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Opinion Digests

Constitutional – Ineffective Assistance – Plain Error Standard – Sentencing (access required)

On direct appeal, this court found no plain error in defendant’s sentencing as a career offender; however, trial counsel’s failure to do research or to object led to a much longer sentence than defendant would otherwise have received. The standards ...

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Space Tourist’s Fraud and Breach Claims Survive Dismissal (access required)

Plaintiff Harald McPike, a wealthy adventurer seeking to become a space tourist, can proceed on claims of fraud and breach of contract against Defendant Zero-Gravity Holdings Inc., f/k/a Space Adventures, Ltd. In 2013, Space Adventures contracted to provide a circumlunar ...

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Latex-Allergy Discrimination Claim Presents a Triable Issue (access required)

Plaintiff Delcie Farmer, a medical employee with a severe latex allergy, may proceed to trial on claims that Defendant HCA Health Services of Virginia subjected her to illegal discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Farmer had been employed ...

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Dueling Experts Don’t Satisfy Preponderance Standard (access required)

At a bench trial of a medical-malpractice claim, Plaintiff Eugene Gadson failed to prove his doctors’ negligence by a preponderance of the evidence because the parties’ respective experts offered diametrically-opposed testimony as to the appropriate standard of care. Three days ...

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Sierra Club Awarded Partial Fees, Costs for Limited Coal-Ash Victory (access required)

On Plaintiff Sierra Club’s motion to recover fees and costs as the prevailing party, the court granted attorney fees of $457,718 and expert fees of $102,000, as well as certain litigation costs. Sierra Club had sued Virginia Electric & Power ...

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Vehicle Occupant’s Conviction for Shooting “At” the Vehicle Upheld (access required)

The court of appeals affirmed the conviction of appellant Robert Lee Jones for maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle in violation of Code § 18.2-154, approving the trial court’s conclusion that, under the statute, a defendant can shoot “at” a ...

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Victim’s Body Never Found, But Murder Conviction Stands (access required)

The court of appeals concluded that appellant Michael Anthony Edwards was tried for murder in the proper venue and that his conviction was supported by sufficient evidence. Edwards had been romantically involved with the victim, Leyla Namiranian, a Chesterfield resident. ...

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