In a recent case, the Virginia Court of Appeals decided on whether an ex-wife’s new relationship constituted a “marriage,” as defined by the couple’s separation agreement. There, the court determined that the long-term, monogamous relationship, in which the couple jointly owned a home and shared a joint bank account, was not a marriage under the
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 9/21/2022 Image from Inside Nova In this issue of Ask General Counsel, we discuss another lesson to be learned through celebrity estate mistakes. On Aug. 11, actress Anne Heche died unexpectedly at age 53 without a will or trust. She was taken off life support after only 48
In a recent case, the Eastern District of Virginia decided that sanctions were warranted against a party that destroyed evidence prior to the start of litigation. Here, the court held that documents deleted from a computer were lost and irreplaceable, and that the individual demonstrated an intent to deprive the other party of use of
Failure to Accommodate To maintain a claim for failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a plaintiff must prove that (1) they qualify as an individual with a disability as defined in the ADA, (2) their employer had notice of their disability, (3) they can perform the essential functions of their job
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 9/08/2022 Image from Inside Nova In this edition of Ask General Counsel, we discuss whether federal or government contractor employees can use marijuana.  Located in McLean, the attorneys of General Counsel, P.C. have been representing employers, non-profit entities, and individuals since 2004. While many states have enacted legislation
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 8/25/2022 Image from Inside Nova When parties get divorced, their marital separation agreements often have restrictions on introducing minor children to new romantic partners. In Powell v. Knoepfler-Powell, Michael Powell and Melanie Knoepfler-Powell entered into a marital settlement agreement during divorce proceedings. The agreement included a provision that the
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Who Breached First? Virginia Court Offers Guidance on Breach of Contract Claims
In a recent case, the Western District of Virginia provided guidance on breach of contract claims. Here, the court made clear that if one party to a contract materially breaches the contract, subsequent breaches by the other party cannot be the basis for a breach of contract claim. Under the first material breach doctrine, if
In a recent case, the Western District of Virginia found for a plaintiff who claimed her employer retaliated against her for speaking out about age discrimination. There, management at the employer company made multiple age-related remarks to employees and eventually terminated an employee who spoke out about perceived age discrimination. Employers should view this as
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 8/10/2022 Image from Inside Nova In this edition of Ask General Counsel, provided by the attorneys of General Counsel, P.C., we discuss the top five employment law misunderstandings. 1.     Virginia is a right-to-work state – so my employer cannot fire me, right? NO.  Being a “right to work” state has absolutely nothing to
In a June 3 decision that impacts D.C. employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overruled its own precedent, holding that discriminatory job transfers are actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court held that where an employer denies an employee’s request for a job transfer because
In a recent case, a Virginia Circuit Court answered the question of whether a clause regulating the introduction of the parties’ romantic partners to their child may be deemed unenforceable. Here, the parties entered into a property settlement agreement with a provision dictating when the parties can introduce their romantic partners to their child. The
On July 7, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Harrisonburg Division, held that Plaintiff John Doe alleged the necessary elements of his defamation claims, denying Shenandoah University’s motion to dismiss. Doe, formerly a student in the Physician Assistant Studies Program (“PA Program” or “Program”), informed University faculty that he
In the recent Virginia Beach Circuit Court case of Oliver v. Cohen, the jury sided with a public figure in finding that comments made in a Facebook group defamed her and negatively impacted her campaign. Dee Oliver, a resident of Virginia Beach, ran for city council in November of 2018. Just days before the election,
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 7/27/2022 Image from Inside Nova In this edition of Ask General Counsel, the business law attorneys at General Counsel, P.C., located in McLean, discuss why business owners should not serve as the registered agent for their business. Businesses in Virginia are required to have a registered office and registered agent.
In a recent case, the Fourth Circuit was faced with a question about the enforcement of a Singapore arbitration award under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. In Reddy v. Buttar, the court held that an arbitration award from a Singapore arbitration proceeding could be enforced in the Fourth Circuit,
Published by Ask General Counsel on InsideNova, 7/19/2022 Image from Inside Nova In this edition of Ask General Counsel, the attorneys of General Counsel P.C., based in McLean, discuss what a business owner should consider when their business relationship fails. Business relationships fail for many different reasons: Business partners may have long-term disagreements, a change