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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Groff v. DeJoy: The Supreme Court Changes the Rules for How Employers Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs

November 08, 2023

In June 2023, the United States Supreme Court released an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy that affects all employers who are faced with accommodating their employees’ religious practices and beliefs.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their religion. The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs and practices, unless doing so would...

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Eminent Domain and Carbon Capture Technology

October 27, 2023

In the ongoing effort to address the threat of climate change, the federal government has set an ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury.  While there is a concerted effort to reduce emissions from each sector of the economy, it is widely acknowledged that the goal cannot be achieved by emission reductions alone.  Instead, some sort of “carbon capture” technology will need to be developed.Carbon Capture TechnologyThe...

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Name, Image, and Likeness: What is Going On?

October 16, 2023

As you may recall, roughly two years ago we witnessed an increase in the discussion surrounding “Name, Image, and Likeness” (“NIL”) in collegiate athletics. The catalyst stems from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of NCAA v. Alston and the subsequent adjustments the NCAA made to its NIL and amateurism policies in response. Shortly thereafter, Virginia entered the discussions by passing its own NIL law for the Commonwealth. For a detailed discussion...

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Benefits and Terms of Private Road Maintenance Agreements

October 02, 2023

Do you want to live off the beaten path? Have your own little piece of heaven out past where the paved road ends? If so, you’re going to have to figure out how to get there, and not living on a publicly maintained road may involve the far less romantic reality of a private road maintenance agreement. If you need to cross someone else’s property to access your home, then you may be looking at obtaining an access or ingress/egress easement across that other...

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The Importance of Title Insurance Policy Endorsements in Commercial Real Estate Transactions

September 06, 2023

Most buyers and lenders engaging in commercial real estate transactions understand that title insurance is needed to protect their respective interest in the title to the property, but do not stop to think in detail about what is covered or, perhaps more importantly, what is not covered but could be with a few well-chosen policy endorsements. Some buyers and lenders who have certain endorsements on their checklists do not know or understand the large...

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New Controversial Virginia Law Aimed at Easing Broadband Expansion Challenged by Railroads

July 31, 2023

One of the goals of the recent federal investment in infrastructure is ensuring universal broadband internet access.  While the Virginia General Assembly was largely quiet on the eminent domain front this year, it did pass a bill to help facilitate broadband expansion efforts.  However, the new law has already come under challenge by a group of railroads, who argue, among other things, that the law takes their property without adequate compensation.The...

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Civil Liability for Property Damage, Death, or Injury Near Waterfront Property

July 07, 2023

One commonly asked question regarding waterfront property ownership is the extent of civil liability for property damage, injuries, or death occurring in the waterways adjacent to or on the property.  The answer to this question involves a complex interplay between Virginia state law (tort law) and federal law (admiralty and maritime law).  This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the liability considerations for waterfront property...

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New Laws in Virginia 2023

June 26, 2023

The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates met in January for a short session (45 days instead of 60 days) then again in April for a special session. Currently, the Senate is controlled by Democrats, the House is controlled by Republicans, and Republicans hold the Governor’s office. With the sharing of power between the parties, any proposed bill this year required bi-partisan approval to be passed into law.   This is a summary of some of the new laws....

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Custody Issues to Consider When Moving Outside of Virginia with Your Child

June 05, 2023

There are many circumstances to consider when moving to another state or country. To name a few, marriage, schools, childcare issues, connection with extended families, and new job or business opportunities, are all important life decisions to consider.  However, the decision becomes more complicated when the moving party is a child’s custodial parent.  The move may substantially impact the child’s relationship with the other parent, mainly due to the...

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What to Know about UCC Liens before Going Solar

May 15, 2023

Residential solar power generation has increased dramatically in Virginia over the past several years. Solar panels are an attractive upgrade for homeowners looking to save on their energy bills, help the environment, or both, but many are unaware that installing solar panels can create a lien on their property. Homeowners interested in installing solar panels should make sure to talk with a real estate attorney before doing so.Benefits of Solar...

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