23 McCandlish Holton  Attorneys Named 2019 Virginia 'Legal Elite'

McCandlish Holton is pleased to announce that twenty-three of our attorneys are named  2019 'Legal Elite' by Virginia Business magazine. Each year Virginia Business asks attorneys throughout the Commonwealth to nominate their peers for distinction in 20 categories.

The full list of 23 McCandlish Holton attorneys on this year’s Legal Elite list, recognized in 13 categories: 

ADMINISTRATIVE/GOVERNMENT:

Karissa T. Kaseorg

Michael R. Ward

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION:

Michael H. Gladstone

Joseph M. Moore

Brennan C. Morrissett

BANKRUPTCY/CREDITORS' RIGHTS:

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Defense Verdict Obtained for Concrete Pumping Company and Driver

Trial attorney James Snyder and his team obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a concrete pumping company and its driver in a Virginia Circuit Court jury trial. The plaintiff, a passenger in a vehicle her husband was driving, filed a $1,000,000 lawsuit against the defendants, alleging the concrete pump truck operator failed to keep a proper lookout and, by doing so, caused a T-bone accident. The defendants, however, asserted the plaintiff’s host vehicle failed to yield to the oncoming concrete pump truck and pulled in front of the truck, leaving the driver with no time to avoid the accident, despite his best efforts.

The injuries to the plaintiff were significant and not contested at trial. The plaintiff

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General Data Protection Regulation in U.S. Litigation through Mid-Summer 2019

Originally published by International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Defense Counsel Journal Volume 86, No. 4

IN JANUARY 2012, the European Commission set out plans for data protection reform across the European Union. One of the key components of the reforms was the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).1

The GDPR is a comprehensive set of rules designed to give European Union citizens more control over their personal data. The GDPR applies, generally, to any organization operating within the European Union, as well as organizations outside of the European Union which offer goods or services to customers or businesses in the European Union among others. Almost every major corporation in the world is affected by this legislation. This legislation came into force across the European Union in May 2018.

There has been considerable uncertainty how GDPR will be addressed in litigation commenced in the United States. However, as a year has passed, motions relating to GDPR are beginning to be adjudicated, and trends are starting to occur. This article provides a detailed summary of courts’ treatment of GDPR-related arguments and summarizes the potential impact of GDPR on United States litigation.

I. Impact of GDPR currently

As of July 19, 2019, eleven federal cases reference “GDPR” or the “General Data Protection Regulation.” No state court cases appear. Of the cases returned, four are from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,2 and two are from California,3 one  from the Central District of California and the Northern District of California. The remaining five cases originate from District Courts in Washington, Maryland, Alabama, Utah, and Florida.4

These eleven cases generally involve discovery disputes, often in intellectual property matters. In these scenarios, the responding party has raised GDPR as a bar or impediment to

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McCandlish Holton Ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News “Best Law Firms” 2020

McCandlish Holton is recognized for 11 practice areas in the 2020 edition of US News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” The firm received metropolitan Richmond Tier 1 ratings in Immigration, Commercial Litigation, Immigration Law, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. Eight additional practice areas earned Richmond Metro ratings. See the full ratings here:  U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020.

Tier 1 - Richmond Metropolitan Area

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McCandlish Holton Honored by ALFA International as 2019 Law Firm of the Year

ALFA International has recognized McCandlish Holton as its 2019 "Law Firm of the Year."

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Virginia Venue: Not as Easy as it Used to Be

Virginia code amendments since 2004 limit Plaintiff “venue-shopping” as they align venue options with the common sense view that a lawsuit should be filed where the underlying action occurred.

By: Jim Snyder

If you ask a non-lawyer where the common sense venue would be for bringing a lawsuit, most would tell you the court in the city or county where the action occurred. But in Virginia, there have long been other options. Historically, one focuses on the business activities of a defendant.

Plaintiff attorneys frequently file in traditionally plaintiff-friendly verdicts, regardless of the appropriateness of the forum. If the accident did not happen in the chosen forum and the defendant does not live in the chosen forum, the fall back for plaintiffs is the defendant’s alleged “substantial business activity.” By attacking, what is often, a tenuous link between a case and the forum and the lack of substantial business activity, we can transfer the case into a more conservative venue, immediately driving down the value of the claim.

Until 2004, Virginia Code §8.01-262 provided that a permissible venue in which to file suit was where the defendant regularly conducted affairs or business activity. In addition to where a defendant worked, the most obvious choice here, this led to such inquiries of a defendant as to where they shopped, went to church, visited friends, passed through on the interstate, volunteered or socialized. As a practical matter, the choice a plaintiff had available for forums in which to file suit were greatly expanded through unrelated, often inconsequential, activities.

In 2004, the Code was amended, to change “regularly conducts affairs or business activity” to “regularly conducts substantial business activity.” The signal from the General Assembly was clear – require a greater connection between the defendant and the forum where suit

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Traumatic Brain Injury: Beating Back Over-inflated Claims

By: Jim Snyder

TBIs have become the modern day whiplash. Increasingly, we see claimed head injuries and alleged traumatic brain injuries as often as classic soft tissue injuries. It used to be, when we received a rear-end case to defend, we knew the claim would involve upper back and neck sprains/strains. Now, when a case lands in our office, chances are good the plaintiff is going to make some claim of brain dysfunction as a result of the accident. Whether it is a severe collision with obvious head trauma or a parking lot bump where the plaintiff barely nods, we know TBI will likely be an issue somewhere down the road.

During a two month stretch this past summer, our team aggressively attacked and resolved four such cases (see our infographic above). Each case was grossly over-inflated and the defense needed to be aggressive. Used collectively, these three strategies dramatically

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When Arbitrators Exceed their Authority Under the FAA

By: Brennan C. Morrissett

Arbitration awards are often described as ironclad, with arbitrators’ findings generally not susceptible to challenge.  Historically, and as a matter of public policy, arbitral power is intentionally limited to only those matters the parties have specifically contracted to subject to arbitration.  This means an arbitrator has no power to rule on issues except for those expressly assigned to them by contract by the parties.  Challenges to arbitrators’ failure to observe this fundamental limitation led to several recent United States Supreme Court “exceeded authority” cases – one of four limited bases on which an arbitrator’s finding can be challenged.  These rulings give some much needed

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Virginia's UM/UIM Statute Amended to Clarify 2015 Amendment

 

The Virginia UM/UIM statute, Va. Code §38.2-2206, has yet again been amended by the legislature. SB1293 was signed into law by the Governor and became effective July 1, 2019. This bill clarifies the 2015 amendment to Virginia Code §38.2-2206, which allowed liability carriers to tender their limits and shift the duty to defend its insured to the UM/UIM carrier.

This bill solves several problems with the 2015 iteration of §38.2-2206. First, in Section K, it states that if a release explicitly indicates it is being executed pursuant to §38.2-2206, any release language inconsistent with the code section is void. This code update shouldencourage attorneys for the plaintiffs to sign a properly worded release.

Second, the amendment clarifies the nature of the relationship between the tortfeasor and the UIM carrier’s counsel. Subsection K plainly states there is no attorney-client relationship

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Defending Your Negligent Entrustment Case

By: Megan Watson

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