BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

New Virginia UIM Legislation Changes Landscape of Litigation and Settlement Upon Tender of Policy Limits by Liability Insurance Carrier

Martin Schubert, Esquire
June 14th, 2015
By: Martin Schubert, Esquire

In 2010 the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in an attempt to prevent the underinsured motorist (“UIM”) carrier from delaying litigation. The measure was designed to pass certain costs onto the UIM carrier once the primary liability insurance carrier made an irrevocable offer of the policy limits. Once a written offer of the policy limits was made, the UIM carrier had 60 days, after which it had to assume the costs of defense. The duty to defend remained on the tortfeasor’s liability carrier however. The measure was largely ineffective in application however.

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D.C. Court of Appeals Signaled Directions on Expert Testimony

Martin Schubert, Esquire
April 24th, 2015
By: Martin Schubert, Esquire

D.C. Court of Appeals: 1) pulls back on the free pass for late Rule 26(b)(4) expert designations and supplements, and 2) affirms striking of expert and granting of summary judgment where expert medical testimony was based neither on relevant testing nor peer reviewed literature.

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Importance of Filing a Motion to Dismiss Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Serve Within 12 Months of Filing

Anna G. Gillespie, Esquire
February 4th, 2015
By: Anna G. Gillespie, Esquire

Pursuant to Rule 3:5, no judgment can be entered against a defendant who was served with process more than one year after the filing of the complaint, unless the court makes a finding that the plaintiff exercised due diligence to have timely service on the defendant. Absent a finding of due diligence, if service has not been effected within a year, the court “shall dismiss the action with prejudice.” Va. Code § 8.01-277.

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Supreme Court of Virginia clarifies the Rules of Evidence

Andrew R. Alder, Esquire
January 7th, 2015
By: Andrew R. Alder, Esquire

On November 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia clarified the rules of evidence regarding the admissibility of prior witness statements at trial. It did so by modifying Rule 2:801, the definition section of the rules governing hearsay. The modified rule now sets forth with greater clarity exceptions to the general rule that a witness’s prior statements are inadmissible hearsay.

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First Responder Liability and Sovereign Immunity: A Court Divided

Maureen E. Cummins, Esquire
November 22nd, 2014
By: Maureen E. Cummins, Esquire

The modern concept of sovereign immunity is derived from the old English maxim rex non potest peccare, i.e. “the king can do no wrong.” This powerful tool immunizes many governmental entities and government agents from tortious liability and serves a public policy purpose of “[protecting] the state from burdensome interference with the performance of governmental functions and preserves its control over state funds, property, and instrumentalities.” Messina v. Burden, 228 Va. 301, 307 (1984). Put plainly, sovereign immunity allows the government to continue performing its functions for the public good without the fear of constant, draining, and crippling litigation. While the concept appears straightforward, its application is not.

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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