Saturday, June 09, 2007

Virginia Supreme Court rules against only woman on death row

In Lewis v. Warden, the Virginia Supreme Court denied the habeas corpus petition of Teresa Lewis, who is sentenced to be executed in connection with the murder of her husband.

In this story, it is stated that Ms. Lewis is the only woman on death row in Virginia, and one of the commenters says they told the victim she was only after his money, but he wouldn't listen.

Why not bring Jenna to the office

This ABA article profiles Virginia lawyer Mary Commander in a discussion of the benefits of owning one's own office building for solo practitioners. The article says for one thing, when you own the building, you can bring your pet to work.

Well, part of the lore of our firm is that the rulebook used to provide no pets allowed, which I always thought was the funniest thing - not what I would guess a small office would have at the top of the priority list.

Jenna has been to the office, but only on weekends, and not long enough to decide the place was worth marking against the claims of other dogs. I've seen some Bichons in there, it could be a competition.

On Boucher's broadband plan

This article describes Congressman Boucher's plan to address U.S. broadband problems.

It says in part:

"Despite having the largest number of residential broadband users in the world, many rural and poorer areas of the country don't have access to broadband.

The first law change that would help improve this, Boucher said, would be to reform the Universal Service Fund to promote the expansion of broadband service.

According to a bill backed by Boucher and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., recipients of subsidies from the fund would have to agree to offer broadband service to their entire geographic service area within five years.

Currently the rules governing the fund, established to subsidize the rollout of telephone service across the country, don't permit companies to use it to expand broadband service.

. . .

Boucher said the next step would be to allow local governments to offer commercial broadband service, similar to when electricity service was first made widely available.

. . .

He also said he would be pushing federal lawmakers to adopt a similar program to one in Kentucky where through a combination of public and private funding a statewide broadband Internet network was constructed.

. . .

The fourth step necessary, said Boucher, would be to push broadband over power-line service. The technology exists to permit this, but so far no company has offered the service.

. . .

Finally, Boucher urged the audience of mainly telecommunications industry representatives to resolve the issue of network neutrality so it doesn't derail any more telecommunications legislation."

On judges and admen

Here is the test of an interesting speech by Justice Benjamin of the West Virginia Supreme Court on the subject of advertising in judicial campaigns.

On hiring Skadden Arps to advise on Virginia Tech

It says here that Governor Kaine has approved the hiring of Skadden Arps as outside counsel to the Virginia Tech investigators.

That seems like an odd choice, I would have thought their expertise was in securities, not security.

Charlottesville, great place for a road trip

Sports Illustrated has recognized Charlottesville as a great road trip destination for sports fans.

I've always thought so.

Justia's list of Virginia law blogs

Here is Justia's list of twelve Virginia blawgs.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Nonsense about Ledbetter

Somebody sent me this commentary in Time's website about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear case.

The gist of the commentary is how unfair it is that women have only 180 days to figure out that they are getting paid less.

First of all, the 180 days is 300 days, at least in Virginia, thanks to an oddball ruling from the Fourth Circuit some years ago.

And, on wages, the Equal Pay Act covers the problem of wage discrimination, and it has an even longer statute of limitations. The problem with trying to carve out a wage-specific rule for Title VII cases is that Title VII applies across the gamut of employment discrimination, and the same timeliness rule applies to all.

Third, these are statutory issues. If you don't like the outcome, blame the legislature. Congress can re-write Title VII, as it has done before.

How law school gets you down

This scientific study concludes that by the end of law school, students are fed up with the whole scene.

A study like that should have been funded by Domino's Pizza, or maybe the Green Leafe Cafe, which had their negative effects on some of the law students I knew.

Almost ready for the lemonade in Bluefield

In Bluefield, they serve lemonade when the temperature gets to 90 degrees, as it nearly did yesterday and might today. The Bluefield paper has this report on the weather in "Nature's Air-Conditioned City."

Hobbs wins

Lucas in our office argued for the winner in Stephens v. Com., one of the opinions released today by the Virginia Supreme Court.

Interesting personal jurisdiction ruling from Judge Sargent

In Boyd v. Green, Magistrate Judge Sargent recommended the dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction of a tort claim against a Tennessee physician, but denied the same motion with respect to his employer.

And, so I wonder whether the plaintiff is now out of luck as to the doctor, since it may be too late to refile in Tennessee - unless some Tennessee tolling statute applies.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Well done, and thanks

Here's a Mom and Dad picture, on the occasion of their 45th anniversary. When they got married in June 1962, legend has it that they went on their honeymoon to Cherokee, North Carolina. This year, they went some place else.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Coming up - the Encyclopedia Virginia

This article from the Norfolk paper describes the work to compile an Encyclopedia Virginia.

Somehow, the derogatory comments towards Wikipedia leave a bad taste with me, but we'll see.

Mickey McGlothlin challenging Bowling for House of Delegates

The Bluefield paper has this article about the challenge brought by Grundy lawyer Mickey McGlothlin against Dan Bowling.

The article says in part:

"Two Democrats are vying for their party's nomination June 12 in a high-profile contest for the Third Legislative District House of Delegates seat.

Incumbent Delegate Dan Bowling, D-Tazewell, is being challenged by Michael G. “Mickey” McGlothlin in the Democratic Party primary. A Republican candidate hasn't been announced to date for the Third District contest, which includes Tazewell, Russell and Buchanan counties.

. . .

Bowling, who lives on a family farm near Tazewell, was first elected to the House of Delegates in a special election on Jan. 3, 2006. Bowling said he remains committed to job creation, regional cooperation, meeting the needs of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, completing the Coalfields Expressway and pursuing a diversified economy for the legislative district.

. . .

McGlothlin, who was born in Richlands, currently resides in Buchanan County but also owns a farm in Tazewell County. He is the current county attorney for Buchanan County, and also previously served as the Commonwealth Attorney for Buchanan County. He is campaigning on a pledge of putting Southwest Virginia first, and is advocating the creation of high-quality jobs, fighting the war on drugs in Southwest Virginia, developing a plan for progress, completing the Coalfields Expressway, 'showcasing' the Third District, and helping with the restoration of historic Pocahontas.

. . .

Both candidates are hoping to expedite construction on the Coalfields Expressway in Southwest Virginia. The 51-mile four-lane corridor will extend through Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties before connecting with West Virginia. Virginia has partnered with two private coal companies that will help to develop the roadway bed by extricating coal.

. . .

Bowling, who has been endorsed for re-election by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, welcomes the endorsement, and believes it is proper for the governor to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary.

'I think the governor has a right to endorse anyone he wants to,' Bowling said. 'Personally, I’ve been told I'm the only candidate in [t]he primary (elections) he's endorsed. I think he knows I'm a hard worker, and my heart is in Southwest Virginia. I do work closely with the governor, and I do have a very effective relationship with the governor.'

McGlothlin said he too if elected will have an effective working relationship with the governor.

'Even though the governor isn't supporting me, and even though I didn't support him in the last election, I’m very willing to work with him,' McGlothlin said. 'I have talked to him. I think he is the type of person that once an election is over is willing to looking at ideas and issues. I think if he would have looked at our backgrounds, I think I have a tremendous amount of experience. All people in Virginia want a better way of life. I think everyone who is in the Virginia Generally Assembly in their heart of hearts wants to make Virginia a better place. I'm willing to listen to anybody and talk these things out to try to arrive at a solution to the problems of Virginia and Southwest Virginia.'

Both candidates also are concerned about recent efforts to trim state government at the expense of Southwest Virginia, including proposed closures of Virginia Employment Commission offices as well as the recent — but ultimately rejected — plan to close Virginia Department of Transportation maintenance offices across Southwest Virginia.

. . .

Both candidates also are committed to winning the war against drugs in Southwest Virginia.

'Honestly, I think some of the legislation I’ve seen passed in West Virginia, I would like to take that to Virginia,' Bowling said of laws aimed at controlling methadone clinics in neighboring West Virginia. 'The methadone clinic down near Richlands that I drive past every day, I think it's just a filling station. The sad thing about the methadone clinics is if they are used properly, it would help some people break their addiction. But some people abuse it. They come back and back and back again.'

McGlothlin is actively campaigning on a goal of fighting the drug war in Southwest Virginia.

'We know we have a significant drug problem in our area,' McGlothlin said. 'We have to look at what we can do in our region to try to address our problems. We have a lot of parts of the state that have drug courts. We have a drug court in Tazewell County, but we don’t have one in Buchanan or Russell counties.'

McGlothlin said reaching the younger generation — which is at a greater risk of being trapped by drug and alcohol addiction — is critical.

. . .

Despite recent successes in diversifying the economy of Southwest Virginia, including the 700 plus technology jobs that are being created in Russell County by CGI and Northrop Grumman and the creation of the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy in Grundy, both candidates are committed to supporting future projects, including the proposed Bluestone technology park in Tazewell County.

Bowling said the key to bringing CGI and Northrop Grumman to Southwest Virginia was the creation of the 200-plus mile OC48 fiber-optic broadband backbone in Southwest Virginia. Bowling said he was a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors when work began on the broadband project.

. . .

When it comes to diversifying the economy, and fighting for new high-paying jobs with good benefits, lawmakers representing Southwest Virginia must remain aggressive, McGlothlin said.

'You don’t stop,' McGlothlin said. 'You always have to have some project in front of you.'

In addition to the Bluestone project in Bluefield, McGlothlin sees great potential in the proposed Poplar Gap project in Buchanan County. McGlothlin said the University of Appalachian College of Pharmacy also is pursuing a lab expansion, and he hopes to see the development of another industrial park in Richlands."

Mr. McGlothlin is free to announce that I'm for him or against him, whichever will do him the most good.

Heading this way from Knoxville

Via No Silence Here, here is reason No. 2 to oppose those red-light cameras - they don't always work.

Circuit court opinions from Norfolk

Here are some online opinions from circuit court judges in Norfolk, I think, and many of them are incredibly interesting.

Among them is Com. v. Dickens, which declares the use of an accusatory affidavit authorized by Va. Code 18.2-472.1(D) violates the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment as construed by the Supreme Court in Crawford v. Washington.

Another is ODU v. Birkmeyer, dealing with the applicability of the McDonnell-Douglas proof scheme from Title VII to a state employee's grievance about racial discrimination.

Also there is another chapter in the Mattaponi Indian litigation over the King William Reservoir Project.

Oops, I laughed at this one

From this Buchman post:

Q. Have you talked to your lawyer about this deposition today?

A. Mr. Cox, shall I tell him?

Mr. Cox: Sure, go ahead and tell him.

A. Yes.

Q. And what did he tell you?

A. Mr. Cox, shall I tell him?

Mr. Cox: Sure, go ahead and tell him.

A. He told me there was some smart son of a bitch down here trying to make you lie, but you tell him the truth, anyhow.

Coming soon to a cable bill near you

Jurist has this post that says the D.C. Circuit agreed with the Federal Communications Commission that voice-over-IP service providers must pay into the Universal Service Fund.

More Certworthy

Here Ray Ward has posted the latest Certworthy, from the DRI appellate section.

The least consequential aspect of this must-read collection is that my position as the local correspondent continues.