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News in Brief

Ex-Virginia Tech professor convicted in grant fraud case

ROANOKE (AP) A former Virginia Tech professor has been found guilty of conspiring to commit federal grant fraud, making false statements and obstruction. Yiheng Percival Zhang was a biological systems engineering professor. In 2017, he was charged with defrauding Virginia ...

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Bill to ban hand-held phone use while driving fails

(AP) A bid to tighten Virginia laws around using cellphones while driving will have to wait another year. Legislation aimed at keeping drivers off their phones died during the final moments of the 2019 legislative session, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Both ...

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Myerson files for VSB president-elect (access required)

Reston attorney Jay B. Myerson, a member of the Virginia State Bar executive committee, has announced he is running for president-elect of the VSB. VSB bylaws require candidates for the position to submit a petition with the names of 50 ...

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Court rejects appeal by ex-Navy SEAL in child porn case

(AP) A federal court has rejected the appeal of a former U.S. Navy Seal sentenced to 27 years in prison for child pornography. The 4th Circuit court on Feb. 21 upheld a judge’s ruling denying Gregory Kyle Seerden’s request to suppress ...

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Former House minority leader announces retirement

(AP) A longtime Democratic leader in the Virginia House of Delegates says he is retiring. Former House Minority Leader David Toscano, a Charlottesville lawyer, announced on the House floor Feb. 23 that he will not seek re-election this year. Toscano is ...

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$520,163 approved for man wrongfully imprisoned for 11 years

(AP) The General Assembly has approved more than $520,000 in compensation for Gary Linwood Bush, who served almost 11 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of two bank robberies. On Feb. 20, the House unanimously joined the Senate in ...

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Judge orders feds to list private groups receiving watchlist

ALEXANDRIA (AP) A federal magistrate on Feb. 22 ordered the government to disclose to him and to plaintiffs’ attorneys a list of private organizations that receive access to the government’s list of known or suspected terrorists. Magistrate Judge John Anderson ...

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$30 lawyer wellness assessment expected (access required)

Lawyers can expect $40 in assessments accompanying their bill for bar dues this summer. The Supreme Court is expected to approve a $30 Wellness Fund assessment for each active Virginia lawyer in addition to the current $10 assessment for the ...

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Brennan named as bar counsel (access required)

The Virginia State Bar Council voted Feb. 23 to appoint Renu M. Brennan to the post of bar counsel, succeeding the retired Edward L. Davis. As bar counsel, Brennan heads the VSB Department of Professional Regulation which investigates and prosecutes ...

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Poarch named as AAAA fellow (access required)

Salem-based immigration and adoption attorney Christine Poarch has been named a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. The Indiana-based AAAA is the largest professional organization in the law of family formation. It includes 470 attorneys, law professors, ...

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