Thursday, February 21, 2019

Two of these things are not like the others

From today's opinions of the Supreme Court of Virginia:

In Brush Arbor Home Construction v. Alexander, the Supreme Court held that an arbitration clause which was otherwise gibberish had to be interpreted at least initially by an arbitrator, rather than by a Court, refusing to add a judicial limitation based on "impossibility" onto the language of the arbitration statutes.

In Com. v. Hall, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court's application of a forfeiture statute, Code § 19.2-386.22(A), refusing to add a judicial limitation onto the language of the statute based on the "substantiality" of the nexus between the property and the criminal activity.

In Mercer v. MacKinnon, the Supreme Court affirmed a dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction, refusing to add a judicial limitation on the meaning of the word "persistent" in Code § 8.01-328.1(A)(4).

In Reyes v. Com., the Supreme Court affirmed denial of a continuance under  Code § 19.2-159.1(B), adding a judicial limitation onto the language of the statute requiring a continuance for defendants who no longer need court-appointed counsel.

In Dennis v. Com., the Supreme Court reversed the denial of a petition for writ of actual innocence, adding a judicial limitation onto the language of the statutes, Code §§ 19.2-327.12 and 19.2-327.13, regarding the ability of the Court of Appeals to evaluate disputed facts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

On the Danville library desegregation case

An interesting account of the litigation in the W.D. Va. over the desegregation of the Danville public library system can be found in this 2018 book by Shirley Wiegand.

On the Charlottesville school desegregation case

Here is a remarkable photo from August 1956, with Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson looking irate, Judge John Paul, Jr., looking like Daddy Warbucks, and John S. Battle and J. Lindsay Almond looking sheepish.

An account of the case from the perspective of Hill and Robinson can be found in this 2018 book by Margaret Edds.

On Daniel Trigg, Southwest Virginia lawyer

Here is a lengthy account written by his great grand-daughter of the life and times of Daniel Trigg, who grew up in Abingdon and was the leading lawyer in Southwest Virginia in the early 1900s.

Here is a story about the author, Angela Trigg.

Another federal judge buried in Abingdon

Here is the monument for Judge Connally Findlay Trigg, a judge of the Eastern District of Tennessee nominated by Abraham Lincoln, who is buried in the Sinking Spring cemetery in Abingdon, about 100 yards from Judge Robert W. Hughes, whose monument is next to the holly tree in the background. Neither was a judge of the Western District of Virginia.

Old map of Washington County

If you like old maps, here is one of Washington County, Virginia, in 1890, from the Library of Congress website. It shows among other things the location of the "new" U.S. courthouse and also the property owned by Judge Robert W. Hughes, the Eastern District judge who lived in Abingdon during the summers back then.