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Blog: Opinions & Observations

New Laws in Virginia Effective July 1, 2022 and Highlights of Other Proposed Bills

June 30, 2022

Unlike last year when one party controlled the Senate, House and Governorship, bi-partisan agreement was required for any bill to be passed into law this year. Virginia has over 700 new laws. 841 bills were sent to the Governor. The ones not approved by the Governor were either vetoed or sent back for more study. Most new laws take effect on July 1, 2022.This summary offers a highlight of some of the new laws and a brief list of bills that were proposed...

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Virginia Law and Regulation Regarding Dam Safety

June 23, 2022

Virginia is home to over 10,000 miles of shoreline and many thousands of acres of water comprised of a large variety of differing types of waterbodies.  As a result, Virginia is also home to thousands of dams both public and private.  In fact, in 2018 there were over two thousand state-regulated dams in the Commonwealth.[1]  As will be explained below, this number does not include a great many dams which are excluded from state regulation, so the actual...

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Prenuptial Agreements in Virginia: When Are They Enforceable and How Can We Separate or Join Properties?

June 22, 2022

Are Prenuptial Agreements valid and enforceable in Virginia?The short answer is: Yes, upon marriage.It is important to recognize the value of a Prenuptial Agreement.  A Prenup is often perceived as an instrument that facilitates or encourages divorce. The true intention of a Prenuptial Agreement is to minimize conflict during the marriage and to avoid litigation and intrusion into their lives due to the unexpected event of divorce or death.This contract...

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What is All the Hype Around Name, Image, and Likeness in Virginia’s College Sports?: An Introduction to Virginia NIL Laws

December 27, 2021

If you have watched any college sports during the 2021-2022 season, then you probably have heard the term “Name, Image, Likeness” (“NIL”) on repeat. But what is all the hype around NIL in college sports and why now?Before the 2021-2022 season, college athletes could get severely punished for receiving compensation in connection with use of their NIL. For example, college athletes could have an award revoked, program wins could be vacated, or the athlete...

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Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce in Virginia

November 22, 2021

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 uncontested and contested divorces, and the advantages of uncontested divorce in terms of time and cost.Fault Grounds and No-Fault Grounds FOR Divorce In Virginia, a...

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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...

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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...

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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 PenaltyOn March 24, 2021 Virginia became the first southern state to abolish Capital Punishment. Since 1976 when the U. S. Supreme Court upheld...

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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...

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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...

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