Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fourth Circuit Makes E-Filing Mandatory Effective June 1

Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 4:35 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Mandatory Electronic Filing By Counsel Effective June 1, 2008

TO: Fourth Circuit Bar Members

FROM: Patricia Connor, Clerk of Court

SUBJ: Mandatory Electronic Filing By Counsel Effective June 1, 2008

Beginning June 1, 2008, attorneys are required to file documents electronically in all Fourth Circuit cases. Appendices, vouchers, and case-initiating documents (petitions for review, mandamus, permission to appeal) are excepted from electronic filing and are to be filed in paper format. Formal briefs must be filed in both electronic and paper format. Registration for electronic filing requires (1) completing this Court's required training and submitting the training certification form if training was taken on-line at; (2) obtaining a PACER account at if you do not have an account; and (3) registering for a Fourth Circuit ECF Filer account at

If you already have an active ECF filer account with the Fourth Circuit, please disregard this message.

For complete information, visit

Supreme Court Finds Retaliation Causes of Action

In two discrimination cases decided yesterday, the Supreme Court interpreted two federal civil rights statutes to support causes of action for retaliation, even though the statutes do not expressly include such rights.

In CBOCS West Inc. v. Humphries, No. 06-1431 (U.S. Supr. Ct. May 27, 2008), the Court ruled 7-2 that although 42 U.S.C. § 1981 does not expressly prohibit retaliation, stare decisis required the Court to find an implied right:

"[C]onsiderations of stare decisis support our adherence to Sullivan [v. Little Hunting Park Inc., 396 U.S. 229 (1969)] and the long line of related cases where we interpret §§ 1981 and 1982 similarly .... We consequently hold that 42 U.S.C. § 1981 encompasses claims of retaliation."

Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented, accusing the majority of ignoring the plain text of the statute, which does not explicitly prohibit retaliation. They believed the majority's ruling only serves to compound the error represented by Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. of Educ., 544 U.S. 167, 95 FEP Cases 669 (2005), which found an implied retaliation cause of action under Title IX.

In Gomez-Perez v. Potter, No. 06-1321 (U.S. Supr. Ct. May 27, 2008), the Court ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits retaliation against federal employees, even though the statute does not expressly include a prohibition against retaliation. The staute does, however, prohibit retaliation in the private sector.

In the 6-3 ruling, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented. They reasoned that "the statutory language and structure, as well as the fact that Congress has always protected federal employees from retaliation through the established civil service process, confirm that Congress did not intend those employees to have a separate judicial remedy for retaliation under the ADEA."

Friday, May 02, 2008

South-Western Legal's Case Updates

If you are a "generalist," or just generally interested in different areas of the law, check out the South-Western Legal Studies in Business' Case Updates (loads slowly). Each month, this page features 20 or so case summaries of interesting cases in various disciplines. It is intended as a resource for legal studies classes. I usually find at least one case every month that touches on an issue I or one of my colleagues is dealing with.

Here is the case list for May:

Seller of Property May Still Be Liable for Torts (Real and Personal Property)

Majority Partner Can, Given Partnership Terms, Force Sale of Partnership (Business Organization)

Intentional Torts Not Covered by Umbrella Liability Policies (Insurance)

Congress Has Ability to Cancel Trademarks (Intellectual Property)

Trial Judge May Use Discretion to Order New Trial (Court Procedure)

Lost Profits, Not Lost Revenue, Are Proper Measure of Damage for Breach (Contracts)

Physician Qualified to Be Expert Witness about Procedure by Nurse (Court Procedure)

Courts Defer To Agency Expertise in Absence of Conflict with Legislative Meaning (Administrative Law)

Clock Begins to Run When Notice of Arbitration Award Mailed (Alternate Dispute Resolution)

No Privacy Right for Criminal Suspects for Certain Public Disclosures (Constitutional Law)

Landlord Not Responsible for Attack by Tenant’s Vicious Dog (Real and Personal Property)

Groups Cannot Sue for Libel or Emotional Distress (Torts)

Vacation Days that Occur During FMLA Leave Are Part of the Leave (Employment Law)

Employer Imposed Arbitration Program Agreed to by Continuing Employment (Alternate Dispute Resolution)

Parody of Famous Mark Allowed (Intellectual Property)

ISP Not Liable for Discriminatory Content in Ad Postings (Cyberlaw)

It would be nice if they had an RSS feed. But until the get one, you can use WatchThatPage to give you updates.