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Tag Archives: Judge David Bernhard

Attorney’s fees’ provision in student enrollment contract unconscionable (access required)

Flint Hill School’s enrollment contract requires the parent to pay the school’s fees and costs in any litigation, irrespective of which side prevails. In advance of a suit for breach of contract against the school, a parent sought a declaratory ...

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Va. Cir.: Support modification not doomed by father’s scant evidence (access required)

If facts could be gleaned from the existing record, a father seeking to modify support obligations wasn’t necessarily required to put on evidence of his children’s current needs, since the Child Support Guidelines include a rebuttable presumption of such needs. ...

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After couple reconciled, arrearage for support erased (access required)


A husband facing a possible overdue support obligation of up to $238,000 can breathe a little easier with a judge’s ruling that his long-term reconciliation with his wife invalidated her claim for the support arrearage. The husband’s return to the ...

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The argument over bail (access required)


As momentum grows to curtail the use of cash bonds for accused criminal defendants, some prosecutors and bail bond purveyors are pushing back. A national discussion is underway as lawyers, prosecutors and judges challenge the assumption that the best way ...

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Va. Cir.: Implied agreement replaced family support obligations (access required)

Despite a support order entered in 2004, a husband didn’t owe arrearages dating to 2006. He’d stopped paying when the couple reconciled, resumed living together as husband and wife, and had two more children supported solely by the husband’s income. ...

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Va. Cir.: Applying new SCOTUS precedent, rear driveway was within curtilage (access required)

Applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Collins v. Virginia, a warrantless arrest in an area of the suspect’s driveway beyond the walkway to the front door was within the home’s curtilage and, thus, improper under the Fourth Amendment. ...

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Bon Mots: May 2018 Edition (access required)

As seasoned attorneys know, the lofty principles that attract aspiring lawyers can quickly be overshadowed by client emergencies, Sisyphean scheduling conundrums, unreasonable opposing counsel, billing targets, intrafirm politics, and understaffed courts. But from time to time, our esteemed judges take ...

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Va. Cir.: Easement enforceable despite chain-of-title confusion (access required)

Even though the owner of a servient estate had granted it to himself as trustee of a living trust, his subsequent easement – granted and recorded in his individual capacity – operated as a partial revocation of the prior transfer ...

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Va. Cir.: Nolle prosequi extinguishes GDC jurisdiction (access required)

A general district court’s grant of nolle prosequi was a final order that immediately divested it of jurisdiction. Thus, its subsequent actions of prompting the prosecutor to reconsider nolle prosequi, and then reversing its prior grant, were an abuse of ...

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Va. Cir.: City couldn’t effect sale before liens ascertained (access required)

In a judicial proceeding to sell tax-delinquent realty, the Commissioner of Accounts cannot enter a decree of confirmation of sale until the value of liens against the property being sold are determined. Background This court appointed a Special Commissioner to ...

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