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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Meetings Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act

April 09, 2024

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (“VFOIA”) If you work in local government within the Commonwealth, you are probably aware of VFOIA. If not, it is prudent that you familiarize yourself with this legislation, as it instructs how public bodies should operate in various respects. VFOIA, originally enacted in 1968, seeks to promote governmental transparency. The General Assembly clearly expressed this sentiment, stating that VFOIA “ensures the people...

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Restrictive Covenants Prohibiting Short-Term Rentals Upheld by Virginia Court of Appeals

March 07, 2024

Short-term rentals such as those listed on sites like Air B&B and VRBO are becoming more and more common across the Commonwealth. However, short-term rentals are controversial.  On one hand, they offer vacationers or business travelers an alternative to traditional hotels. They also provide an income source to homeowners who can rent out their homes (or portions of their homes) for short periods of time.  On the other hand, many of the short-term rental...

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“Employee” and “Employer” – Critical Terms to Understand When Reviewing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

December 14, 2023

Understanding the meanings of “employee” and “employer” under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”) is crucial in determining whether the Act applies.  The Act only applies to businesses with three or more employees.  If the injured worker was working for a business with less than three employees regularly in service, his/her injury is not covered under the Act, and he/she cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits.  Certain businesses...

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Contractor Mistakes: Legal Options for Virginia Homeowners Seeking Remedies

December 05, 2023

When homeowners find themselves dealing with the aftermath of a contractor's subpar or incomplete work, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, as the home is often the biggest and most significant asset that they will ever own. Be it the construction of a new home or the renovation of an older home, residential construction projects typically force homeowners to either heavily tax their bank accounts or encumber themselves with loans.Therefore, issues on...

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Groff v. DeJoy: The Supreme Court Changes the Rules for How Employers Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs

November 08, 2023

In June 2023, the United States Supreme Court released an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy that affects all employers who are faced with accommodating their employees’ religious practices and beliefs.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their religion. The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs and practices, unless doing so would...

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Eminent Domain and Carbon Capture Technology

October 27, 2023

In the ongoing effort to address the threat of climate change, the federal government has set an ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury.  While there is a concerted effort to reduce emissions from each sector of the economy, it is widely acknowledged that the goal cannot be achieved by emission reductions alone.  Instead, some sort of “carbon capture” technology will need to be developed.Carbon Capture TechnologyThe...

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Name, Image, and Likeness: What is Going On?

October 16, 2023

As you may recall, roughly two years ago we witnessed an increase in the discussion surrounding “Name, Image, and Likeness” (“NIL”) in collegiate athletics. The catalyst stems from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of NCAA v. Alston and the subsequent adjustments the NCAA made to its NIL and amateurism policies in response. Shortly thereafter, Virginia entered the discussions by passing its own NIL law for the Commonwealth. For a detailed discussion...

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Benefits and Terms of Private Road Maintenance Agreements

October 02, 2023

Do you want to live off the beaten path? Have your own little piece of heaven out past where the paved road ends? If so, you’re going to have to figure out how to get there, and not living on a publicly maintained road may involve the far less romantic reality of a private road maintenance agreement. If you need to cross someone else’s property to access your home, then you may be looking at obtaining an access or ingress/egress easement across that other...

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The Importance of Title Insurance Policy Endorsements in Commercial Real Estate Transactions

September 06, 2023

Most buyers and lenders engaging in commercial real estate transactions understand that title insurance is needed to protect their respective interest in the title to the property, but do not stop to think in detail about what is covered or, perhaps more importantly, what is not covered but could be with a few well-chosen policy endorsements. Some buyers and lenders who have certain endorsements on their checklists do not know or understand the large...

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New Controversial Virginia Law Aimed at Easing Broadband Expansion Challenged by Railroads

July 31, 2023

One of the goals of the recent federal investment in infrastructure is ensuring universal broadband internet access.  While the Virginia General Assembly was largely quiet on the eminent domain front this year, it did pass a bill to help facilitate broadband expansion efforts.  However, the new law has already come under challenge by a group of railroads, who argue, among other things, that the law takes their property without adequate compensation.The...

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