oceanThis summer, attorney Lisa Michelle Kömives of BoltNagi briefed and argued a winning appeal on behalf of Defendants, Virgin Island Sailing School and its founder, H. Scott Dempster, where the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the District Court of the Virgin Islands’ (“District Court”) dismissal of trade dress infringement and unjust enrichment claims

Copyright-_all_rights_reservedIt’s easy to confuse copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents and other intellectual property protections, but they all serve quite different purposes. To effectively safeguard your work and the intellectual property that keeps your business ahead of the competition, it’s important to know the differences between these protections and which one is appropriate for your needs.

In some cases that would otherwise go before a jury, legal counsel instead recommends requesting a bench trial, in which the judge makes the final ruling. This typically occurs when either the plaintiffs or defendants do not believe they will otherwise receive a fair trial. To make this request, they must officially waive their right

Wrongful death claims are inherently complex for both sides, and in many situations it takes a jury trial to determine fault and if an employer or insurance company needs to provide compensation to the victim’s family. However, in some situations, the facts of the case are fairly clear-cut, allowing for what’s called a “summary judgment.”

When plaintiffs in auto accident cases approve an offer for damages from defendants or their insurance companies, they will likely be obligated to accept the terms, even if new information arises. On January 15, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands issued an opinion stating that the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit cannot challenge a settlement originally agreed upon with the auto insurance provider GEICO. 


Continue Reading Superior Court Rules in Favor of Defendant to Enforce Settlement Agreement

A court’s decision denying summary judgment on the defense of qualified immunity is considered to be a final judgment.  It can be appealed immediately to the extent that the denial turns on an issue of law. However, an appellate court doesn’t have jurisdiction to review that decision if an interlocutory (or interim decision before the case is concluded) appeal turns on issues of fact. The Third Circuit recently looked at this issue in the context of a terminated government employee and the defense of qualified immunity.


Continue Reading Qualified Immunity Turns on Policy Making Authority

A declaratory judgment is a court judgment which sets out the rights of parties but without ordering any action or awarding damages. Courts will entertain this motion to stop controversies with a clarification of the law at the initiation of a lawsuit instead of waiting until both parties have presented their arguments.  For instance, a corporation may request a court to decide if a new tax is applicable to their business before the company pays it.


Continue Reading Arbitrator’s Decision on Procedural Issue Stands in Hotel Case

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1) concerns a court’s subject matter jurisdiction to hear a case. You can not just bring a lawsuit where you want against someone because you want to. If a judge decides that a plaintiff doesn’t have standing or the proper connection to an injury, the court will not have jurisdiction to hear the case and must dismiss it.   


Continue Reading Standing Needed to Bring Suit in Federal Court for the U.S. Virgin Islands

Summary judgment is a decision by the judge that the claim asserted has no factual issues that need to be given to the jury, and the case may be decided as a matter of law. This rids the court of factually unsupported claims and defenses where one of the parties convinces the judge that the factual issues either do not exist or they are not material, thereby avoiding trial and allowing the judge to make the decision.  Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 56 speaks to this type of motion and states that summary judgment may be entered after adequate time for discovery against the party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party’s case, which that party would bear the burden of proof at trial.


Continue Reading Summary Judgment Used to Filter Out Unsupported Claims