Historic Sites in Petersburg, Virginia

Located along the banks of the Appomattox River and straddling Interstates 85 and 95 at the gateway to Southside Virginia, Petersburg is a town with a long and illustrious history. In its heyday during the first half of the nineteenth century, Petersburg was the eleventh largest city in the South. It was a manufacturing center and a railroad hub, and was well-known for its tobacco market and warehouses.

Today, one hundred and fifty years later, sightseers can catch a glimpse of what life was like during both the city's "golden age" and its time of misfortune during the Civil War. The City operates three museums which celebrate these periods of history.

Sitting majestically on a hill dominating the cityscape, Centre…

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Interstate Rest Stops to Reopen Allowing Truck Drivers to Catch a "Break"

An Update on Virginia Rest Stops

Shortly before taking office, Governor Bob McDonnell announced he will reopen the interstate highway rest stops closed last summer because of Virginia's budget shortfall. 1 As of April 15, 2010, all 19 have now been re-opened. 2 Although all tired motor vehicle drivers will benefit from this development, long distance tractor trailer operators should benefit the most.

At The Allen Law Firm, our tractor trailer accident attorneys often see the terrible injuries and ruined lives caused by crashes involving truck driver fatigue. Every year, 5,000 people or more are killed in truck crashes. If the new governor's decision ultimately prevents even a few truck…

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Should you represent yourself or hire a lawyer in a small civil suit?

General District Courts in Virginia

Author: Attorney Kathleen Llewellyn-Duncan

If you want to file a civil suit in Virginia representing yourself rather than hiring an attorney, there are several things to consider. You would need to decide on which court to file in. 1 Your decision affects the costs and potential recovery in your case. If your case is worth less than $4,500, you must file in General District Court. 2 If your claim is for any amount up to $15,000, you may still file in General District Court instead of Circuit Court. If you are in General District Court, then a judge -- not a jury -- will listen to the evidence and decide the outcome of…

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Virginia Traffic Laws: Virginia Set to Raise Speed Limit to 70 MPH

READY?SET? HOLD ON!

Author: Fredericksburg Attorney David M. Williams

Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed a bill passed by this year's Virginia General Assembly that allows the speed limit to be raised from 65 mph to 70 mph on certain sections of Virginia's highways. 1 While this law is set to take effect July 1st, it is likely to be months - or even longer - before drivers are allowed to push their accelerators a little harder.

§ 46.2-870 2 of the Code of Virginia was amended to read in relevant part as follows:

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the maximum speed…

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100 Hometown Heroes- Brought to you by the personal injury law firm of Allen & Allen

As the Virginia personal injury law firm of Allen and Allen celebrates its 100 year anniversary, we are thankful for the communities we serve and for the everyday heroes who make this a great place to live. This year we are honoring 100 Home Town Heroes. Do you know a hero? Let's hear it for your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker or your relative. The person who has made a difference in your community and your life.

Click to nominate your Hometown Hero between April 19 - May 7, 2010.

100 Hometown Heroes will be selected and recognized in your community. Award winners will be notified by May 17, 2010. All 100 Hometown Heroes will be announced on June 16, 2010. Application Deadline: Friday, May 7, 2010. Applications…

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The Virginia Tort Claims Act: It's Not Enough to be Ordinary

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Editors Note: Under the old English common law, on which much of American law is based, a person could not sue the king or "sovereign government". This prohibition was carried over into American common law, and prevents claims against the government. However, this absolute prohibition has been changed in most states in some ways by written statutes. In Virginia, one of these ways is the Virginia Tort Claims Act, which allows civil claims for damages to go forward against the Commonwealth of Virginia and its subsidiary agencies and political subdivisions under certain circumstances. This article describes the Act and some of those circumstances.

The Virginia Tort Claims Act 1 (hereinafter,…

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Sovereign Immunity for State Doctors: When it is Good to be the King's Doctor

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Sovereign immunity is the legal principle that the government (and its branches, departments, agencies and employees) cannot be sued or held legally responsible for their actions. This legal principle comes from the old English law that held the king was divinely chosen and therefore could do no wrong. As a result, the king could not be held accountable for his actions nor could his representatives. When the United States was founded, this principle of British law was adopted. Since early colonial times, however, the courts and congress have limited the original broad scope of this immunity, as have the individual states. However, except where limited by judicial decision or by law, the principle of sovereign immunity remains…

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Closing Highway Rest Stops due to Virginia State Budget Cuts: The Impact on Drowsy Driving

Author: Attorney George E. Allen, III

This past summer, I read a newspaper article announcing that the State of Virginia was closing many of its highway rest stops because of the State's budget shortfall. A few weeks later as I drove along Virginia's major thoroughfare, Interstate 95, I observed that all but one or two of the rest stops between the North Carolina border and Washington, D.C., had been closed. Big orange cans blocked the entrances.

For a Virginia personal injury attorney who has represented victims of hundreds of truck and car accidents over the past three decades, this was upsetting news. I had recently handled and eventually tried a tragic case in a Henrico County court. The college student I represented…

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"Virginia Law: Business Responsibility for Falls by Visitors and Customers" (Premises Liability)

Author: Attorney R. Clayton Allen

Recently I was reading a blog article about a child who was injured on a fast food restaurant playground and a successful lawsuit holding the restaurant responsible for the injury. What surprised me was how many readers posted comments blaming the parents for letting the child play on the playground and saying it was ridiculous to hold the restaurant responsible for the child's injuries. These comments completely ignore the duties the law places on a business owner, and what customer has the right to expect when they come onto the business property. Every time I have a case like this, I have to "educate" the jury about what Virginia law requires of a business owner. Here's…

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Virginia's DUI Punishments Enhanced: Ignition Interlock

Author: Attorney David M. Williams, Jr.

In representing victims of drunk drivers, I have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of drinking and driving. As states across the country continue to pass tougher laws to combat this deadly problem, we have fortunately seen a decline in the number of deaths and injuries from drunk driving. However, the statistics are still alarming: nationally, in 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol-related traffic collisions 1. In Virginia, 354 people died and 7,000 were injured in 2008 as a result of alcohol-related crashes 2. Experts estimate that about 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash…

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