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Law digest – 3/28/13


Criminal Law, Assault: Where defendant fired a gun into victims’ home, evidence was sufficient for conviction of assault even though victims were not home at the time, since defendant manifested an intent to harm them physically. Snyder v. State, No. 2225, Sept. Term 2010. RecordFax No. 13-0320-03.

Criminal Law, Sexual exploitation of a minor: Where defendant admitted that he used a hidden camera to, among other things, record a minor child dressing in her bedroom, evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that defendant’s action constituted exploitation of a sexual nature. Schmitt v. State, No. 1439, Sept. Term 2011. RecordFax No. 13-0321-03.


Civil Procedure, Preliminary injunction: District court properly granted plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction because plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims, and district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that the new eligibility standards placed them at a significant risk of institutionalization. Pashby v. Delia, No. 11-2363. RecordFax No. 13-0305-60.

Constitutional Law, Anti-sodomy statutes: Applying the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, Virginia’s anti-sodomy statute violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment; defendant’s conviction for criminal solicitation of a minor, which was based on predicate offense of violation of anti-sodomy statute, could not stand. MacDonald v. Moose, No. 11-7427. RecordFax No. 13-0312-60.

Criminal Procedure, Re-sentencing: Where defendant, convicted of intent to distribute crack cocaine and powder cocaine, moved to reduce his sentence based upon sentencing guidelines, which lowered sentences for certain crack cocaine offenses, the district did not err in reducing his sentence, as the district had not originally made any findings that rendered defendant ineligible for such reduction. U.S. v. Mann, No 12-6590. RecordFax No. 13-0304-60.

ERISA, Waiver of benefits: ERISA does not preempt a post-distribution suit against an ERISA plan beneficiary based on his waiver where appellant, the named beneficiary, had previously waived benefits from his deceased ex-wife’s retirement and life insurance plans in the marital settlement agreement. Andochick v. Byrd, No. 12-1728. RecordFax No. 13-0304-61.

Labor & Employment, Notice of change in pension plan: AT&T failed to adequately notify former employee of a material change to its pension plan that allowed her to collect full benefits earlier than she had originally understood, and, since the district court properly considered limited evidence outside of the administrative record but known to AT&T when it rendered plaintiff’s benefits determination, the court properly concluded that AT&T breached its statutory and fiduciary duties to plaintiff who was entitled to lost benefits. Helton v. AT&T Inc., No 11-2153. RecordFax No. 13-0306-60.