March 12, 2014 4th Circuit published order

Valentine v Sugar Rock, Inc.

Valentine sued Sugar Rock for an accounting and damages from Sugar Rock’s operation of mining operations. The district court applied West Virginia law and granted judgment to Sugar Rock on the grounds that Valentine did not hold any interest evidenced by a deed or other writing in the real property being mined. During the appeal of that judgment, a West Virginia trial court ruled in a class action against Sugar Rock involving the same operations that proof of a partnership by parole evidence is sufficient to proceed with a claim for accounting and damages. The panel certified the question to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals of whether a deed or other writing is required to proceed or whether parole evidence of a partnership is sufficient to proceed.


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