Author Archives

  • Running for Something, Part III

    This excerpt is the third of a five-part essay on running and life, based on my experiences as a short, middle, and long-distance runner. Read the the full essay at Medium. Part III: Running down a dream. Flashback: I’m 19 years… Read More ›

  • The Moral Soul of America

    Connect some distant-seeming dots with me, won’t you? Dot 1: Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the… Read More ›

  • Run for Something: Part I

    This excerpt is the first of a five-part forthcoming essay on running and life, based on my experiences as a short, middle, and long-distance runner. Part I: Get Set. Go. Flashback: I’m nine years old, and I’m starting to notice… Read More ›

  • Who “We” Are

    With only distant connections to the military, I usually think of Memorial Day as a holiday to honor other people. Them. The servicemembers, over a million of them, who’ve died answering their country’s call of duty. The ones who would… Read More ›

  • Docket – April 29, 2019

    4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Schwartz v. JJF Mgm’t Servs. Inc. (P), 4th Cir. (Duncan) from DMD at Baltimore (Messitte). This appeal represents the latest salvo in the scorched-earth assault by the appellant and one of its franchisees. The… Read More ›

  • Riggleman v. Clarke

    In this putative class action for Eighth Amendment violations, certification is inappropriate. The plaintiff, a Virginia inmate, is not an adequate class representative because his counsel is not adequate to handle this case as a class action. Counsel initially failed… Read More ›

  • Schwartz v. JJF Mgm’t Servs. Inc. (P)

    This appeal represents the latest salvo in the scorched-earth assault by the appellant and one of its franchisees. The district court properly denied the appellant’s third-party claim to funds in certain deposit accounts that the franchisee sought to garnish in… Read More ›

  • Linguine and Clams, Fast and Slow

    If a restaurant is offering any combination of pasta, shellfish, and a creamy, garlicky sauce, you better believe I will be ordering it. It’s my favorite type of entree, both dining out and at home. When I started cooking for… Read More ›

  • Edmonson v. Eagle Nat’l Bank (P)

    In their suit asserting claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the plaintiff-borrowers alleged sufficient facts against the defendant-lenders to merit relief from the one-year limitations period under the tolling doctrine of fraudulent concealment. The district court erred in… Read More ›

  • Docket – April 25, 2019

    4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Bell v. Brockett (P), 4th Cir. (Quattlebaum) from WDNC at Charlotte (Mullen). This case involves a defendant class action, a litigation “unicorn.” Here, while the district court failed to follow Federal Rule of Civil Procedure… Read More ›

  • Sheppard v. Visitors of Va. State Univ.

    The plaintiff, a former student at Virginia State University, has failed to state claims for Title IX gender discrimination and due process violations. This action arises from an altercation between the plaintiff and other students, where plaintiff allegedly sought to… Read More ›

  • Bell v. Brockett (P)

    This case involves a defendant class action, a litigation “unicorn.” Here, while the district court failed to follow Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 its decision is affirmed due to the unique circumstances of this case. Class counsel was not appointed… Read More ›

  • United States v. Walker (P)

    The district court properly rejected the defendant’s plea agreement, sustained the prosecution’s peremptory strike of an African-American juror before trial, and calculated the defendant’s Sentencing Guidelines range after his convictions for drug and firearms offenses. In finding the advisory Guidelines… Read More ›

  • Docket – April 24, 2019

    4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Am. Ass’n of Political Consultants Inc. v. FCC (P), 4th Cir. (King) from EDNC at Raleigh (Dever). An exemption to the Telephone Consumer Protect Act authorizing robocalls related to collection of debts owed to… Read More ›

  • United States v. Peterson

    The court will suppress the fruits of a strip search of the defendant, but not the fruits of a search of his car. Although a police dog’s weak responses alone didn’t give officers probable cause to believe that the defendant’s… Read More ›