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Editor's Notebook

Sep 10, 2021

All Good Things…

One of the cardinal rules of journalism is that journalists and reporters should not make the news; they simply should report the news. Last month, we broke that rule with the announcement from The Virginia Bar Association that I will be the group’s new Executive Director/CEO. I start there Sept. 20. Virginia Lawyers Weekly has […]

Sep 3, 2021

A hit parade

Since I joined Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 1988, we have published more than 1,200 issues. I figure during that time (and counting my work at the Lawyer Weekly papers in Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina), I have written more than 2,500 bylined articles. Some stories are memorable, some aren’t. More than once, I’ve gone […]

Aug 30, 2021

Publisher’s Notebook: A lesson in Civ Pro

The defamation suit filed by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, took a new twist this month, as at least the fourth Circuit Court opinion in the case was issued. The case started two years ago over a 2018 op-ed that Heard wrote for The Washington Post. As Fairfax Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate […]

May 29, 2021

The VLW Quick 10: Things we’ll miss about Peter Vieth

Our longtime friend and colleague Peter Vieth is retiring with this issue. We wish him the absolute best. To celebrate him, we are resurrecting one of our favorite features from days gone by: The VLW Quick 10. Here are 10 things we will miss about Peter: His sharp sense of humor. When I polled the […]

Apr 26, 2021

Dog Tales

Always get the name of the dog. That’s a maxim straight out of Journalism 101 – it’s a way of showing that as a reporter, you’re paying attention to details and thinking of your audience. If there is a dog in a story, your readers will view the pooch as a character worthy of a […]

Feb 1, 2021

Hello, Fellows – virtual edition

The Virginia Law Foundation’s annual induction of new Fellows is a longstanding feature of the Virginia Bar Association’s winter meeting in Williamsburg.  The VBA went online this year with its meeting Jan. 22, and so did the VLF, with a program the night before. As 2021 VLF President Jon Huddleston noted, “The world is a […]

Jan 11, 2021

Late mail

The mail last Tuesday — Jan. 5 —brought my copies of the Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 issues of Lawyers Weekly. No word yet on the issues of Dec. 21, Dec. 28 and Jan. 4. For many of you, the story has been the same. The papers come several weeks late, sometimes in batches. You’re […]

Dec 7, 2020

Holiday Style

The Associated Press Stylebook has been the bible for journalists for years, providing guidance on punctuation, capitalization and other usage questions. This newspaper, like thousands of others in the country, follows AP Style. The AP Style mavens saw fit last week to send out an email with 54 – count ’em – rules related to […]

Oct 19, 2020

The write stuff

HOT SPRINGS (via Zoom, anyway) – The Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys forged forward with its annual meeting at The Homestead last week, with a hybrid meeting similar to the Virginia Bar Association’s confab in July. Part of the meeting was in-person, with about 50 people in attendance, according to President Melissa Katz. Another 100 […]

Aug 14, 2020

Lawyer Could-Have-Beens

This column over the years has identified famous people who have law degrees but achieved fame in another field over the years. The “Lawyer Could-Have-Beens” include comedians such as John Cleese and William Sanderson (Larry of “Larry, Darryl and Darryl”), entertainers such as Julio Iglesias and Ozzie Nelson, and sports figures such as Tony LaRussa […]

Jul 10, 2020

Sign of the times

So what’s it like practicing law during a worldwide pandemic? Courts aren’t holding trials. Hearings are conducted by Zoom or GoToMeeting. Law offices, while deemed essential businesses, aren’t really completely open. Lawyers and staff are working remotely. Then there are clients, particularly those who are not “essential” and therefore not in their offices. What if […]

Jul 3, 2020

Legal lightning bugs

Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Precise language is required in legal writing. Ever notice how much difference a single letter can make? Overlook an error when proofreading or […]

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