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Law Firms

Dec 1, 2014

Prime Rate: Few new law hires score top salary

The six-figure salary with a desk in a tall, downtown office building is a prize that seems ever more elusive for new law school graduates as the law firm legal market changes. The shrinking pool of high dollar entry-level legal jobs means fewer lawyers will snag the top salary of $160,000, according to reported salary […]

Nov 13, 2014

Accident victim seeks access to firm’s liability policy

The Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to consider whether a lawyer is on the job and covered by his law firm’s insurance when he’s driving to work with his cellphone ready for work-related calls. The outcome could determine whether a man injured in a 2009 car crash can tap into the law firm’s $1 […]

Sep 29, 2014

Law firm bookkeeper convicted of embezzlement

A federal jury last week convicted a former office manager and bookkeeper at an Alexandria law firm of stealing about $186,000 from her boss. The bookkeeper had contended the lawyer was paying her to keep quiet about shady office practices. The lawyer denied any such practices. James D. Turner hired Julissa Rauhut as office manager […]

Sep 11, 2014

Prosecutors lose bid to disqualify defense lawyers, firm

A Norfolk federal judge has rejected an effort by prosecutors in a Medicaid fraud case to disqualify, not only the key defendant’s lawyers, but their entire law firm. The government said the lawyers from the firm of Williams Mullen injected themselves into the case when they advised the owner of a Norfolk health care business […]

Jul 30, 2014

Law firm missed contract loophole, client claims

A Midlothian woman who sold her successful pet products business contends her lawyers cost her more than $2.35 million when they overlooked a critical provision in the sale contract. The business owner’s lawsuit against the Richmond law firm of Christian & Barton LLP demands $4 million for breach of contract and professional negligence. The law […]

Jun 19, 2014

Joint letter would tell clients of firm split

VIRGINIA BEACH – Neither lawyers who want to leave a law firm nor those who remain would be able to contact the firm’s clients until the two sides have tried to forge a joint letter advising clients of the breakup, under a proposed new ethics rule. When the parties can’t agree on a joint letter, […]

Apr 21, 2014

Home Grown: Largest firms pick new partners mostly from within

Virginia’s top law firms look to home-grown talent when it comes to picking partners, judging by the crop of lawyers who made partner during 2013. The harvest is thinning, however. The top 10 firms in the 2014 edition of Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s annual Largest Law Firms survey reported 814 Virginia-based partners. Partner ranks swelled by […]

Mar 13, 2014

Ethics panel gets earful on rule for departing lawyers

A proposed Virginia rule governing law firm splits should recognize that departing lawyers usually leave suddenly, without warning to the firm, according to lawyers who have experienced firm breakups. The chaos and acrimony that often follows a split is on full display in a still unfolding drama involving a group of seven lawyers who left […]

Mar 6, 2014

Client file fight prompts contempt hearing

A fight over legal files has escalated with a motion for sanctions filed by a group of lawyers who left a Richmond personal injury firm to form their own law practice. Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. heard argument March 5 on the Commonwealth Law Group’s request for $100,000 in sanctions, and another $100,000 […]

Feb 25, 2014

Federal reform would make firms pay taxes on unrealized income

Many Virginia law firms would have to switch their accounting methods and pay taxes on income before the money actually is collected, if a proposed federal tax reform makes its way through Congress. The proposal – not yet incorporated in legislation – could force law firms with annual gross receipts of $10 million or more […]

Feb 13, 2014


The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee of Legal Ethics has jumped into the 21st century with a new draft opinion. It’s a Legal Ethics Opinion on one of those small but significant details left over from a firm break-up: What happens to the old firm’s web address and URL? The hypothetical in proposed LEO 1873 […]

Jan 31, 2014

Judge says sheriff can protect lawyers’ file access

Amid finger pointing between a law firm and six departing lawyers, a Richmond judge authorized the city sheriff’s office to “employ all reasonable measures necessary” to permit the departing lawyers to retrieve client files from the firm. That Jan. 21 order directed to Geoffrey R. McDonald’s law firm was followed a day later by an […]

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