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Nov 28, 2022

Briefly: Line dancing for lawyers

We have written about the importance of not switching line spacing or typeface settings in an attempt to squeeze more words into a brief — especially after the court has rejected your request for additional pages. (See “In briefs, what a difference a font can make,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Aug. 29, 2022).) Parties doing so […]

Nov 28, 2022

Demystifying legal transformation and its role in helping the enterprise

Companies, more than ever, are striving for an edge in today’s uncertain business environment. As organizations brace for the possibility of a recession, calls from the C-suite to cut costs and improve profit margins are mounting pressure on legal departments. To rise to these demands, general counsel and their colleagues must provide more than sound […]

Nov 28, 2022

How to make calling your firm a positive experience for clients

I believe the telephone and the way it is handled is one of the most important aspects of running a successful law office. Here are some easy and free ways to improve the experience for all callers to your firm. The greeting. The telephone greeting is really, really important. Instead of the cold and off-putting […]

Nov 21, 2022

Preparing for VCDPA: What employers should do right now

Virginia’s new Consumer Data Protection Act, or the VCDPA, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, but covered Virginia businesses should begin preparing now. The Virginia Attorney General can levy up to $7,500 per violation, so covered businesses should carefully consider the following consumer rights and action items to avoid penalties. Who does the VCDPA […]

Nov 7, 2022

How to cross-examine an expert witness

The purpose of cross-examination is to continue to argue — and defend — your case by using leading questions to obtain affirmative answers. The leading question with the desired answer is the key to effective cross-examination of all witnesses, including the expert. It allows you to control the witness and obtain the desired answer most […]

Nov 7, 2022

From ‘Bakke’ to ‘Fisher’: evolution of affirmative action cases

The Supreme Court took up the issue of affirmative action again — the second time in six years — but with the conservative majority now generally expected to end the use of race in higher education admissions. That would be a major shift for the court, which first ruled in favor of affirmative action policies […]

Oct 31, 2022

Real estate industry benefits from Inflation Reduction Act

On Aug. 16, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, of 2022. Although it garnered headlines mostly for its $80 billion commitment to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRA went a long way toward providing tax incentives to real estate and related industries. Selecting a few primary issues from the […]

Oct 31, 2022

How to expedite a patent application

The United States Patent and Trademark Office generally takes about 24 months to make a final decision on the approval of a patent application. Much of this time is due to the long queue that an application must get through prior to being examined by a patent examiner at the USPTO.  However, there are several […]

PPP loan repayment
Oct 24, 2022

PPP loans have ended, but investigations are ongoing

On Aug. 5, 2022, the PPP and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act of 2022 was enacted and established a 10-year statute of limitations, or SOL, for the prosecution of fraud by borrowers under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. The 10-year SOL applies to Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs as well. Almost […]

Mental health
Oct 24, 2022

Seeing mental health as we see physical health

We all feel pain and experience struggles at times in our lives. Some of our struggles bring us closer to those around us, while other struggles result in feeling isolated. One crucial factor in how we experience our pain and heal from it is the support we receive from others. Stigma is one of the […]

U.S. Supreme Court
Oct 17, 2022

Sharp words, unclear terms from Supreme Court

Just in time for the U.S. Supreme Court to launch its new term, here are my observations about the court’s legal writing in its flurry of end-of-term cases about abortion, guns and administrative law. The decision about abortion that overturned Roe v. Wade was bound to use the word “precedent” repeatedly. But the decision in […]

Oct 17, 2022

Federal judge sets stage for insurers to omit PrEP coverage

A federal judge in Texas recently issued an order that likely will make it harder for individuals to obtain PrEP. (See Braidwood Mgmt. v. Becerra, No. 4:20cv00283 (N.D. Tx. Sept. 7, 2022).) Pre-exposure prophylaxis — or PrEP — is a highly effective drug used in preventing HIV. Although not exclusively reserved for the gay community, […]

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