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The SCoVA Blog

Apr 15, 2010

Yet again, easement cases from the Supreme Court

For those of you who suspect that the Supreme Court of Virginia has never seen an easement dispute that it didn’t think merited its attention, we have three more examples today. One, Hafner v. Hansen, involves what seems to be the court’s all-time favorite topic, an easement by prescription, or what a property owner hoped […]

Apr 15, 2010

It’s not a cemetery unless it contains a dead body

The Supreme Court of Virginia split 4-3 today on the issue of just what constitutes a cemetery. In a case from Rockingham County, the lower court and the Supreme Court majority held that a site can’t be a cemetery without the burial of a dead body. The circumstances in Shilling v. Baker suggest that’s much […]

Apr 9, 2010

Mims goes on high court

(AP Photo/Richmond Times Dispatch, Bob Brown) William C. Mims was formally invested today as the 100th person to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. “Just as they have all the other times I’ve appeared before the court, my hands continue to shake,” Mims told a packed courtroom just after his wife […]

Mar 30, 2010

Writ granted in Gloucester appeal

Virginia Beach appellate specialist Steve Emmert won’t have to drive to Richmond tomorrow to make a 10-minute argument after all. He was notified this morning that the Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to hear his appeal of sanctions awarded against 40 Gloucester County residents without the need for oral argument before a three-justice writ […]

Mar 29, 2010

Let the jury decide

Fairfax Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush reminded those at the Virginia Trial Lawyer Association’s annual convention on Saturday, “The Supreme Court has a lof of faith that, if given the opportunity, the jury will get it right.” The court had re-emphasized the point barely 24 hours in an unpublished order, Thompson v. Home Properties Seminary […]

Mar 10, 2010

Legislature names Mims to Supreme Court

The General Assembly unanimously elected former attorney general and legislator William C. Mims this afternoon to the Supreme Court of Virginia, effective April 1. The election was a foregone conclusion after his appearance Monday before the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees as the only candidate for the position. Our report on that appearance […]

Feb 25, 2010

Noncompete decision by arbitrators will stand

The Supreme Court of Virginia has declined to overturn an arbitration award that included resolution of a noncompete issue. In Cotton Creek Circles LLC v. San Luis Valley Water Co., the high court looked at a case involving ranches and water rights in Colorado. Three businesses entered into an LLC; one of members, Boyce, also […]

Feb 25, 2010

Not so fast, Supreme Court tells trial judges

The facts were different, but in two tort cases today the Supreme Court of Virginia re-emphasized that courts should not dismiss cases too early in the process. In one, a tenant filed suit against his landlord and a management company alleging that he suffered an eye injury and that his property was destroyed because the […]

Feb 19, 2010

Ad damnum, DUI cases decided by order

The Supreme Court of Virginia issued two unpublished orders today, one reaffirming the rule that you can’t get more than you sue for and the second holding that the fourth-offense drunken driving statute permits both a prison term and a fine. In the ad damnum case, the plaintiff sought “approximately” $50,000 in damages, and the […]

Feb 2, 2010

Supreme Court will hear bridge contract appeal

The Supreme Court of Virginia will get a chance to interpret Virginia Code Sec. 33.1-386, which requires a contractor to submit any claim for damages against the Virginia Department of Transportation “at the time of the occurrence or beginning of the work upon which the claim and subsequent action is based.” AMEC Civil LLC acknowledged […]

Jan 15, 2010

Supreme Court releases 18 opinions

The Supreme Court of Virginia handed down 18 decisions and two orders this morning. Full-text PDF copies of every case are also available on our Web site. Here are some of the highlights: A party can’t vouch for a decedent’s promise It’s like a classic tale from your T&E class: Uncle dies and the aunt’s […]

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