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U.S. Court of Appeals to hear arguments at WVU Law

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — A panel of judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will convene at the West Virginia University College of Law on Wednesday, October 7, in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom.

The judges will hear arguments in a civil case and two sentencing guidelines cases beginning at 9 a.m. Each case is allotted 40 minutes (20 minutes per side). At the end of all three cases, the judges will take questions from the audience. 

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and anyone else interested in the law to see a federal appellate court in action,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the West Virginia University College of Law. “We deeply appreciate the court’s willingness to come to West Virginia University and provide us with this valuable learning experience.”

The civil case before the court is Kimberly McKinnish v. Patrick Donahoe. It tackles the question of whether a district court properly applied Vance v. Ball State University to dispose of the plaintiff’s sexual harassment claim. Vance v. Ball State University is a United State Supreme Court decision that narrowly interprets the term “supervisor” in harassment cases.

The first sentencing guidelines case the judges will hear is United States v. Lance Williams. It addressees whether the defendant qualified for a sentence reduction even though his original sentence was based on a statutory minimum.

The second sentencing case on the docket is United States v. Albert Hardy, Jr. It poses the question of whether a district court properly calculated the extent of a defendant’s sentence reduction.

Attendees to the court should be seated by 8:50 a.m. Attire is business casual and backpacks are not allowed in the courtroom. After court starts, visitors must enter or exit the courtroom between cases to avoid undue disruption. Electronic devices must be turned off or in silent mode. Audio recording, video recording, and photography are not permitted in the courtroom.

Established in 1891, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is located in the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Courthouse in Richmond, Va. Its jurisdiction is Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.



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