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Supreme Court grants 6 civil, 3 criminal appeals

Among the appeals granted recently by the Supreme Court of Virginia is a contention that a Fairfax County Circuit judge erred in allowing a corporate defendant to assert repudiation as a defense to its former president’s breach of contract claim, Robert P. Bennett v. Sage Payment Solutions Inc., Record No. 100199.

The president submitted a letter suggesting he would leave if he wasn’t paid more. The company interpreted that as a voluntary resignation, but the president contended he was due severance benefits because he was terminated without cause.

Other civil appeals granted include:
Fox Rest Associates LP v. Anne B. Little, Record No. 100434, a contention that a Henrico County Circuit Court judge erred in striking the evidence on a claim that a debtor had fraudulently conveyed assets to accounts he held jointly with his wife.
Donald L. Gunter v. Robbie S. Martin, Record No. 100305, a challenge to the ruling by a Colonial Heights Circuit Court judge that an effort by an out-of-wedlock child to win partition of real estate was res judicata to an earlier suit to determine paternity by a decedent.
Gardiner S. Mulford v. Walnut Hill Farm Group LLC, Record No. 100333, a contention that a Culpeper County Circuit judge erred in finding a “travelway” to a landlocked tract was neither a public right of way nor an easement by prescription.
Wilma L. Ruby v. Cashnet Inc., Record No. 100287, a challenge to a ruling by a Shenandoah County Circuit Court judge that a payday loan was not a refinance or renewal because it was made immediately after a previous loan was paid off. The ruling preceded an amendment by the General Assembly that declared such transactions to be refinancings.
Ford Motor Company v. John T. Gordon Jr., Record No. 100070, a workers’ compensation case involving the statute of limitations in which an employee has to make an application for a change in the status of his benefits.

Among the criminal cases that the court agreed to hear are:

Anthony Dale Crawford v. Commonwealth, Record No. 100202, a murder case with a host of issues, including a holding by an en banc Virginia Court of Appeals that an affidavit by a murder victim to obtain a protective order was not testimonial.
Guy Anthony Banks v. Commonwealth, Record No. 092455, involving a defendant who had the misfortune to be arrested in his apartment on a cold day. A considerate policeman grabbed a jacket for the defendant, who was a felon, and it had a pistol in it. He contends that the seizure of the pistol violated the Fourth Amendment.
Antoine Lanier Hall v. Commonwealth, Record No. 100160, a contention that a defendant was improperly convicted of felony escape by force and violence. He wrested himself from the grasp of a policeman who was trying to handcuff him but did not otherwise use force on the officer.

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