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

September 2012 Archives

Fourth Circuit to District Court: Explain Yourself

There’s a time to be coy. A time to bat your lashes coquettishly and flirtatiously allude to your thoughts, or reasoning, or motivation.

Sentencing is not that time, according to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Fourth Circuit Stays 20-Year Ban on Kevlar Competitor

Less than a month after a district court ordered South Korea’s Kolon to stop manufacturing and selling Heracron (a Kevlar competitor), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the company can resume production while it appeals the judgment, Reuters reports.

Last year, a jury found last year that the South Korean manufacturer stole 149 trade secrets relating to the Kevlar fiber, and awarded Kevlar-manufacturer DuPont more than $919 million in damages. In August, District Judge Robert Payne barred Kolon from selling products made with its para-aramid fiber for 20 years, according to Bloomberg.

Is There a Right to Proceed Pro Se on Appeal?

Perusing unpublished opinions may seem like a waste of time, but the appellate courts often offer mini-lessons on legal practice within those non-binding words.

For example, this week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals discussed a defendant's right to proceed pro se on appeal.

Asylum Appeals Aren't Easy to Win in Fourth Circuit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hasn't issued a published opinion in weeks. As constant followers of the 4th, we're a little bitter about this.

We could obsess about the circuit calendar and oral arguments that might produce published opinions, but that's what we did yesterday. Today, we're turning to one of the circuit's recent, unpublished opinions to catch a glimpse of the kinds of issues that are capturing the court's attention.

How to Report Judicial Misconduct in the Fourth Circuit

It's fun to make jokes about judges behaving badly, but judicial misconduct is no joking matter.

Occasionally, a judge crosses a line and warrants reprimand. That's why Congress instituted a judicial misconduct reporting procedure in 1980. Under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, anyone can file a complaint in court to report a federal judge's bad behavior.

5 Things to Know About Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Though Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has been known as one of the more conservative appellate courts for years, the majority of the judges on the 15-member court were appointed by Democrats. Judge J. Harvie Wilkerson III, the lone remaining Reagan appointee, is not only a notable conservative on the court, he's also the longest-serving Fourth Circuit judge.

4th Cir Reverses Civil Commitment Dismissal Due to Clear Error

Approximately three months before Walter Wooden was to be released from federal prison, the government sought to commit him as a “sexually dangerous person” under the civil-commitment provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court held that the government failed to prove Wooden suffered from pedophilia and failed to prove he would have serious difficulty refraining from re-offending. The court dismissed the government’s petition and ordered Wooden released.

On Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order, and remanded the case for reconsideration.