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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce in Virginia

November 22, 2021

Overview of Fault and No-fault Grounds FOR Divorce, Procedural Differences Between Uncontested and Contested Divorces and Time and Cost Advantages of Uncontested Divorce In Virginia, a spouse who decides to get divorced has a decision to make. Should they file for divorce based on fault grounds or no-fault separation grounds? This article will offer a “Virginia Divorce 101” overview on fault and no-fault grounds for divorce, the procedural difference between...

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Garnishing Bank Accounts in the Online Banking Age

November 11, 2021

When a plaintiff obtains a judgment in a lawsuit, the plaintiff still must collect the amount owed by the defendant.  Under Virginia law, there are several options available to a party attempting to collect a debt when the defendant does not pay willingly.  One of the most common tools is a garnishment – a legal proceeding filed by the plaintiff to obtain assets of the defendant that are being held by a third party to satisfy the debt – often wages held by an...

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Who Decides Just Compensation in Virginia Condemnation Cases?

September 27, 2021

The amount of money the landowner receives from the award in a condemnation case is referred to as just compensation. Does it sound just to you as a taxpayer that the landowner might have their amount of compensation that the landowner receives out of states funds be determined by the landowner’s friends, or the landowner’s business associates?[1]  There exists in Virginia’s eminent domain code a procedure by which that can happen, as part of what is referred to as a...

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New Laws in Virginia Effective July 1, 2021

June 29, 2021

Here’s a brief summary of some of the more notable laws passed by the 2021 Virginia legislature. Most new laws take effect on July 1st. A common theme is that they are generally considered defense-friendly, but not all. You should consult an attorney or read the code if you want to know specifics. End of the Death Penalty On March 24, 2021 Virginia became the first southern state to abolish Capital Punishment. Since 1976 when the U. S. Supreme Court upheld capital...

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From Leash Laws to Dog Bites: Your Legal Responsibilities as a Dog Owner

June 14, 2021

According to the Virginia Department of Health Animal Contact and Human Health Statistics, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Approximately 39% of these bites occur outside the dog’s home. [1] Any dog of any breed may bite. There is no way to know if a dog is a biter by only their breed, size, or age. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to follow the law, not only for the safety of others, but also for the safety of...

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Marriage Reconciliation Agreements: the Lex Pacificatoria before the Last Resort of Divorce

June 03, 2021

When the world suffers wars and threats of wars, our global community sometimes overcomes by reconciling conflicts through peace treaties. The Lex Pacificatoria means “law of the peacemakers,” and refers to this art of negotiating peace agreements to end a state of war or to create permanent peace. It would not be an overstatement to say that many people experience personal wars in their lives when going through separation or divorce.  Some may seek this Lex...

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How Do I Seize Assets after I Win a Civil Lawsuit?

May 19, 2021

Many people assume that if they prevail in a civil court case and the Judge enters a judgment order against the Defendant, the successful Plaintiff will automatically get paid.  Unfortunately for many successful Plaintiffs, winning the lawsuit is just the first step in recovering the funds which they are owed. When a Defendant loses a civil case and has a judgment entered against her/him, she/he is known as a “judgment debtor.”  The successful Plaintiff is called the...

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Willful Misconduct: An Employer’s Tool to Bar Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

April 30, 2021

Under Va. Code §65.2-306, an employee who otherwise suffered a compensable workplace accident may be denied workers’ compensation benefits if the employer proves that the employee was engaged in a form of willful misconduct at the time of the accident.  Whether an employee’s conduct rises to the level of willful misconduct is a question of fact that will be determined by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.   When an employee places him/herself into a...

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Addressing Landowner Arguments for Stricter Review of Public Projects in the Wake of the 2013 Eminent Domain Amendment

April 29, 2021

The amendment to Article I, section 11 of the Virginia Constitution that became effective January 1, 2013, restricted the power of eminent domain and expanded the right to compensation in certain clearly defined ways.  It also included two broader policy statements that counsel for landowners have seized upon to argue that courts should subject takings to more scrutiny than in the past.  While these arguments have a surface appeal, a closer examination reveals that...

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Virginians Can Protect Personal Data under New Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act

March 19, 2021

It is no secret that businesses have been collecting, buying, and selling personal information about consumers for years.  It is a safe bet that every time you interact with a company it is recording the information it receives and building a profile on you based on demographic data, such as your shirt size or whether you own a pet, and your personal preferences for consumer goods. Companies use this information to better market their goods and services to you, but...

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