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Author Archives: Robert Smithmidford

Richmond judges split on use of sovereign immunity (access required)

Can a plaintiff sue an independent contractor working for a city or the state? Or can the contractor cloak itself in sovereign immunity? In Richmond, the answer may depend on which judge hears the case. During a two-week span, two ...

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Attorneys, settlement services trade barbs (access required)

The simmering feud in Virginia between real estate attorneys and settlement services has reached a full boil. And it is likely to spill over into the halls of the 1996 General Assembly. While the Virginia Real Estate Attorneys League was ...

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Comp covers man shot in bad part of town (access required)

The family of a custodian who was shot as he drove through a “dangerous” part of Leesburg after picking up his paycheck is entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits, the Court of Appeals has ruled. The town manager testified for ...

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No affidavits for summary judgment (access required)

A last-minute plea by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association may have helped sink a proposal to allow affidavits to support summary judgment. The Virginia Supreme Court rejected the proposal without explanation. The VTLA submitted written comments to the court after ...

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'Pay-when-paid' clause OK in building contract (access required)

“Pay-when-paid” construction contracts are legal, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled. Under these contracts, a general contractor does not pay a subcontractor until the owner actually pays him. But the parties must have agreed that payment by the owner to ...

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ECOA doesn't help wife who signed release (access required)

A wife who guaranteed a loan to her husband’s business, then signed a broad release when the loan was refinanced, could not use the Equal Credit Opportunity Act as a defense to the lender’s collection action in Richmond. The case ...

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NOVA Law: UPL change reconciles rule, business reality (access required)

A Baltimore attorney without a Virginia license has a corporate client. The attorney routinely advises the corporation on products liability issues arising around the country. Once in a while the attorney goes to one of the corporation’s offices, located in ...

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Loudoun plaintiff can't reach statement to carrier (access required)

Can a plaintiff get a statement taken after an accident by an insurance company or business? The issue is not a new one, but it has been getting more attention this year thanks to a pair of opinions from Northern ...

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Notice of state tort claim needn't pinpoint location (access required)

A notice of a tort claim against the commonwealth need not state the precise location where an injury occurred, a Fairfax Circuit judge has ruled. Instead, a notice that indicates the nature and location of an injury by “a fair ...

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DUI Double Jeopardy defense hits the ditch (access required)

The Court of Appeals rejected the DUI Double Jeopardy defense in an opinion issued last week. An 8-1 majority ruled that a license suspension after a driver is arrested for DUI does not constitute punishment that will trigger double jeopardy ...

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