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.

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*  Shareholder, Hirschler Fleischer, P.C., Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 1980, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1977, College of William & Mary. Mr. Walk is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

** Principal, Hirschler Fleischer, P.C., Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 2000, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law; B.A., 1996, Hampden-Sydney College.

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.

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* Partner, Williams Mullen, Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 2003, University of Richmond School of Law; M.B.A., 2003, The Robins School of Business, University of Richmond; B.A., 1995, University of Virginia.

Criminal Law and Procedure

Virginia B. Theisen *

Once more, the past year yielded a wealth of developments in the area of criminal law and procedure. The author has endeavored to cull the most significant decisions and legislative enactments, with an eye toward the “takeaway” from a case rather than a discussion of settled principles.

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*   Senior Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Litigation Section, Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia; J.D., 1984, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary; B.A., 1981, College of William & Mary.

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.

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*     Partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 1999, George Mason University School of Law; B.A., 1992, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

**  Director of Policy Development and Deputy Counselor to the Governor, Office of the Governor, Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 2009, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary; B.A., 2000, College of William & Mary.

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.

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*    Partner, Michie, Hamlett, Lowry, Rasmussen & Tweel, P.C., Charlottesville, Virginia; J.D., 1982, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1975, University of Virginia.

** Partner, Michie, Hamlett, Lowry, Rasmussen & Tweel, P.C., Charlottesville, Virginia; J.D. 1982, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1975, University of Virginia.

*** Associate, Michie, Hamlett, Lowry, Rasmussen & Tweel, P.C., Charlottesville, Virginia; J.D., 2010, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 2003, Virginia Commonwealth University.

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.

 

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*Sands Anderson, P.C., Richmond, Virginia; J.D., 1990, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1987, College of William & Mary. The author gratefully acknowledges the significant research and writing assistance of Ian Lambeets, J.D. Candidate, 2012, University of Richmond School of Law. The author would also like to thank the editors and staff of the University of Richmond Law Review for the honor of writing an annual survey of Virginia local government law.

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