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Assembly fixes worrisome ‘loophole’

Appellate lawyers are known to fret about deadlines, but one source of worry has been eliminated by the 2014 General Assembly.

Eleventh-hour filers facing some holiday-season court closings had cause for concern.

The law – Va. Code § 1-210 – allowed extra time to file when a clerk’s office was closed for legal holidays or “as authorized by an act of the General Assembly.” The law said nothing about those “extra” state holidays, like the day before Thanksgiving, when the governor closes state offices on his own order.

The “loophole” has been fixed, thanks to House Bill 1160. The bill was unopposed and is now signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Beginning July 1, the law will proclaim that any day on which the governor authorizes the closing of the state government shall be considered a legal holiday.

The bill was sponsored by Del. Les Adams, a Chatham lawyer, at the request of Elwood “Sandy” Sanders at Lantagne Legal Printing.

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