Emoji? In Court?

It’s safe to say that even the millennials among us never took “Interpreting Emoji” as part of course work in Evidence. So we were intrigued when we noticed a slew of articles written recently about emoji in court cases. What could the seemingly endless array of,...

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Legislative Update

In addition to all the important bills the VTLA tracked this session, there were a few that passed, a couple that were expected to but didn’t, and one that took a circuitous route that caught our eye. Here’s a brief rundown. Hands-Free Driving: While both chambers...

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Improving your legal writing

Most of my insurance litigation focuses on writing persuasive briefs and letters. Given that focus, I read nearly any credible book on writing, in particular but not exclusively legal writing. Here are some of the best: The Winning Brief, Bryan Garner; On Writing...

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Removal – A Reminder

A recent federal case from Virginia's Western District serves as a useful guide for remanding case from federal court back to state court. In Purayr, LLC, v. Phocatox Technologies, LLC, 5:16cv47, the judge remanded a case for missing the thirty-day removal deadline,...

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Firm wins victory for insured in federal court on nonsuit tolling

Judge Robert E. Payne of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, denied a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations filed by property carrier First Liberty against its insured. John Rasmussen of the Insurance Recovery Law Group, PLC, defended the insured against that motion, which addressed an issue of first impression under Virginia insurance and procedural law.
A two-year statute applies to property insurance claims in Virginia. The insured filed a lawsuit seeking money damages and declaratory relief for a fire, but more than two years after it happened. The insured, however, had earlier filed and nonsuited an action to appoint an appraisal umpire in Hanover Circuit Court. And she refiled the damages claim within six months of that nonsuit.
This issue has received significant attention recently, after a Virginia Circuit Court judge did not apply the tolling statute to a second suit because it sought a different amount of damages. As noted above, this decision rejected that approach.

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New Virginia Supreme Court case potentially expands coverage for auto accidents

The Virginia Supreme Court’s opinion in Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Williams (Record 81900), issued June 4, 2009, brings sweeping change to uninsured motorist coverage law in Virginia. It does so by potentially increasing the amount of UM coverage available for an injured insured if more than one auto is on the same policy. Beyond that more obvious issue, which has already been reported in Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly, the Williams opinion also addresses two other points that help insureds in coverage disputes with their carriers.

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