Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Hunton & Williams lawyer Tom Slater is the new president of the VMI board of visitors. I often tell stories of a case I had with him long ago. Every experience I ever had with a Hunton & Williams lawyer has generated a few stories, going back to the first one I ever met, a fellow named Jim Farnham who did an amazing job trying a products liability case about a riding mower, before Judge Williams when I was a law clerk. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

This article deals with the interesting and recurring issue of litigation between a local government and its board of zoning appeals. I guess it means that Staunton is catching up to Fairfax County.

This article says some watchdog group gives Virginia a D for judicial accountability, based on criteria that are not entirely clear. The article says: "The researchers rated each jurisdiction on the degree of public access to complaints against judges; the severity of sanctions; the availability of online information about disciplinary proceedings; the percentage of non-lawyers involved in the sanctioning process; the level of financial disclosure required of judges; whether people are free to speak publicly about complaints they file; and the strictness of limits on reimbursements, compensation and honoraria for privately sponsored trips by judges."

This story says a Christiansburg developer has sued some people over what was said about him on a blog, which I checked out and it led me eventually to this page with an interactive map of the Falling Branch industrial park, and if you scroll on the map down to the big water tank and keep going you can see the little house with the big bushes where Grandma and Grandpa Conrad lived, and their barn, and Uncle Joe's house, all of which seems like a safer topic for a blogger than the lawsuit of the guy suing the bloggers.

This article on one of the lawyer boards says the Virginia Tech shootings may lead the General Assembly to increase the $100,000 cap under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, and links to this Washington Post story. Of course, at common law, the de facto cap was $0, I suspect, as it still is today in some respects and for some defendants, such as counties.

The Daily Press had this interesting report about the status of desegregation orders that required school busing in Newport News, still in place after 37 years.

The online ABA Journal has picked up on the locally-notorious federal court disciplinary case against a Knoxville lawyer, calling him the Lawyer Who Wouldn’t Stop Talking.

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