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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

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Criminal Background Checks On Jurors OK (access required)

A prosecutor is free to do criminal background checks on prospective jurors, the Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled in a case of first impression. Despite protests from defense attorneys, commonwealth’s attorneys across Virginia routinely have used records from the ...

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Jury List At Issue In Appeal (access required)

Litigators who like to get cozy with their juries often request a copy of the jury panel list ahead of time, in order to scrutinize the name, age, address, occupation and employer of each prospective juror. Under Virginia Code Sect. ...

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The Expanding Legal Roles of Grandparents (access required)

Being a grandparent, according to the popular convention, means being able to spoil your grandchildren and leave the serious child-rearing to your own children. But grandparents do not always have the luxury to love ‘em and leave ‘em. Sometimes parents ...

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Scheduling Order Approved By Court (access required)

Virginia’s uniform pretrial scheduling order goes into effect July 1, implemented through a series of rule changes adopted May 1 by the Supreme Court of Virginia. Under new Rule 1:18, parties in a civil case may agree on their own ...

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High Court Will Accept Docs On Disk (access required)

Lawyers filing petitions for appeal in the Supreme Court of Virginia may now send the court computer diskettes along with their hard copy. “To facilitate its review of cases,” Virginia’s high court “invites counsel to submit petitions for appeal and ...

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Chief Justice Touts 'Therapeutic Justice' (access required)

When Fauquier County officials cite “restorative justice” as the animating theme for their youth accountability project, they probably would get a receptive hearing from Virginia’s top judicial officer. In his state of the judiciary address delivered in Richmond on May ...

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Store Can Try Case On Lease Covenants (access required)

A drugstore can try its claim that a Virginia Beach shopping center violated a lease’s restrictive covenants by renting to a supermarket that operates both a full-service pharmacy and a photo-drop booth, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ...

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Court-Appointed Fee Cap Is Constitutional (access required)

Virginia’s statutory fee cap for court-appointed attorneys does not pose a conflict of interest that violates a criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel, the Virginia Court of Appeals held last week. The conflict-of-interest argument is premised on the fact ...

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