Docket – October 25, 2018

4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

United States v. Young (U), 4th Cir. (Harris) from DSC at Columbia (Seymour).

One of the defendant’s three drug-related convictions – each related to possession of a firearm – must be vacated because the warrantless vehicle search wasn’t justified by the inventory-search exception.

Whether through introduction of written police department rules and regulations or through police officer testimony, there must be “sufficient evidence” that the searching officer’s discretion was limited by standardized criteria governing the conduct and scope of inventory searches. Here, the government provided neither a written departmental policy governing inventory searches nor testimony to fill that gap. Thus, the district court erred in not suppressing the firearms recovered from that search.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Livingston v. Nielsen, EDVA at Alexandria (O’Grady).

In an employment discrimination suit, evidence as to a particular comparator employee’s demotion as cited by the plaintiff will be excluded. The comparator had a different supervisor, experienced an adverse decision by a different decision-maker, was a career employee rather than a probationary one, and was not charged with performance deficiencies.

Defendant’s motion in limine granted.

Express Homebuyers USA LLC v. WBH Mktg. Inc., EDVA at Alexandria (Ellis).

The court declined to award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in a trademark action. The defendant had an objectively reasonable legal and factual basis to argue that its marks were not generic because the PTO had registered the marks. Neither isolated incorrect legal arguments nor an unsubstantiated motion for reconsideration make this case an exceptional one that merits fees under the Lanham Act.

Motion for attorneys’ fees denied.



Categories: Daily Dockets

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