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$420,000 malpractice verdict awarded against divorce lawyer

A Newport News jury has awarded $420,000 to a woman who contended that an attorney mishandled her divorce case.

The attorney, Amy M.P. VanFossen, who was practicing with Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly PC at the time, failed to preserve her client’s right to spousal support.

VanFossen testified that she made a mistake in thinking that the final decree contained an unrestricted reservation of a right to spousal support, as an earlier draft had. Instead, it only allowed spousal support for a change of circumstances.

Although both the woman and her husband, the former pastor of Holy Tabernacle Church of Deliverance, had filed for bankruptcy, her attorney, Jeremiah A. Denton III, contended that VanFossen should have asked for income to be imputed to the husband because he had voluntarily left the church.

The Daily Press has details.

By Alan Cooper

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