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Author Archives: Alan Cooper

New futures commission convenes, sets timetable (access required)

Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan recalled that the first commission on the future of Virginia’s judicial system recommended in May 1989 that the court system embrace the concept of alternative dispute resolution. Despite the recommendation, “We were thinking, ...

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Judge remedies contempt (access required)

For nearly three years, Matthew P. Epperly did nothing to clean up the automobile graveyard on his—and his neighbors’—property in Montgomery County, despite several court orders that he do so. So Circuit Judge Ray W. Grubbs found Epperly in criminal ...

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Directed trustee had no ?duty to second guess' (access required)

“Proper” doesn’t mean “prudent,” according to a federal judge’s analysis of the fiduciary duty of a directed trustee to the participants in the 401(k) retirement plan for employees of US Airways Inc. US District Judge T.S. Ellis III reached that ...

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Back to the future (access required)

An advisory committee for the creation of a family court in Virginia has finished its deliberations with a recommendation for a structure similar to that first proposed 12 years ago. That recommendation will go Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr. ...

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Zoning case settled before it reaches Supreme Court (access required)

A Norfolk case that had piqued the interest of the zoning bar disappeared from the Supreme Court of Virginia’s September argument docket when it was settled two weeks before the hearing. At issue was whether the Virginia Beach zoning administrator ...

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Virginia's jury procedures examined, lauded by panel (access required)

When it comes to peremptory challenges and jury sentencing, a Colorado trial judge told Virginia circuit judges last week, “You’re doing it almost completely right.” That comment by Judge Morris B. Hoffman of Denver followed a presentation by Paula Hannaford-Agor ...

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Veteran P.D. joins Defense Commission (access required)

Six months after passing the bar exam, David J. Johnson represented a murder defendant. “I was so inexperienced that I didn’t realize that shouldn’t happen,” Johnson recalled. Part of his new job as deputy director of the Indigent Defense Commission ...

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Rules panel gets to work (access required)

Most members of a committee appointed to recommend changes in Virginia’s rules of appellate procedure agreed last week that they need a lot of work. Several members said the rules contain far too many traps for the unwary and pointed ...

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JIRC to high court: Censure or remove Judge Elliott (access required)

The Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission has recommended that the Supreme Court of Virginia censure or remove Portsmouth General District Judge Archie Elliott. The commission, which investigates whether a judge has violated judicial ethics, removed Elliott from the bench ...

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Pact barring work for any other CIA contractor struck (access required)

The departure of a security guard from one company to become an administrative assistant at another hardly seems like the type of case that would involve two large law firms, much less result in a 4-3 decision from the Supreme ...

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