A Recount of the Recount: Obenshain v. Herring

The Honorable Beverly Snukals *
Maggie Bowman **

On November 25, 2013, following one of the closest races in Virginia history, the Virginia State Board of Elections (the “SBE”) certified Democratic State Senator Mark Herring as the winner of the 2013 race for the office of Attorney General of Virginia by a record few 165 votes, less than one-hundredth of a percent of the votes cast. Two days later, Herring’s opponent, Republican State Senator Mark Obenshain, filed a petition in the Richmond City Circuit Court of Richmond seeking a recount of the election pursuant to Virginia Code section 24.2-801. Within a few short days, each party filed hundreds of pages of pleadings and memoranda. Hearings had to be held and orders had to be endorsed.

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The Power Paradox: The Need for Alternative Remedies in Virginia Minority Shareholder Oppression Cases

Stephanie Martinez *

Without advanced planning, minority shareholders in a closely held corporation can find themselves in the unenviable position of being up a creek without a paddle. Minority shareholders often invest in a corporation with the belief that the investment will provide them with a steady stream of income, either from a job or from payment of dividends. Yet many fail to protect themselves with employment contracts or buy-sell agreements, leaving them vulnerable to a majority shareholder who may decide to fire them or withhold dividends. Without a source of income, a minority shareholder can face an indefinite period when there is no return on his or her investment.

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Virginia’s Gap Between Punishment and Culpability: Re-Examining Self-Defense Law and Battered Woman’s Syndrome

Kendall Hamilton *

“Truly humane societies are those . . . that have decided to begin the long march down the road toward the abolition of violence . . . . [and] every once in a while, stop along the way to take stock, and then decide to continue.”

Our criminal justice system rests upon the fundamental notion that a defendant’s punishment will match her level of culpability. In other words, the defendant should be a “fair candidate for punishment.” Accordingly, when punishment outweighs culpability, effectively over-punishing a defendant, the legitimacy of our criminal justice system erodes because the system in which we have bestowed our trust has not produced a fair candidate for punishment. The intersection between Virginia’s self-defense laws and the realities surrounding domestic violence demonstrate this over-punishment problem.

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