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Author Archives: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Attorney’s fees’ provision in student enrollment contract unconscionable (access required)

Flint Hill School’s enrollment contract requires the parent to pay the school’s fees and costs in any litigation, irrespective of which side prevails. In advance of a suit for breach of contract against the school, a parent sought a declaratory ...

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Counsel deficient, but defendant not prejudiced (access required)

Defendant Kearns filed a petition for habeas relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The court held that, while his counsel was deficient, Kearns had not demonstrated prejudice. As such, it dismissed his habeas petition. Background Lee Allen Kearns was guilty ...

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Termination of parental rights was in child’s best interests (access required)

The circuit court did not err in concluding that the entirety of the record, which included evidence and testimony that the father failed to comply with the Department of Social Services’ requirements and his own deficiencies, supported terminating his parental ...

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Failure to challenge all reasons for termination of parental rights leads to affirmance (access required)

At the conclusion of all the evidence, the circuit court held the mother’s parental rights should be terminated pursuant to several provisions of the Virginia Code. On appeal, the mother challenged some, but not all, of the reasons why the ...

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Denial of Muslim meal prompts First Amendment claim (access required)

Plaintiff, a Muslim inmate, alleged prison officials violated his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause by denying him a Muslim meal. Although the court dismissed several claims, it held ...

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Plaintiff could nonsuit after defendant’s motion to dismiss (access required)

Defendant objected to plaintiff’s notice of voluntarily dismissal without prejudice, which plaintiff filed after defendant moved to dismiss the suit. Defendant argued its motion to dismiss was actually a motion for summary judgment because it relied upon additional documents. The ...

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Former school supervisor’s can sue for equal pay (access required)

Former school supervisor established a prima facie case of equal pay discrimination, when compared to her predecessor and successor, requiring jury to assess the School Board’s reasons for pay disparity. Background Debra Colley was employed by the Dickenson County School ...

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Strip-search of visitor to prison was reasonable (access required)

Where prison officials had a tip that a prisoner was smuggling contraband into the prison and a visitor’s gestures and mannerisms were nervous, a strip-search of the visitor was reasonable. Background Angela Calloway was strip-searched during the course of visiting ...

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Plaintiff’s claims barred by statute of limitations (access required)

Plaintiff sued the manufacturer of a machine and the company that manufactured a solvent used in the operation of the machine, alleging her exposure to the solvent caused permanent injuries. The court held that, because the record established the plaintiff’s ...

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United States allowed to foreclose against real property (access required)

The United States previously obtained judgment against an individual who failed to pay taxes for 11 years. It now moved to foreclose real property owned by the defendant. The court granted the United States’ motion for summary judgment and ordered ...

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