehearing en banc of a Title IX case involving sexual harassment, a Fourth Circuit judge calls for curtailing separate dissenting opinions that signal “disrespect for the hard work of the panel and for the full court’s decision not toContinue reading “Fourth Circuit Judge Decries Proliferation of “Advisory” Dissents from Denial of Rehearing En Banc”

En Banc Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Did Not Err in Denying North Carolina’s General Assembly Leave to Intervene in Challenge to Voter-ID Law

In North Carolina NAACP State Conf. v. Berger, No. 19-2273 (4th Cir. June 7, 2021), the en banc Fourth Circuit (splitting along party lines) holds 9-6 that a state legislature may only intervene to defend a state law under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2) “if a federal court first finds that the Attorney General isContinue reading “En Banc Fourth Circuit Holds That District Court Did Not Err in Denying North Carolina’s General Assembly Leave to Intervene in Challenge to Voter-ID Law”

District Court Abused Discretion by Expanding Remedies on Rule 59(e) Post-Judgment Motion to Reconsider, Holds Fourth Circuit

In JTH Tax, Inc. v. Aime, No. 19-1746 (4th Cir. Jan. 4, 2021), the Fourth Circuit holds that the district court erred – on remand from an earlier appeal – in granting the winning plaintiff (1) additional compensatory damages on the grounds of newly discovered evidence, and (2) nominal damages. Aime operated nine tax franchisesContinue reading “District Court Abused Discretion by Expanding Remedies on Rule 59(e) Post-Judgment Motion to Reconsider, Holds Fourth Circuit”

Split Fourth Circuit Panel Holds That District Court Did Not Err by Admitting Evidence of Parent Companies’ Net Worth in Liability Phase of Nuisance Trial

In McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC,  No. 19-1019 (4th Cir. Nov. 19, 2020) – a closely-watched case against an industrial hog farm for common-law nuisance – a split panel affirms liability, though it remands the punitive damage award for redetermination. In addition to deciding Daubert challenges to the experts and other issues (not otherwise addressed here),Continue reading “Split Fourth Circuit Panel Holds That District Court Did Not Err by Admitting Evidence of Parent Companies’ Net Worth in Liability Phase of Nuisance Trial”

Fourth Circuit Holds That Absent a “Separate Document” Setting Out an Order as a Judgment Under Fed. R. Civ. P 58(a), Deadline for Attorney’s Fee Never Triggered

In CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd. v. Johnson, No. 19-1516 (4th Cir. Oct. 14, 2020), a confused timeline made it unclear whether defendant filed his attorney’s fee petition on time under the local rules. But because the district court failed to set out the judgment in a “separate document” under Fed. R. Civ. P 58(a), theContinue reading “Fourth Circuit Holds That Absent a “Separate Document” Setting Out an Order as a Judgment Under Fed. R. Civ. P 58(a), Deadline for Attorney’s Fee Never Triggered”

Negotiations Over Post-Termination Commission Should Have Been Excluded Under Fed. R. Evid. 408, Holds Fourth Circuit

In Macsherry v. Sparrows Point, LLC, No. 19-1281 (4th Cir. Sept. 1, 2020), a $1 million judgment in favor of plaintiff is vacated when the panel holds that evidence of negotiations over a claimed commission payment constituted offers to compromise a claim under Fed. R. Evid. 408, and thus should not have been admitted intoContinue reading “Negotiations Over Post-Termination Commission Should Have Been Excluded Under Fed. R. Evid. 408, Holds Fourth Circuit”