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Blog: Opinions & Observations

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...

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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,...

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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...

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Commercial Landlord-Tenant Relations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 17, 2020

Amid the health and economic crisis created by COVID-19, landlords, property managers, and tenants of commercial property are scrambling for information and establishing new policy. Briefings by the President and Governor change the way businesses can be conducted with little or no advanced warning.  What makes sense one day, may not be an option the next. What has become clear, is that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing economic upheaval for businesses.  Among the...

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Can Virginia Renters Be Evicted During the COVID-19 Crisis?

April 16, 2020

There seems to be a common belief that landlords may not evict residential tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most beliefs, it’s rooted in truth, but the details may be surprising. On March 16, 2020, the Virginia Supreme Court made an emergency judicial order in response to COVID-19 that essentially put the brakes on all cases for 21 days.  On March 27, the Court extended the order by another 21days.  At the present time, all civil matters are continued...

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COVID-19 Presents Construction Industry with Challenging New Legal Issues

April 15, 2020

Businesses who are engaged in construction related activities, whether on public or private projects, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers, as well as sureties under payment and performance bonds, can expect that there will be new and challenging legal problems resulting from the impact of the Coronavirus.  While certain types of projects have been deemed to be essential, others have not, resulting in job shutdowns and layoffs of...

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COVID-19: Helpful Resources for Businesses and Individuals

April 13, 2020

(UPDATED April 22, 2020) Congress passed major legislation to address economic and health problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently considering additional changes to the law.  Government agencies are regularly providing regulations and guidance for businesses and individuals to understand how these laws affect them and what new benefits are available. We have compiled the links below to help clients and community members locate relevant...

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COVID-19 and Contracts – Assessing Business Liability for Breach

April 07, 2020

COVID-19 and its effects are forcing businesses across the nation to critically analyze operations.  Some are getting creative to keep operations going. Others are simply unable to move forward in the current business environment and are forced to cut their losses.  If you unfortunately find yourself in the latter circumstance, one of the first things you should do is review your current contract, such as your commercial lease or supplier agreements, to determine...

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Relief for Businesses under the CARES Act

April 06, 2020

On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law.  The CARES Act provides numerous avenues for businesses to obtain financial assistance and relief as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The law is over 800 pages long and cannot be addressed in an article of this length.  However, there are several program components that businesses should review and may find beneficial.  This article highlights some...

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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...

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