Sunday, November 07, 2004

Are we back in business?

Blogger has not been up to snuff lately, or I've been otherwise occupied, these last couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Supreme Court came out on Friday with a large group of interesting opinions. Of the ones that made some news, one was the Chesapeake water case, where the Supreme Court held that the design of the water system for the City of Chesapeake was a governmental function covered by sovereign immunity. See Cunningham v. City of Chesapeake. For press coverage, see this story ("Court rebuffs Chesapeake lawsuits over miscarriages," 11/6/04) in the Norfolk paper, this story from the AP.

Also regarding immunity, in Cowan v. Hospice Support Care, Inc., the Supreme Court in an opinion by Justice Keenan held that the doctrine of charitable immunity does not provide a defense to claims of gross negligence. The AP has this report on the case.

The Richmond paper had this story ("Va. high court lets localities contest zoning," 11/7/04) on Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Fairfax County, in which the Supreme Court held that the county has standing to appeal a decision of the BZA. Also, related to zoning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the General Shale case, as reported here ("Va. high court hears Orange County case," 11/7/04) in the Fredericksburg paper and here ("Mining disputed in state's high court," 11/6/04) in the Charlottesville paper.

In McCloskey v. Kane, the Supreme Court overruled the sovereign immunity defense asserted by individual physicians in the case of the young man who died at Western State hospital. The AP had this report and the Roanoke paper has this story ("High court of Va. rules medical suit can proceed," 11/6/04) on the case.

In telecommunications, the Richmond paper reports here ("Court upholds SCC ruling on Level 3," 11/6/04) that the Court affirmed denial of CLEC status to the appellant in Level 3 Communications of Virginia, Inc. v. State Corporation Commission, an opinion by Justice Lacy. The decision, according to the Richmond paper, would have the effect of thwarting "the effort by Level 3 Communications of Virginia Inc. to win the power of eminent domain so that it would have less trouble installing fiber-optic cable."

In criminal cases, the Court upheld the three death sentences imposed by the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg in the case of Winston v. Com., a lengthy opinion by Justice Lemons. The AP had this report on the decision.

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