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Blog: Opinions & Observations

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Opening the Door to Social Media Content through Discovery

October 02, 2020

The abundance and sophistication of social media platforms has changed our society.  Social media is impacting our personal and professional worlds.  For the most part, it has been a positive tool.  Today, we can connect with people across the world, exchange ideas, and expand our network all just with the click of a button.  In the legal community, social media has the potential to change the way attorneys search for and uncover evidence.  Due to the enormous growth, social...

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Virginia’s New Series LLC – Uses, Benefits and Drawbacks

September 11, 2020

As of July 1, 2020, the “Series Limited Liability Company,” became the newest addition to Virginia’s legal entity landscape.  Set forth in a new Article 16 of Virginia’s Limited Liability Company Act, Virginia’s act is modelled on the Uniform Protected Series Act and brings a relatively new business structure to Virginia.  Essentially a variant of a traditional limited liability company, a Series limited liability Company (“Series LLC”) attempts to provide the benefits of a...

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Perfecting and Successfully Enforcing a Mechanic’s Lien and Dealing with a Lender’s Priority

August 14, 2020

It goes without saying that any mechanic’s lien must be timely filed and must meet all the statutory requirements under the applicable lien statute, not only if the lien claimant expects to enforce its lien, but also if a lien claimant expects to have its mechanic’s lien enforced ahead of the lender’s lien, perfect the lien in accordance with the local statute, and meet any deadline and other requirements for instituting and successfully prosecuting an action to enforce the...

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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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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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How to Build a Pier in Virginia: Five Things Waterfront Property Owners Need to Know

April 01, 2020

Why Build a Pier? With spring in the air and summer fast approaching, many waterfront property owners have contacted our waterfront law team asking about the legal hurdles involved in constructing or expanding a pier or dock in Virginia.  Having a pier attached to your waterfront property is highly desirable. Not only does it increase the property value of your home, but it also allows you to make the most of your waterfront location.  A high-quality pier will allow access...

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An Overview of Virginia’s Fraudulent Conveyance Statutes and Case Law

March 19, 2020

A fraudulent conveyance is one undertaken “with intent to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors”.  Va. Code § 55.1-400.  Case law demonstrates that a court looks at the enumerated badges of fraud similar to a totality of circumstances analysis.  In general, there are many facts and scenarios which the law interprets to be signs of fraud, and from which fraudulent intent may be inferred. I. Applicable Virginia Law Under Virginia law, a fraudulent conveyance has no specific...

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