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Author Archives: Paul Fletcher

Third party can sue for bad faith (access required)

A couple can bring a claim as third-party beneficiaries against an insurance company for breach of its duty of good faith and fair dealing, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled. The insurance company delayed payment on a claim for damage ...

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UCC accord needs more than endorsement as 'paid in full' (access required)

Even though a widow tendered a check to a hospital marked with a note that cashing it would mean a “full/final settlement of all claims,” she cannot claim accord and satisfaction of her debt, a Richmond Circuit judge has ruled. ...

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Lawyer can't say 'fraud' to impeach during cross (access required)

A lawyer seeking to impeach a car-crash plaintiff on the witness stand cannot raise the fact that she had a prior conviction for fraud, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in a case of first impression. In 1971, the high ...

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Jury instruction taken off headnote created error (access required)

Lawyers and judges who stray from the Model Jury Instructions have a new imperative: When writing instructions taken from cases, make sure the headnotes of the case match the actual language of a decision. A man convicted of sodomy earned ...

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Alexandria J&DR Court won't hear gay domestic violence (access required)

The three circuit judges in Alexandria have decided that a homosexual couple cannot use the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court for a domestic violence dispute. Alexandria apparently is now the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia that does not allow same-sex ...

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Bankruptcy Law: Lawyer can't charge for preparing bill (access required)

During a bankruptcy case, a professional such as a lawyer or an accountant cannot charge for time spent preparing a detailed fee application, a federal bankruptcy judge in Richmond has ruled. Judges in the Western District reimburse professionals for time ...

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Going slowly and weaving justify stop (access required)

A police officer can stop a driver who was weaving and going slowly, the Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled in a case of first impression. Because the investigatory stop was permissible, the court upheld the defendant’s conviction for driving ...

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Out-of-state lawsuit tolls statute of limitations (access required)

A personal-injury lawsuit originally filed in Texas tolls the Virginia statute of limitations, a federal judge in Roanoke has ruled in a case of first impression. Courts across the country have split on the issue of whether a case filed ...

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Venue "getting personal" in the city of Richmond (access required)

The oft-fabled generosity of Richmond jurors has prompted numerous battles over whether venue in a personal-injury case is proper within the city limits or in one of the supposedly stingier surrounding counties. The Virginia Code sets out a number of ...

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Unloaded firearm is not dangerous instrumentality (access required)

An unloaded gun is not a dangerous instrumentality, a Stafford County Circuit judge has ruled in a case of first impression. In a case involving three boys who were playing with a gun that went off, the judge found that ...

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