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We care about the safety and wellbeing of our employees, clients, friends and communities as we continue to serve the needs of our clients.  Our offices remain open, although we are using alternative means of communication to replace in-person meetings. For more information on our firm’s operations and plan in response to COVID-19, click here or call us at 757-490-3000. Click here for helpful COVID-19 articles and resources.

Blog: Opinions & Observations

Employers Can Seek Termination of Workers’ Compensation Indemnity Benefits Through Employer’s Application for Hearing

July 13, 2020

An Employer's Application for Hearing allows an employer to suspend or terminate workers’ compensation benefits of an injured employee who is under an open indemnity award.  There are certain instances when an employer can request that workers’ compensation benefits be stopped.   An employer may choose to file an Employer’s Application for Hearing and request that the injured worker’s compensation benefits be terminated if:  the worker refuses vocational rehabilitation...

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New Virginia Employment Laws Effective July 1, 2020

June 30, 2020

Virginia has traditionally been viewed as an employer-friendly state.  Part of that reputation arises from the fact that it had relatively few wage payment regulations and that state courts were closed to most employment-related claims.  Instead, employees had to bring their discrimination claims in federal court, where there were statutory caps to damages, and they had to rely on the Department of Labor and Industry to pursue any wage payment claims.  Not any longer. This...

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New Laws in Virginia Effective July 1, 2020 and Noteworthy Actions by the Virginia Legislature

June 29, 2020

Many of the new laws passed in the 2020 legislative session reflect concerns that dominated the news last year, such as legalizing marijuana, mass shootings and gun control. The 2021 session will, no doubt, have bills introduced reflecting current concerns raised by the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19. Decriminalization of Marijuana Penalties for offenses involving personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana are now a civil violation and no longer a...

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Separation and Divorce During COVID-19: Steps to Take During Lockdown

May 05, 2020

Despite being told that “this is the new normal”, there is nothing normal about the current coronavirus pandemic shutdowns and the related experiences people are enduring throughout Virginia, and the world.  Many families are hunkered down in a home where parents are trying to assume new roles that may include classroom teacher, child entertainer, and in some cases, a full-time spouse.  Every family has its own dynamic which develops into their “normal” lives.  Some function...

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New Unemployment Benefits Under the CARES Act

April 24, 2020

The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, includes three new federally-funded programs to provide additional unemployment compensation for workers.  While the federal government is providing the funding, the programs will be administered by the states as part of their unemployment insurance systems. What follows is a brief summary of each program. PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE The CARES Act creates the Pandemic...

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Virginia General Assembly Adopts Emergency Legislation Allowing Virtual Board Meetings During the Current State of Emergency

April 24, 2020

UPDATED 4/27/20 - Virginia Governor signed the legislation. Our Community Association Practice Group has been fielding many questions from concerned Boards of Directors regarding their ability to conduct association business during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently, the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act and the Virginia Condominium Act, require at least two directors to be physically present at a board meeting in order for the rest of the board to attend...

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Brown Water Seamen and the Stowaway Virus: Coronavirus Precautions

April 23, 2020

When one thinks of the seamen of old or of modern times, images of sailing across the deep, blue ocean between continents on wooden sailing ships or, perhaps, making long voyages on ultra-large container vessels comes to mind.  These “blue water” seamen, however, constitute only a small fraction of the crews that work onboard the vessels that make our economy run.  Most vessels ply the waters closer to home, including tug boats, tow boats, pilot boats, derrick barges,...

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Evaluating Recent Legislative Efforts to Reform Oyster Leasing in Virginia

April 23, 2020

In January of 2016, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, concerned about reports of conflicts in the Lynnhaven River system between oyster farmers harvesting from leased grounds and upland property owners, boaters, and other users and about proposed legislation that would have instituted a moratorium on new leases within that river system, formed a working group to review the matter and make recommendations about how to address the conflicts.  Very quickly, it became...

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Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan and Why It Probably Should Involve a Trust

April 21, 2020

We all know that you can’t take it with you, but too many people have not taken the time to properly consider an appropriate estate plan.  Many people are like Fred and Sally Smith.  Fred and Sally have been delaying getting an estate plan. They don’t like thinking about dying and what the world will be like when they are no longer in it.  Unfortunately, death, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, is one of the two great certainties in life (the other, of course, being taxes.) ...

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Co-Parenting During Lockdown in Virginia

April 17, 2020

Faced with a worldwide pandemic, governors across the country have issued, for the first time in my lifetime, universal stay-at-home orders virtually shutting down our way of life.  While it is an extremely difficult transition for in-tact families, persons who must co-parent with another parent during this current crisis are experiencing extra-ordinary difficulties.  Under the best of conditions, it is sometimes difficult to work with the child’s other parent given the...

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