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Opinion Digests

CAV: Court had to value student loans as of couple’s split (access required)

For equitable-distribution purposes, the circuit court erred in failing to determine the amount of a husband’s student loans as of the date he and his wife separated. Under the circumstances, it was within its authority to re-open evidence on that ...

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CAV: Counsel’s appearance suggests client knew trial date (access required)

Timely notice of the required appearance date is not an element of felony failure-to-appear. In this case, notice could be inferred from the defendant’s presence in court (with counsel) when the continuance date was announced and by his counsel’s appearance ...

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SCV: Ratepayers had no right to weigh in on fuel agreements (access required)

While fuel-company affiliates entering procurement agreements had to obtain approval from the State Corporation Commission, the Commission sufficiently reviewed the agreements. Such review and approval does not require a formal hearing where the public can raise objections. Background Appellant Sierra ...

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SCV: Auto graveyard affirmed as lawful non-conforming use (access required)

The petitioner was entitled to “verification” of lawful non-conforming use status for a parcel of property housing junk cars. Although the parcel had at one point been owned by a corporation that attempted to clear the property, evidence showed that ...

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SCV: Whistleblowers entitled to portion of gross settlement (access required)

In a false-claims settlement for Medicaid overbilling, Virginia’s whistleblower recovery provision entitling relators to a portion of the “proceeds” referred to gross proceeds, not proceeds remaining after the Commonwealth paid appropriate Medicaid refunds to the federal government. Background The relators ...

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WDVA: Energy companies hash out litigation-cost awards (access required)

The prevailing party in litigation between energy companies sought to recover its litigation costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54. Among costs the court excluded were a video deposition and electronic transcripts accompanying written transcripts. Background Following a jury ...

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WDVA: Jail employee owes inmate $700k+ for sexual assaults (access required)

In a § 1983 action by a former jail inmate, default judgment was granted against a jail employee who failed to appear despite being properly served. The court found that the employee sexually assaulted and raped the inmate and, after ...

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WDVA: Counsel disqualified for past representation of key witness (access required)

Despite informed consent from both clients, a defendant’s attorney was disqualified from representing her on a drug charge because he had previously represented a material witness for the government. Background In a prior criminal drug prosecution, Defendant Lauren Hoback’s defense ...

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WDVA: Bankruptcy firm’s revoked practice privileges affirmed (access required)

After an initial stay pending appeal, the district court reinstated the revocation of privileges for UpRight Law LLC and related entities to practice before the bankruptcy court. Revocation was based on the defendants’ unethical business practices that preyed on bankruptcy ...

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EDVA: FDCPA claim viable against lender, servicer (access required)

Despite skepticism about a plaintiff-debtor’s ultimate chances, the court declined to dismiss his Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim alleging that his mortgage lender and loan servicer intentionally lied to him about whether a home foreclosure was scheduled. Background In ...

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