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GERMAINE DELANO ADAMS v. COMMONWEALTH

Trial court did not err in admitting the items seized from appellant?s residence under the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule; trial court?s admission of evidence from a gun manufacturer?s catalog was harmless error

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GEORGE PERRY v. COMMONWEALTH

Trial court did not err in convicting appellant of forgery of a check and uttering that forged check as the check was of sufficient apparent legal efficacy

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HERR v. WHEELER (121802)

The trial court erred in granting a "sudden emergency" instruction in a vehicular accident case where the defendant's vehicle "hydroplaned" on water during a heavy rainstorm. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for a new trial.

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BARRETT v. VIRGINIA STATE BAR (121818)

Concerning charges of attorney misconduct, that part of a judgment of a three-judge court holding that certain actions taken by an attorney during his divorce proceeding violated Rules 4.4, 8.4(b), 3.1 and 3.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct is affirmed, but that part holding that his actions regarding representation of a personal injury client and an ensuing legal malpractice action violated Rules 1.1 and 1.3 is reversed. The sanction imposed is vacated and the case remanded for consideration of an appropriate sanction for the affirmed violations.

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WASHINGTON v. COMMONWEALTH (121803)

The Court of Appeals did not err in affirming the judgment convicting defendant of malicious wounding after having been twice convicted of a violent felony and one count of stabbing, cutting or wounding another person in the commission of a felony, in a case where the trial judge allowed the Commonwealth to present evidence of defendant's two prior felony convictions during the guilt phase of the trial subject to appropriate instructions. The judgment is affirmed.

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STEVENS v. COMMONWEALTH (121804)

Any error in defendant's prosecution for aggravated involuntary manslaughter under Code § 18.2-36.1 arising from evidence as to certain blood alcohol tests, and the alleged deprivation of his right to have a particular blood sample independently tested, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction, which is affirmed.

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BARBER v. VISTARMS, INC. (121805)

In a petition for writ of mandamus filed by a former shareholder of an employee-owned closely-held corporation, the trial court did not err in sustaining the defendant corporation's demurrer. Petitioner?s ownership of stock in the corporation ceased, by operation of written agreements, upon the termination of his employment; thus, petitioner was not a shareholder and lacked standing to pursue the petition at the time of filing. The trial court's judgment sustaining the demurrer and dismissing the amended petition with prejudice is affirmed.

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RAWLS v. COMMONWEALTH (121806)

In a prosecution for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under Code § 18.2-308.2(A), an amended warrant charging that the prior conviction was for a violent felony under Code § 17.2-805 did not alter the nature or character of the offense. The Court of Appeals correctly determined that the trial court did not err in allowing the trial to proceed on the amended warrant. The effect of defendant's purported waiver of indictment, sufficiency of the evidence of possession to support the conviction, and refusal of a mistrial based on an excessive sentence in the jury's initial verdict, are also discussed. The judgment is affirmed.

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RENKEY v. COUNTY BD. OF ARLINGTON COUNTY (121807)

In this zoning dispute, the circuit court erred by treating certain language in a county zoning ordinance as a preamble and not an operative part of the ordinance. The language in question sets out mandatory eligibility criteria for a certain zoning classification, and the county acted in direct violation of the ordinance by re-zoning certain property without first complying with the eligibility criteria. The re-zoning was void and of no effect. The circuit court?s judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

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THE COUNTRY VINTNER, INC. v. LOUIS LATOUR, INC. (121808)

In a civil case involving wholesale wine distributorships, it was error to dismiss with prejudice certain common law and statutory conspiracy claims as preempted by the Wine Franchise Act. While the trial court had jurisdiction over the claims and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board did not, certain issues in the case are more appropriately resolved by the Board under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. The trial court should stay judicial proceedings until the agency has an opportunity to resolve matters within its special competence and any applicable appeals have concluded. The judgment is reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

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JANVIER v. ARMINIO (121809)

In a medical malpractice action, an order granting the plaintiff a second nonsuit without prejudice pursuant to Code § 8.01-380(B) was not void ab initio due to a failure to give notice to the named defendants, who had not yet been served. Since the order was not void, upon a proper finding that the second nonsuit order did not result from fraud, the trial court had no authority to vacate the second nonsuit order after it became final 21 days following entry. The action, re-filed within six months of the entry of the second nonsuit order, was timely. Rulings of the trial court are reversed in part and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

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