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Man in suit trying to stay above water
Dec 4, 2023

Bankruptcies rising, but safeguards exist for employee benefits

Inflation, a tight labor market, high interest rates, ongoing supply chain issues and changing consumer trends have been identified as factors contributing to a significant uptick in corporate bankruptcies filed in 2023.

Marijuana being trimmed
Nov 27, 2023

Green in a gray area: Lessons for Virginia cannabis ‘gifting’ businesses

The cannabis space is young in Virginia, but valuable lessons from the past could provide an edge to those paying close attention.

Andi Geloo
Nov 27, 2023

Op-Ed: There must be no ‘commending’ wayward judges

As a criminal defense attorney in Fairfax County, I regularly appeared before substitute judges Michael Cantrell, Mitchell Mutnick and Richard “Butch” Horan while they were on the bench. What I saw in their courtrooms raised questions with me, and I embarked on a journey, holding these judges accountable for their disturbing courtroom antics.

Ethical compass concept
Nov 20, 2023

It’s important to know when not to use email

“When not to use email?” is a relatively recent ethical inquiry, barely 20 years old. Do you remember the practice of law before email? Back then, the only ethics issue was whether information about a client’s matter could EVER be sent by unencrypted e-mail without violating the ethics rules.

Oct 30, 2023

Dealing with the difficult client

One source of legal malpractice claims comes from clients who are very demanding or very difficult. It is important for a lawyer to recognize early the client who is going to be very demanding and difficult to deal with, no matter how hard the lawyer works on the case.

Hacker in hoodie sitting at laptop
Oct 15, 2023

Hackers leveraging AI: vulnerability for law firms

Hackers are upping their game when it comes to cybersecurity, going beyond email tactics. No longer are the attacks confined to email account takeover, ransomware threats, or extra sneaky attacks gaining access via trusted third parties such as title companies and payroll vendors.

Man drinking alcohol while working
Oct 8, 2023

Reasonable suspicion? Addressing growing employee substance abuse trends

Both anecdotal and statistical evidence suggest that remote and hybrid work have given rise to increasing use and abuse of drugs and alcohol while on the job — but out of view of co-workers and management.

An Andy Warhol portrait of the singer Prince that made it into a Supreme Court decision
Oct 2, 2023

End-of-term Supreme Court cases include new legal term, car metaphors, pictures

The Commerce Clause is right there in the U.S. Constitution, authorizing Congress “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” The dormant Commerce Clause does not appear in the Constitution but is implied. And now Justice Neil M. Gorsuch has devised the phrase “the (wakeful) Commerce Clause,” by which he means — the Commerce Clau[...]

Business meeting
Sep 25, 2023

Mandatory pre-dispute arbitration: Have its best days passed?

Historically, courts were hostile to pre-dispute arbitration agreements. To address this hostility, Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act, 9. U. S. C. §1, et. seq., or FAA, that placed arbitration agreements on the same footing as other contracts. Virginia has its own arbitration act. (See, Va. Code Ann. §§ 8.01-577, et. seq.)

Surveying construction site
Sep 18, 2023

Running the numbers: structuring a commercial real estate investment

As a commercial real estate lawyer, I understand that my clients often rely on their financial analysts and their projections, forecasts and assumptions to determine whether to invest in a real estate venture. Whether a lawyer or a nonlawyer, it is helpful to understand what real estate investors may look at when evaluating and structuring potential investments and correlating strategies.

U.S. Supreme Court
Sep 4, 2023

Supreme Court rejects effort to narrow scope of False Claims Act liability

On June 1, 2023, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in United States ex rel. Schutte v. SuperValu Inc., rejecting efforts to redefine the knowledge prong of the False Claims Act to disregard a defendant’s subjective knowledge or belief.

Handgun on table
Aug 7, 2023

To restore or not to restore: Appeals court addresses law on firearm right restoration for persons convicted of federal felony

The Court of Appeals of Virginia, analyzing both state law and federal law, recently addressed the issue of firearm right restoration for persons convicted of a federal felony.

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