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Circuits split on lenders’ loophole
Two Virginia circuit judges have reached opposite conclusions on whether Virginia law offers a window for “small loan companies” to charge unlimited interest rates.” In what one lender’s attorneys called a decision of far-reaching importance, a Richmond judge in January held that small loan companies are exempt from regulation under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act….
Pressure is on delegate for blocking judgeships
Lawyers and legislators in Fairfax County have stepped up pressure on Del. Tim Hugo to drop his tacit opposition to election of lawyers endorsed for Fairfax County judgeships. Hugo, R-Fairfax, is dismissive of the 30-year procedure for vetting Fairfax County judicial candidates, with screening by the Fairfax Bar Association and interviews with the county’s legislative…
Herring calls for reform to cash bail system
State Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined calls for reforms to Virginia’s cash bail system, saying too many low-risk criminal defendants are locked up awaiting trial because they cannot afford to post a bond. Herring cited policy and constitutional concerns and the availability of alternatives that can keep communities safe and ensure defendants show…
‘Challenger pays’ fee clause is struck
A private school’s enrollment contract requiring parents to pay the school’s fees and costs in any litigation, regardless of which side prevails, is unenforceable, a Fairfax circuit judge held in a declaratory judgment action brought by a parent. Judge David Bernhard ruled that the fee-shifting clause was unconscionable and struck it. The case, McIntosh v….
Important Opinions January – June 2018
The “Important Opinions” that appear each week on the front page of Virginia Lawyers Weekly are those chosen by our editors as the most likely to impact law practice or a given subject area of law. Below is a listing, arranged by practice area, of the most Important Opinions of 2018, January to June. ADMINISTRATIVE…
After couple reconciled, arrearage for support erased
A husband facing a possible overdue support obligation of up to $238,000 can breathe a little easier with a judge’s ruling that his long-term reconciliation with his wife invalidated her claim for the support arrearage. The husband’s return to the family home, providing the sole income for the family for more than 11 years and…
The argument over bail
As momentum grows to curtail the use of cash bonds for accused criminal defendants, some prosecutors and bail bond purveyors are pushing back. A national discussion is underway as lawyers, prosecutors and judges challenge the assumption that the best way to ensure an arrestee’s court appearance is to demand guarantee money. Critics say the money…
Judge may be first in Northern Virginia to drop cash bonds
FAIRFAX (AP) A Northern Virginia judge may be the first in the area to do away with cash bonds. Fairfax County Judge David Bernhard is granting freedom to defendants not deemed a danger or flight risk, The Washington Post reported June 14. Bernhard has been moving away from cash bonds for about a year but announced his…
Bon Mots: May 2018 Edition
As seasoned attorneys know, the lofty principles that attract aspiring lawyers can quickly be overshadowed by client emergencies, Sisyphean scheduling conundrums, unreasonable opposing counsel, billing targets, intrafirm politics, and understaffed courts. But from time to time, our esteemed judges take an opportunity to remind us of the law’s great written tradition, whether by powerful rhetoric,…
Court rejects challenge to breath-test refusal
In its first opportunity to address new federal law on warrantless blood-alcohol tests, the Supreme Court of Virginia rejected three challenges from a driver convicted of refusing to give a breath sample. Despite those new rulings, the Virginia court has not yet addressed a case of blood test refusal since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled…

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