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News in Brief

Supreme Court approves broad employee contacts (access required)

Even though other states prohibit lawyers from talking directly with most employees of a litigation adversary, the Virginia Supreme Court is standing by its rule that bars only contacts with “control group” and “alter ego” employees. The court on Jan. ...

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Senate asks for study of universal appeal-of-right (access required)

The Virginia Senate is backing a proposed study of allowing appeals of right from every civil and criminal case in Virginia circuit courts. Senators on Jan. 29 approved a measure to request a study of the jurisdiction and organization of ...

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Judge refuses to vacate Somali pirate’s sentence

NORFOLK (AP) A federal judge in Virginia has refused to vacate the life sentence handed down to a Somali man convicted in a 2010 attack on a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of Africa. A judge in Norfolk issued ...

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Prosecutor meets with family of driver shot by Park Police

FAIRFAX (AP) A new prosecutor in Fairfax County says he is investigating the death of a motorist killed by U.S. Park Police after a chase. Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano met Jan. 30 with family members of Bjian Ghaisar, who was ...

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Police open investigation after lawmaker’s DUI stop

CHRISTIANSBURG (AP) An internal investigation is underway after an officer let a Virginia lawmaker off with a warning after stopping him on suspicion of intoxicated driving and giving him a breathalyzer test that showed an alcohol level slightly above the ...

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Judges spotlight lawyer’s lapse in murder case (access required)

Two circuit judges have disallowed future court-appointed work in their circuit for a Chatham lawyer and advised district court judges in writing about their decision. Lawyer Gregory T. Casker moved to postpone a two-day murder trial Jan. 22 saying he ...

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Delegate let off with warning during DUI stop

CHRISTIANSBURG (AP) A police officer let a Virginia legislator off with a warning after he was pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving and submitted to a breathalyzer test that came back slightly above the legal limit. Del. Chris Hurst, ...

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Lawyers get fees in Confederate statues case (access required)

Lawyers who successfully blocked a plan to remove two Confederate statues from Charlottesville public spaces will be reimbursed more than $300,000 in fees from the city under a judge’s Jan. 21 ruling. Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore decided in ...

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Court hears request to proceed with Trump travel ban cases

(AP) A federal appeals court appeared skeptical as civil rights groups sought to allow legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries to move forward despite a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the ban. ...

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3 seek Lynchburg circuit judgeship (access required)

Three lawyers have expressed interest in a Lynchburg Circuit Court vacancy. The Lynchburg Bar Association reports Eugene M. Butler, Michael R. Doucette and James A. Downey Jr. have asked for support in their bids for the seat of now-retired Judge ...

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