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But I Can’t Wait: When You Can Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia Before Final Judgment, CLE

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Gentry Locke attorney Monica Monday presented a Continuing Legal Education seminar to members of the Roanoke Bar Association at the Roanoke Law Library. The topic of the presentation was: “But I Can’t Wait: When You Can Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia Before Final Judgment.”

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Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Labor & Employment Law

The full article is available in pre-formatted PDF format under the Additional Reading section. Published in the Richmond Law Review, November, 2007. Introduction This article looks back on important Virginia labor and employment law developments during the past year, including significant case law and legislation. Contract issues continued to dominate state-law employment litigation in Virginia, especially disputes regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants. Section II of this article is devoted to some of the more significant employment contract cases considered by Virginia state and federal courts this past year. Section III discusses recent Virginia cases in which courts have considered […]

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It May Be Easy Being Green

This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on December 3, 2007. A formatted PDF is available under the Additional Reading section. Economic Incentives for Sustainable Real Estate and Development Practices Federal, state, and local governments are responding at an ever-increasing rate to our country’s growing concern for our impact on the environment. Many incentives and programs provide businesses and individual landowners the ability to make environmentally conscious land use and development decisions without sacrificing profitability. Conservation easements allow landowners to realize significant tax benefits while preserving and protecting the agricultural, scenic, or natural resources of their land from […]

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Commercial Lease Agreement Considerations

This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on September 10, 2007. A formatted PDF is available under the Additional Reading section. Q: I am considering leasing commercial space. The landlord has given me his standard “form” lease. How do I know whether the terms are reasonable? A: First of all, there is no such thing as a generic “form” lease. I will touch on a few of the more common provisions commercial tenants should consider negotiating in order to protect their interests. Right to Cure (Correct) a Default. “Failure to pay rent within 10 days after the due […]

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Maintaining Your Most Important Equipment: Tires

This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on June 26, 2007. A formatted PDF is available under the Additional Reading section. The most important equipment on your company’s trucks may be the tires. The phrase “where the rubber hits the road” is particularly important when discussing 18-wheelers. The following seven tips should decrease the likelihood of an accident caused by truck tires: Check for correct air pressures. Drivers should have an accurate pressure gauge and be instructed to check the tires on their truck each day. Conduct a visual inspection of your vehicle’s tires prior to operation. Look […]

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Attorney Todd Leeson Elected to Two Boards

Todd Leeson, a partner with the Roanoke law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore concentrating on employment law and litigation, has recently been selected to serve on the Board of Directors of two prestigious community organizations: the Art Museum of Western Virginia and the Roanoke Valley Society for Human Resource Management. Mr. Leeson has practiced employment law in the Roanoke Valley since 1991 and has also served in leadership positions for several regional or state-wide non-profit organizations.

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Employee Handbook Alert: Confidentiality Policy Found Overbroad

This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on May 7, 2007. A formatted PDF is available under the Additional Reading section. Q: Our company has a confidentiality policy that, among other things, prohibits employees from discussing their pay with other employees. Is such a policy lawful? A: Probably not. Most employers have policies in their employee handbooks or otherwise concerning the business need to keep certain information “confidential.” A recent federal appeals court decision, however, found that one company’s policy was overbroad and unlawful. Cintas Corporation published the following policy in its employee handbook: We honor confidentiality. We […]

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Mechanic’s Lien: Automatic Payment?

This article was published in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on April 23, 2007. Many contractors, suppliers, and owners hear and use the phrase “put a lien on property” and wrongly think that filing a mechanic’s lien provides instant relief to the party seeking to be paid. That is hardly the case, as there are few areas of the law so fraught with rules and issues that make recovery on a mechanic’s lien quite difficult. Mechanic’s liens provide a means by which contractors and suppliers may obtain a security interest in real property they improved, and ultimately compel the sale […]

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Gentry Locke Involved with First Significant E-Discovery Decision in Western Virginia

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing the discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”) went into effect on December 1, 2006. Barely a month later, on January 12, 2006, United States District Judge Glen E. Conrad entered the first significant opinion in the Western District of Virginia interpreting the new amendments. Judge Conrad’s decision in DE Technologies, Inc. v. Dell Inc., Civil Action No. 7:04CV00628, involved patent infringement claims against Dell. The primary issue before the court was whether Dell had produced certain electronic documents “as they are kept in the usual course of business” or in a […]

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Multi-employer OSHA Liability on the Construction Work Site

This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on January 29, 2007. On a construction site, who can potentially be cited for the violation of an OSHA standard? Can a general contractor, architect, or even the owner of the project be cited if another entity’s employee is injured or exposed to a dangerous condition? Is the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry presently issuing such citations? Under regulations adopted by the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry relating to “multi-employer worksites,” any number of entities working on a construction site can be cited for an OSHA violation, even if […]

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Gentry Locke receives top 20 Jury Verdict for 2006

Three Roanoke, Virginia attorneys with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore have made the list of “Virginia’s Largest Verdicts” for 2006 published by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Matthew W. Broughton, Gregory D. Habeeb, and H. David Gibson made the list for the $1.58 million jury verdict they obtained for Gentry Locke client Mario Industries, Inc. in a commercial litigation matter. The case was decided in state court in Roanoke, Virginia. Mario Industries proved that a former employee breached his fiduciary duties to the company, and conspired with others to damage the company. Beyond the size of the award, the case was significant because there was […]

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Gentry Locke welcomes new Commercial Attorney

The Roanoke, Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP has added Lewis A. Conner to its growing General Commercial practice group, where he will focus on tax and finance issues. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Conner served as the Vice-President Finance and Acting General Counsel for Professional Healthcare Resources, Inc., a provider of home healthcare services in Northern Virginia. Prior to joining Professional Healthcare in its accounting and finance department 1999, Mr. Conner worked for three years as a CPA with KPMG, LLP. Mr. Conner earned his Juris Doctor cum laude from the George Mason University […]

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E-Discovery: A Practical Approach to New Federal Guidelines

The full article is available in pre-formatted PDF format under the Additional Reading section. INTRODUCTION Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which became effective December 1, 2006, now require the parties and their attorneys to come to grips quickly with the discovery of “electronically stored information” (“ESI”). These new Federal Rules put a fine point on the need for law firms (and their business clients) to become familiar with and conversant about their clients’ use of computers and other electronic devices where ESI is stored. Planning for and educating businesses before litigation arises, particularly the IT staffs and […]

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