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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Virginia Supreme Court Rejects Oyster Bed Leaseholders’ Inverse Condemnation Claim

December 14, 2020

The Supreme Court of Virginia has reaffirmed its century old precedent that leaseholders of oyster beds hold limited property rights and are not entitled to make an inverse condemnation claim against a governmental entity when such entity’s actions cause damage to oyster grounds by way of causing the water running over the grounds to become polluted.  In Johnson v. City of Suffolk, leaseholders of certain oyster grounds in the Nansemond River filed an inverse...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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...

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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...

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