Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Effective December 1, 2015

By: Chris Jones.

Numerous amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will come into effect on December 1, 2015. The amendments are to Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 55 and 84. These amendments will have a variety of effects on the preparation of cases and the handling of potential claims. The following is a summary of the more […]

 

Changes to Virginia UM/UIM Law

By: Chris Jones.

Virginia has made changes to its underinsured motorist law that will take effect on July 1, 2015. The changes come with the addition of Va. Code § 8.01-66.1:1, and with amendments to Va. Code § 38.2-2206. The major impact of these changes is that they shift the burden of defending a suit to the underinsured motorist […]

 

Driverless Cars Have Come to Virginia: Considerations for Automated Vehicles

By: Chris Jones.

How does the law apportion responsibility when someone is injured by an automated machine?  In the past, this question has come before courts only rarely, and in the context of accidents involving elevators or airplane autopilots.  In the near future, however, as automated road vehicles enter the marketplace, this issue will become increasingly prevalent in […]

 

Early Termination of Annuities Not Permitted

By: Chip Delano.

Since investing can be a risky business with investments dropping in value from time to time, investors seeking steady income with minimal risk are sometimes attracted to an annuity’s guaranteed-income feature.  A recent case from the Western District of Virginia, however, illustrates why an investor should first research whether an annuity is the right choice […]

 

And the Defense Wins

By: Chip Delano.

In Banner Life Insurance Co. v. Jacqueline L. Noel, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 1539 (4th Cir. 2013), aff’g 861 F. Supp. 2d 701 (E.D. Va. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s granting of Banner’s motion for summary judgment limiting its obligations to return of the premium […]

 

SCOVA Refuses to Incorporate Prior Discovery Rulings from Previous Non-suited Action

By: Terrence L. Graves.

In Temple v. Mary Washington Hospital, Inc., et al., Record No. 131754 (Sept. 12, 2014), the Supreme Court of Virginia opined on an obscure, yet significant, issue related to the common practice of incorporating discovery by court order in subsequent actions where the plaintiff nonsuited its original action. Jo Ann Knighten Temple, as Administrator of […]

 

Harman v. Honeywell International

By: Doug Winegardner.

The Supreme Court of Virginia’s recent opinion in Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., Case No. 130627 (June 5, 2014) contains a wealth of analysis on a number of evidentiary rules that every trial lawyer will likely encounter in his or her career.  This legal alert summarizes each of the Court’s rulings on those issues and […]

 

Virginia’s Privity of Contract Defense Continues to Protect Defendants in Economic Loss Cases

By: Will Watkins.

I am often told by clients that they are protected from a lawsuit because they have a corporation.  The advice I usually give them is that while the corporate shield is strong it does not protect them if they are negligent and cause injury or damage, even if it is during working hours.  While that […]

 

Selective Way Ins. Co. v. Schulle, Western District of Virginia 2/5/14

By: Ian Lambeets.

Author:  Sarah Warren Smith The Western District of Virginia reaffirmed the standard for production of information during discovery, as well as the importance of fair mediation, in its recent decision of Selective Way Insurance Co. v. Schulle.  Selective Way filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of its obligation to defend or indemnify its […]

 

Judge Sets Aside $3 Million Jury Verdict because Expert’s Testimony is Baseless

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: David Boyce Recently, in Cross v. Spears, CL 12-436, a Martinsville Circuit Court judge set aside a 3 million dollar jury award and ordered a new trial based on a ruling that the plaintiff’s toxicologist’s opinion testimony was “totally lacking in scientific factual foundation.”  After attending a NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia, the plaintiff, Cross, was struck by a […]