Social Media and Personal Injury Cases - A Virginia Lawyers Weekly Article

At the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association's annual convention in March 2010, Allen & Allen personal injury attorney Courtney Van Winkle spoke on the implications of online social networking in personal injury cases. Virginia Lawyers Weekly writer Alan Cooper covered her talk in an article published April 12, 2010. Source: Virginia Lawyers Weekly By Alan Cooper Published: April 12, 2010 Social media and P.I. practice One of the first questions Richmond personal injury attorney Courtney Van Winkle asks her clients is whether they are on any social networking sites.

If the answer is yes, she gives this legal advice: Shut it down. Or at least use the privacy settings on such sites as Facebook, by far the largest of the…

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Auto Insurance: Having "Full Coverage" Doesn't Mean You Have Enough Insurance

When I first meet a client who have been injured through no fault of their own, one of my first questions is: "How much insurance do you have?" Most clients answer, "I have full coverage." However, when we review their declaration page and policy, the clients are surprised to learn that they have minimal insurance coverage on their vehicles. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what the terms "full coverage", liability coverage and "amount of coverage" actually mean.

The situation becomes more difficult when we learn that the person that injured the client either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance. The high cost of new automobiles, automobile repair work and health care often means the minimal…

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Current Supreme Court Issues: Gun Control & the McDonald v. Chicago Case

  On Tuesday March 2, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a case involving the controversial issue of gun control.

The basic "right to bear arms" is found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, where it states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." In 2008 in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that this right to bear arms is an individual right protected by the Second Amendment, and overturned a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. Since Washington, D.C., is a federal enclave, the 2008 ruling left open the question of whether the Second Amendment…

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GIVING BACK: Public Service and the Allen Law Firm

Giving back and serving our communities is a deeply held value at the Allen Law Firm. When I joined the firm in 1996, I came with a strong Government and public service background as well as a commitment to giving back to the community that fit well with the Firm's values. For the first half of my career, I was an attorney in law enforcement, as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also as a prosecutor (Commonwealth's Attorney in two different jurisdictions in Virginia). During the time since I joined Allen & Allen as an attorney, then made partner, and then was chosen as President, I have emphasized and expanded how the Firm could better serve our community.

Under my direction, I expanded the program…

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The First 100 Years: My Grandfather's Influence

Author: Attorney Charles L. Allen

One hundred years ago, in 1910, my grandfather, George E. Allen Sr., a founder of this law firm, handled his first personal injury case. As a third generation family member of this law firm, I reflect back occasionally on the influence my grandfather and his legal career have had upon me. When I first began practicing law 25 years ago, attorneys and judges always spoke well of my grandfather. He was often cited as a shining example of professionalism who set a standard to which all successful attorneys should aspire. My grandfather was so passionate and committed about the practice of law late in his life when he wrote his memoirs he entitled the book The Law As A Way…

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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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Torts: The Distinction Between Civil Actions and Crime and Punishment - A Primer


Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Black's Law Dictionary (7th Edition) (1) defines a "tort" as: "A civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on everyone in the same relation to one another as those involved in a given transaction." The word, "tort" is a French word which means a "fault" or a "wrong." (2) Torts are not claims for breach of contract, except in very special and limited contexts. Torts can, but do not have to, constitute crimes. Actions in tort are civil cases, as opposed to criminal cases. An example of a tort that is not necessarily a crime…

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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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