On December 5, the Richmond Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Lunch and Learn panel for chapter members, area practitioners, and a special guest — the Honorable Robert E. Payne. The panel, titled “Procedural Pitfalls for Civil Practitioners in the Eastern District of Virginia: Insights from Senior Judge Robert E Payne,” was co-moderated by Tim St. George, a former Richmond Division chapter president and law clerk to Judge Payne, and David Anthony. Tim and David, both partners at Troutman Pepper, have special experience handling cases in the E.D. Va. and understand the unique rules, risks, and pitfalls for litigants practicing in this division.
In a September 22 decision, District Judge David J. Novak denied the bulk of a motion to dismiss a suit alleging that a general contractor had infringed an architectural firm’s copyright on design plans for a brewery and tasting room to be built in Williamsburg. Michael Pellis Architecture PLC v. M.L. Bell Construction LLC, Civil Action No. 3:22CV470 (DJN), 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169697 (E.D.Va. Sept. 22, 2023)
Plaintiffs who secure a preliminary injunction may now be able to recover attorney’s fees in the Eastern District of Virginia, due to the Fourth Circuit’s departure from its previous position that such plaintiffs are not “prevailing parties” for purposes of recovering attorney’s fees.
It is common in commercial litigation for a company to offer an employee as a witness to testify about the design, capabilities and features of the company’s products or services. Usually, such a witness testifies as a fact witness offering testimony based on his or her personal knowledge under Fed. R. Evid. 602, rather than as an expert witness offering opinion testimony under Fed. R. Evid. 702.
On August 23, Judge Rebecca Beach Smith issued a notable decision that serves as a stern warning to out-of-state counsel seeking to practice in the Eastern District — and, perhaps more so, to the local counsel who choose to associate with them.