Civil Practice and Procedure

John R. Walk *
Andrew P. Sherrod **

This article surveys recent significant developments in Virginia civil practice and procedure. Specifically, the article discusses opinions of the Supreme Court of Virginia from June 2010 through June 2011 addressing civil procedure topics; significant amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia concerning procedural issues during the same period; and legislation enacted by the Virginia General Assembly during its 2011 session that relates to civil practice.

Read more

Corporate and Business Law

Laurence V. Parker, Jr. *

In the 2011 session, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 2358, Benefit Corporations, to be codified as article 22 (the “Benefit Corporations Article”) of the Virginia Stock Corporation Act (“VSCA”). The Benefit Corporations Article is largely based on legislation prepared in other states and allows a Virginia corporation to elect in its articles of incorporation to be treated as a “benefit corporation.” These for-profit corporations are required to pursue not only profitability but also a general public benefit and, if one so elects, one or more specific public benefits. In Section II of this article, the author discusses the Benefit Corporations Article in detail. Section III examines some aspects of the Benefit Corporations Article for social entrepreneurs and practitioners to consider before making the benefit corporation election. In Section IV, the author asks whether practitioners and social entrepreneurs can achieve some of the same corporate governance objectives by private ordering without electing to be treated as benefit corporations. Finally, Section V concludes with some observations about the Benefit Corporations Article itself.

Read more

Election Law and Government Ethics

Christopher R. Nolen *
Jeff Palmore **

The last two years have produced modest “tweaks” to Virginia’s election laws. Most notably, 2011 ushered in the decennial tradition of reapportionment and redistricting. This article surveys developments in Virginia election law for 2010 and 2011 and focuses on those statutory developments that have significance or general applicability to the implementation of Virginia’s election laws. Consequently, not every election-related bill approved by the General Assembly is discussed.

Read more

Family Law

Ronald R. Tweel *
Elizabeth P. Coughter **
Jason P. Seiden ***

Over the last several years, the General Assembly (“GA”) has passed and the governor has signed some significant, but not major, pieces of legislation regarding family law. The most significant piece of legislation on the subject was passed in the 2011 legislation session, resulting from a decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia that reversed twenty-five years of practice and decisions of trial courts and the court of appeals concerning title classification and allocation of debts.

Read more

Local Government Law

Andrew R. McRoberts *

With this article, for the first time, the University of Richmond Law Review includes a survey of Virginia local government law in its esteemed Annual Survey of Virginia Law, now celebrating its twenty-sixth anniversary of publication. This article is intended to be an ?annual? survey and accordingly discusses decisions by the Supreme Court of Virginia from June 2010 through June 2011 and bills passed by the 2011 Virginia General Assembly, which affect local government law. Not every Supreme Court of Virginia case involving local government is discussed. Some cases which have local governments or their officials as parties do not involve ?Virginia local government law? in its purest sense but rather real property, contracts, employment, civil procedure, or some other area of the law in which the governmental nature of the party is incidental or at best secondary. Those cases are omitted. Instead, this article includes cases in which the underlying substance of the law dealt with topics essential to the operation of government—e.g., taxation, legislative immunity, adoption of ordinances, and zoning.

Read more

Taxation

Craig D. Bell *

This article reviews significant recent developments in the law affecting Virginia taxation. Each section covers legislative changes, judicial decisions, and selected opinions or pronouncements from the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Attorney General of Virginia over the past year. Part One of this article discusses legal developments regarding taxes imposed and administered by the Commonwealth. Section II addresses changes made to Virginia corporate and individual tax law, Section III covers legal changes pertaining to retail sales and use taxes, and Section IV covers changes to state tax administration. Part Two of this article documents legal developments of local government taxes. Sections V and VI address changes to the law regarding Virginia real and personal property taxes. Section VII discusses judicial and legislative changes regarding Virginia?s business professional occupation license tax. Section VIII addresses several miscellaneous local taxes and tax administration applicable to local government taxing authorities.

Read more

Wills, Trusts, and Estates

J. William Gray, Jr. *

Katherine E. Ramsey **

The 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly enacted wills, trusts, and estates legislation that: (i) eliminated a potential federal transfer tax trap in inter vivos marital trusts, (ii) interpreted transfer tax formula clauses in light of recent changes in federal law, and (iii) adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. Three other legislative enactments and seven opinions of the Supreme Court of Virginia during the twelve months ending June 1, 2011, addressed issues affecting this field. In addition to addressing those developments, this article summarizes a recent federal district court opinion that dealt with a significant issue in Virginia trust administration.

Read more

Bulls, Bears, and Pigs: Revisiting the Legal Minefield of Virginia Fraudulent Transfer Law

Isaac A. McBeth *
Landon C. Davis III **

With the state of the Virginia economy as it is, the law surrounding fraudulent transfers has never been more relevant to members of the Virginia Bar than at the present. There is an old investment truism which states, “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.” Admittedly, this quip is more applicable to a financial maverick on Wall Street than it is to a Virginia general practitioner. Nonetheless, it hints at the very real truth that those who are reckless with their property run the risk of losing it. Much in the same way, an attorney who recklessly structures a transfer of a client’s property without giving due regard to risks imposed by fraudulent transfer law could wreak disastrous consequences on the client and find herself in an ethical dilemma. Unfortunately, Virginia’s body of fraudulent transfer law is less than well-defined and acts as a legal minefield—out of sight and capable of harming the unwary who traverse it.

Read more

OSHA Enforcement of the “As Effective As” Standard for State Plans: Serving Process or People?

Courtney M. Malveaux *

Since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”) in 1971, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has perplexed many states tasked with its enforcement. Congress passed the OSH Act to nationalize workplace safety and health standards. It empowered OSHA to enforce these standards, either on its own or through an approved workplace safety and health plan operated by a state (“State Plan”). The OSH Act provides matching funds and oversight for states choosing to operate their own programs on the condition that participating states operate a regime that is “at least as effective as” that of federal OSHA.

Read more
Page 1 of 212