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Author Archives: Robert Smithmidford

Gov. Allen's '95 budget stiffs VSB (access required)

The Virginia State Bar’s uphill climb for relief from budget restrictions became a little steeper last week with the release of Gov. George F. Allen’s proposed budget for 1995-96. The 1994 General Assembly imposed a freeze on dues and staffing ...

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One strike and you're in (access required)

A common criminal defense motion used to preserve an appeal based on insufficient evidence may not be necessary, according to a Court of Appeals ruling. By a 2-1 vote, the judges held that a renewed motion to strike is not ...

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Plaintiffs gain leverage with UIM ruling (access required)

Plaintiffs’ attorneys may gain new leverage with underinsured motorist carriers under a Fredericksburg Circuit Court bench ruling that has sent ripples throughout the auto-accident bar. The holding: Once a liability insurance carrier tenders the limits of its policy, it no ...

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Plaintiff claims breach by defendant's carrier (access required)

An injured plaintiff can sue a defendant’s insurance carrier for failure to settle a claim up to the policy’s limits, a Charlottesville Circuit judge has ruled. The case appears to provide the first state court ruling that an injured party ...

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New law prompts wrangling over when to plead guilty (access required)

Virginia’s bifurcated-trial statute is less than six months old, but already defense attorneys are finding tactics to soften its blow. Prosecutors are trying to ensure that the window to use those tactics is not open for long. The new law, ...

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AG names 175 lawyers as outside counsel for state (access required)

Attorney General James S. Gilmore III last week named 175 private attorneys as qualified to handle cases for state agencies. Outside counsel earn between $5 million and $10 million annually for legal work for the commonwealth. The outside counsel, chosen ...

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State disabilities act provides sole remedy (access required)

An accountant cannot sue her former employer under state common law for allegedly firing her because she had chronic fatigue syndrome, a Richmond U.S. District Court judge has ruled. The accountant had sued the employer, claiming that she was wrongfully ...

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Carrier tenders limits, walks away (access required)

An automobile liability carrier that tenders policy limits can be relieved of its duty to defend an automobile accident case, a Fredericksburg circuit judge has ruled. A 1988 amendment to Virginia’s uninsured motorist insurance law creates a statutory right allowing ...

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Mediation can succeed in contract disputes (access required)

It started out as a noisy contract struggle featuring two major Richmond-area hospitals and a pediatric heart surgeon, represented by some of the state’s largest law firms. It was resolved almost quietly with a mediated agreement earlier this month, with ...

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Voters set 10-year limitation for child sexual-abuse suits (access required)

Voters have re-established a 10-year period for bringing suits for past childhood sexual abuse. The constitutional amendment that was passed in the general election earlier this month revives the ability of plaintiffs to file suit for injuries from childhood sexual ...

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