BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

Serving Our Clients in Virginia, DC, and Maryland

February 13th, 2017
By: admin

In addition to practicing throughout the state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and its federal court, we also practice throughout the state and federal court in Maryland. Our directors John D. McGavin, Dawn E. Boyce, Heather K. Bardot, and Michael E. Thorsen are also admitted in Maryland. The firm’s expansion into the State of Maryland was designed to serve the needs of our clients. Our firm’s objective has always and continues to be providing our clients with excellence in litigation and service.

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Expert Witness Disclosures and Judicial Estoppel

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
May 16th, 2016
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed and remanded an assault and battery case in favor of the plaintiff and tried in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County. In Mikhaylov v. Sales, 2016 Va. LEXIS 53 (April 21, 2016), Michael E. Thorsen, Esquire represented the defendant Mikhaylov and battled several adverse court rulings. The first involved defendant’s inability to contest the assault and battery allegations. Because the defendant had pled guilty to an assault and battery charge in an earlier criminal case, the judge instructed the jury that “the defendant cannot deny that he assaulted and battered the plaintiff.” Mikhaylov objected to the instruction contending that it “in essence, grants summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff as to the assault and battery claim.” The Virginia Supreme Court reversed finding that the court had erred in applying “judicial estoppel” in the civil suit by plaintiff Sales against Mikhaylov based upon his prior guilty plea in the related criminal case. While the guilty plea was not inadmissible pursuant to Va. Code Section 8.01-418, it did not constitute a “preclusive bar” under the doctrine of judicial estoppel “unless the parties are the same.” Therefore, the court erred by precluding Mikhaylov from defending the assault and battery allegations. This case is important as it underscores that the mere fact that a defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere in a related criminal charge does not bar that defendant from disputing liability in a civil case.

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Virginia Fellows Sponsor Access To Justice Seminar

Catherine Carré, Esquire
March 10th, 2016
By: Catherine Carré, Esquire

The Access to Justice Seminar, presented by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee, provided public defenders and legal aid attorneys the opportunity to learn valuable, up-to-date legal information, while earning CLE credits free of charge. The seminar was attended by more than sixty attorneys, but the atmosphere allowed for plenty of interaction and even some brainstorming about issues currently challenging the participants.

It also provided a unique experience, in that its focus was not only on criminal or civil law, but on a variety of legal issues that affect all of our Commonwealth’s less fortunate individuals. John McGavin, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, helped coordinate the CLE and Catherine Carré, an associate with our firm, and formerly with the Fairfax County Public Defenders office assisted in the organization of this well attended and received event.

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Congratulations to Martin Schubert

Martin Schubert, Esquire
January 27th, 2016
By: Martin Schubert, Esquire

The firm is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2016, Martin Schubert has become a member of the firm. Mr. Schubert focuses his practice on insurance defense and civil litigation, including: auto accidents, premises liability, dog bites, defamation, assault and battery, conspiracy, property damage, breach of contract, and consumer protection claims. He represents both individuals and businesses, in both Virginia and the District of Columbia, including both State and Federal Courts. The firm commends Mr. Schubert’s work and commitment to the practice of law.

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Tolling Provision of Virginia’s Nonsuit Statute Does Not Apply to a Contractual Period of Limitations Contained in Fire-Insurance Policy

Andrew R. Alder, Esquire
Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire
September 23rd, 2015
By: Andrew R. Alder, Esquire and Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire

One of the most important tools available to a plaintiff in Virginia is the right to take a nonsuit to dismiss a case without prejudice to refiling the lawsuit, even if the statute of limitations has run. The right to a nonsuit is almost absolute, so if a case is not going well, the plaintiff just takes a nonsuit and starts over again. Under the tolling provision of Virginia’s nonsuit statute, a plaintiff has the right to refile a cause of action within six months after taking a voluntary nonsuit, even if the statute of limitations for the cause of action has expired. See Va. Code 8.01-229(E)(3). The Virginia Supreme Court has now limited the right to a nonsuit, and held that for claims under a Fire Insurance Policy, the tolling provisions of the Virginia Code do not extend the time to refile a nonsuited claim. Allstate Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Ploutis

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Disclaimer

This blog and the information provided has been prepared by Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. (“BMHJ”) for information purposes only and is not intended nor to be construed as legal advice. This blog may contain the opinions of the members and associates of this firm on various legal issues and is not legal advice. Read More