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 significant and hard-fought litigation, it is not uncommon for parties to reach a settlement that includes an agreement to jointly move the court to vacate earlier rulings on key motions in the case. For a settling plaintiff that lost the earlier ruling, vacatur can be important to preserve potential claims against other defendants. Likewise, vacatur of an adverse ruling against a defendant allows that defendant to contest the issue in future cases. For the party that prevailed on the motion, there is often little incentive to oppose an agreement to request vacatur if it is part of an otherwise favorable settlement agreement.
On June 12, the Richmond Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Lunch and Learn panel for chapter members, area practitioners, and special guests — the Honorable Mark R. Colombell and the Honorable Summer L. Speight, the Richmond Division’s newest magistrate judge sworn in earlier this year. With her appointment, Judge Speight returns to the Richmond Division, having begun her legal career there as a law clerk for the Honorable M. Hannah Lauck. Before receiving her appointment as a magistrate judge, Judge Speight served as a partner with McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, VA. There, she counseled and represented employers in all aspects of employment-related litigation, traditional labor law, employee benefits, and ERISA litigation.
On May 17, in an apparent case of first impression in the Fourth Circuit, an Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) judge granted an “anti-suit injunction,” barring a plaintiff from filing suit on a claim in any other jurisdiction throughout the world. Sing Fuels PTE Ltd. v. M/V Lila Shanghai, 534 F.Supp.3d 551 (E.D. Va. 2023)
In perhaps the first case addressing transfer of a federal antitrust action to an MDL court, Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Alexandria Division of the EDVA recently denied a motion to transfer an antitrust action against Google brought by the federal government and eight states, including Virginia. United States v. Google LLC, Case No. 1:23CV108 (LMB/JFA), 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42231 (E.D. Va. March 14, 2023).