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State or federal court – consider the end game

It’s not automatic that a civil rights challenge to a statute or ordinance is best filed in state court, Virginia Beach lawyer Kevin Martingayle told members of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Friday.

With state court, you might get a better shot at avoiding quick dismissal and skeptical judges, but there are other factors.

One of those is appeal. Martingayle urged lawyers considering a challenge to authority to weigh which appellate court is most comfortable for the lawyer and which has the most favorable precedent.

You need to think, “Where’s this game going to play out and where’s it going to end,” Martingayle said.

As if to drive home the point, Martingayle amused his fellow trial lawyers by donning a facsimile of the powdered wig favored by British jurists.

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