U.S. Fourth Circuit - The FindLaw 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

March 2014 Archives

Need a Job? 4th Circuit is Hiring Librarians, Chief Staff Attorney

Hiring freeze? Budget crunch?

Hah! It seems that budget deal that ended the shutdown, and alleviated the effects of sequestration on the courts, has freed up some funds for a few staff positions at the Fourth Circuit. The Court of Appeals is looking for two librarians familiar with digital and electronic resources, and for an experienced attorney to lead the Office of Staff Counsel.

Sound intriguing? Read on for the official job descriptions, and click the links for the full vacancy announcements, including duties and required qualifications:

McDonnell Lawyers Told to Slow Filings 'For the Sanctity of the Trees'

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife's indictment was good reading, but the hilarity didn't stop with the initial pleadings. Thanks to a recent spate of filings, some with little to no basis in existing laws, the judge in the case, U.S. District Judge James Spencer, asked the prosecutors and defense attorneys to limit their filings "for the sanctity of the trees."

Judge Spencer also dismissed McDonell's request to allow a related civil case to move forward, in hopes that evidence favorable to the defense would emerge, stating that the defense was "dancing through fantasyland," reports The Washington Post.

Stay tuned folks. This is probably going to be one heck of a show.

Massey Mine Explosion: Gary May Asks 4th Cir. to Vacate Sentence

You may recall Gary May, the former Upper Big Branch mine superintendent sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for hindering U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration investigations into the massive Massey mine explosion back in 2010 that killed 29 miners.

He is now asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate his sentence. He wouldn't be the first Upper Big Branch exec to turn to the Fourth Circuit.

But what is he claiming?

Adios Judge Andre Davis; 2009 Obama Appointee Takes Senior Status

As predicted late last year, Judge Andre Davis, after only a few years on the Fourth Circuit, took senior status as of February 28, 2014. He was eligible for the semi-retired status due to his prior service on the district court bench for nearly two decades.

His move to senior status opens up an extra seat on the bench, which due to tradition, must be filled with a Maryland appointee. Meanwhile, as a senior judge, he'll still hear cases. Think of this arrangement in baseball terms -- he's a pinch hitter when the docket is full. (For more on the Rule of 80 and what senior status really means, see our post from last year.)