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What Causes Claims on Construction Projects?

We thought it might be good to review some issues that could result in claims on construction projects. Knowing what indicators to look for will help contractors spot problem areas that could develop into claims if not addressed and dealt with promptly. As discussed in other posts, good record-keeping is key to proving a claim. So, when these issues come up, a contractor needs to be very diligent in recording this information in its daily logs and project documents. There are many common trends that we see that cause claims on projects. The following list sets out the causes that […]

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Employment Law White Paper from National Conference Available

Gentry Locke Partner W. David Paxton recently chaired a national Labor & Employment Law Seminar in Half Moon Bay, California. As part of the seminar, attendees participated in a series of roundtable discussions. From the discussions, a white paper was generated on five topics; Internal Investigations, Protecting Confidential Information, E-Discovery, Managing Leave and Attendance Issues, and Workforce Reduction. This white paper, edited by Paxton and published by ALFA International, is now available. If you have questions on how such situations might affect your employees, please contact W. David Paxton at the 540.983.9334 or Paxton@gentrylocke.com. ALFA Employment Seminar White Paper (opens in […]

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Alert: Administration Solicits Whistleblowers

On December 5, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the launching of a new online form to make it easier for workers to file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. OSHA is the federal agency that enforces the whistleblower provisions designed to protect employees who report alleged violations of 22 different federal statutes that regulate securities, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transport, workplace safety and health, and consumer protection. Detailed information on the rights of whistleblowers, including Fact Sheets and instructions on how to submit the new complaint form, are available on the new OSHA site, www.whistleblowers.gov. […]

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Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to “2013 Legal Elite”

Virginia Business magazine asked lawyers throughout the commonwealth to nominate and select the best in their profession in 16 categories of practice. Elected to the list for 2013 are these Gentry Locke attorneys: J. Rudy Austin – Construction Thomas J. Bondurant, Jr. – Criminal Law G. Franklin Flippin – Business Law K. Brett Marston – Construction Monica T. Monday – Appellate Law James J. O’Keeffe – Appellate Law W. David Paxton – Labor/Employment G. Michael Pace, Jr. – Real Estate/Land Use J. Scott Sexton – Civil Litigation

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Medical Hardship Ignored by Physician Results in $300,000+ Award

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Tazewell County Circuit Court Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff, along with Co-counsel Tom Scott of The Street Law Firm. While at Clinch Valley Medical Center on April 19, 2008, our client developed priapism, a urologic emergency which required immediate evaluation by a urologist. Our client’s attending physician failed to timely obtain a urologist to evaluate him and, as a result, the priapism went untreated for approximately 16 hours. This caused permanent erectile dysfunction. After more than 3 days of evidence, a jury of 7 women and 1 man deliberated for approximately two-and-a-half hours before returning a verdict for our […]

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Thirteen Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to “Super Lawyers Business Edition US”

Super Lawyers Business Edition US has named thirteen Gentry Locke attorneys to its United States 2013 edition: J. Rudy Austin – Civil Litigation Defense  Thomas J. Bondurant, Jr. – Criminal Defense/White Collar G. Franklin Flippin – Business/Corporate Gregory J. Haley – Business Litigation Guy M. Harbert, III – Plaintiff Defense/General Paul G. Klockenbrink – Employment & Labor K. Brett Marston – Construction Litigation Monica T. Monday – Appellate (Top listed in Virginia in 2013) G. Michael Pace, Jr. – Real Estate W. David Paxton – Employment & Labor William R. Rakes – Business Litigation J. Scott Sexton – Business Litigation Bruce C. Stockburger […]

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Defense of Residential Construction Dispute Reduces $385,000 Claim to $6,000

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Defense Salem City Circuit Court In a residential construction dispute, a contractor sued homeowners for $385,000 for alleged unpaid extra work. Gentry Locke represented the homeowners in defense of the lawsuit. After a six day jury trial, the jury only awarded the contractor a de minimus amount of approximately $6,000.

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I Am Richard Posner…and So Can You?

The Daily Beast is running a Q&A with Richard Posner called “How I Write.” Judge Posner is a brilliant and prolific writer. As a person who writes for a living, I was naturally intrigued. Also, I picked up the link from U of R Professor Kevin Walsh‘s Twitter feed (@kevincwalsh). Professor Walsh has a habit of sharing fascinating arcana, like the story behind the terrifying hat that Justice Scalia wore to the inauguration. Unfortunately, except for one incredible line, the Posner article is a bit of a let-down. Here’s the line: Hilarious. Also, Judge Posner writes about 90 opinions a […]

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Physician Successfully Defended Before Medical Board

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Defendant Virginia Board of Medicine The Virginia Board of Medicine leveled disciplinary charges against our client, a pain management physician, for allegedly excessive and improper prescribing of opioid medications to a patient who had recently completed inpatient detox treatment. Following a hearing, the Board dismissed all charges. It found that the inpatient treatment records showed only that the patient was opioid dependent, not opioid addicted. As the patient had long-term chronic pain problems, she would be expected to be dependent on opioids to manage that pain. In short, the Board concluded that the physician […]

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Family Member’s Estate Protected in Slip & Fall Case

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Defense Montgomery County Circuit Court The case involved a slip-and-fall with an ad damnum (demand) for a half-million dollars. The plaintiff fell in her sister-in-law’s yard in November of 2005. Gentry Locke represented the sister-in-law defendant, and following the sister-in-law’s death in 2012, represented her estate. Guy Harbert and Catherine Huff defended the case on the grounds that the plaintiff could not prove what caused her fall, and that our client had no notice of a defective condition in her yard or of the plaintiff’s presence in the yard at the time of the fall. At trial […]

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Attorney Christopher M. Kozlowski Joins Gentry Locke’s Business Law Group

The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP is pleased to announce that attorney Chris Kozlowski has joined the firm’s Business Law group, which handles a wide range of general corporate matters, including tax matters, securities and banking regulation and compliance, and commercial transactions. Chris recently moved to Roanoke and is licensed in both Virginia and Connecticut. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, he practiced with a firm in Stamford, Connecticut. His experience includes representing corporate and individual clients in asset and real property purchases and transfers of entity ownership. He has also represented placement agents in exempt […]

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Leeson Speaks to Three HR Groups Across Region, Moderates VBA Conference Panel

Gentry Locke employment law partner Todd Leeson recently spoke to three different human resource associations. On September 19, 2013, Todd presented an ADA and FMLA update at the New River Valley SHRM’s Fourth Annual Legal Update.  On September 25, 2013, Todd provided a talk entitled “Legal Issues Arising Out of Social Media Use By Employees” to the Shenandoah Valley SHRM for its Virginia Legal Forum. On October 1, 2013, Todd spoke about “Recent Employment Law Trends and Advice for HR Professionals” to the Franklin County Human Resource Association.  In late October, Todd also served as a moderator for a panel on “Retaliation […]

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Protecting Company Assets: The Price of a Dance Ticket Just Went Up

On September 12, 2013, the Supreme Court of Virginia surprised many by ruling that a motion to dismiss (demurrer) is not the proper procedure to challenge the enforceability of a noncompete agreement when a lawsuit is filed to enforce the agreement. Instead, the Court ruled that when one argues that the restrictive covenant is overbroad on its face and unenforceable as a matter of law, the court cannot issue a ruling solely on the pleadings but it must have a factual record. In Assurance Data, Inc. v. Malyevac, a unanimous Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision to grant a […]

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Copyright Infringement Claims for Alleged Copycat Design & Construction

When we think about copyright infringement, most often we think about someone copying some or all of a book or article. In the construction arena, an ever-evolving and seemingly more disputed copyright issue arises in claims related to the concept and design for buildings, including high-end homes. Recently, a custom home designer/builder (we’ll refer to that as the Plaintiff Designer) sued several defendants, including a husband and wife homeowners (we’ll refer to them as the Homeowners) in federal court in Norfolk for violations of federal copyright law. The Plaintiff Designer also sued the design firm that ultimately designed a Georgian-style […]

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Guess Who Is Coming to Inspect Your Worksite?

As part of an OSHA worksite inspection, who has a right to come onto your premises other than a federal OSHA inspector? Until recently, there were two possibilities. First, if the OSHA inspector determined there was “good cause” because of unique circumstances, a non-employee such as an industrial hygienist or safety engineer with specific expertise could be brought along. Second, if the workplace was unionized, then a union representative was allowed to accompany the OSHA inspector during the walk-around inspection. No one would ever have guessed that in a non-union worksite, an outside union agent might be permitted to accompany […]

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Arbitration Result in Favor of Taxicab Accident Victim

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff Arbitration Our client suffered cervical injuries when the car she was driving was rear-ended by a taxicab driver. The cab driver was charged with following too closely and paid a fine, but argued that our client negligently operated her car and caused the collision. The parties agreed to arbitrate the matter. The arbitrator found the cab driver negligent and returned an award for our client.

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“Boss of the Year” and RVLSA “Member of Year” at Gentry Locke

RVLSA…the association for legal professionals held their 48th Annual Bosses’ Night at Metamorphosis, where Benjamin Byrd, an Associate at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, was named the 2013 Boss of the Year, and Melinda C. Childress-Dearing, PP, PLS, a legal assistant at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, was named 2013 Member of the Year.  Congratulations to Ben and Melinda!

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What to Bring to Oral Argument

I’ve been helping a few friends prep for their first oral arguments recently. It’s been a mutually beneficial exercise, because (1) it has forced me to think about what I do to prepare and why I do it, and (2) it reassured them that, if I can do this stuff, then anyone can. Looking back on those conversations, though, I realized that I’d forgotten to give my friends one of the most useful pieces of information: What they should actually bring with them to the argument. You see, if you argue enough appeals, you will eventually suffer every conceivable embarrassment […]

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Plaintiff in Multi-vehicle Accident Receives Over $225,000

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff Amherst County Circuit Court Our client suffered right hip and elbow injuries in a motor vehicle collision involving a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck. The passenger van he was riding in was hit on its left side by the pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck blamed a tractor-trailer driver for cutting him off, which he claims caused him to go into our client’s lane of travel and collide with the van. Evidence from the scene indicated the pickup truck driver was not paying attention to the turning tractor-trailer and that the […]

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Gentry Locke’s Generosity Makes Meaningful Difference to 7th Annual Food Drive

The 7th Annual Legal Food Frenzy competition, which challenges law firms, law schools, and government offices to donate food and raise money to stock Virginia’s food banks, resulted in almost 1.5 million pounds of food. The statewide, two-week drive in April of 2013 was a great success. In Southwest Virginia, 47,000 pounds of food was raised, through donations of nonperishable goods and monetary donations. Together, the donations of Gentry Locke attorneys and staff added up to more than one third of all donations for our region – leading all other area participants. The 2013 food drive was spearheaded at the firm by attorneys Cate Huff, Abigail Murchison, and Spencer […]

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Employers Have Until End of 2013 to Take Advantage of Veteran Tax Credits

Employers have until the end of 2013 to take advantage of tax credits for hiring qualified veterans. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a tax credit offered private sector employers who hire individuals from certain targeted groups. These tax credits may range from between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee, depending on the target group of the new employee and the number of hours worked in the first year. Although some categories of the WOTC expired in 2012, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) extended the WOTC for hiring certain workers through December 31, 2013. ATRA extended the […]

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How the Fourth Circuit Decides Whether to Award Oral Argument

Depressing fact of the day: The Fourth Circuit hears oral argument in about 9% of the roughly 5,000 cases it considers each year. For context, here’s the 2012 acceptance rate of each Ivy League school, according to Google: Harvard: 5.9% Yale: 6.8% Columbia: 7.4% Princeton: 8.5% Brown: 9% Dartmouth: 9.8% Penn: 12.3% Cornell: 16.2% So basically, the chance of the Fourth Circuit granting oral argument in any given case is about as good as the chance of a mid-tier Ivy granting admission to any given applicant. Only the very best, cream-of-the-crop cases evidently merit that consideration. But what does that […]

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Meningitis Update: Compounding Industry in the News, Attorney Sexton Interviewed

As a result of the fungal meningitis outbreak that was caused by tainted injections of medicine compounded by NECC, a Massachusetts compounding facility, the industry that compounds medicines is still in the news. Channel 10 News reporter Aaron Martin interviewed Gentry Locke partner Scott Sexton for a news report that seeks to better understand how such problems can occur. According to the article online at the WSLS Channel 10 website, “Compound pharmacies like the NECC tend to fall between the cracks when it comes to regulations. Pharmacies are regulated by the state and drug manufacturers are regulated by the FDA. But […]

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Twenty-two Attorneys named to 2014 Best Lawyers in America list; Firm Ranked in Tier 1 for Best Law Firms

Twenty-two attorneys at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP are named “2014 Best Lawyers in America” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. The firm itself received metropolitan tier one rankings in more than 20 practice areas, including antitrust; banking and finance; commercial; construction; corporate; employment & labor; land use; litigation; medical malpractice; personal injury; real estate; tax; and trusts and estates. Attorneys who were top-rated by their peers: J. Rudy Austin

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What Should an Employer Say (If Anything) in a Termination Letter?

As a management employment lawyer, I am often asked to provide legal advice to a Virginia company as to a termination decision. If the company decides to terminate an employee, we typically then discuss how the decision will be communicated, including whether the company should notify the employee in writing. As a general proposition, a Virginia employer is not legally obligated to provide the employee with written notice of a termination decision. Some employers, however, prefer to do so. In addition, sometimes the employee will not be returning to the employer’s premises—in such a case, a termination letter is necessary. […]

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Deal…or No Deal? Identifying and Addressing Gray Areas in Construction Contracting

This article, co-written by Gentry Locke attorneys Brett Marston, Spencer Wiegard, Josh Johnson, and Abigail Murchison, was published in The Construction Lawyer, Journal of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Volume 33 No. 3 (Summer 2013).A version of this article with a Virginia focus first appeared in 2006. See K. Brett Marston and J. Barrett Lucy, “Deal or No Deal? Clarifying Gray Areas in Construction Contracting,” Virginia Lawyer, Vol. 55, No. 3 (October 2006). >>> Viewed the published article here. Following are section headings from the article: “Let’s Make a Deal… to Make a Deal.” One of the murkiest areas of […]

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“Clinic to Pay After Woman’s Death”: Roanoke Times article

On July 25, 2013, The Roanoke Times reported on a case where the family of a Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore client prevailed in a wrongful death trial. The article reports that Roanoke Orthopaedic Center was found liable in the death of an 89-year-old woman in a wheelchair when she fell while standing for an X-Ray at the Roanoke, Virginia facility. The jury awarded a total of $660,000, which included $10,000 for her funeral expenses, $50,000 for her medical bills, and $200,000 each to her three family members. According to the article, “Although officials at the center had medical records indicating […]

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When Should Contractors Not File a Claim?

Although construction lawyers pursue claims for their clients everyday, there are times when a contractor should not file a claim. A construction claim can provide a contractor with its fair compensation and most of the time pursing a valid claim is a contractor’s best course, but there are situations where it does not make good business sense – even when the claim is a strong claim. There are times when it makes more sense for a contractor to cut bait. The following list shows why it is important to be careful in thinking about claims from the beginning and throughout […]

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EEOC Seeks to Provide Job Protection for LGBT Employees

This article appeared in the Summer/Fall 2013 issue of “Virginia Human Resources Today” magazine. In its Strategic Enforcement Plan published in December 2012, the EEOC identified 6 national priorities. One of these priorities is devoting more attention and resources to “emerging or developing” issues. The EEOC specifically identified “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII” as an emerging issue. What does this mean for employers? Let’s start with the EEOC’s seminal decision on April 20, 2012 in Macy v. Holder. Macy applied for a position at a federal agency. The agency told Macy it intended to […]

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$660,000 Verdict for Family in Wrongful Death Case

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff. Roanoke City Circuit Court Gentry Locke attorneys Tony Russell and Anthony Segura won a jury trial case concerning the wrongful, preventable death of an 89-year-old retired nurse. Although medical records indicated that the victim was a fall risk, employees at an orthopedic center instructed the woman to stand to have X-rays taken of her spine. While standing unassisted she fell, striking her head on the floor, and died six days later in a hospital. The Roanoke City jury found unanimously that the orthopedic center was negligent for the actions of its employees […]

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Workplace Sex Attack Case Settled

On July 13, 2013, The Roanoke Times has reported on the confidential settlement of a case where a woman was sexually attacked by a co-worker who had a prior conviction as a sex offender. Gentry Locke attorney Les Bowers was co-counsel on the case, in which the United States District Court noted that all of the parties had “resolved and settled the claims.”

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Winning Zoning Litigation Before the Lawsuit is Filed: Measuring Success by Things that Do Not Happen

This article, co-authored by Paul M. Mahoney, the County Attorney for Roanoke County, and Gregory J. Haley, a partner at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, was published in the “Journal of Local Government Law”, Vol. XXIII, No. 3, Winter 2013, a publication of the Local Government Section of the Virginia State Bar. The purpose of this article is to keep Local Government Attorneys (“LGAs”) out of trouble. Sooner or later, every LGA will have the opportunity to defend the decision of his or her local governing body in a controversial land use matter. Some land use disputes evolve unexpectedly into […]

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$1 Million Jury Verdict for Victim of Medical Malpractice

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff. A Roanoke City jury unanimously found for the victim of medical malpractice, who was represented by Gentry Locke attorneys Tony Russell and Amanda Shaw, against Carilion Clinic, awarding $1 million to fully and fairly compensate the victim for her injuries and damages. The patient had a medical condition known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis, which she entrusted to the care of Carilion Clinic.  However,  Carilion Clinic’s physician did not timely diagnose or treat the patient’s condition. As a result, the patient’s Wegener’s Granulomatosis progressed until she suffered acute kidney failure, requiring emergent hospitalization and approximately two […]

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Supreme Court Adopts Narrow Definition of “Supervisor” Under Title VII

Employee Emily files a Title VII sexual harassment charge with the EEOC, and then a lawsuit in a Virginia federal court, against ABC Company. Emily alleges that she was subjected to egregious unwelcome comments and actions of a sexual nature in the workplace by Charlie. Charlie has the title of Lead Coordinator in Emily’s department and has the authority to direct Emily’s daily work activities. However, Charlie does not have the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline Emily. A critical question in determining whether ABC may be liable is whether Charlie is considered a “supervisor” under Title […]

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Fungal Meningitis Once Again in the News

In The Roanoke Times article written by reporter Jeff Sturgeon, the 2012 outbreak of meningitis is revisited through the experiences of two area people who are still suffering its effects. Gentry Locke attorney Scott Sexton‘s court filings are quoted in the article. Sexton is representing numerous plaintiffs who suffered adversely from the tainted epidural injections.

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The Cover-up is Always Worse Than The Crime: How to Deal with Federal Investigations

Little known to the public or to the average business (unless you are Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, or Bernie Madoff) is the text of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a), which provides for criminal penalties of substantial fines and imprisonment of up to five years for making any false statement to any federal authority. But, the legal regime of false statements is not so clear cut. Section 1001 makes it a crime if one “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme or device a material fact” or if one “makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” or […]

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Court of Appeals Affirms Decision, Awards Attorney Fees

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Monica T. Monday of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Appellee. The Court of Appeals of Virginia has affirmed an equitable distribution award in a divorce appeal and has awarded the wife her appellate attorney’s fees. The court found no error in the trial court’s ruling that gives 55% of the marital property to the wife and considered the husband’s poor relationship with his stepdaughter. Finding that the husband’s appeal lacked merit, the court also granted the wife’s request for the husband to pay her appellate attorney’s fees.

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Construction Contractors Beware: What To Do When the OFCCP Comes Knocking

If you are a government contractor or subcontractor, you may be subject to various affirmative action obligations whether you know it or not. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is tasked with enforcing these affirmative action obligations. The OFCCP continues to increase its enforcement efforts, particularly in the construction industry. During the Obama administration, the OFCCP has doubled the number of compliance evaluations for construction companies. The OFCCP will continue to target the construction industry because reports show that construction companies are more likely to be in violation of the affirmative action obligations. Are you […]

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Two Recent Virginia Court Opinions of Interest in Construction Cases

Two recent court opinions are of interest to Virginia construction lawyers and businesses. The first one relates to an assignment of a construction contract, and the second one to the enforcement of a mechanic’s lien where it has been “bonded off.” In Smart Choice Corp. V. Wayne’s Erecting LLC, Judge Conrad issued the opinion of the USDC for the Western District of Virginia concerning the defendant’s motion to dismiss. In this case, contractor M.D. Russell Construction entered into a contract with Wayne’s Erecting concerning the construction of an office building. M.D. Russell subsequently assigned this contract to Smart Choice. At […]

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Using Tax Credits to Maximum Benefit for Your Construction Project

Developers have discovered the benefit of identifying early on if their projects are eligible to participate in tax incentive programs. The Federal Preservation Tax Incentives program alone has certified the rehabilitation of over 38,000 historic buildings, with investments totaling over $66 Billion for the rehabilitation of these historic properties. Following are some highlights of the federal and state historic rehabilitation tax incentive programs and the new market tax credit (NMTC) program. Historic Structures Federal and State Preservation/Rehabilitation Tax Credits programs are designed to encourage developers to rehabilitate historic structures, a choice that without incentives would often prove more expensive than […]

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Monica Monday Inducted as Fellow of the Roanoke Law Foundation

The Roanoke Law Foundation has inducted Gentry Locke Partner Monica T. Monday as a Fellow. Induction as a Fellow is a special honor awarded to selected Virginia attorneys, law professors, and retired members of the judiciary who are deemed to be outstanding in their profession and in their community. The Roanoke Law Foundation serves as the public service and philanthropic arm of the Roanoke Bar Association for the purpose of supporting, improving and facilitating the administration of justice and providing and supporting law-related education. This mission is to be accomplished by raising funds to provide grants and other financial assistance to individuals and other organizations […]

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David Paxton quoted in article, “Hacked: What to do if your office computers are breached”

In the May 23, 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Gentry Locke Partner David Paxton was quoted in an article written by Correy E. Stephenson entitled “Hacked: What to do if your office computers are breached”.  So what should law firms do if they get hacked?First, stop the breach, said Roanoke lawyer W. David Paxton. Identify the access point(s) the hackers are using and the security weaknesses. If possible, preserve any relevant data to help track the hackers and determine what information was accessed – just certain client files? The entire system? Second, investigate the nature and the extent of […]

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Richard Rakes Scholarship Awarded by Roanoke Kiwanis Club

On Wednesday, May 22nd, Gentry Locke Partner Brett Marston presented the Richard Rakes Scholarship Award at the Roanoke Kiwanis Club meeting in downtown Roanoke. The recipient was Sejal Mistry, a Northside High School senior, who will attend Washington & Lee University in the Fall of 2013. According to Marston, “The scholarship recipients this year were so impressive. Gentry Locke is very proud to be affiliated with the Kiwanis and this excellent program.” The Roanoke Kiwanis awarded several scholarships. The Richard Rakes Scholarship is sponsored by Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in honor of Dick Rakes, the retired name partner of the firm. […]

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HR Professionals Hear From EEOC Director During Gentry Locke Webinar

On May 22, 2013, HR professionals and in-house counsel throughout Virginia participated in a webinar hosted by the employment law attorneys at Gentry Locke. Darrell Graham, the new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Director of the Richmond office, was the guest speaker. He provided an excellent overview as to his leadership style and priorities moving forward for the Richmond office. Mr. Graham also answered questions from the audience throughout the webinar. As many in the business community know, persons continue to file record numbers of discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges with the EEOC. The EEOC’s Richmond office has authority over […]

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OFCCP Mandates Use of New EEO Data

On May 15, 2013, the OFCCP issued a notice that federal supply and service contractors will be required to use the most recent race, ethnicity and sex data from the Census Bureau to develop written affirmative action plans commencing on January 1, 2014. The notice observed that federal regulations require contractors to calculate availability estimates based on the “most current discrete statistical information available.” Last November, the Census Bureau began releasing updated information in a series of tables that break down the U.S. labor force by sex, race and ethnicity. This information collected during 2006-2010 is referred to as the […]

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Matt Broughton Featured in Annual Issue of Ferrum Alumni Magazine

In its annual publication (2012-2013), Ferrum College highlighted the entrepreneurial achievements of Gentry Locke attorney Matt Broughton. In addition to being a senior partner at Gentry Locke, in 2011 Broughton teamed up with Roanoke-based manufacturing company Mario Industries to create Brolero, LLC (www.brolero.com), which is a line of office furnishings, products, and gifts for attorneys and other professionals. Broughton graduated Ferrum College in 1980 and went on to achieve a law degree from the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law. His love of planes and flying grew into his achieving the rating of airline transport pilot. Broughton helped […]

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Richard C. Rakes Receives RBA Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard C. Rakes, the “Rakes” referred to in the Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP firm name, was recently chosen by the Roanoke Bar Association to receive the 2013 Frank W. “Bo” Rogers, Jr., Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize an outstanding lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence in Southwest Virginia and, in doing so, enhances the image and esteem of attorneys in the region. Dick Rakes was recognized for the contributions he has made at the RBA Law Day celebration on May 2, 2013. Gentry Locke attorney William R. Rakes, who is no […]

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What is the Measured Mile?

If you are a contractor trying to get paid for a claim on your construction project, then you have to prove that you were somehow damaged. Easier said than done – right? The measured mile approach is one way for a contractor show or prove its lost productivity on a construction project. And, when it can be used, it is an approved method for measuring the lost productivity. In the U.S. Industries, Inc. v. Blake Construction Co., Inc. case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit gave its stamp of approval: “USI’s proof of disruption damages consisted of […]

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Blinded Employee Agrees to $14 Million-dollar Settlement ($16.5M Payout)

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff. Gentry Locke attorneys Matt Broughton, Greg Habeeb, and Cate Huff, in association with outside counsel Robert Evans, represented our client in a products liability case arising out of workplace accident. The Plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injury, blindness, and other injuries following the failure of a CNC machine (a computer-controlled industrial drill).

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Leeson Presents Session on “Working Smarter with your Employment Lawyer” at VA SHRM Conference

On April 22, 2013, Gentry Locke Partner Todd Leeson presented a session entitled “Working Smarter with your Employment Lawyer” to HR professionals attending the 2013 Virginia State SHRM Annual Conference at The Homestead Resort.  Todd provided attendees with practical advice and recommendations to ensure that a company’s communications with its employment counsel are efficient and effective.

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A Quick Guide to the “Willful Misconduct” Defense in Virginia Worker’s Compensation Law

This article by attorney Peter Irot appeared on Gentry Locke’s “Virginia OSHA Law News” blog. The “Willful Misconduct” defense in Virginia workers’ compensation law is similar to the “Employee Misconduct” defense in OSHA matters. A workplace injury may lead to both OSHA and workers’ compensation proceedings. Therefore, it is useful to understand the elements and requirements of both defenses — of which there is much overlap. Something that nearly every Virginia employer will have to consider sooner or later is whether it has a “willful misconduct” defense to a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, many employers and insurers tend to […]

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2013 Webinar with EEOC Richmond Director Graham

As a follow-up to Gentry Locke’s Employment Law Symposium, we are offering a free webinar that will cover EEOC issues for Virginia Employers. EEOC Richmond Director Darrell E. Graham will join the webinar. We will be taking questions ahead of time, and time permitting, Mr. Graham will answer as many as possible. This is a great opportunity to hear information directly from Gentry Locke employment attorneys and the EEOC office that investigates, mediates, and will litigate charges of discrimination, harassment or retaliation filed by your employees. HOW TO REGISTER: Website registration has closed. Please email glrm@gentrylocke.com to be manually registered. A confirmation […]

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Leeson Editorial Supports Virginia Employers and their HR Professionals

On April 14, The Roanoke Times published companion articles on the front page of the Sunday Business Ticker section entitled “A harsher workplace” and “When technology makes work harder,” written by Alana Semuels of the Los Angeles Times. On April 21, 2013, The Roanoke Times published an alternate view that was written by Gentry Locke attorney Todd Leeson. Todd serves as the legislative director for the Virginia State SHRM Council. Read the full article here.

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Settlement for Medical Malpractice Injury

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff. During surgery to repair a redo rotator cuff, the surgery itself caused axillary artery and brachial plexus nerve injury to the patient. The patient then developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome II and has no use of his hand. He is disabled, prevented from gainful employment, and is dependent upon high levels of narcotic pain medications.

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Million-dollar Verdict Awarded to Home Health Care Nurse

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

The case was tried in Staunton Circuit Court. Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore for the Plaintiff; outside attorney H. David Natkin, co-counsel. Gentry Locke attorney Benjamin D. Byrd and co-counsel H. David Natkin represented a home health care nurse who was the victim of a sexual assault that was perpetrated by the client for whom she was providing care.

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Managing Partner Monica Monday Recognized Among 2013 Influential Women of Virginia

The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Monica Taylor Monday has been named to the Class of 2013 “Influential Women of Virginia” by Virginia Lawyers Media, publishers of Virginia Lawyers Weekly and the Virginia Medical Law Report. The awards program, now in its fifth year, recognizes the outstanding efforts of women in the Commonwealth in all fields, including law, business, health care, education and the arts. The honors are given to individuals making notable contributions to their chosen professions, communities, and society at large. The honorees will be celebrated […]

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Alert: New Form I-9; Implement by May 7, 2013

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has released the new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13), which can be found at the article link below. Employers have until May 7, 2013 before they are required to use the new Form I-9. However, we recommend that employers begin training hiring managers to use the new form as soon as possible. Until now, employers were advised that it was still permissible to use the old versions of the Form I-9 (which expired in June 2009 or August 2012). This will no longer be acceptable as of May 7, 2013, when […]

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Potential Fix: IRS Reprieve on Misclassification Issue

Some companies have mistakenly treated workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. Once this issue is identified, employers struggle with how to fix the problem without creating bigger problems. Over the past year, the IRS has offered a voluntary program that provided relief for some employers who have voluntarily chosen to reclassify their workers as employees. The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) has been of limited usefulness because most employers are barred from applying for the VCSP if they have failed to file the required Form 1099s with respect to the workers they are seeking to reclassify, or were […]

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Alert: New FMLA Notice Must Be Posted by March 8, 2013

As you may recall, the FMLA was amended in 2008 and 2010 to provide certain protections to military families and airline flight crews.  The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a Final Rule on these amendments that will take effect on March 8, 2013.  As a result of these changes, employers are required to post a new version of the FMLA notice poster.  Covered employers are required to post this new version of the FMLA notice by March 8, 2013.  The poster may be accessed at the following link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaen.pdf Please contact John Thomas, Todd Leeson or any member of the Gentry […]

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Federal Prosecutors Drop Felony Charges against Former Major Defense Contractor

Federal prosecutors have dropped numerous felony charges against a Gentry Locke client, the former president of major defense contractor, in exchange for a favorable plea to a misdemeanor paperwork violation. On February 22, 2013, in an article titled “Feds Drop Gun-Buying Case Against Ex-Blackwater Execs”, Law360.com reported that “North Carolina federal prosecutors on Thursday dropped all remaining charges against three former Blackwater Worldwide Inc. executives who they had accused of acquiring firearms to give as gifts to the king of Jordan

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Peanut Corporation of America Update

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP’s team of attorneys is disappointed that the Government has decided, after four years, to pursue an indictment against Stewart Parnell on charges stemming from the operation of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) in connection with the salmonella outbreak of 2008. At this point, we will evaluate the charges that have been filed against Mr. Parnell and will prepare for a vigorous defense.  There is little doubt that as the facts in this case are revealed, it will become apparent that the FDA was in regular contact with PCA about its food handling policy and […]

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Mediation Ethics CLE

“Mediation Ethics CLE” presenters were Judges Arthur B. Vieregg, Jr.  (Ret.) and Stanley P. Klein (Ret.), who both sat on Circuit Court of Fairfax County and are McCammon Group mediators, and K. Brett Marston of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, current Chair of the Section.

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It’s Official: Mike Pace is a “Good Guy”

Mike Pace, Gentry Locke attorney and past managing partner of the firm, was lauded as a “Good guy” in an article written by Virginia Lawyers Weekly publisher Paul Fletcher. In his “Publisher’s Notebook” article titled “Good guy: Mike Pace”, Fletcher writes: On Jan. 25 in Williamsburg, the VBA bestowed its highest award, the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award, to Pace for his service to the association and for his signature achievement, the Rule of Law Project. Past recipients include such luminaries as Baliles himself (who presented the award), Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.; 4th Circuit Judge Roger […]

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What Should a Contractor Consider Including in Claim Documents?

A Contractor’s claim can be worth millions; so, it is sometimes surprising to see how little thought is put into the claim documents. To have a better chance to recover your claim, the claimant Contractor needs proof (hopefully written) to isolate the causes of the claim and the amount of its added costs and work time. In the Winter 2012 ABA publication The Construction Lawyer, Douglas Oles provided a list of the minimum requirements for claim documentation from the General Conditions for Washington State Facility Construction (check out pages 38-39). It is quite a list of requirements (requiring much more […]

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Do Virginia Courts Enforce Notice Provisions for Change Work in Construction Contracts?

Let’s look at the question of whether Virginia courts enforce notice provisions for change work in construction contracts. How’s this for a typical lawyer answer? “It depends.” For starters, a public contract is treated differently from a private contract. For public contracts, general contractors should be very careful to provide notice in strict compliance with both the contract and Virginia Code § 33.1 – 386. This was the subject of Commonwealth v. AMEC Civil, LLC. The Code requires written notice of the contractor’s intention to file a claim, which must be given at the time of occurrence or at the […]

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The Virginia Bar Association Recognizes G. Michael Pace, Jr. With Highest Honor

Pace, founder of the Rule of Law Project, receives Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP is pleased to announce G. Michael Pace, Jr., has been recognized by The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) as the recipient of its Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award. Pace, managing partner of Gentry Locke Rakes and Moore until December 31, 2012, and the 2008 president of the VBA, received the honor at the VBA’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Va. from Jan. 24-26. The award recognizes exceptional service and contributions to the bar and public at large. Pace is […]

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Bruce Stockburger Inducted as Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation

The Virginia Law Foundation (VLF) inducted Gentry Locke Partner Bruce C. Stockburger and 16 other Virginia lawyers into its 2013 Class of Fellows. The VLF holds its induction dinner each year in connection with The Virginia Bar Association winter meeting. This year’s induction was held on January 24, 2013 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Induction as a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation is a special honor conferred by the VLF Board on selected Virginia attorneys, law professors, and retired members of the judiciary who are deemed to be outstanding in their profession and in their community. Bruce Stockburger has 35 years […]

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Rule 68 Offers of Judgment — a Useful Tool

This article originally by Gentry Locke attorneys David Paxton and Michael Finney appeared in Vol. 24, No. 4 of the Journal of Civil Litigation,a publication of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. It appears here with permission. Read the full article as a PDF attached to this article. I. INTRODUCTION Most civil cases resolve by settlement, rather than trial. Accordingly, significant time and effort are often devoted to strategy underlying the familiar back-and-forth negotiation process. When is the best time to engage in settlement discussions? Does it show weakness to be the first to raise the subject? How should offers […]

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Managing Partner Monica Monday Featured Interviewed in The Roanoke Times

Managing Partner Monica T. Monday was featured in an interview that The Roanoke Times published in its business section on Sunday, January 13, 2013 entitled “One Question with Monica Monday”. In the interview, Monday describes how it felt to rise to the highest management level in a 90-year-old law firm. “We have a really strong history of leadership in this firm. Bill Rakes was the managing partner for 20 years, Mike Pace for 14 years. In watching them I have learned a lot about their leadership, and I think they feel very strongly as I do about the firm’s involvement […]

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Common Handbook Policies at Risk from Emboldened NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is accelerating its assault upon common employment policies typically found in company employee handbooks. Moreover, as of this writing, there are only three current NLRB members (out of five), all of whom are strong Union or worker advocates. Thus, employers should expect increased scrutiny, regulations, rules, and adverse decisions from the NLRB in 2013. Quick Overview of Legal Framework (Protected Concerted Activity under Section 7). To understand the rationale for the Board’s actions, the starting point is Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”), a law that has been in effect since […]

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Gentry Locke Names Two New Partners

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP is pleased to announce that attorneys Brooke Rosen and Michael Finney have been named partners with the Roanoke, Va. Brooke C. Rosen joined Gentry Locke’s General Commercial group in 2006. She focuses on employee benefits matters such as the implementation of qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), executive nonqualified, deferred compensation and incentive programs, cafeteria plans, health benefit plans and other welfare and fringe benefit arrangements. She also works with entities applying for tax exempt status and assists in ongoing tax exempt compliance matters. Brooke earned her Juris Doctor cum laude from the Columbus School of […]

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Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore Names Monica T. Monday Managing Partner

Monday succeeds G. Michael Pace, Jr. who will continue his practice in business, real estate law The Roanoke, Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP has named Monica Taylor Monday as the firm’s Managing Partner, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Monday will succeed G. Michael Pace, Jr., who will continue his law practice at Gentry Locke while pursuing leadership opportunities at the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, and its flagship program, the Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia Bar Association Rule of Law Project. Monday is a partner at Gentry Locke, chairs the Appellate practice group, and frequently writes and […]

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