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Judge Robert J. Smith

Jul 31, 2015

Key fob use leads to DUI finding

A key fob that allowed the car to be operated without an actual key inserted in an ignition switch has prompted the latest conviction in Virginia’s series of “sleeping driver” cases. A Fairfax County circuit judge convicted the operator who was found intoxicated in his car with the engine off but with some internal dash […]

Jul 29, 2015

Car Lights On, Key Fob in Hand Yields DUI

A defendant found apparently asleep in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Murano, which was parked in a handicapped space in a restaurant parking lot, with its engine off but lights illuminating the radio panel, was in “actual physical control” of the vehicle and “operating” the vehicle for purposes of a DUI conviction under Va. […]

Apr 7, 2015

Notes Are Holographic Codicils

A testator’s first handwritten note stating her wish that her grandson receive $50,000 expressed no testamentary intent, but her second handwritten note saying “if my assets are over $750,000 at the time of my demise, I would like Ian to have $50,000” passed muster as a holographic codicil, a Fairfax Circuit Court says. Under Va. […]

Mar 26, 2015

Law aims to help victims of online libel

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has approved a new law to make it easier to sue online mudslingers. The governor’s March 16 signature will add extra time for victims of anonymous Internet defamation to learn the identities of their tormentors. The current one-year limitations period for defamation lawsuits can operate as a bar to litigation. The reform […]

Jul 8, 2014

Judgment Debtor Wins Back Garnished Wages

A judgment debtor who owes $343,260 to Trident Systems Inc. for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and violating the Virginia Computer Crimes Act wins back $2,135 garnished from his wages with his new employer, as the Fairfax Circuit Court says debtor properly filed his homestead exemption and claimed his wife as a […]

Jun 27, 2014

Lawyer can’t discover the identity of ‘John Doe’ posters

A lawyer cannot discover the identity of an online poster who called her a “run of the mill court appointed attorney,” a Fairfax Circuit judge has ruled. That wasn’t even the worst of the comments offered by a John Doe poster, who also referred to Fairfax lawyer Andaleeb Geloo as “fat,” using a slur for […]

May 13, 2014

Police Captain Job Loss Not Due to Bias

An African-American female who became the first minority female to command correctional operations in the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, but who nevertheless was not reappointed just months short of the 20-year mark in her career with the VBSO, loses her suit alleging race and gender discrimination, as defendant has demonstrated that plaintiff failed to correct […]

Mar 24, 2014

Husband’s estate seeks share of wife’s property

The dueling estates of a husband and wife were left to duke it out in court when the husband died months after filing notice that he wanted a share of the estate of his wife, who left him out of her will. Bertha and Marvin Grubb were married in 1980 in Charlottesville. During their marriage, […]

Feb 11, 2014

‘Lost’ Will Admitted to Probate

A 1992 will is presumed lost, based on evidence that the lawyers who drafted and witnessed the will and whose law firm no longer exists, delivered the will and trust documents to a bank and the bank has been unable to locate the bank; the Fairfax Circuit Court will admit the will to probate as […]

Jan 2, 2014

Townhome Neighbors Can’t Challenge Access

Plaintiff townhome owners do not have standing to challenge defendant developer’s use of a 50-foot easement that runs between a church and the townhome community for access and a connection to a proposed development with seven new homes; the Fairfax Circuit Court says plaintiffs have not shown they would suffer any particularized harm from installation […]

Nov 7, 2013

Gun Permit Granted After Special Court-Martial

A Fairfax Circuit Court grants a permit for a concealed handgun to an applicant who, as a member of the U.S. Navy, pled guilty to three offenses in a Special Court-Martial and received a four-month sentence, reduced rank, pay forfeiture and a bad conduct discharge. The issue before the court is whether the applicant’s Special […]

Sep 13, 2013

Judge was too quick to yank noncompete

An ex-employee sued on a noncompete agreement did not get a quick exit out of court by filing a demurrer saying the agreement was unenforceable, the Supreme Court of Virginia said on Sept. 12. The high court surveyed its recent decisions on noncompetes, including the 2011 Home Paramount decision, and said the question of enforceability […]

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