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News in Brief

‘Felony creep’ reform advances (access required)

A state Senate committee has once again approved a proposal to increase the grand larceny threshold in Virginia law. Senate Bill 816 – as modified in a substitute measure – would change the felony benchmark from $200 to $500. The ...

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Fletcher named Group Editor in Virginia and the Carolinas

Paul E. Fletcher has been named Group Editor-in-Chief of the BridgeTower Media operations in Virginia and the Carolinas. He will oversee the editorial content of four newspapers in three states – Virginia Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, South Carolina ...

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Ex-lawyer sentenced to 45 years for role in home invasion (access required)

A former Virginia lawyer was sentenced to 45 years in prison for helping her husband torment her former boss and his wife in their McLean home in 2014. The sentencing of Alecia Schmuhl again brought Leo Fisher and wife Sue ...

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Lawyer convicted in sexual battery cases (access required)

A Warrenton attorney has pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery after clients accused him of misconduct, court records show. Jud Fischel, 68, who has practiced in Fauquier County for four decades, was convicted Jan 20, records ...

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Work underway on Virginia’s opioid crisis

(AP) Virginia lawmakers are beginning to work on tackling the state’s opioid crisis. Several bills intended to stem the growing addiction to opioids or related consequences advanced in the legislature on Thursday. A Senate committee passed a measure directing the ...

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Appeals court affirms conviction of coal CEO

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) A federal appeals court affirmed the criminal conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on Thursday in connection with the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the ...

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Lawyers raise concerns about lethal injection

(AP) Attorneys for a convicted killer executed in Virginia for the brutal killings of a family in 2006 said Thursday that they are concerned that his lethal injection caused a painful death. Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. ...

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Man convicted of family’s slaying is executed

JARRATT (AP) A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year’s Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday. Ricky ...

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Assembly names new judges (access required)

The General Assembly elected five new trial court judges and a new workers’ compensation commissioner Wednesday. More new judges are expected to be named next month. Those elected just a week into the Assembly session, among the ranks of reappointed ...

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Lawmakers pledge mental health reform

(AP) The family of a man whose death in a Virginia jail helped lead to a federal investigation of the facility implored lawmakers Wednesday to reform the state’s mental health care system and the way inmates receive treatment. Relatives of ...

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