Archive for the ‘state courts’ Category

Virginia Supreme Court Considers Evidence Necessary to Get Gross Negligence Case to a Jury

Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Elliott, Administrator of the Estate of Smith v. Carter.  The opinion was authored by Justice Goodwyn and flowed from an appeal of a case that was originally dealt with in the Circuit Court for Richmond County. The case came out of the tragic […]

 

Varity Corp. v. Howe: Alive and Well Despite Amara!

 This article originally appeared in The Voice, Vol. 15, Issue 4 (January 27, 2016), a publication of DRI. It appears here with permission. It’s a common fact scenario that many of us frequently face these days: a plaintiff’s complaint makes two claims under ERISA, a claim for plan benefits under § 1132(a)(1)(B) and an equitable claim […]

 

Virginia Supreme Court Decides Punitive Damages Case

In the recent case of Cain v. Lee, the Virginia Supreme Court determined that the Circuit Court for the County of Stafford erred when it granted a jury instruction that provided that “punitive damages are generally not favored and should be awarded only in cases involving egregious conduct.”  The instruction that was offered by the […]

 

Changes to Virginia UM/UIM Law

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 […]

 

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

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 […]

 

The Most Plaintiff-Friendly Jurisdiction in Virginia?

     Among liability defense counsel and those in the liability insurance industry, the City of Richmond has a long standing, widely-held reputation as one of the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction in Virginia, with a higher likelihood of jurors finding liability and awarding a big judgment. However, the Virginia Lawyers Weekly published the results of their annual […]

 

Preserving a UM/UIM Carrier’s Right to Defend

[ed. note: THE INFORMATION IN THE ARTICLE BELOW DESCRIBES LEGAL MATTERS HANDLED IN THE PAST BY OUR ATTORNEYS. AS ALWAYS, THE RESULTS WE HAVE ACHIEVED DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH MATTER. BECAUSE EACH MATTER IS DIFFERENT, OUR PAST RESULTS CANNOT PREDICT OR GUARANTEE A SIMILAR RESULT IN THE FUTURE.] By:  Ian […]

 

Itemized Damages Permitted in Closing Arguments

Author:  Sarah Warren Beverly In an opinion that the Virginia Supreme Court handed down in March of this year, Justice Powell, writing for the majority, held that counsel for the plaintiff, in his closing argument, was permitted to assign a fixed dollar amount for each element of damages sought. Wakole v. Barber, 283 Va. 488, […]

 

Codified Evidence Rules Pass Virginia Legislature

Huzzah! The codified Rules of Evidence has passed the Virginia’s legislature after some late opposition from four Senators. The Sands Anderson Risk Manager blog first reported on the proposed rules back in October. In a comment to that article, attorney and then-President of Sands Anderson Pierce Rucker noted, “We certainly have [Sands Anderson’s] own Bunky Miller to thank, and many of his colleagues […]

 

The Western District permits evidence of future lost earning capacity of a minor

An interesting article by Sarah Warren Beverly, a Sands Anderson litigation attorney, analyzing a recent federal court decision from Judge Jones that addresses a minor’s ability to claim loss of earning capacity as a component of damages: The plaintiff bears the burden to prove his or her damages with “reasonable certainty.” Gwaltney v. Reed, 196 Va. 505, 507, 84 […]