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Author Archives: Peter Vieth

Dead men speak: Statute permits unlimited hearsay (access required)

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A sharp dispute over personal injury damages in a rear-ender has spotlighted Virginia’s limitless hearsay exception allowing evidence of any relevant statement by a deceased party, regardless of circumstances. The fender-bender plaintiff came away from trial with a zero-dollar verdict, ...

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Assembly to consider added judgeship for Fairfax (access required)

Fairfax County could get a 12th general district judge position if the state legislature approves. Fairfax general district judges believe there are special factors in Fairfax that warrant a “rounding up” of the statistical calculation used to determine judgeship allocations, ...

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Malpractice defense barred in felony murder case (access required)

A driver who caused the death of another motorist while fleeing police could not bring in evidence of medical malpractice to avoid a felony murder conviction, the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled last month. A three-judge appeals court panel ...

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Lawyer in false order case is disbarred (access required)

A Reston attorney accused of presenting a phony order to a client and covering up lapses in various cases has surrendered his Virginia law license. A three-judge panel on Dec. 27 approved an agreed revocation offered by J. Daniel Griffith ...

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Ex-prosecutor’s employment suit is rejected (access required)

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A former prosecutor who claimed she was unlawfully fired from the Carroll County commonwealth’s attorney’s office has had her federal employment lawsuit tossed out of court. Colette M. Wilcox, who now practices in Bristol, alleged her wrongful termination hurt her ...

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Constructive discharge might support ‘Bowman’ claim (access required)

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Although a federal judge ruled that allegations of constructive discharge – as opposed to outright firing – might support a Virginia “Bowman” claim of wrongful termination, the judge said other factors undermined the effort to add that claim to a ...

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Drug courts are split on how to deal with opioid addiction (access required)

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Judges and court officials in Western Virginia are taking different tacks on their approach to drug court participants addicted to opioids. A state court drug treatment program in the Roanoke Valley does not allow participants to pursue medication-assisted treatment, or ...

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Charlottesville Circuit clerk’s office closed first week of 2019 (access required)

The Charlottesville Circuit Court has ordered that its clerk’s office be closed Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 2-4, for security reasons while the office is temporarily relocated for courthouse renovations. The office was already scheduled to close Monday and Tuesday Dec. ...

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