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Author Archives: Harrison Osborne

Public clinic doctor has sovereign immunity (access required)

A woman whose breast cancer worsened as a result of a delayed diagnosis could not sue a doctor employed by a state health clinic for medical malpractice, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled. The court, in a 4-3 decision, held ...

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Mandatory IOLTA approved (access required)

IOLTA is mandatory in Virginia as of Oct. 1, following action by the Virginia Supreme Court last week. A sharply divided court voted 4-3 to adopt the controversial Virginia State Bar proposal that will require most practicing attorneys to maintain ...

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No. Va. lawyers likely to encounter non-English-speaking clients (access required)

The likelihood that a criminal defense attorney in Northern Virginia will be called upon to defend a client who does not speak English is growing. The number of non-English-speaking defendants is on the rise, particularly in jurisdictions such as Fairfax ...

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Fax Poll: IOLTA opposed, 83-17% (access required)

As the Virginia Supreme Court prepares to hear argument on the mandatory IOLTA proposal later this week, lawyers responding to a Virginia Lawyers Weekly fax poll overwhelmingly reject the idea. Eighty-three percent of the 930 respondents oppose the IOLTA proposal ...

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Practice Tips: Attacking late attestation of DUI form (access required)

In an effort to shut the door on a successful technical defense that lawyers had been using to defeat drunken driving charges, some prosecutors have been asking the state forensics lab to attest to blood test certificates after they have ...

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Evaluations aid settlement in Fairfax pilot program (access required)

Lawyers often call other attorneys for an objective opinion on a case they are about to try. A new progarm in Fairfax would institutionalize that practice in an effort to reduce the circuit court’s heavy caseload. Jurisdictions looking for ways ...

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Popular DUI case provides highly successful defense (access required)

A Spotsylvania County circuit court decision issued in March has been providing DUI defense lawyers with a highly successful technical defense to drunken driving charges. Spotsylvania Circuit Court Judge William H. Ledbetter Jr., in a matter of apparent first impression, ...

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Social Security not part of equitable distribution (access required)

A divorce court cannot consider future Social Security benefits in making an equitable distribution award, a Fairfax circuit judge has ruled in a case of first impression. The judge held that the husband’s anticipated Social Security benefits could not be ...

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Burnette name special VSB panel to review Code of PR (access required)

The Virginia State Bar will put the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility under a microscope next year. President-Elect R. Edwin Burnette Jr. has created a special committee to conduct a critical review of the code. The committee’s mission will be ...

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Trial Strategy: Utilizing "high-low" agreements (access required)

Few attorneys relish the uncertainties of a jury trial. Plaintiffs’ attorneys fear being shut out. Defense counsel worry about runaway juries. Many cases settle precisely because of those fears. Why play “Russian roulette” with a jury trial, as one attorney ...

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