Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

TOPA Update – Single-Family Homes, DC Legislation Passed

This is an update from the articles posted March 9, April 4, April 6, and April 10, 2018 relating to Single-Family Homes – DC Legislation Proposed to Exclude from TOPA. The District of Columbia Council passed legislation today, April 10, 2018, that excludes single-family homes from TOPA. Bill 22-315, was first introduced last... Read More >

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Court Strikes Portion Of Immigration and Naturalization Act as Void for Vagueness

In one of Justice Scalia’s last majority opinions before his death, the Court held that part of a federal law defining “violent crime” was unconstitutionally void for vagueness in Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S. --- (2015). The Immigration and Nationality Act similarly provided that a person could be deported for committing an “aggravated felony,” which included a “crime of... Read More >

DC Reduced Rate of Recordation Tax – Applies to Revocable Trust

The District recently passed legislation which reduces the Recordation Tax for most first-time homebuyers.  The Recordation Tax for a “first-time District homebuyer” purchasing “eligible property” is reduced to 0.725% (transfer taxes owed by the seller of 1.1% or 1.45% are unchanged) for houses and, for transfers of economic interests in a housing cooperative unit (co-op unit), the recordation tax rate is... Read More >

TOPA – Proposal to eliminate Bankruptcy and Court-Order Exemptions

Earlier this month, Bill 22-0739 was introduced to the District of Columbia Council. The Bill is named the TOPA Bankruptcy Tenant Displacement Prevention Amendment Act of 2018. The Bill seeks to amend the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act to remove TOPA’s exemption of bankruptcy sales and to require owners of property acquired via court order to submit to TOPA... Read More >

Court Awards Qualified Immunity To Officer Who Shot Woman Claiming Excessive Force

In Kisela v. Hughes, officers reporting to a call of a woman acting erratically with a large knife discovered Ms. Hughes emerging from her house with a knife in her hand, heading toward another woman, Ms. Chadwick, who it turned out was Hughes’ roommate. Hughes stopped six feet from Chadwick, and the officers drew their firearms and told Hughes... Read More >

Service Advisors Are Exempt From Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime-Pay Requirement

The Fair Labor Standards Act exempted “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles” from overtime-pay requirements under the Act. In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, a group of service advisors sued for overtime pay under the Act when the Department of Labor decided in 2011 that they were excluded from the exemption. The Court... Read More >

Art Burger To Teach Class: Grappling with Conflicts

Arthur D. Burger, Chair of Jackson & Campbell’s Professional Responsibility Practice Group, will be teaching a DC Bar CLE Course. The course, Grappling with Conflicts : How to Spot Them and What To Do About Them will be taught by Webinar on May 8, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. His co-panelist will be Julia Porter, Esq., Senior Assistant... Read More >

Court Rejects Fifth Circuit’s “Substantial Need” Test For Funding Under 18 U.S.C. sec. 3599(f)

Under 18 U.S.C. sec. 3599(f), a defendant charged with a crime punishable by death can petition the trial court for funds that would be “reasonably necessary” for investigative, expert, or other services needed for the defense. In Ayestas v. Davis, a man sentenced to death made such a petition to support his federal habeas claim for ineffective assistance of... Read More >

Government Must Prove Specific Interference With Targeted Tax-Related Proceedings For Tax Obstruction Charge

IRS code makes it a crime under 26 U.S.C. sec. 7212(a) to “obstruct or impede, or endeavor to obstruct or impede, the due administration of” the Internal Revenue Code, either “corruptly or by force or threats of force.” The IRS investigated Carlo Marinello, and ultimately charged him with several violations of the tax code, including for tax obstruction under Section... Read More >

DC Super-Priority Lien on a Condo Cannot Foreclose Subject to First Priority Mortgage

Following from its decision in Chase Plaza Condominium Assoc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 98 A.3d 166 (DC 2014), in which the DC Court of Appeals held that a DC condominium foreclosing on its statutory six-month super-priority lien could by law extinguish an otherwise first-priority mortgage when the proceeds of the sale were insufficient to satisfy that mortgage, the Court was... Read More >

Art Burger to Participate on Panel, Ethics in a Changing World

On April 24 at 6:00 p.m. Arthur D. Burger, Chair of Jackson & Campbell’s Professional Responsibility Practice Group, will participate on a panel before the Federal Communications Bar Association for a CLE course entitled:  Ethics in a Changing World. Mr. Burger and the other panelists will discuss ethical issues attorneys should consider when changing firms, or when hiring lateral... Read More >

Court Restricts Collections Efforts Under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

In Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, certain parties obtained a judgment against Iran under the state sponsors of terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. They then sought to enforce that judgment against Iranian historical artifacts housed at the University of Chicago. The district court declined to permit the attachment, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Court,... Read More >

Guilty Plea Does Not Bar A Constitutional Challenge To Conviction

Class v. United States When Rodney Class was indicted for possessing firearms in his locked vehicle parked at the U.S. Capitol, he moved to dismiss on the basis that the law violated his Second Amendment and Due Process rights under the Constitution. The district court declined Class’ motion, and he entered into a written plea agreement, which did not expressly... Read More >

Court Reads Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Law Narrowly, Excludes Internal Whistleblower

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers In 2014, Paul Somers, a vice president for a real estate investment trust, reported to senior management several suspected securities-law violations by the trust. He was subsequently terminated. He brought suit claiming protection as a whistleblower as defined under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which defines whistleblowers as... Read More >

United States Permitted To Intervene In Water Dispute Between States

In an original action concerning water rights agreed to between several states under the Rio Grande Compact, Texas argued that New Mexico was permitting its users to siphon off more water than the Compact permitted. The United States sought to intervene, making the same claims as Texas, in part because New Mexico’s actions depleted a reservoir through which the Government... Read More >

Insider Status In Bankruptcy Reviewed For Clear Error, Not De Novo

In U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC, the Village petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with two primary creditors, U.S. Bank and an insider owner. It needed consent to enter into a “cramdown” reorganization plan, but U.S. Bank refused to consent, and the insider was statutorily unable to provide consent. To fix the problem, the insider owner transferred... Read More >

Immigrants Detained By The Government Not Entitled To Bond Hearings

Under immigration law, applicants for admission to the United States may be detained by the Government until certain proceedings have concluded. Nothing in the applicable statutes limit the duration of detention, nor mention bond hearings. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, an immigrant filed a habeas corpus suit arguing that he should be entitled to a bond hearing once his detention... Read More >

Court Narrows Bankruptcy Safe Harbor Provision

In Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., the Court addressed 11 U.S.C. sec. 548(e), which allows bankruptcy trustees to set aside and recover certain transfers for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate, but not a “settlement payment . . . made by or to (or for the benefit of) a . . . financial institution . ... Read More >

Key Provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts

By:  Nancy Ortmeyer Kuhn, Esq. The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” or “TCJA” is the new tax law effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2018 or later.  TCJA has many interconnected parts and it is not yet completely clear how some of these parts will co-exist to impact certain taxpayers.  Already, many questions have arisen regarding interpretation of terms and... Read More >

Southern District Heightens Lawyers’ Duties in Preventing Spoliation of Evidence by Clients

In Industrial Quick Search, Inc. et al. v. Miller, Rosado & Algois, LLP et al., January 2, 2018, the Southern District of New York issued a decision underscoring the importance of lawyers paying early attention to the need for imposing “litigation holds,” being proactive in ensuring compliance with such holds, and making a clear record of steps taken with... Read More >

Art Burger to Moderate Panel at ABA National Conference

Arthur D. Burger, Chair of Jackson & Campbell’s Professional Responsibility Practice Group, will be the moderator on a Panel at the 44th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility. The panel will be on Friday, June 1 during the Conference in Louisville, KY from May 30-June 1 of 2018.  Art’s Panel, When Clients Go Rogue will feature speakers Carol... Read More >

Challenges to EPA “Waters of the United States” Rule Must Be Filed In Federal District Court

The Clean Water Act limits the discharge of pollutants into “navigable waters,” which is defined by Congress as “the waters of the United States.” The EPA issued a Rule to define that term. While most agency rules are properly challenged in the federal district courts, the Act required challenges to rules issuing “any effluent limitation” or “issuing or denying any... Read More >

Court Holds That Tolling Statute “Stopped The Clock” On State Law Claims, Instead Of Providing A “Grace Period”

In Artis v. District of Columbia, Artis filed a suit against D.C. in federal court with a federal discrimination claim and some state claims. Two and a half years later, the district court dismissed the federal claim, and with it dismissed the state claims for lack of jurisdiction. Under 28 USC sec. 1367(d), the “period of limitations” for re-filing the... Read More >

Court Finds Probable Cause To Arrest Partygoers For Unlawful Entry

When police officers busted a raucous party being held in a vacant house, some of the partygoers said that “Peaches” owned the house and allowed the party. On the phone, though, Peaches admitted she had no such authority, and the true owner told police he had never given anyone permission to be there. The officers arrested the partygoers for violating... Read More >

Administrator looking at altered medical records

Health Care Providers’ Altered Medical Records Results in Attorney’s Disbarment

Delaware Supreme Court Rules on Malpractice Case Concerning Altered Medical Records The Supreme Court of Delaware disbarred a lawyer who had been practicing for more than three decades, with no prior disciplinary record, after he failed to produce the original version of altered medical records and then failed to correct the sworn testimony of the physician and physician’s assistant who altered... Read More >