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Federal Courts

Aug 7, 2013

Civil rights claim against prosecutor goes forward

A Richmond federal judge has refused to throw out allegations of misconduct against a Virginia prosecutor in a civil lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was arrested and jailed for almost a year based on false accusations supported by trumped-up evidence. Acquitted of attempted murder and other charges by a Westmoreland County jury […]

Aug 6, 2013

Black-lung lawyers billed at market rate

A federal appeals court has awarded more than $32,000 in fees to a law firm that represented a former coal miner in his successful bid to be compensated for the black-lung disease he had contracted during his 17 years on the job. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in issuing the award, said it […]

Aug 5, 2013

Whistleblower prevails in first SOX trial in Virginia – $950,000 Verdict

In this whistleblower case, plaintiff Andrea Gail Jones alleged defendants SouthPeak Interactive Corporation of Delaware, Terry M. Phillips and Melanie J. Mroz terminated her on Aug. 14, 2009, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1514A, the anti-retaliation provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. In February 2009, Phillips and Mroz decided to obtain inventory on behalf […]

Jul 29, 2013

Whistleblower wins $950,000

A whistleblower seeking protection under the anti-retaliation provision of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act won $950,000 in what is believed to be the first trial under the statute in the state. After reporting intentional or fraudulent actions by employees at Midlothian-based SouthPeak Interactive, chief financial officer Andrea Gail Jones was terminated. Jones’s attorney, James B. Thorsen [&hell[...]

Jul 22, 2013

Plaintiff tries to revive ‘dead’ suit

“You’re dead to me,” is a curse that strikes hard. It hits hard too when a federal judge tells a lawyer her client’s case is “dead,” even as the lawyer argues that it is “alive and kicking” despite a dispute over service of process under Virginia rules. Alexandria U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said […]

Jul 15, 2013

Check this: Employee background checks require caution

Nobody likes to be proven wrong, least of all employers. In an effort to hire the perfect person for a position, a company may gather as much information as possible about an applicant, such as a quick review of a social networking page, a criminal background inquiry or a credit check. Although such information has […]

Jul 15, 2013

Driver ran off highway overpass, landed on plaintiff’s vehicle – $600,000 Settlement

On Oct. 8, 2010, the plaintiff was traveling on Western Street in Hopewell near the I-295 overpass when the defendant, who was traveling on I-295, ran off the embankment near the overpass and landed on the plaintiff’s vehicle. The defendant alleged he was forced off the road by an unknown tractor-trailer. The defendant was exceeding […]

Jul 11, 2013

Five judicial candidates deemed ‘highly qualified’

Five candidates for the U.S. district court judgeship to be vacated by Judge James R. Spencer of Richmond when he takes senior status in March have been rated as “highly qualified” by the Virginia State Bar’s Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee. In alphabetical order, the VSB panel’s top five contenders are: Norfolk lawyer Alan D. Albert […]

Jul 9, 2013

Washington Redskins face ‘bounty’ suit

As the Washington Redskins prepare for a fresh start in their brand new training camp near downtown Richmond, the team faces a legal claim from a player injured in 2004. In what may be the first case of its kind, a former New York Giants linebacker is suing the Washington Redskins for a career-ending injury […]

Jul 8, 2013

Firm is covered for defamation lawsuit

A Richmond law firm can call on its malpractice carrier to defend a suit that already has been dismissed as time-barred. Alzena Mayfield sued Hill, Tucker & Marsh PLLC for legal malpractice after firm lawyers defended her in a 2007 defamation case and the jury returned a $250,000 verdict against her. Although the Virginia State […]

Jul 8, 2013

Annual report’s ‘red flags’ support shareholder suit

Shareholders are suing a bank’s directors for not paying sufficient attention to the bank’s annual report. The shareholders’ derivative action alleges the annual report threw up “red flags” that should have allowed the defendants to ward off regulatory action that left the bank paying hundreds of millions of dollars to settle claims of unfair consumer […]

Jul 5, 2013

Court sanctions put doctor’s insurance coverage at risk

A doctor hamstrung by court penalties in a medical malpractice case now has another problem. With trial set later this month, his medical malpractice insurance company is asking a judge to allow it to walk away from the case, leaving the doctor without a defense or coverage. It is the plaintiff in the malpractice lawsuit […]

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