Category Archives: Court Case

Virginia Supreme Court Authorizes Removal Of General Robert E. Lee Statue In Richmond

A large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has stood for over 100 years on Monument Avenue in Richmond, along with statues of other Confederate notables. Times changed, and calls to remove the statues intensified. Governor Ralph Northam authorized the removal of the statues, but two lawsuits were filed by private individuals to protect Lee’s monument. In both cases, ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Bare Majority Of Court Allows Texas Abortion Law To Go Into Effect

The Texas Heartbeat Act created a private right of action to sue anyone who performed or assisted in performing an abortion after a heartbeat had been detected in a fetus—generally after about six weeks from conception, but well before the viability benchmark established in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Abortion providers sued a state court judge, a state ... Read More

Court Opinion: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge To House Resolution Allowing Proxy Voting During Pandemic

In May of 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 965, which allowed House members to cast votes and mark their presence by proxy during the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The Republican minority filed suit challenging the Resolution, arguing that it was unconstitutional because the Constitution required that members be physically present on the House floor ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys secure dismissal of a conversion case styled as patent infringement

Attorneys Crystal Deese and Sarah Godfrey recently secured dismissal a conversion case styled as patent infringement in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff, a biomedical research tech, sued the head of his former research laboratory for allegedly “stealing” his intellectual property. Plaintiff claimed the theft occurred when the lab director permitted one of plaintiff’s colleagues to ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case

The Health Law Practice Group obtained summary judgment in a premises liability case. Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on liquid an employee allegedly deposited and left on a hospital floor. She claimed a permanent wrist injury following a surgical procedure negatively impacted nearly all activities of daily living. Judge Shana Frost Matini in the Superior Court of the District ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Win Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages

Attorneys Crystal Deese and Pam Diedrich recently won a Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages. Plaintiffs sought to recover the entire amounts of their medical bills rather than the far lower figure the hospital received in payment. Judge José M. López in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia ruled that Plaintiffs can only claim the amounts actually paid ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Successfully Asserts Claim-Splitting Doctrine

This month, Edward Sedlacek and Crystal Deese secured dismissal of an individual physician from a malpractice suit despite Plaintiff's two-pronged attempt to add her into the litigation. Plaintiff sued a hospital in 2019 claiming permanent injuries due to inappropriate postoperative management. In 2021, Plaintiff filed a separate suit making the same allegations against his surgeon. We moved to dismiss the ... Read More

Client Alert: Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management, LLC

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has affirmed a trial court’s denial of an adverse possession claim in which the plaintiff submitted evidence as to each of the traditional necessary elements but failed to establish the location of the actual property at issue.  In Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management LLC, the Court was presented with an all too familiar ... Read More

Client Alert: Canova Land and Investment Company v. Carolyn Lynn

This morning, the Supreme Court of Virginia interpreted a restriction contained within a 146-year-old deed as not being an unreasonable restraint on alienation. In Canova Land and Investment Company v. Carolyn Lynn, the Supreme Court analyzed whether ancient deed restrictions, undiscovered by a subsequent lender, vitiate the security for its loan. In 1875, Edna and Levi Lynn granted a deed to ... Read More

Client Alert: Wilson v. Eagle National Bank

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has allowed a complaint alleging Sherman Act violations by a lender in purported conspiracy with its internal title company and competitor title company to proceed. In Wilson v. Eagle National Bank, the Court held that allegations of horizontal price-fixing in title and settlement services, if proven true, constitute per se ... Read More

D.C. Court of Appeals Issues Decision On Condominium Lien Foreclosures And When An Appeal May Be Taken in a Consolidated Action

On March 25, 2021, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued its decision in RFB Properties II, LLC v. Deutsche Bank Company Americas (Nos. 19-CV-0529 and 19-CV-069). This decision has important ramifications on two fronts: (1) whether a party can appeal from a “final order” issued in only one of two consolidated cases; and (2) in the context of a D.C ... Read More

Client Alert: Yacko v. Mitchell

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued an opinion adverse to lenders decrying the “high volume of foreclosure cases” in which lenders “often treat these matters as routine and expect our courts to rubber-stamp the foreclosure with methodical expediency.”  In Yacko v. Mitchell, the Court noted that the Maryland Rules mandate that trial courts slow the foreclosure action ... Read More

Client Alert: Chicago Title Insurance Co. v. Allynnore M. Jen

Last Thursday, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion on an insurance coverage matter that only eight (8) jurisdictions have issued a published decision on since 1951. Fortunately for the title insurer, the Court of Special Appeals sided with the majority and joined seven (7) of those jurisdictions. While the case raises other issues such as the ... Read More

Client Alert: PennyMac Holdings, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Company

Recognizing that Maryland appellate courts have not previously issued a published opinion as to either whether a closing protection letter constitutes a policy of title insurance or when claims against a closing protection letter accrues for statute of limitations purposes, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued a decision clarifying these, and other, areas of the law. In PennyMac ... Read More

Client Alert: SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors

The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an unpublished decision interpreting a reservation of easements prior to a recorded dedication. While unpublished, the decision provides valuable insight into the mindset of the Supreme Court. In SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors, two adjoining property owners in Prince William County obtained special use permits to construct a car wash ... Read More

Client Alert: Easement Decisions in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued two new easement decisions of importance to real estate practitioners. Both decisions provide rare detailed analysis from the Court of Special Appeals into easements and are worth review. In Hejazi v. Sears, Hejazi’s predecessor-in-title conveyed an easement “over, upon and across” the subject property to Sears granting “exclusive rights to the use ... Read More

Client Alert: Dennis Hamilton v. Murray Rottenberg

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently resolved a matter of first impression as to whether a judgment lien attaches on property during that brief period after a contract for sale has been executed but prior to legal title passing at closing. As this was the first level of appeal, it is likely that the losing party will seek ... Read More

Virginia Supreme Court Suspends All Evictions For Rent Nonpayment Until September 7, 2020

A narrowly divided Court, in an order signed by Justice Mims, suspended all writs of eviction pursuant to unlawful detainer actions in Virginia, effective August 10, 2020, and continuing through September 7, 2020. The four-justice majority noted that the ongoing public health emergency limited the ability of tenants to avail themselves of the court system, and the Governor’s request for ... Read More

Client Alert: District Court of the District of Columbia Denies Traditional Legal Defenses Raised by Title Companies

On May 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an important decision denying an early motion to dismiss against a title company for its actions preceding a troubled transaction. The decision is significant in that the District Court denied each of the traditional legal defenses typically raised by title companies at such an early ... Read More

Client Alert: The Supreme Court of Ohio Ruling in Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh

The Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to accept the matter of Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., Case No. 1:17-cv-01782-DAP (N.D. Ohio) on certified question as to whether an insured is permitted to seek full and complete indemnity under a single policy providing coverage for “those sums” when the property damage occurred over ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: No Pre-emption for States to Use Federal Immigration Information to Enforce State Identity Theft Law

Under federal law, employers must verify, through an I-9 form, that they have “verified” that each new employee “is not an unauthorized alien.” In Kansas v. Garcia, three persons who were living in the United States illegally used the same false Social Security number on their I-9 forms, as well as their tax withholding forms, and were prosecuted under ... Read More

Health Law Practice Group Privileged to Serve MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Earlier this month, Jackson & Campbell, P.C.'s Health Law Practice Group obtained a defense verdict in a malpractice case alleging that a patient suffered permanent nerve damage during a lower left wisdom tooth extraction. She alleged the surgical technique and procedure choice were improper and denied giving her informed consent to the procedure. After a six day trial, the ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Strictly Interprets “Actual Knowledge” For ERISA Limitations Period

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a person with “actual knowledge” of an alleged fiduciary breach by the administrator of a pension plan must file suit within three years of gaining such knowledge—otherwise, a six-year limitations period applies. In Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, Intel argued that its former employee filed such a claim ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Criminal Defendant Preserves Appellate Claim by Arguing for Lesser Sentence

Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 51(b), a criminal defendant wishing to “preserve a claim of error” for appeal must inform the trial judge “of the action the party wishes the court to take, or the party’s objection to the court’s action and the grounds for that objection.” In Holguin-Hernandez v. United States, when prosecutors sought a sentence of ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Rejects Comparison of State Offenses to Generic Offenses for Armed Career Criminal Act Enhancement

The Armed Career Criminal Act mandates a 15-year sentence for defendants that have prior convictions for a “serious drug offense” that “involve[es] manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance.” Eddie Lee Shular had six prior Florida convictions for selling and possessing cocaine with intent to sell. The federal trial court deemed those to be ... Read More

February Real Estate Update | Gan v. Van Buren Street Methodist Church

On February 13, 2020, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an opinion which expressly declined to follow a troubling earlier decision regarding tacking in the context of adverse possession. The decision is significant because the Court clarified the confusing and contradictory prior decision, which muddied the adverse possession waters in Washington, D.C. In Gan v. Van Buren Street Methodist ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Permits Appellate Review of Added Mitigating Factor in Death Penalty Case

After James McKinney was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, the trial court sentenced him to death upon the finding that he had two aggravating circumstances for each such murder. Twenty years later, a narrowly divided en banc Ninth Circuit reversed upon habeas review, holding that the state courts had not properly considered McKinney's post-traumatic stress disorder as a ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Strikes Down The “Bob Richards Rule”

The IRS allows affiliated corporations to file a group tax return. When the IRS issues a tax return to the group as a whole, federal law does not describe how to allocate the funds. The Ninth Circuit created a rule for that when it decided In re Bob Richards Chrysler-Plymouth Corp., 473 F.2d 262 (1973). The "Bob Richards Rule" mandated ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Declines To Extend Bivens To Allow Suit Against Border Agent For Shooting

U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa, Jr. shot 15 year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca while Mesa was on U.S. land, and Hernandez had run back across onto Mexican soil. Hernandez's family sued Mesa under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which permits damages claims against federal agents even though no federal statute authorized the claim ... Read More