U.S. Fourth Circuit: August 2009 Archives
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August 2009 Archives

Monroe v. City of Charlottesville, No. 08-1334

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming that defendant-city's police performed racially discriminatory searches, district court's denial of class certification is affirmed where plaintiff had little interest in or knowledge and understanding of the case, and appeared to be merely lending his name to the suit. Dismissal of plaintiff's Fourth Amendment and equal protection claims is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff's subjective beliefs were irrelevant in assessing whether a reasonable person would have felt free to terminate his encounter with the police; and 2) the city did not classify plaintiff on the basis of his race.

Read Monroe v. City of Charlottesville, No. 08-1334

Appellate Information

Argued: May 12, 2009

Decided: August 31, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Beam

Counsel

For Appellant:

Neal Lawrence Walters, Scott Kroner, PLC,  Charlottesville, VA

For Appellees:

Alvaro A. Inigo, Zunka, Milnor, Carter & Ingo, Ltd., Charlottesville, VA

Shipbuilders Council of Am. v. US Coast Guard, No. 08-1546

In a challenge to the Coast Guard's regulatory scheme governing the issuance of coastwide endorsements to vessels, an order enjoining the regulations is reversed where the Coast Guard's interpretation of its regulatory scheme gave all parts of the scheme functional significance.

Read Shipbuilders Council of Am. v. US Coast Guard, No. 08-1546

Appellate Information

Argued: May 15, 2009

Decided: August 21, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Duncan

Counsel

For Appellants:

Monika L. Moore, Office of the United States Attorney, Alexandria, VA

Michael Joseph, Blank & Rome, LLP, Washington, DC

For Appellees:

William D. Dolan, III, Venable, LLP, Vienna, VA

Townes v. Jarvis, No. 05-7382

In a habeas petition claiming that a parole ineligibility determination violated petitioner's due process and equal protection rights, denial of the petition is affirmed where petitioner did not identify any clearly established federal law that prohibited the parole board from considering conduct unnecessary to a conviction as part of its three-strikes determination.

Read Townes v. Jarvis, No. 05-7382

Appellate Information

Argued: December 3, 2008

Decided: August 19, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Motz

Dissent by Judge Shedd

Counsel

For Appellant:

Justin Sanjeeve Antonipillai, Arnold & Porter, L.L.P., Washington, DC

For Appellees:

Richard Carson Vorhis, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Pueschel v. Peters, No. 08-1351

In an action alleging interference with plaintiff's application for workers' compensation benefits, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff waived her Title VII claim by appealing her claim before the Merit Systems Protection Board to the Federal Circuit; and 2) plaintiff could not be subjected to a hostile work environment where all of the alleged conduct occurred after she left the workplace.

Read Pueschel v. Peters, No. 08-1351

Appellate Information

Argued: May 14, 2009

Decided: August 18, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gregory

Counsel

For Appellant:

George Michael Chuzi, Kalijarvi, Chuzi & Newman, PC, Washington, DC

For Appellee:

Lauren Anne Wetzler, Office of the United States Attorney, Alexandria, VA

Lefkoe v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, No. 08-2059

In an appeal from a Massachusetts district court's order modifying a protective order issued by a Maryland District Court to allow disclosure of a nonparty witness's identity, the order is affirmed where: 1) the Massachusetts court did not enter any order intending to control the authority of the Maryland court to manage discovery and the litigation; and 2) the witness's speech at issue was commercial speech and subject to a substantial governmental interest in disclosure.

Read Lefkoe v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, No. 08-2059

Appellate Information

Argued: May 15, 2009

Decided: August 13, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Niemeyer

Counsel

For Appellant:

Russell Beck, Foley & Lardner, LLP, Boston, MA

For Appellee:

Michael Broughton MacWilliams, Venable, LLP, Baltimore, MD

US v. Andrews, No. 08-4721

In a firearm possession prosecution, denial of defendant's motion to suppress the firearm seized from his house is affirmed where there was a sufficient basis for the magistrate who issued the warrant to conclude that there would be probable cause for the search.

Read US v. Andrews, No. 08-4721

Appellate Information

Argued: May 13, 2009

Decided: August 12, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Traxler

Counsel

For Appellant:

Stephen Clayton Gordon, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Raleigh, NC

For Appellee:

Jennifer P. May-Parker, Office of the United States Attorney, Raleigh, NC

Mirant Potomac River, LLC v. EPA, No. 08-1277

In a petition for review of the EPA's approval of Virginia's Clean Air Interstate Rule State Implementation Plan, the petition is dismissed where petitioner lacked standing because its alleged injury flowed from Virginia's Nonattainment Provisions, which were separate emissions standards.

Read Mirant Potomac River, LLC v. EPA, No. 08-1277

Appellate Information

Argued: May 12, 2009

Decided: August 12, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Duncan

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Bracewell & Giuliana, LLP, Washington, DC

For Respondents:

Jon Michael Lipshultz, U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Defense Section, Washington, DC

Calhoun v. US Dep't of Labor, No. 07-2157

In a petition for review of the Department of Labor's determination that petitioner's employer did not discharge him for complaining about violations of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, the petition is denied where the inspection methods petitioner insisted on using for his employer's vehicles were not reasonably necessary.

Read Calhoun v. US Dep't of Labor, No. 07-2157

Appellate Information

Argued: March 26, 2009

Decided: August 11, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gregory

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Paul Otto Taylor, Truckers Justice Center, Burnsville, MI

For Respondent:

Lee Gary Grabel, United States Department of Labor, Washington, DC

US v. Passaro, No. 07-4249

Defendant's assault conviction is affirmed, where the "premises" of Asadabad, Afghanistan, where the offense occurred, constituted a United States "military mission" under 18 U.S.C. section 7(9), so as to render it within the criminal jurisdiction of a district court. However, his sentence is vacated where the district court must explicitly find by a preponderance of the evidence what, if any, instrumentality constituted the basis for a dangerous weapon enhancement.

Read US v. Passaro, No. 07-4249

Appellate Information

Argued: March 27, 2009

Decided: August 10, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Motz

Counsel

For Appellant:

Joseph Bart Gilbert, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Raleigh, NC

For Appellee:

Banumathi Rangarajan, Office of the United States Attorney, Raleigh, NC

US v. Raby, No. 06-5066

Defendant's child pornography sentence is vacated where the district court improperly applied a presumption of reasonableness to defendant's Sentencing Guidelines sentencing range.

Read US v. Raby, No. 06-5066

Appellate Information

Argued: March 26, 2009

Decided: August 11, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Niemeyer

Counsel

For Appellant:

Jonathan D. Byrne, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Charleston, WV

For Appellee:

Louise Anna Forbes, Office of the United States Attorney, Charleston, WV

Brown v. Nucor Corp., No. 08-1247

In an appeal from the denial of plaintiffs' motion for class certification in an employment discrimination action, denial of the motion is vacated where: 1) plaintiffs presented compelling direct evidence of discrimination sufficient to meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 commonality requirement; and 2) there was insufficient evidence that each of the employer's departments was so autonomous as to justify classifying them as separate environments.

Read Brown v. Nucor Corp., No. 08-1247

Appellate Information

Argued: January 27, 2009

Decided: August 7, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gregory

Counsel

For Appellants:

Robert L. Wiggins, Jr., Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis, P.C., Birmingham, AL

For Appellees:

Earle Duncan Getchell, Jr., McGuireWoods, L.L.P., Richmond, VA

Muhammad v. Kelly, No. 08-13

In a capital habeas matter, the denial of the habeas petition is affirmed where: 1) a previously undisclosed ballistics report did not exculpate petitioner, given its inconclusive language; 2) petitioner's counsel did not perform ineffectively by failing to prevent him from representing himself, as he represented himself for only two days during the government's presentation of its case, and his defense attorneys were heavily involved as standby counsel; and 3) petitioner waived his right to present expert mitigation evidence.

Read Muhammad v. Kelly, No. 08-13

Appellate Information

Argued: May 12, 2009

Decided: August 7, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gregory

Counsel

For Appellant:

Jonathan P. Sheldon, Devine, Connell & Sheldon, PLC, Fairfax, VA

For Appellee:

Katherine Baldwin Burnett, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Richmond, VA

The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed'l. Elec. Comm., No. 08-1977

In a First Amendment challenge to Federal Election Commission regulations claiming that the regulations chilled plaintiff's right to disseminate information about a presidential candidate, denial of a preliminary injunction is affirmed where the regulations' words "support or oppose the election of a clearly identified Federal candidate" when used to identify regulated campaign funds were constitutional.

Read The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed'l. Elec. Comm., No. 08-1977

Appellate Information

Argued: May 13, 2009

Decided: August 5, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Niemeyer

Counsel

For Appellant:

James Bopp, Jr., Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, Terre Haute, IN

For Appellee:

Harry Jacobs Summers, Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC

US v. Cox, 08-12857

In a petition for review of the BIA's denial of Iranian native's application for asylum and withholding of removal, the petition is granted in part where the Board failed to give reasoned consideration to petitioner's evidence of a well-founded fear of persecution based on petitioner's religion, or more specifically, his conversion from Islam to Christianity while in the United States. However, the petition is denied in part, where substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that petitioner failed to prove a well-founded fear of persecution based on his political opinion.

Read US v. Cox, 08-12857

Appellate Information

Argued: May 13, 2009

Decided: August 5, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Traxler

Counsel

For Appellant:

William A. Brafford, Office of the United States Attorney, Charlotte, NC

For Appellee:

Amy Elizabeth Simpson, James McElroy & Diehl, PA, Charlotte, NC