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Opinion Digests

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Retirement Benefits (access required)

A trial court did not err in awarding a husband and wife cross-interests in each other’s retirement plans. The parties had both contributed to the marriage in monetary and nonmonetary ways. In their property settlement agreement, the parties had reached ...

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Criminal – Possession Of Sawed-Off Shotgun – ID Of Gun (access required)

There was a sufficient foundation to admit a particular sawed-off shotgun at defendant’s trial under Va. Code § 18.2-300 because the robbery victim described the gun in detail, indicated his familiarity with guns and identified the gun as being similar ...

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Criminal – Suppression Of Eyewitness ID – Suggestive Photo Lineup (311344) (access required)

Defendant’s robbery conviction need not be overturned because the police used a photo display that defendant argued was unduly suggestive, in that the three robbery victims had described the robber’s “box-style” haircut, and the photo display of black males included ...

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Criminal – Cocaine Possession – Defendant's Intent (311360) (access required)

A cocaine-possession conviction is reversed because a police officer merely observed defendant pick up and then discard a small pill bottle that defendant said he hoped would contain cocaine. The commonwealth relies on defendant’s statement that he picked up the ...

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Evidence – Other Crimes – Defendant's Confession (access required)

Any error in admitting defendant’s entire confession, which also included references to other, similar crimes, was harmless because defendant has failed to demonstrate any prejudice. Defendant’s principal contention is that the evidence of other crimes was intended to prove his ...

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Domestic Relations – Divorce Grounds – One-Year Separation (access required)

Although husband contends the trial court should have granted a divorce on the ground of the wife’s desertion, the court did not err in awarding a divorce on the basis of the parties’ one-year separation. Royo v. Royo (Per Curiam) ...

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Domestic Relations – Spousal Support Reduction – Husband's Retirement (access required)

A husband’s reduction in income through voluntary retirement was not a material change in circumstances warranting a reduction or abatement in spousal support. Nor was the wife’s waiver of interest in husband’s retirement plan a bar to her receipt of ...

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Domestic Relations – Spousal Support – Wife's Contributions (access required)

Although the husband was the sole breadwinner and made the primary financial contribution to the marriage, this arrangement appeared to be by mutual agreement, as the husband had discouraged the wife from taking a job outside the home, and the ...

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Property – Municipal – Water & Sewer Permit Fees – Refund (access required)

An assignee of a developer who paid fees for water and sewer availability for his proposed development cannot institute a garnishment action against the town for recovery of those fees for unissued permits when the project falls through. Plaintiff asserts ...

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Contract – Punitive Damages – Fiduciary Duty – Joint Venturers (access required)

A marketing company that entered into a joint venture agreement may not claim punitive damages against another party to the agreement on the theory that non-performance under the agreement was a breach of a fiduciary duty established by the agreement. ...

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