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Author Archives: Matthew Chaney

Court reporter regulation bill passes Assembly (access required)


Virginia is close to passing a bill that prevents out-of-state court reporting services from making multi-case deals with insurance companies, circumventing lawyers. The House of Delegates and Senate both approved a House-Senate conference report March 5, sending Senate Bill 545 to ...

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Legislators working on fix for flawed restitution system (access required)


The system used to collect and disburse court-ordered restitution payments in Virginia is flawed, according to several legislators. Apart from the hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution that has not been paid by those who owe it, a Richmond-area ...

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Bills to expand DNA collection moving forward (access required)

DNA test tube data - FEA

Two bills to expand the collection of DNA from people convicted of certain misdemeanors are currently moving ahead in the General Assembly. While the ACLU of Virginia opposes the expansion, support for both bills in the House and Senate is ...

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House continues ‘bad science’ bill to 2019 (access required)

A legal remedy for those wrongfully convicted based on “bad science” will likely not make it out of the General Assembly this year. A bill to provide an exoneration process was carried over until next year by a House of ...

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Want to increase diversity in your firm? Here’s how (access required)


The legal profession has a diversity problem. Statistics published by the American Bar Association show that despite many firms’ efforts, progress has been marginal. In 2017, women made up only about 35 percent of all active attorneys who participated in ...

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Distracted driver bill would close loophole (access required)


In Virginia, it is currently legal for drivers to tweet or check Facebook while at the wheel. Current distracted driving laws have a loophole for the use of smartphone apps. When a distracted driving bill first passed in 2009, it only ...

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Wrongfully convicted may be getting legal fix (access required)


People wrongly convicted in Virginia based on “bad science” may be getting a legal remedy. Some methods used to convict suspects, such as bite-mark evidence, hair follicle analysis and some forms of burn pattern evidence, have been outright discredited by ...

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VBA looks to local bars to increase membership (access required)


The Virginia Bar Association recently began an initiative to increase membership by offering services to local bar members for free—on one condition. That condition is that the top three leaders of each local or specialty bar group—typically the president, president-elect ...

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Court reporters welcome proposed regulation (access required)


Virginia could take the first step in regulating court reporters this year. Court reporters could no longer make multi-case contracts with parties in a lawsuit if Senate Bill 545 passes the General Assembly. SB 545 passed the full Senate Feb. ...

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Bill on plea deals nixing expungement moves forward (access required)


Prosecutors could no longer cut a plea deal requiring a defendant to forego expungement of charges, under a bill passed by the Senate Feb. 1. Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, sponsored Senate Bill 608. He said he proposed the legislation to ...

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