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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Debt – Presumptions (access required)

Virginia’s equitable distribution statute does not create a presumption that debt incurred by an individual during a marriage is marital debt, the Supreme Court of Virginia holds in reversing the trial court and the Virginia Court of Appeals. Husband incurred ...

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Real Estate – Easement – Right of Way – Railroad – Abandonment (access required)

A 1909 agreement and deed conveyed a fee simple interest and not just a right of way to Norfolk & Western Railway Company, the Supreme Court of Virginia rules in affirming the lower court’s rejection of a property owner’s claim ...

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Real Estate – Easement – Injunctive Relief – Chain-Link Fence (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia rules that a 60-foot wide ingress and egress easement must be interpreted by its terms and reverses a lower court ruling that denied injunctive relief because the essential purpose of the easement had been met. ...

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Wills & Trusts – Life Estate – Future Interests – Conditions (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia holds that the “early-vesting” rule of will construction establishes the date at which monetary payments are required by a will, so the payments are conditions subsequent rather than conditions precedent. Testator devised a life estate ...

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Constitution does not assure ‘comfort’ with counsel

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard L. Willliams tried to do right by the defendant. Facing a firearm charge, defendant James Eugene Venable appeared in Richmond federal court to ask the judge to give him a new public defender, someone different ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – Dentist’s Pain Prescriptions – Community Service (access required)

Although federal sentencing guidelines call for 18 to 24 months in prison for a 58-year-old opiate-addicted dentist who pleaded guilty to unlawful distribution of Zydone, but an Abingdon U.S. District Court sentences him to three years’ probation, a $10,000 fine ...

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Civil Rights – Prison Inmate – Blindness – Exhaustion (access required)

A Charlottesville U.S. District Court grants summary judgment to defendant Department of Corrections because plaintiff inmate, who alleges DOC violated the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act by failing to accommodate her blindness in offering educational and recreational opportunities, failed to ...

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Civil Rights – First Amendment – Housing Project – Church ‘Entanglement’ (access required)

An Alexandria U.S. District Court dismisses an Arlington County resident’s First Amendment suit challenging the county’s involvement in a project to purchase real estate from the First Baptist Church of Clarendon and to loan money for construction of affordable housing ...

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