Virginia's New Smoking Ban

Author: Attorney J. David Douthit

Effective December 1, 2009, smoking in many public places, including most Virginia restaurants, will be prohibited by the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act Va. Code Title 15.2, sections 15.2-2820 through 15.2-2833). Governor Kaine signed the Act into law on March 9, 2009, after it was approved by both houses of the General Assembly. The Act bans lighting or smoking of pipes, cigars, cigarettes, or any other "lighted smoking equipment", in most Virginia restaurants.

The Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act does contain some limited exceptions. A restaurant is allowed to have "smoking area" that is structurally separate from non-smoking areas, is separately ventilated, and…

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Do You Need A Truck Accident Attorney?

If You Have Been Seriously Injured In A Tractor Trailer Accident, You May Need An Attorney.

Author: Attorney Elizabeth M. Allen

The odds are against you when you're involved in a collision with a semi tractor trailer. First, if you're occupying a car, riding a bike or walking, you're likely to be seriously injured or killed. Second, if the collision was caused by a truck driver or truck owner's negligence, you face an uphill battle to ensure that the negligent driver and his employer compensate you fairly for your damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Why? The truck driver and his company have an overwhelming advantage. They have decades of experience defending claims just like yours. They…

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Running Legal, Running Safe

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Author: Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

As anyone who drives in Virginia has noticed, there has been an incredible increase in the number of people running or jogging on Virginia's roads. This is part of a national surge in running. For example there are now more than 400 different marathons in the United States, and some have 40,000 contestants.

All of those runners and joggers need to run, jog, and train somewhere. Most of them use the public road system to get their miles in. Many runners act as if the roads belong to them alone, and many drivers treat runners as they would a squirrel who comes onto the road in front of them. What is the law? Who really has the right of way and when?

The…

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The History of Chesterfield County

Author: Attorney Tammy S. Ruble

Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen opened a branch office in Chesterfield County many years ago just a bit east of the intersection of Courthouse Road and Hull Street Road. As Chesterfield County grew in population, and as the population centers shifted, the time was right in 2009 for a move several miles west of the original location to a site near the intersection of Route 288 and Hull Street Road. The new office is located at the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Hull Street Road, very near the busy Commonwealth Center shopping area and the neighborhoods of Brandermill, Woodlake and Ashbrook.

The geographical area that comprises Chesterfield County was being established…

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Deadlines in Personal Injury Cases

Author: Attorney Elizabeth M. Allen

Deadlines. They're a fact of life. We face deadlines for filing income tax returns, for filing health insurance claims, for submitting college applications, for renewing driver's licenses, and the list goes on.

Few deadlines are as important as those we encounter when we make a personal injury claim for damages against a negligent third party. Under Virginia law, if a plaintiff does not file his personal injury lawsuit and/or a required notice of claim within a prescribed time period, his claim for monetary damages will be barred forever. Period. End of case.

What are some of the most important deadlines you should remember?

• The Two Year Rule in a Personal…

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Popular Diet Drug Linked to Liver Damage - FDA Recalls Hydroxycut

Author: Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

On May 1, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") issued a warning letter recommending that consumers immediately stop using the popular weight loss supplement Hydroxycut. In addition, the FDA requested that Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., the manufacturer of Hydroxycut, recall various versions of the product completely from the marketplace. The warning letter by the FDA was in response to reports of serious health problems experienced by consumers taking the recommended doses.

To date, the FDA has received at least 23 reports of adverse liver effects in users of Hydroxycut products including jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, liver damage, and liver transplants.…

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Auto Insurance - The Coverages You Should Have BEFORE You Are Involved In An Accident

Author: Attorney P. Christopher Guedri

As a lawyer who specializes in the handling of personal injury claims, I often encounter clients that have been injured in serious motor vehicle accidents. Over the years, I have found that many clients don't know what types of coverage they have on their vehicles, the amount of the coverage they purchased, or how the answers to these questions may impact their case or our handling of it. In this article, I will attempt to generally outline the types of coverage that are typically available to purchasers of auto insurance and how to best protect yourself and your family in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

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Virginia Courts: A Brief Overview

Author: Attorney David M. Williams, Jr.

As a Virginia personal injury trial attorney, I spend the majority of time in the circuit and district court levels. However, there are four (4) levels of courts in Virginia; here's a brief overview of the court system. The four levels of courts in Virginia are: the District Courts, the Circuit Courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.

DISTRICT COURTS The District Courts are organized into thirty-two (32) districts and consist of two courts: the general district courts and the juvenile/domestic relations (JD&R) district courts. There is a General District Court and a JD & R District Court in every county and city. All cases at this level are heard…

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Are you responsible if your party guests drive drunk?

Social Host Liability

Beer, wine, Vodka, Scotch, Bourbon, Gin, mixers, glasses; everything is all ready for the party. The guests arrive and the house is filled with friends talking and laughing.

Then Uncle Fred shows up. Uh-oh. Uncle Fred is obviously intoxicated. He slides up to the bar and slurs out, 'I'll have a beer.'

What do you do? You know Uncle Fred drove himself to your house. You know he is planning to drive home. If you serve him more alcohol, are you responsible if Uncle Fred hurts himself in a car accident? Are you responsible if Uncle Fred hurts someone else in a crash?

The answer to these…

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Premises Liability: The Duties of a Store or Business Owner

Safety is a Legal Responsibility

Author: Attorney R. Clayton Allen

In the law, civil responsibility for one's actions is based on violating a duty. The duty can be created by a statute or by the common law. Statutes are written laws enacted by the legislature. The common law is the body of law that has been created over time based on earlier decisions by judges. In Virginia, the common law is based on laws originally developed in England. A business owner must look to both the statutes and the common law to determine the duties owed by a business owner to customers or clients who come on his business premises.

Statutes that set out the duties a business owner owes to his customers include laws containing building…

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