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News in Brief

Lawyer gets reprimand for prosecution threats (access required)

A Leesburg lawyer has been reprimanded and placed on two years’ probation for threatening to report his litigation adversaries to government authorities. The Virginia State Bar charged Vincent M. Amberly with repeatedly using the threat of criminal or disciplinary charges ...

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House Republicans name leadership team

(AP) The Virginia GOP House caucus has named its leadership team in an important election year. The Republicans officially named House Majority Leader Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights as speaker designee, the de facto replacement for retiring Speaker William J. ...

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Assembly splits on inmate compensation

A man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit could be getting $1.55 million from the state of Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a bill to provide compensation to 60-year-old Keith Allen ...

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Appeals court upholds assault weapons ban

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.In a 10-4 ruling, the ...

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DesPortes to lead forensic group (access required)

Richmond criminal defense lawyer Betty Layne DesPortes is now the president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. DesPortes, a Fellow in the Academy, had previously served on its board of directors since 2007. She was sworn in as president ...

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4th Circuit upholds law barring party ID for local races

(AP) A federal appeals court has upheld a Virginia law allowing only federal, statewide and General Assembly candidates to be identified by party affiliation on the ballot. The Powhatan County Republican Committee sued the Virginia State board of Elections over ...

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal from Virginia death row inmate

(AP) The nation’s highest court refused Tuesday to hear the appeal of a Virginia death row inmate who killed a hospital security guard and sheriff’s deputy during an escape and sparked a massive manhunt that shut down Virginia Tech’s campus ...

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Bill to protect jury information survives (access required)

A bill to restrict the release of information about jurors in criminal cases squeaked through the Virginia Senate Monday after legislators clashed over its impact on criminal defense. The bill is intended to close the door on a convict’s ability ...

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Howell announces retirement

(AP) House Speaker William J. Howell, a long-serving conservative who is one of the state’s most powerful politicians, said Monday he will retire when his term ends in January. The 73-year-old speaker made the announcement during an emotional House floor ...

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4th Circuit affirms Virginia uranium mining ban

(AP) A federal appeals court has rejected a Virginia company’s bid to end the state’s decades-long ban on uranium mining. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Friday upheld the ruling of a district ...

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