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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Vocational Rehabilitation in Virginia

September 27, 2016

Under Virginia law an employer who has three or more regular employees in the same business is required to furnish workers’ compensation coverage at no cost to their employees. This includes vocational rehabilitation benefits. When an employee is injured on the job and is unable to resume usual job duties but still is able to work, an employer is required to furnish reasonable and necessary vocational rehabilitation services to an injured employee.  Vocational rehabilitation...

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Why You Need An Attorney When Selling Your Home FSBO (For Sale By Owner) - August 2016

August 01, 2016

For most people, a home is the most expensive thing that they will ever sell. While not as common, some individuals choose to sell their home "For Sale by Owner" (FSBO). The reasons may vary as sellers may want to be in charge of marketing or save the expense of a listing agent's commission. Starting the process of selling FSBO can be as easy as putting a "For Sale by Owner" sign in your front yard, and some brokerage services may offer to list your property on the multiple...

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Assisted Reproduction's Impact on Estate Planning and Administration in Virginia - July 2016

July 14, 2016

With the availability of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), families who once may not have been able to become parents except through adoption are often able to conceive a child by non-traditional means. However, just because you, as a parent, consider a child born by use of ART to be your child in the same way you would consider a child born to you without the use of ART to be your child, Virginia law does not always agree. This Opinions and Observations column...

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Can a Property Owner Evict a Tenant Who Contests Title in the General District Court? - July 2016

July 12, 2016

A recent Virginia case will make it much harder for purchasers of foreclosed properties to evict residents of the purchased property and could allow tenants to remain in the property until there is a decision on the validity of the foreclosure. In Parrish v. Fannie Mae[1], the Virginia Supreme Court held that when a resident in an eviction action challenges the title of the plaintiff, the General District Court may not have jurisdiction to hear the case. The General District...

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Why Do Banks Require Bank Counsel On Some Commercial Loans? - June 2016

June 24, 2016

I have been representing both borrowers and lenders on commercial transactions for over 30 years and I have frequently encountered this question from borrowers: Why does the bank need its own attorney in the transaction when the borrower is represented by counsel? Implicit in this question is the truism: Borrowers do not like to pay the legal fees of their own lawyer and they certainly don't like to also have to pay legal fees for the bank's attorney. The following are some...

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Environmental Law: The Supreme Court’s Hawkes Co. Decision May Help Save Your Project When Wetlands are Present - June 2016

June 01, 2016

By Jim Lang - June 2016 Image courtesy of Michael Mees Wetlands make it hard to build at a property.  This is especially significant in Hampton Roads, Virginia, due to the high prevalence of wetlands in this part of the country.  The builder and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) do not always agree on the size of the wetlands footprint, with the builder needing the footprint to be small in order for the project to go forward, and the Army Corps claiming the...

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President Nixon as Midwife for the Birth of Enviromental Law - June 2016

June 01, 2016

By Jim Lang - June 2016 Whether he actually said it or not, Winston Churchill gets credit for the quote that “Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else.” Cuyahoga River Fire Nov. 3, 1952.  Courtesy of Special Collections, Michael SchwartzLibrary at Cleveland State University (from the Cuyahoga River – Fires, Accidents Collection) When deciding how much pollution may be released into our surroundings and whether there should be a...

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Choosing a Business Entity in Virginia - May 2016

May 24, 2016

by Brent R. Haden “I want to form a business, what type of entity should I choose?” As a business attorney, this is a question that I frequently run across. The choice of a business entity is one of the first questions that a new start-up should address and is more nuanced that many might think. To answer the question properly involves an analysis of the legal, tax and management objectives of the business owner. An owner looking to set up a real estate holding company will...

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Environmental Law: An Oil Spill Could Cost Your Business - March 2016

March 14, 2016

by James T. Lang The owner of each vessel, each shipyard, each port, and each waterfront facility that handles oil is faced with the risk of an oil spill into water. Ignoring the risk is foolhardy. It puts the business in jeopardy, along with the assets and even the personal freedom of the owner. Acknowledging the risk, and managing it, is an important business judgment that weighs the economic cost of the available prevention measures, the extent to which those measures, if...

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The Adam Walsh Act and the Petitioner's Burden to Prove "No Risk of Harm" - March 2016

March 08, 2016

by Anne C. Lahren The Adam Walsh Act (“AWA”) was enacted “To protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote Internet safety, and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims.” The AWA contains significant restrictions on a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident’s ability to petition for his or her spouse or fiancé(e) if he or she has been convicted of any specified offense against...

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