By Caroline Hamilton and Alex Prunka During the 2014­–15 school year, Caleigh Wood was an eleventh grade student at La Plata High School in Charles County, Maryland.[1]  Wood was required to take a world history course as a part of the school’s curriculum, featuring a small, five-day unit entitled “The Muslim World.”[2]  This unit was […]

By Melissa McKinney and Sarah Orwig  Facts In Spencer v. University of Virginia,[1]Zoe Spencer, Professor of Sociology at Virginia State University brought this suit against her employer alleging that she was paid less than her male colleagues, a violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.[2]Spencer earned $70,000 per year whereas the male colleagues […]

By Hayley Degnan Factual Background          In 2005, the Appellant, Eduardo Rodriguez-Arias (“Rodriguez”), fled his native country of El Salvador and unlawfully entered the United States at only twelve-years-old.[1] Before fleeing El Salvador, Rodriguez witnessed local gangs perpetuate violence against members of his family and experienced gang-related crimes firsthand; local gangs extorted his grandparents, killed […]

By Katy Thompson and Lanie Summerlin           In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. McLeod Health Inc., Cecilia Whitten (“Whitten”) was employed by McLeod Health, Inc. (“McLeod”) for twenty-eight years as the editor of McLeod’s internal employee newsletter[1].  Whitten was born with postaxial hypoplasia of the lower extremity, so she lacks certain […]

By Henry Hilston and Melissa McKinney  Facts In Netter v. Barnes,[1]the Fourth Circuit reviewed Catherine Netter’s Title VII claim against her former employer, Sheriff BJ Barnes. Catherine Netter, a black, Muslim woman,  worked as a detention services supervisor for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.[2] In April 2014, after sixteen years of maintaining a clean record, […]

Fourth Circuit Weighs in on Constitutional Challenges to Airport Metro Service Project By Agustin Martinez and Ashley Oldfield Facts In Kerpen v. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority,[1] the Fourth Circuit addressed numerous constitutional and statutory challenges to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (“MWAA”) use of toll revenues to build and fund a metro service project. Beginning […]

By Ryan C Dibilio and Robert M. Padget III Facts On August 2, 2018, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Vandevender v. Blue Ridge of Raleigh, LLC.,[1] which addressed the required standards for a business to pay punitive damages in North Carolina.  Blue Ridge Health Care Center (“Blue Ridge”) operated a nursing home with […]

By Samuel D. Gilleran and Nicholas T. Pappayliou Background On August 22, 2018, the Fourth Circuit decided United States v. Hodge,[1] clarifying whether the government may ask a district court to designate a conviction as an Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) predicate conviction, when that conviction was not so designated during the initial sentencing.  In […]

By Mackenzie Bluedorn and Jacqueline Canzoneri Relevant Facts This case began as an age discrimination claim.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) initially challenged that Baltimore County’s (“County”) retirement plan violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) because its age-based contributions required older employees to pay higher percentages of their salaries.[1]  When adopting its […]

By Hayley Degnan Facts In 2015, Ross Abbott (“Abbott”), a student from the University of South Carolina (“USC”) met with USC’s director of campus life to approve a “Free Speech Event” hosted by two student groups, intending to draw attention to free speech threats across college campuses.[1] After its approval, the event proceeded on November […]

by: Hanna Monson and Sarah Spangenburg Introduction One recent issue circulating the legal world involves whether schools can discipline students for social media posts. In January 2018, the University of Alabama expelled a nineteen-year-old freshman after she posted two videos of her racist rantings to her Instagram account.[1] Another user recorded and posted the video […]

By: Hailey Cleek & Mike Garrigan In 2014, David E. Abbott, a detective with the Manassas City Police Department in Virginia, investigated allegations that seventeen-year-old Trey Sims used his cell phone to send sexually explicit photographs and video recordings of himself to his fifteen-year-old girlfriend.[1] Detective Abbott obtained a search warrant authorizing photography of Sims’ […]