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Author Archives: Robert Smithmidford

Creditor gets truck's retail value in Ch. 13 plan (access required)

Debtors who keep a pickup truck under a chapter 13 repayment plan should repay the vehicle’s current retail value from the NADA Used Car Guide, a federal judge in Big Stone Gap has ruled. The decision represents a shift in ...

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Affidavit rule sent to high court (access required)

Litigants would be able to use affidavits to support motions for summary judgment under a rule change approved by the Judicial Council last week by a 6-4 vote. The justices of the Supreme Court will have the final say. Their ...

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Certification program to train, test interpreters (access required)

While criminal cases where Spanish is spoken by a witness or a defendant continue to increase, judges should find them easier to handle thanks to a new certification program developed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court expects to have ...

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Officials ready latest plan for Family Court funding (access required)

The judicial branch is ready for round two in its fight to fund a Family Court system in Virginia. The Judicial Council last week endorsed a budget request for 33 new Family Court judges and a two-year $17.8 million budget. ...

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Real estate flyer lets home buyers bail out (access required)

Where a real estate flyer stated that a house has a fenced-in yard, a buyer may back out of the sales contract after learning that part of the fence sits on a neighbor’s property, a Richmond Circuit judge has ruled. ...

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Assembly could halt collection by escheat (access required)

Although the doctrine of escheat may exist as only a distant memory from a five-minute discussion in first-year property class for some attorneys, the legal process is used with some frequency in Virginia. In fiscal year 1994, 599 parcels were ...

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Elder Law: Bilked widow can't use tolling to recoup taxes (access required)

Equitable tolling cannot be used to reach beyond a limitations period to recover gift taxes paid by attorneys-in-fact who defrauded an elderly woman, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The case appears to be the first in ...

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Represent child as you would adult, judge says (access required)

An attorney representing a child in a criminal case needs to remember to act as an advocate, not a guardian, according to Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations Judge Kimberly B. O’Donnell. The lawyer’s job is not to look out for ...

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Federal judges consider uniform pre-trial order (access required)

Lawyers who practice in federal court in Richmond may soon go from facing four different pre-trial schedules to one. Currently, each judge has his own pre-trial schedule that sets out the timetable for bringing cases to trial on the so-called ...

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Legal aid, blaming cuts, may ask VSB for money (access required)

ALEXANDRIA–Facing large cuts in federal funding, legal aid programs in the commonwealth may ask the Virginia State Bar to help foot the bill. At its Sept. 15 meeting, the VSB Executive Committee heard a plea from Charles E.K. Vasaly, executive ...

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