Docket – December 7, 2018

NOTE: Due to weather closures, there is no Docket for December 10, 2018.

4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Staudner v. Robinson Aviation Inc. (P), 4th Cir. (Harris) from EDNC at Greenville (Boyle).

The district court erred in dismissing the plaintiff’s claims that his former employer wrongfully terminated him and that his union breached its duty of fair representation in its handling of his resulting grievance. First, contrary to the court’s holding, exhaustion of remedies as required by 29 U.S.C. § 185(a) was a non jurisdictional precondition to suit, not a judicially mandated requirement. Second, the collective bargaining agreement at issue didn’t in fact require exhaustion.

Reversed and remanded.

Air Evac EMS Inc. v. Cheatham (P), 4th Cir. (Wilkinson) from SDWV at Charleston (Johnston).

Beginning in 2011, West Virginia enacted various laws to limit the reimbursement rates of air ambulance companies. Air Evac, an air ambulance company and registered air carrier, sued to enjoin enforcement of these laws under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which expressly pre-empts state efforts to regulate the prices, routes, and services of certain air carriers.. The district court properly enjoined the challenged provisions.

Air ambulance companies fall squarely within the definition of common carriers and are within the scope of the federal Act. This holding aligns with the other courts and federal agencies who have considered the same question.


Baxter v. Comm’r of IRS (P), 4th Cir. (Wynn) from U.S. Tax Ct.

On their 2000 tax return, taxpayers claimed substantial capital losses attributable to a Custom Adjustable Rate Debt Structure transaction, which the taxpayers relied on to offset capital gains attributable to the sale of their family business. The Tax Court properly concluded that the transaction lacked “economic substance” and, therefore, that the taxpayers wrongly relied on the transaction to offset their capital gains.


U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Paramount Sports & Entertainment Mgmt. LLC v. Shah, EDVA at Norfolk (Jackson).

In a breach-of-contract suit against a sports agent, the contract provides that the parties irrevocably consent to the jurisdiction of the court in which the enforcement proceeding is brought. Here, the suit was brought in state court. Accordingly, the defendant waived his right to remove the case to federal court.

Remanded to state court.

GlobalOne Mgm’t Grp. Ltd. v. Tempus Applied Sols. LLC, EDVA at Newport News (Doumar).

Parties to a contract agreed therein to arbitrate whether their dispute was arbitrable.

The plaintiff’s tort claims are sufficiently related to the agreement such that the defendant’s demand to arbitrate these claims is not frivolous. Similarly, the defendants’ request to arbitrate claims against a third party is not frivolous in this case because such claims are arguably within the scope of the arbitration clause. Finally, the plaintiff’s claims do not seek interlocutory relief falling under the agreement’s arbitration exemption.

Motion to compel arbitration granted.

Virginia Circuit Court

Don v. Tera Int’l Group Inc., Fairfax (Bernhard).

The plaintiff’s attachment of forged documents containing false information to each of two court filings are sanctionable under Code § 8.01-271.1, meriting a monetary penalty of $90,000 plus $37,452 in attorneys’ fees related to the fraudulent conduct.

The plaintiff also knowingly submitted to the court a transparently fake newspaper article in defense of the defendants’ motion for sanctions, falsely ascribing criminal activity to one defendant in attempt to attack their credibility. This brazen submittal of new forged evidence to oppose sanctions for his previous use of a fake evidence was intentional interference with the administration of justice, warranting a conviction for summary criminal contempt and imposition of the maximum punishment of 10 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Categories: Daily Dockets

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