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Author Archives: Peter Vieth

Assembly expands sanctions for spoliation (access required)

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Penalties for missing evidence could become more common in Virginia courts. Legislation now awaiting approval by Gov. Ralph Northam would allow juries to infer that missing evidence is unfavorable if a party handled the evidence in a “reckless” manner. In ...

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Skip that handwritten order – there’s an app for that now (access required)

Litigation lawyers throughout Virginia can benefit from the idea of a Fairfax County judge who conceived a digital solution to those hastily scrawled hearing orders. A smart phone application now allows practitioners to craft custom printed orders reflecting a judge’s ...

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Expert barred on defendant’s mental state (access required)

Short of an insanity plea, criminal defendants may not bring experts into court to testify about their mental state, the Court of Appeals has reaffirmed. In a March 5 published opinion, the court underscored its ruling last year in a ...

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Probation officer could not modify judge’s specific terms (access required)

An offender barred from unsupervised contact with children by the terms of his criminal sentence was not subject to revocation of his suspended sentence on the basis of a stricter requirement imposed by a probation officer, the Court of Appeals ...

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Bill closes ‘malpractice trap’ in contract actions (access required)

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Legislation approved by the General Assembly should close a little-noticed gap in the statutes that set out Virginia’s limitations periods for contract actions. The well-understood general rule for Virginia contract actions is that the deadline is five years for a ...

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Bar offers answers to ‘Can we talk?’ (access required)

The ethics committee of the Virginia State Bar is proposing two new guidance documents to answer questions about when lawyers can talk directly with someone who may be represented by another lawyer. The VSB is seeking comments on those two ...

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Lawyer sentenced to prison for child sex abuse (access required)

A lawyer’s Virginia legal credentials are in jeopardy after his Ohio conviction on charges that he repeatedly abused a pre-teen boy. The lawyer – who most recently worked for a Washington firm – was sentenced to three years, but could ...

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