Here’s what was happening this past week…
The week may have been a day short, if your office observed Columbus Day on Monday. Judging from the number of cars in downtown Richmond that day, it doesn’t look like Columbus is getting that much respect, even if he gets a federal holiday.
The Latest on the Northern Virginia Episcopal Church Spat
The Supreme Court of Virginia has granted a writ to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, which lost a lawsuit over millions of dollars in property. Nine congregations in Northern Virginia, unhappy with the direction of the dicocese and the national Episcopal church, broke away, taking their buildings and property with them. A Fairfax circuit judge said they could do that. Now the high court gets a say. (Washington Post)
Clemency for The DC Sniper?
John Allen Muhammad, the convicted DC sniper sitting on death row, will seek clemency from Gov. Tim Kaine next week, according to his lawyer. Good luck on that one. (News & Messenger)
Tommy and Bill and William and Mary
The attorney general’s office usually represents the commonwealth’s colleges, but the College of William & Mary has its own stable of lawyers, including Sen. Tommy Norment. Norment’s pay from the College – he gets $160K a year to serve as a part-time teacher and legal advisor – had him in the headlines this week. Expect to hear more from AG Bill Mims on this story, which won’t be going away soon. (The Virginian-Pilot)
A Win for the First Amendment
The taxpayers in Buchanan County will be little poorer, thanks to their county school board, if a verdict holds up on appeal. Three years ago, the school board voted to bar a newspaper publisher from school property; he said they were retaliating for critical news coverage and responded with a lawsuit claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights were violated. A federal jury in Abingdon agreed with the guy and gave him $200,000. The board’s lawyer will be heading to the 4th Circuit. (Bristol Herald Courier)
Sign o’ the Times in Southside
Down in Martinsville, Commonwealth’s Attorney Joan Ziglar will have to furlough all employees in her office for 17 days under a city budget cut plan. The city was hit hard by budgets cut made by Gov. Tim Kaine. (Martinsville Bulletin)
Comings and Goings
Item 1. There’s no surprise here. Tim Heaphy has been unanimously confirmed as U.S. Attorney for the Western District. (Main Justice).
Item 2. Richmond City Attorney Norman Sales announced he’ll retire from that job at the end of the year, after four years in the post. Sales, 51, says he plans to continuing working, just not for the city. (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
Item 3. Sands Anderson Marks & Miller will be leaving the Wytestone Plaza Building at the corner of 8th in Main in downtown Richmond and moving to the Bank of America building down the street after the turn of the year.
Roanoke lawyer Chip Magee, appointed as receiver for the bankruptcy practice of Anne Marie Miller, whose office was essentially shut down by court orders. Magee said it may take two years to sort things out. (Roanoke Times)