BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News: Business/Commercial Litigation

Moving Cases to Conclusion and Thinking Outside the Box

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
September 22nd, 2020
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

How do you move a case to conclusion if you can’t agree on a settlement and a jury trial is light years away? Since both parties have a common interest in expeditious and successful case closure, alternative methods of deciding the case should be considered. It is more important than ever to think outside the box of traditional methods of case resolution given the backlog of cases COVID-19 has created in our court systems.

Whether liability, damages, or both, are at issue, remote mediation, trial by judge, or arbitration, with or without high-low agreements, are viable options of adjudication. This article will focus on arbitration and suggestions to avoid missteps, disagreements and derailment.

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GDC Practice in the Time of Covid-19

Angela M. London
August 4th, 2020
By: Angela M. London

The legal profession, like many other industries, has experienced significant upheaval as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, many lawyers and law firms have utilized work from home policies to ensure that attorneys and staff stay productive and meet their obligations to clients. However the initial uncertainty of the coronavirus resulted in the closure of courthouses to the public throughout the Commonwealth.

According to the Supreme Court of Virginia, from March 16, 2020, with the issuance of the Court’s first COVID Order, to May 1, 2020, the General District Courts of Virginia continued approximately 413,000 cases to a later date. This has created a significant backlog that these courts must now work through.

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A claim of “personal injury” for alleged mold exposure doesn’t turn every alleged breach of original construction contract into a tort.

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
November 2nd, 2019
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court, in the case of Tingler v. Graystone Homes, Inc. held that the trial court did not err in its ruling sustaining a home builder’s demurrer to a negligence count for alleged breach of the original construction contract. In that case, a family, in related suits alleged personal injuries and damage resulting from mold that developed in a home built by the defendant contractor. The plaintiffs pled many theories of liability, all of which were dismissed by the trial court.

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Legislative Update: House and Senate pass bill on spoliation of evidence.

March 1st, 2019
By: admin

The summary of bill as passed:

Spoliation of evidence. Establishes that a party or potential litigant has a duty to preserve evidence that may be relevant to reasonably foreseeable litigation. The bill further provides that a court (i) upon finding prejudice to another party from loss, disposal, alteration, concealment, or destruction of such evidence, may order measures no greater than necessary to cure the prejudice, or (ii) only upon finding that the party acted recklessly or with the intent to deprive another party of the evidence’s use in the litigation, may (a) presume that the evidence was unfavorable to the party, (b) instruct the jury that it may or shall presume that the evidence was unfavorable to the party, or (c) dismiss the action or enter a default judgment. The bill further provides that no independent cause of action for negligent or intentional spoliation of evidence is created.

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Dismissal For Failure To Serve Within One Year May Still Be A Viable Defense Even After a Court Extends Service Time by Court Order

Andrew R. Alder, Esquire
January 2nd, 2019
By: Andrew R. Alder, Esquire

Virginia Code § 8.01-275.1 and Rule 3:5(e) require that service of process be made within twelve months of the commencement of a lawsuit. Service on a defendant more than twelve months after commencement is timely only if there is a “finding by the court that the plaintiff exercised due diligence to have timely service made on the defendant.” Va. Code § 8.01-275.1. Va. Code § 8.01-277(A) allows a defendant to challenge the timeliness of service.

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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