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Author Archives: Robert Smithmidford

Infrared breath test admissible (access required)

When prosecuting a drunken driver, the commonwealth may use test results from a machine performing an infrared analysis of the suspect’s breath, the Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled in a case of first impression. The decision forecloses an argument ...

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Prosecutors: New PR Code ties our hands (access required)

Prosecutors fear they will be targets of ethics complaints if a new rule is adopted from a draft revision of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Under the draft, it would be an ethics violation for a prosecutor to pursue a ...

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Fired workers out of luck? (access required)

Workers claiming employment discrimination gained a big victory last year: The Virginia Supreme Court allowed a plaintiff to bring a state claim for wrongful discharge under the Bowman exception. But a bill working its way through the General Assembly would ...

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IOLTA would become voluntary (access required)

Mandatory IOLTA in Virginia soon may be dead. The controversial program would be rolled back from mandatory to opt-out status under a bill presently working its way through the General Assembly. The roll-back measure is the fruit of a compromise ...

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Croshaw: Cut VSB staff by over half (access required)

Last year the Virginia State Bar had to fight a freeze on its authority to spend money, hire personnel and levy dues. This year, the battle may hit even closer to home, as some VSB staffers may find themselves looking ...

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Study: Hike pay for court appointments 20% (access required)

The maximum fee that a court-appointed attorney gets for handling a case should be hiked by 20 percent, according to a Supreme Court committee studying court appointments. The study, issued by the Committee on District Courts, did not recommend an ...

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Plaintiff would pay for nonsuit before verdict under proposal (access required)

Nonsuiting a case may become more expensive for a plaintiff under a bill introduced last week in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 770, sponsored by Sen. Joseph B. Benedetti, R-Richmond, would require courts to assess attorneys’ fees and costs against ...

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VBA urges enhanced appellate jurisdiction (access required)

There would be an appeal of right in every case heard in Virginia under recommendations made by the Virginia Bar Association. The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals would be broadened to cover all civil cases, and the court’s membership ...

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Signature alone is not attestation (access required)

A certificate of analysis in a drug case that contained only the signature of an examiner but no attestation clause is inadmissible, the Court of Appeals has ruled. The case can be used to bolster challenges to DUI blood tests, ...

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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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