BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

A thorough pretrial investigation is usually worth the expense.

Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire
July 28th, 2014
By: Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire

In this day and age insurance companies, businesses, and claims professionals are all understandably looking for every way possible to minimize legal expenses. However, limiting the pretrial investigation is often a false economy. Two recent cases in northern Virginia illustrate the importance of thorough investigation and case preparation, even in “routine” or minor personal injury cases in general district court. The following summary is of two recent cases involving rear-end collisions with no liability defenses, and no dispute as to the authenticity or reasonableness of the medical bills claimed. The only issue was whether the plaintiffs were truly injured.

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Geloo v. John Doe – The First Amendment and Modern Technology

Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire
Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire
July 1st, 2014
By: Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire and Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire

The courts are continuing to sort out how best to apply traditional legal rules and remedies to modern technologies like internet message boards. This week saw a first amendment issue in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County in Geloo v. John Doe et al, 2013-9646, and a fourth amendment decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Riley v. California, 573 U.S. _____ (2014). Riley required the Supreme Court to determine the extent to which the fourth amendment’s warrant requirement, which was drafted over two hundred years before the invention of the modern smart phone and internet, will apply to such modern technologies. The Supreme Court’s decision treats the vast amount of information on a modern smart phone like the “papers” known to the drafters of the Constitution, and according to the opinion, the search of the data on a modern cellular phone or smart phone will generally require a search warrant, just as a search of a person’s desk would have required a search warrant in the time of the founding fathers.

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2014 Virginia Super Lawyers List

June 14th, 2014
By: Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins

The firm is pleased to announce that Steven Bancroft, John McGavin, Stephen Horvath, Julia Judkins, and Dawn Boyce have been selected to the 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers list. Each year no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Steven Bancroft, John McGavin, Stephen Horvath, and Julia Judkins were also included in the 2014 list of top attorneys in the Washington, D.C metro area.

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Fourth Circuit holds that employers can be found liable for customer conduct in hostile work environment case

Jennifer E. White, Esquire
June 6th, 2014
By: Jennifer E. White, Esquire

Last month, a split panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals published an opinion with significant implications for the adjudication of hostile work environment claims under Title VII and Section 1981. The decision, Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., No. 13-1481 (4th Cir. Apr. 29, 2014), expands employer liability to include a customer’s actions against an employee and, according to the dissent, without regard for the extent to which the alleged discriminatory conduct permeated the employee’s actual work environment.

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Sophistry and Insurance Policy Interpretation

Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire
March 14th, 2014
By: Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire

Sophistry is a flawed method of arguing. It is a type of argument that appears clever on its face, but it is actually flawed or dishonest. In ancient Greece, Sophists were philosophers or teachers, and early Sophists were well respected. Over time theses Sophists started to charge high fees for their teachings. Plato described Sophists as paid hunters of the young and wealthy, as athletes in a contest of words and purgers of souls. He described them as “the art of contradiction making, descended from an insincere kind of conceited mimicry,…a shadow play of words”.

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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