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Author Archives: Alan Cooper

Student scores $5M verdict against The Virginian-Pilot (access required)

Patrick Bristol, a student at Chesapeake’s Great Bridge High School, told a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot that fellow student Kevin Webb routinely shoved and taunted him at school. The Pilot reported that allegation as fact, an assertion that Webb denied ...

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Melendez-Diaz found not guilty

The U.S. Supreme Court case of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts was one of the bigger criminal cases of the previous decade in establishing that laboratory experts generally must testify in person rather than by affidavit. But what happened to Luis Melendez-Diaz, ...

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Court to rehear case decided in September (access required)

Indemnification agreements in construction contracts and just what they mean for the parties and their insurers is challenging material for the best lawyer, so you folks who bothered to read and comprehend Uniwest Construction Inc. v. Amtech Elevator Services Inc. ...

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Court short-handed for writ panels (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia is grappling with a lack of bench strength. The court was able to muster only two three-justice panels rather than the usual three today to hear about 80 10-minute arguments in support of petitions for ...

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Legislative attack on ‘inherent authority’ of courts is killed (access required)

A Senate Courts of Justice subcommittee has killed the legislative effort to reverse the Supreme Court of Virginia’s recent decision that state judges have the authority to defer judgment and later dismiss charges. Prosecutors and representatives of law enforcement groups ...

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Court realignment dead for the year

There will be no legislation this year to realign the state’s judicial circuits and districts. But Bill Janis, R-Henrico, the patron of HB 1990, said he believes that he and Sen. John S. Edwards, D-Roanoke, “got the ball rolling” to ...

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Cuccinelli opinion appears to help Capital One

Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, appears to be looking out for a constituent and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is helping him out. Janis asked Cuccinelli for an official opinion on whether credit card agreements governed by Virginia law are written contracts ...

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Court holds attorney could collect fees (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled today in an unpublished order that a trial judge erred in dismissing the effort of an Arlington attorney to collect his fees in one of two cases in which he represented a woman. In ...

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Hernandez prompts separate interview sessions for high court (access required)

A legislative session to interview candidates for a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Virginia split – literally – over the court’s recent decision in Hernandez v. Commonwealth. That case held that judges can defer entering judgment in criminal cases ...

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Senate, House to reconcile how to thaw judicial freeze (access required)

Come, let us reason together. It’s time for the “reconciliation” process. The Senate Finance and House Appropriations committees have some serious reconciling to do on the freeze on filling judicial vacancies. The Senate committee would melt the freeze by appropriating ...

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