Craig D. Bell *

This article reviews significant recent developments in the laws affecting Virginia state and local taxation. Each section covers legislative activity, judicial decisions, and selected opinions or pronouncements from the Virginia Department of Taxation (the “Tax Department”) and the Virginia Attorney General over the past year. Part I of this article addresses state taxes. Part II of this article covers local taxes, including real and tangible personal property, natural gas consumption tax, recordation tax, and administrative local tax procedures. The overall purpose of this article is to provide Virginia tax and general practitioners with a concise overview of the recent developments in Virginia taxation that will most likely impact them. However, this article does not discuss many of the numerous technical legislative changes to Title 58.1 of the Virginia Code covering taxation.

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* Partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, Virginia. LL.M. in Taxation, 1986, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary; J.D., 1983, State University of New York at Buffalo; M.B.A., 1980, Syracuse University; B.S., 1979, Syracuse University. Mr. Bell practices primarily in the areas of state and local taxation, and civil and criminal tax litigation. He is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a Master in the J. Edgar Murdock Inn of Court (U.S. Tax Court), an adjunct professor of tax law at the College of William and Mary School of Law, and a past chair of both the Tax and Military Law Sections of the Virginia State Bar, as well as the Tax Section of the Virginia Bar Association. Mr. Bell is an emeritus director of The Community Tax Law Project, and is its recipient of the Lifetime Pro Bono Achievement Award.


Wills, Trusts, and Estates

J. William Gray, Jr. *

Katherine E. Ramsey **

The 2016 General Assembly of Virginia made substantial changes in the augmented estate rights of surviving spouses. It also modified and codified the rules governing powers of appointment. Other legislation affecting wills, trusts, and estates included clarifications and technical corrections relating to such subjects as creditors’ claims to life insurance and annuities, courtcreated trusts, protection of adults from exploitation, creditor protection for residential property, unclaimed assets, guardianships, and nonstock corporation procedure. Five decisions of the Supreme Court of Virginia addressed fiduciary conflicts, tenancies by the entirety, lost wills, contract rights in residences, and nocontest clauses.

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* Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 1977, University of Virginia; B.S.I.E., B.A., 1973, Rutgers University.

** Partner, Virginia Estate & Trust Law PLC, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 1998, University of Virginia; M.S., 1988, Boston University; B.A., 1986, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust in Virginia

Doug Rendleman *

Home ownership is a cornerstone of success in America. People seek a stable job, a great marriage, 2.5 kids, and a brick house with a white picket fence. Those who don‘t have that life, dream of it. That is why it is called ?The American Dream.? Home ownership is a sign of stability and community. An owner has the opportunity to accumulate wealth in the form of equity. The mortgage market is inseparably commingled with the overall well-being of the national economy. The state of the housing market is simultaneously an indicator of and a contributor to the health of the economy. When foreclosures rise to unhealthy levels, it hinders the recovery of the economy as a whole.

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*Huntley Professor, Washington and Lee Law School. This has been a group project. Thanks to two indispensable Washington and Lee law student research assistants—Katie Dickinson at the beginning and Trista Bishop-Watt at the end. Thanks also to Christina Rossi for helping with the footnotes and citations. Thanks to two Virginia lawyers, Henry Woodward and Henry McLaughlin, for sage advice at an early stage. Thanks for John Eller‘s early assistance. Finally, thanks to the Frances Lewis Law Center for support. This article is based on Chapter 10 of the book, Doug Rendleman, Enforcement of Judgments and Liens in Virginia (Third Edition 2014), copyright Matthew-Bender and Co, Inc. This article is printed with the permission of Matthew-Bender and Co, Inc., the copyright owner, a Lexis-Nexis Company and may not be redistributed without the prior permission of the same. All rights reserved. To purchase Enforcement of Judgments and Liens in Virginia (Third Edition 2014), see


Analyzing the Virginia Workers‘ Compensation Act‘s Governance of Employer Non-Compliance

D. Paul Holdsworth*

Workers‘ compensation schemes across the country, including in Virginia, were established for the important purpose of creating a streamlined system whereby employees who suffered an injury in the course of employment could, irrespective of fault, recover some monetary relief therefor and whereby employers would be simultaneously protected from potentially crippling financial liability.

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* Associate, Glenn Feldmann Darby & Goodlatte, Roanoke, Virginia. J.D., 2015, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 2012, Brigham Young University.


The Will to Prevail: Inside the Legal Battle to Save Sweet Briar

William H. Hurd *

Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. **

Nancyellen Keane ***

Stephen C. Piepgrass ****

C. Reade Jacob, Jr. *****

James M. Giudice ******

J. Westwood Smithers III *******


Sweet Briar College was established over a century ago by the will of a prominent Virginia landowner, Indiana Fletcher Williams, as an institute for the education of young women. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a breath-taking 3250-acre former plantation, the campus is a National Historic District and home to twenty-one buildings on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Chartered in 1901 by the Virginia General Assembly, the school officially opened its doors in 1906.

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* Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 1977, University of Virginia School of Law; B.A. 1973, University of Virginia.

** Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 1993, Washington and Lee School of Law; B.A., 1990, Virginia Military Institute.

*** Vice President for Administration and General Counsel, Sweet Briar College; Of Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 1982, University of Richmond School of Law; A. B., 1978, Sweet Briar College.

**** Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 2005, University of Virginia School of Law; B.A., 1999, Duke University.

***** Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia. J.D., 2005, University of Virginia School of Law; B.A., 1999, Duke University.

****** J.D. Candidate, 2017, University of Richmond School of Law.

******* J.D. Candidate, 2017, University of Richmond School of Law


COMMENT: Grow Up Virginia: Time to Change Our Filial Responsibility Law

Sylvia Macon*

In recent years, Virginia‘s filial responsibility law has been used for purposes not contemplated by its original architects. For example, it has allowed a brother, who had run his mother‘s finances into the ground, to sue his sister to hold her liable for his financial mistakes, burdening her with substantial litigation fees. The law has provided a forum for a stepfather to retaliate against his wife‘s children after the children petitioned the court to replace him as their mother‘s guardian.

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*J.D. Candidate 2017, University of Richmond School of Law. M.A., 2012, New York University; B.A., 2010, University of Virginia.