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Litigator’s Guide to Navigating Virtual Court Proceedings

With the “new norm” losing some of its “newness” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, virtual court proceedings are becoming widespread across federal and state courts. Here are some important areas to consider before and during remote court proceedings. Test Your Technology At this point, many people have participated in a conference call in which one … Continue Reading

Federal Courts Issue Guidance for Jury Trials During COVID-19: What Litigators Need to Know

The U.S. Courts’ COVID-19 Judicial Task Force has released guidance on conducting jury trials and convening grand juries during the pandemic. The task force’s guidance, released on June 4, 2020, makes clear that each tribunal will ultimately set its own rules for jury trials after considering things like location, budget, and physical facilities. Highlights from … Continue Reading

Establishing Judicial Estoppel Defense Against Bankruptcy Plaintiff Just Became Harder

Establishing the judicial estoppel defense against a bankrupt plaintiff will be harder in the Eleventh Circuit following Smith v. Haynes & Haynes P.C., 940 F.3d 635 (11th Cir. 2019). Judicial estoppel is a legal defense used for early dismissal of cases against bankrupt plaintiffs. In a bankruptcy, judicial estoppel applies if a debtor plaintiff omits … Continue Reading

The Rules of the Closing Argument

The evidence is in, the jury instructions are done, final trial motions have been made (and appeal points dutifully preserved), and it is time for the final argument, the holy grail of the trial lawyer. After months (if not years) of preparation, it is finally time to just argue, to tell the jurors what you … Continue Reading

Florida Jury Awards Former University Registrar $310,500 In Retaliation Suit

A jury recently returned a $310,500 verdict in favor of a former University of South Florida employee on her retaliation claim against the University. DeBose v. USF Board of Trustees, et al, No. 8:15-cv-02787 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 26, 2018).   The former employee, Angela DeBose, claimed she was retaliated against because she had filed internal race … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Jury Finds Female Professor’s Retaliation Claims Pass the Test

A federal jury has awarded a female professor lost earnings and punitive damages on two counts of employment retaliation, despite rejecting her claim of sex discrimination in a university’s distribution of coveted teaching assignments. Baugh v. Robert Morris University, No. 2016-cv-430 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 11, 2018). Jeanne Baugh, a computer programming professor at Robert Morris … Continue Reading

Jury Award of Emotional Distress Damages Must Be Reduced by Millions, Judge Rules

A federal judge in New York has ruled that a plaintiff could recover only a small portion of the $2.5 million a jury awarded him, granting the defendant’s request for the reduction. Saber v. New York State Department of Financial Services, No. 1:15-cv-05944 (S.D. N.Y. July 20, 2018).  Plaintiff Nasser Saber, who is Muslim, had … Continue Reading
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