Cutting Through Funeral Processions – Are you breaking the law?

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Author: Tammy S. Ruble

We often hear people speak of a decrease in civility these days. One notable example is the increase in the number of drivers that attempt to cut through funeral processions. A recent article in the Washington Post[1] cited a study by the Automobile Association of America which indicated that at least two people have died and 23 were injured in 2012 as a result of accidents caused by drivers exhibiting such discourteous behavior.[2] In Virginia, such impatience is not merely rude; it’s against the law.

A Virginia statute provides that any funeral procession under a police or sheriff’s escort has the right-of-way in any highway and that no vehicle, not part of the…

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Do You Text When You Drive? For What It’s Worth, You Should Know The Law

Do U txt when U drive? FWIW, U shud no the law.

Author: Malcolm P. McConnell, III, Richmond Injury Attorney

On July 1, Virginia law changed and anyone who is tempted to text while driving should take heed: Before the change, texting while driving was what is called a “secondary offense,” meaning that a driver had to be stopped for some other offense before he could be charged with texting and driving. However, as of July 1, texting while driving is a PRIMARY offense, allowing police to stop drivers who are merely suspected of texting or reading text messages while driving.

The new law is Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-1078.1.[1] It provides, in pertinent part:

A. It is unlawful…

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Motor Vehicle Safety - Driving While Intoxicated in Virginia: A Bad Gamble That's Not Worth It

Author: Christopher J. Toepp, Fredericksburg Car Accident Attorney

As a former Virginia prosecutor, I have seen the negative effects of drunk driving firsthand.[1] Drivers who are intoxicated endanger their own lives as well as the lives of the passengers in their cars, other motorists on the road, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Virginia has some of the most stringent driving under the influence (“DUI”) laws in the nation. Drunk drivers can be, and often are, sentenced to exceedingly long periods of incarceration.[2]  Elected prosecutors have significant political motivations to prosecute DUI offenses to the full extent of the law and thus are exceedingly hesitant…

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Virginia Law: Do I Have a Right to an Appeal of My Civil Case?

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Author: Kathleen Smith (Llewellyn-Duncan), Fredericksburg VA Accident Lawyer

Sometimes my personal injury clients ask if they have a right to appeal if they don't like the result at trial.  In Virginia, the answer depends where the case was originally filed and tried.[1]  If the case was tried in General District Court, and you are not satisfied with the verdict, you have an automatic right to appeal your case to the Circuit Court, but you must give the court written notice of your intent to appeal within 10 days of the judgment (usually the date the case was tried).[2]  You may also have to post what is called an appeal bond.  Your case will then be heard in Circuit Court, and you may request a jury trial.

If…

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'Castle Doctrine' Bills Shot Down in Virginia's General Assembly

Author: David M. Williams, Jr., Fredericksburg Personal Injury Attorney

Two bills giving Virginians the green light to use deadly force against intruders into their homes died in the 2012 General Assembly session.

The "Castle doctrine" originated from old English common law rules protecting a person's home and the principle underlying the phrase "a person's home is their castle". The doctrine allows the use of physical force, including deadly force, by a person in his/her home against an intruder who has committed an overt act against him/her or against someone else lawfully in the home. Many states have laws that are based on the Castle Doctrine.[1] One of the Virginia bills would have protected…

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Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Claims

How bankruptcy could affect your personal injury case

Author: Attorney J. David Douthit

[Neither the author nor the firm of Allen & Allen practices bankruptcy law or advises clients in bankruptcy matters.  This article is intended only to give an overview of personal injury law practice as it is affected by bankruptcy.  - Editor's note.]

A recent decision by the Virginia Supreme Court, Kocher v. Campbell, 282 Va 113 (2011),[1] has significant implications for personal injury claims.  In that case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident.  Approximately a year and a half after the car accident, and before filing a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. …

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Severe Penalties for Sexting: The Legal Consequences of Using Obscene or Lewd Language on Cellular Phones

Author:  Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

Many people seem to use obscene or lewd language on a cellphone that they would never use in face to face conversation.  In Virginia, use of this language on the telephone is not only crude and inappropriate, it's illegal.  Profane, lewd or vulgar language over a telephone has been a criminal offense in Virginia for many years.  Up until this year, Virginia statutes read as follows:

"Any person who uses obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or makes any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threatens and illegal or immoral act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, over any telephone or citizens band…

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Jury Duty in Virginia - A Privilege and A Responsibility

Tammy S. Ruble, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Tammy S. Ruble, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Recently my son received a summons to serve as a juror in Chesterfield County. "I'm exempt, of course," he said to me. "Why?" "Because my mother's a lawyer," he responded. Sorry, son, it's not quite that easy.

I've always wanted to serve as a juror, but others dread the thought and would sooner walk across a bed of hot coals than get that letter. So how did that juror summons end up in your mailbox, anyway? A popular belief is that the juror pool is drawn from the voter registration rolls, but that is just one source. Virginia Code §8.01-345[1] permits jurors to be chosen from the voter registration rolls, the Department of…

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Pedestrian Traffic Laws in Virginia

Kathleen M. Smith, Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Kathleen M. Smith, Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Did you know Virginia State Law requires you to follow rules each time you go for a walk? Certain laws - for instance, not stepping into the middle of a highway - appeal to common sense. However, rules like Virginia Law Code 46.2-928 - that requires pedestrians to walk on the sidewalk if one is available - may be less obvious.

Virginia Law and pedestrian safety

Pedestrian regulations apply to the use of sidewalks, crosswalks, roadways, and highways. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, and are required to walk on them instead of the roadway when a sidewalk is available. If there is no sidewalk, stay to the…

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New Ethics Rule 1:18 - Permitting Lawyers to Defend More Injured Persons

Author: Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

On June 21, 2011, and effective immediately, the Virginia Supreme Court adopted a new provision in the Rules of Professional Conduct.[1] This amendment to the Rules changes the ethics in Virginia concerning conflicts of interest and potential new clients.

Under the old rules, when an attorney met with a prospective client and decided not to accept the case - or the prospective client decided not to employ the attorney - there was an ethical risk if later another person involved in the same matter came to the attorney and sought representation.  The concern was that the attorney may have learned something from the interview with the first prospective client…

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