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Author Archives: Peter Vieth

Court records bills die at Assembly (access required)

The General Assembly will not compel Virginia courts to allow statewide searches of their case records. Bills to provide for statewide search capability failed to survive committee scrutiny in the House of Delegates. The most recent victim was House Bill ...

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Lawyer’s impairment defense falls short (access required)


A Virginia lawyer failed to deflect bar charges of dishonesty based on mishandling of a $15,000 client fee, despite a defense that depression prevented the lawyer from forming the necessary bad intent. A five-member Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board panel ...

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Assault victim’s lawsuit barred by cruise contract deadline (access required)


A woman who said she was assaulted on a cruise-sponsored field trip in India waited too long to sue the cruise company, a Charlottesville federal judge has ruled. Under maritime law, the company that ran the “Semester at Sea” cruise-and-study ...

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Legislators find common ground on court collections reform (access required)


Rocked by statistics that showed hundreds of thousands of Virginians are unable to drive because they failed to pay court debts, lawmakers largely ignored party lines last week to craft reforms in the use of driver’s license suspensions as a ...

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Sheriff sanctioned for missing video (access required)


Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody has been penalized in the courtroom and in the pocketbook for failing to preserve a jailhouse surveillance videotape that would have showed the last hours of an inmate who died after falling sick at the jail. ...

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Move to decriminalize adultery fails (access required)

A proposal to decriminalize adultery in Virginia – even with paradoxical support from The Family Foundation – failed to make it out of a General Assembly committee Wednesday. The Senate Courts Committee voted 10-4 to pass by indefinitely the measure ...

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Cost could be obstacle for court records access (access required)

Proposals to require statewide search capability for Virginia trial court records may founder in the face of cost estimates that range from $1.3 million to $1.7 million. One measure intended to open up criminal court records to statewide searches is ...

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‘Felony creep’ reform advances (access required)

A state Senate committee has once again approved a proposal to increase the grand larceny threshold in Virginia law. Senate Bill 816 – as modified in a substitute measure – would change the felony benchmark from $200 to $500. The ...

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JMU officials found liable for handling ‘misconduct’ (access required)


A federal judge last month found two James Madison University officials liable for violations of the due process rights of a student suspended for five-and-a-half years after being accused of sexual misconduct. The judge concluded on summary judgment that the ...

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Ex-lawyer sentenced to 45 years for role in home invasion (access required)

A former Virginia lawyer was sentenced to 45 years in prison for helping her husband torment her former boss and his wife in their McLean home in 2014. The sentencing of Alecia Schmuhl again brought Leo Fisher and wife Sue ...

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