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Amicus Briefs Filed in Title VII Sex Discrimination/Retaliation Case

The case I mentioned in my June 30 post, Villa v. Cavamezze Grill LLC, is moving forward.  The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers’ Association (MWELA) have filed Amicus briefs supporting my clients’ position. Amicus briefs, also known as friend of the court briefs, are filed by individuals or entities who are not a party to the particular case, but who are concerned that others will be affected by the outcome of the case.…

Appeal Filed in Important Title VII Sex Discrimination/Retaliation Case

I recently filed a brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of my client, who was fired from her job as a first line manager at a District of Columbia area restaurant chain for telling top company management that one of her subordinates at the company had reported to her that she had been offered a raise by a senior manager in exchange for sex.  In my view this case has substantial implications for the effective enforcement…

Success in the D.C. Court of Appeals

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has issued a decision in favor of my client on a case involving important First Amendment issues. DISCLAIMER A D.C. Superior Court Judge had ruled that my client had committed the crime of stalking by posting on the internet the fact that a complaining individual had had an affair with my client’s wife.  The complainant was upset that this truthful information had hurt his representation.  The trial court ruled that my client had…

Brief in First Amendment Case Filed

I have filed an appellate brief in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on behalf of my client in what I believe is an important free speech case.  The case deals with the extent that the District’s anti-stalking law can be used to restrict speech and raises important First Amendment issues. I discussed the case in an earlier blog post. Opposing counsel’s brief is due at the end of August.  A redacted copy of the brief I filed is…

Successful Motion to Reverse Criminal Conviction Under D.C.’s Innocence Protection Act

I recently prevailed in a motion to have a client’s felony conviction reversed on grounds of actual innocence under the District of Columbia’s Innocence Protection Act (D.C. Code § 22–4135). Disclaimer A jury had convicted my client, who was then represented by different counsel, on charges of failing to appear at a hearing related to pending criminal charges.  Such a failure to appear is a violation of D.C.’s Bail Reform Act.  The client was sentenced to two years’ incarceration for that…

Appellate Case Challenges Constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s Anti-Stalking Law

I currently represent a client (let’s call him “Client”) in an interesting First Amendment case pending before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Another person (let’s call him “Petitioner”) had a brief sexual affair with my client’s spouse.  My client learned about this affair and sent emails to a small number of persons indicating that Petitioner (who he named) had had such an affair.  He also posted several internet blog posts in which he described his feelings, his views…

Matthew Kaplan Appointed to CJA Appeals Panel

I am pleased that I have been appointed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to its Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel.  As an appellate CJA attorney I will represent indigent individuals who have been criminally convicted in federal courts. The appointment came after a lengthy and apparently thorough selection process by the court. The Richmond-based Fourth Circuit is responsible for federal cases in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  The Courts of Appeals are the intermediate federal appellate courts,…

Arguing Before the D.C. Court of Appeals – Eyewitness Identification

On November 4 I appeared on behalf of my client at an oral argument before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which is D.C.’s equivalent of a state supreme court.  At issue was exclusion of expert testimony about the accuracy of witness identification. Disclaimer The central legal dispute in the case, United States v. Parada, No. 12-CF-1583, is whether my client’s criminal conviction arising from an armed robbery should be overturned because of the trial court’s exclusion of expert testimony…

Virginia Landlords Are Not Responsible for Safety of their Tenants According to Virginia Supreme Court

A just released Virginia Supreme Court decision will further Virginia’s reputation as a landlord-friendly jurisdiction.  In the case, Steward v. Holland Family Properties, LLC, the state’s highest court upheld a lower court ruling that a landlord was not liable for severe injuries to a child of tenants who rented a single-family home.  The child had ingested lead from peeling lead paint in the home. The landlord had informed the tenants of the possibility of lead in the house prior to…

Virginia Supreme Court Says Default Judgment Can be Entered Against Defendant Who Knows Nothing Of Lawsuit

The message of a somewhat surprising recent Virginia Supreme Court decision, Specialty Hospitals Of Washington v. Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Inc., is clear:  anyone sued in a Virginia court had better file a timely response to the lawsuit—whether or not they actually know that they have been sued. The case arose when Rappahannock Goodwill Industries (RGI) filed a complaint against Specialty Hospitals in Fredericksburg Circuit Court for Specialty Hospitals’ alleged failure to pay for linen and laundry services that RGI had provided…