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The SCoVA Blog

Supreme Court upholds Morrissey disbarment (access required)

In a unanimous order, the Supreme Court of Virginia has upheld the second disbarment of former state delegate Joseph D. Morrissey. A three-judge Richmond Circuit Court panel revoked Morrissey’s law license last year, and the Supreme Court affirmed that decision ...

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Court launches statewide criminal records search (access required)

As promised in January, the Supreme Court of Virginia has unveiled an online search engine to look up criminal and traffic cases in all general district courts and nearly all circuit courts. Without any accompanying announcement, search links appeared on ...

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Criminal jury instructions now free, without annotations (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia is moving to allow free access to unannotated versions of its model jury instructions. The court announced June 26 that the criminal Virginia Model Jury Instructions are now available in an unannotated format on the ...

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High court to consider insanity issues in home invasion case (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to consider whether an involuntary intoxication defense is equivalent to an insanity defense in the case of a man who tortured a McLean lawyer and his wife in their home. Andrew Schmuhl contended ...

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Court authorizes assessment for Wellness Fund (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia has authorized the collection of up to $30 a year from each active lawyer in Virginia to fund wellness initiatives. In a May 31 order, the court directed the Virginia State Bar to collect the ...

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Supreme Court affirms lawyer’s reprimand (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia has upheld a bar reprimand of a Virginia Beach lawyer accused of misleading a judge about terms of a federal regulation. Attorney Judith M. Cofield fought the bar discipline all the way to the high ...

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Court to consider on-call judges for long weekends (access required)

Concerns about delays of up to five days for accused offenders waiting for bond hearings may lead to a plan to make judges available even when courthouses are closed for long periods. Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons ...

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Court backs judges in pot prosecution dispute (access required)

A panel of the Supreme Court of Virginia says Norfolk circuit judges did not exceed their authority when they refused a prosecutor’s request to drop charges in marijuana possession cases. The court’s ruling in a six-page order May 2 appears to ...

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Lemons urges participation in pro bono reporting

For the first time, Virginia lawyers are being asked this year to voluntarily report their pro bono contributions, and the chief justice is encouraging participation. In a letter going to all Virginia lawyers in the mid-June license renewal statement, Virginia Supreme ...

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Justices hear Morrissey revocation appeal (access required)

Virginia Supreme Court justices listened April 19 as lawyers argued over whether three circuit judges followed proper procedure in revoking the law license of Richmond’s Joe Morrissey. Morrissey was disbarred last year in part for his conduct involving a 2013 ...

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