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What You Need to Know About Calculating Deadlines

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Travis Graham represents both plaintiffs and defendants in the state and federal courts of Virginia and Tennessee, and focuses on trust and estate litigation, product liability, medical malpractice, and complex commercial litigation. He is a frequent writer, lecturer, and consultant on issues of federal and state civil procedure.

In Virginia State Courts, there are three basic deadline rules.

First, when you calculate a deadline from the occurrence of some event, you never count the day that the event occurred. So, ten days from January 1 is January 11. Ten days before January 20 is January 10.

Second, per Rule 1:7, the deadline to respond to some things can be extended depending on how you got whatever it is you are responding to. If you are responding to something that you received by mail, you add three days to the time period. If you received it by fax, email, or by FedEx or other carrier, you add one day.

The third and final rule is that if the day for compliance falls on a weekend, a legal holiday, or, in the case of something you are filing with the clerk, on a day when the courthouse is closed, your deadline is the “next” day. “Next” is in quotes because, as discussed below, “next” might mean before or after the non-business day.

Here is an example of how this works:

You are served with Requests for Admission on December 1, 2018 by U.S. Mail. You know you were served that day because the certificate of service says that the papers were put in the mail on December 1. Under the “mailbox rule,” papers are deemed served when they are put in the mail, not when they are received. Except for one odd situation discussed below with regard to motions, you never need to worry about postmarks or documenting when something actually got to your office. Service happens at the mailbox.

The rules give you 21 days to respond. You start counting on December 2 and you see that your 21st day is December 22, 2018, a Saturday.

You now have to figure out the interplay between the “extra three days by mail” rule and the “go to the next business day” rule. It works like this: You first add the three days, and see where that falls. You DO NOT go to the next business day, then add three days. So, if your 21st day is December 22, 2018, a Saturday, you count three more days (December 23, 24 and 25) and there you have your due date. Except that December 25 is Christmas, a holiday. So, you go to the next day, December 26. You DO NOT start with December 22, then go to the next business day, which would be December 24, then add three days, which would take you to December 27.

How does this work if you are calculating deadlines in reverse, such as when a scheduling order says that you must do something X days before trial? Everything works the same, except it goes in reverse. If your trial is on December 19, 2018, and you are instructed to serve your witness list ten days before trial, you start counting on December 18, and find that your tenth day is Sunday, December 9, 2018. You then go to the “next” business day, but in this case this means to continue counting backward to Friday, December 7.

Things can get complicated when you try to apply the “extra time for mailing” rule to reverse deadlines. Using our example above of December 7, 2018 as the deadline for serving the witness list, what if you plan to serve it by mail? Should you back up three more days to December 4, or should you rely on the “mailbox rule,” and serve the list by putting it in the mail on December 7? It is absolutely true that you are deemed to have served a paper when you put it in the mailbox. But it is also absolutely true that if you put it in the mailbox at 8:00 p.m. on December 7, and it gets lost among all the Christmas cards and does not get to your opponent until December 12 or 13, he or she is going to pitch a fit and move to strike your witnesses. The best practice, therefore, is to avoid the situation, either by backing up the three days to December 4, or serving it by email, fax, or FedEx so that it gets in your opponent’s hands as quickly as possible. If you sandbag in order to vex your opponent, you will probably get away with it nine out of ten times. But you will not make any friends, and one day the judge might come down on you.

A few other frequently asked questions:

  • How about compliance with orders? When you are complying with orders, you do not add time to account for the fact that you got the order in the mail or electronically. If the judge says do something ten days after the date of an order, that is when you do it. This is why it is better to draft orders that say “do X on December 13” rather than “do X ten days after entry of this Order.”
  • When are orders considered “entered”? In Virginia state courts, orders are entered when signed by the judge.
  • What if something is served on you by mail and email? Do you get three extra days, or one extra day? You get one extra day; you use the quickest method of service.
  • What if the certificate of service on something says one date, but the postmark on the envelope shows another? Either disregard and go by the certificate of service or, if you think your opponent is engaging in shenanigans, bring it to the attention of the court. In the meantime, use the date on the certificate of service.
  • What are the legal holidays in Virginia? The statute says:
    January 1 — New Year’s Day
    The Friday preceding the third Monday in January — Lee-Jackson
    The third Monday in January — Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
    The third Monday in February — Presidents Day
    The last Monday in May — Memorial Day
    July 4 — Independence Day
    The first Monday in September — Labor Day
    The second Monday in October — Columbus Day
    November 11 — Veterans’ Day
    The fourth Thursday in November and the Friday next following — Thanksgiving Day
    December 25 — Christmas Day
    Whenever any of such days falls on Saturday, the Friday next preceding such day, or whenever any of such days falls on Sunday, the Monday next following such day, and any day so appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth or the President of the United States, shall be a legal holiday as to the transaction of all business.
  • Is it filing or serving that is important? It depends. When we are talking about things that are between you and the clerk, like filing a lawsuit, it is filing that matters. Almost everything else depends on service. In fact, Rule 1:17 tells us that filing a pleading is really sort of an afterthought; you must serve the pleading at or before the time of filing. We all tend to think of filing as being the big deal, because it involves the courthouse, but it is actually not. For instance, if your Answer is due on December 20, and you hand‑deliver it to the courthouse that day but do not mail it to your opponent until the next day, you have missed the deadline. By the same token, if you mail the Answer to your opponent on December 20, but then get caught up in the Christmas spirit and do not send it to the courthouse until December 26, you are not in default.
  • Are there any situations where the rules do not work? Two examples come to mind: first, Rule 4:15 tells us that the mailbox rule does not work in the case of motions. In order to serve a motion or response to a motion, you actually have to get it into the hands of your opponent on the day it is due. This rule is almost never enforced, and Rule 4:15 is such a shambles anyway that this is unlikely to come up. Second, if you agree to accept a subpoena or a complaint by mail, you do not add three days to the response time.
  • When does the day end? When you are serving things by fax, it has to occur before 5:00 p.m. or it is considered to have happened the next day. Otherwise, the day ends at midnight. We all know that the mail stops running at some point every day, but at least according to the rules, you could mail something at 11:59 p.m. and still be deemed to have served it that day.

Federal Court

In federal court, just as in state court, you do not count the day of an event in calculating deadlines. You add three days to respond to things served by mail, but you do not add any time to account for service by electronic means. As in state court, you can serve items by putting them in the mail, and service is effective at the time of mailing. If you and your opponent agree to serve things by other methods, such as FedEx, service is effective at the time you give the items to the carrier. If you do not agree, service is effective when the FedEx driver delivers the item. Interestingly, there is specific mention of service by facsimile or email in the federal rules. These are “other methods,” and you are supposed to get written consent before using them. You get three extra days to respond to things served by an agreed-upon “other method.” Just as in state court, if your date to respond falls on a weekend day, a holiday, or in the case of something to be filed, a day when the courthouse is closed, you go to the “next” day.

Some frequently asked questions about federal practice:

  • How long does the day last? In federal court, the day lasts until midnight in the court’s time zone for purposes of electronic filing and service on your opponent. For filing by other means, it lasts until the clerk’s office closes. Thus, you can mail off your responses to Requests for Admissions on the 30th day two seconds before the ball drops and we sing Auld Lang Syne, and you have met your deadline.
  • Are there different rules for motions and such? There are no odd rules on motions in federal court, although there are some specific deadlines set out in Rule 6(c) . The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not have many traps, but local rules are a different matter. Almost every federal district court has local rules, ranging from simple (the Western District of Virginia) to complex (the Eastern District of Virginia). It also seems that the courts with the more complicated local rules are the ones more likely to harshly enforce them. Practitioners should not neglect local rules.
  • How do dates in scheduling orders work? Federal courts generally issue scheduling orders containing a mixture of deadlines established by date and by time periods counted backward from the trial date. You must remember that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also contain a host of specific pretrial deadlines. Many an attorney has experienced the unpleasant sensation of receiving items like opposing deposition designations at six o’clock on a Friday evening, and only then realizing that the deadline is upon him or her. Some scheduling orders are so devious as to set deadlines for some types of pre-trial disclosures, but not others. So, you may find that your witness list, exhibit list, and deposition designations are all due on different dates. It is worth your while to read Rule 26 (a)(2) and (3) in detail and calendar the deadlines.
  • When are orders considered “entered”? Orders in federal court are considered entered when the clerk files them, not when the judge signs them.
  • What are the federal holidays? According to Rule 6(a)(6), they are New Years’ Eve Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and, for any time period measured after an event, any state holiday.
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  ROANOKE, Va. (May 29, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce its recognition as a leading Virginia firm for commercial litigation by Chambers USA 2018: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a prestigious annual ranking of law firms and attorneys. Additionally, Chambers USA recognized Gentry Locke Managing Partner Monica Monday as a notable practitioner “who enjoys a commanding reputation as ‘one of the go-to practitioners for appellate work.’” This was Monday’s second annual recognition by Chambers USA. In addition to her role as managing partner, Monday chairs the firm’s Appellate practice. She was most recently ranked in the 2018 Virginia […]

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Robert Chambliss (“Cham”) Light, Jr. joins Gentry Locke as Of Counsel

LYNCHBURG, Va. (May 29, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Robert Chambliss (“Cham”) Light, Jr.  has joined the firm’s Lynchburg office as of counsel. Light will practice with the Business Litigation team. “Cham is well-known, well-respected, and very involved in the Lynchburg community,” said Gentry Locke Managing Partner Monica Taylor Monday. “Our clients will undoubtedly benefit from his talents, dedication to the field, and industry connections. It’s an honor to have him join our growing Lynchburg office.” Light is versed in a broad range of litigation matters, though he is particularly skilled and […]

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Risk Management presentation to AGC of Virginia 2018 Young Construction Leaders

On June 7, 2018, Gentry Locke attorney Andrew Gay will co-present a session on Risk Management to attendees at the Association of General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) Young Construction Leaders Program. Andrew will present with members of the Marsh & McLennan Agency in Richmond, Virginia. For more information or to register, contact Courtney Baker at (540) 323-0311.  

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Motions Craving Oyer: A Powerful, but Limited Tool in Virginia Practice

While its name may suggest it is a vestige of Virginia’s legal history, a motion craving oyer remains a powerful, but limited tool in Virginia practice. When a plaintiff sues based on a written contract or other document but fails to attach it to his complaint, a defendant should consider “craving oyer” of the document. “[A] motion to crave oyer is a request of the Court to require that a document sued upon, or a collateral document which is necessary to the Plaintiff’s claim, be treated as though it were part of the Plaintiff’s pleadings.” Ragone v. Waldvogel, Poe and […]

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Can a Defendant Successfully Avoid Rule 3:20 in Virginia Circuit Courts?

Using Sworn Testimony in Support of a Motion for Summary Judgement in Virginia Circuit Courts One of the biggest distinctions between federal practice and Virginia practice is that, in Virginia practice, summary judgment cannot be based upon deposition testimony. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all previously given sworn testimony is off-limits. Rule 3:20 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia states, in part: No motion for summary judgment or to strike the evidence shall be sustained when based in whole or in part upon any discovery depositions under Rule 4:5, unless all parties to the action shall […]

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Piercing the Corporate Veil: Pursuit and Defense of Shareholders’ Individual Assets

On May 30, 2018 two Gentry Locke partners will present a CLE to Virginia CLE attendees at Virginia CLE’s Charlottesville, Virginia headquarters. Michael J. Finney and Alicha Grubb will present alongside an attorney from a Charlottesville firm, Jonathan T. Blank. The event website page describes the session thusly: Our experienced speakers will address this complex issue from both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s point of view, highlighting the issues at stake and sharing practical tips to assist your representation of your client’s interests. Among the issues they will address are: How strong is the presumption of the corporate veil? What can a […]

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#MeToo and the Male Business Executive: A Call For Proactive Leadership

Gentry Locke employment law partner Todd Leeson recently published an important article for business executives. The article was inspired by contrasting images of women in an upscale steakhouse. Todd implores executives to take action to ensure a culture of respect in the workplace. Read the formatted PDF of the article Reprinted with permission from the April 27, 2018 edition of CorporateCounsel© 2018 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Picture an upscale steakhouse in a bustling downtown of a mid-size southern city—a swanky joint where every night hundreds of patrons happily pay $50+ for a delicious steak, and $15 for […]

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Gentry Locke awarded The Roanoker’s “Best of Roanoke” Best Law Firm for second consecutive year

ROANOKE, Va. (May 4, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that it has been awarded “Best Law Firm – Platinum” within The Roanoker magazine’s 2018 “Best of Roanoke” reader poll. The platinum award is the highest honor in each category. Gentry Locke was also named “Best Law Firm – Platinum” in the 2017 “Best of Roanoke.” The Roanoker’s “Best of Roanoke” poll tabulates more than 68,000 reader votes in more than 150 categories. The 2018 “Best of” issue, which marks the 31st annual poll, published on May 4. The Roanoker is the longest continuously […]

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#HR: 2018 Employment Law Symposium

ROANOKE: MAY 10 – Full The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center LYNCHBURG: MAY 14 The Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center Human Resources is buzzing along at the speed of NOW. Is your company able to keep up? Gentry Locke’s Employment Law Team will help your company be prepared for and inoculated against some of the most potent viral movements we’ve ever seen. Register now to learn about the most click-worthy issues affecting businesses this year! Registration is open for Lynchburg (May 14) Professional Credits: As a SHRM Recertification Provider, Gentry Locke is recognized by SHRM to offer 6.5 hours […]

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Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney Powell M. “Nick” Leitch III Joins Gentry Locke

ROANOKE, Va. (April 23, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Powell M. “Nick” Leitch, III has joined as a partner in Gentry Locke’s Medical Malpractice practice group. He previously served as a partner at LeClairRyan. “We have an enormous amount of respect for Nick, and are so pleased that he will bring such a wealth of experience to our medical malpractice team,” said Gentry Locke Managing Partner Monica Taylor Monday. “We welcome him to our firm and look forward to further servicing our clients with him aboard.” “Gentry Locke is an esteemed […]

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Law and Medicine: Physicians in the Courtroom presentation

Gentry Locke attorneys Ben Byrd and Nick Leitch will present a seminar to Virginia Tech/Carilion School of Medicine’s 4th-year students on Monday, April 30 at the Riverside complex in Roanoke.  The “Law and Medicine: Physicians in the Courtroom” course will deal with the various ways in which the lives of these physicians can intersect with the legal system throughout their careers, both in terms of being witness-advocates for their patients, as well as expert witnesses and/or witnesses on their behalf in medical litigation. Attorneys Byrd and Leitch will be joined by Professor Tim MacDonnell of Washington & Lee School of […]

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27 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

ROANOKE, Va. (April 17, 2018) – Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that 27 of the firm’s attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers® list, a national legal ranking. Attorneys were nominated by their peers and recognized for their outstanding professional achievement in several legal practice areas, including civil litigation, appellate law, criminal defense, business litigation, business/corporate law, construction litigation, land use and zoning, employment & labor law and litigation, personal injury, professional liability, and tax law. Of those selected, 17 of the firm’s attorneys from the Roanoke and Lynchburg offices were named as Virginia Super […]

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J. Rudy Austin Named Roanoke Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

ROANOKE, Va. (April 11, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Roanoke Retired Partner J. Rudy Austin has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Roanoke Bar Association (RBA) Frank W. “Bo” Rogers, Jr., Lifetime Achievement Award. Austin will be formally presented with the award at the RBA Law Day Luncheon on May 1. “This is a tremendous honor that recognizes Rudy’s remarkable career, and sustained contributions to the profession and the bar,” said Gentry Locke Managing Partner Monica Taylor Monday. “Rudy is a model lawyer who has upheld the highest ideals […]

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CLE Panel on Coal Ash Issues

The Virginia Bar Association will hold its summer program at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, where on July 20, 2018, Gentry Locke Partner Charles L. Williams will appear on a panel discussing coal ash issues. As head of the Environmental Law Group at Gentry Locke, Charlie Williams has abundant experience in such matters. His role as a negotiator for the City of Danville after a coal ash spill polluted the Dan River in 2014 makes him particularly suited to present on the topic. Attorneys from all over Virginia will converge and will receive CLE credit for their attendance.

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AIA Contract Documents 2017 Updates – Time is Running Out

On April 3, 2018, Gentry Locke Partner Brett Marston was a panelist on a webinar provided by ALFA International, the international legal network Gentry Locke has been a member of since 1988. The webinar helped construction industry professionals gain an understanding of the changes in the April, 2017 updated AIA contract forms, which must be adopted into use by October 31, 2018. These contract forms include the standard forms of agreement between owner and contractor and owner and architect, as well as the A201 General Conditions. The panelists included two other Construction Law attorneys from ALFA International affiliated law firms in Tennessee and Ohio. […]

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Summary Judgment in Breach of Contract action defeats $700,000 claim

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 for the Defendant Campbell County Circuit Court Gentry Locke attorneys Kevin Holt, Amanda Morgan and Glenn Pulley represented a crane, rigging and erection service company in a breach of contract and quantum meruit case. The plaintiff, a former company vice president, alleged that our client breached a 1994 Split Dollar Life Insurance Agreement that involved $500,000 in life insurance coverage, plus the payment of monthly post-retirement benefits for 15 years based on the policy’s cash value.  The written agreement was terminated pursuant to its terms in 2012, but then was allegedly reinstated in 2013 in a conversation between the […]

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Lawsuit over sale of impounded auto reaches settlement, is in the news

A local couple is very pleased with the settlement reached in a lawsuit that revealed a towing company was not advertising the sale of towed, impounded, or stored vehicles in a public place as required by law, and the towing company owner had been selling hundreds of such vehicles to himself or back to his own towing company. Dan Casey, columnist for The Roanoke Times, recently wrote an article about the couple’s ordeal and this legal resolution. Stephen and Melanie Pence were represented by Gentry Locke attorneys Matthew W. Broughton and Andrew M. Bowman in a suit filed in the United States […]

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Circuit Court – Challenging Defendant’s Medical Evidence CLE

On May 9, 2018 and May 15, 2018 Gentry Locke partner Benjamin D. Byrd will present a CLE session to members of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) at their 2018 May Tort Seminar. Ben’s presentation will cover 4:10 Examinations as they relate to challenging medical evidence presented by Defendants. The session covers the Virginia state court rule, not the federal rule.

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Legal Malpractice case now included on “Million-Dollar Settlements of 2017” list by Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Virginia Lawyers Weekly recently corrected their 2017 list of Million-dollar Settlements to include a legal malpractice matter handled by Gentry Locke attorneys Matthew W. Broughton, Gregory D. Habeeb, and Andrew D. Finnicum. The case, which settled for $5M, warrants a #9 spot on a list of more than two dozen cases that settled for more than $1M in 2017. Read the Virginia Lawyers Weekly list (PDF opens in a new window)  

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Bondurant and Wright are Inaugural Gentry Locke Pro Bono Award recipients

To support our ongoing commitment to pro bono work, Gentry Locke has created two awards to recognize outstanding pro bono efforts. These awards were presented for the first time on February 11, 2018. The first award is the Gentry Locke Pro Bono Promise Award. It will be awarded annually to recognize pro bono work that exceeds the 2% yearly aspirational goal set by the Supreme Court of Virginia, in either a quantitative (sheer hours) or qualitative way (great project or impact). The award can be given to an individual Gentry Locke attorney or group of attorneys. The 2017 recipient of […]

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Breach of Fiduciary Duty claim against national bank denied in Motion to Dismiss

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 for the Defendant United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia We represented a large national bank in a long-term disability (LTD) claim arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The plaintiff was a bank employee until she ended her employment due to physical disabilities. She was paid LTD benefits until the results of an independent medical examination revealed that her current symptoms no longer supported a finding of total disability. Accordingly, her LTD benefits were terminated. The plaintiff brought a claim for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA against the bank in addition to a more […]

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Partner Bill Gust presenting at two ESOP events: NCEO (Atlanta) and ESOP Association (Charlottesville)

Gentry Locke Partner Bill Gust will be a featured speaker at two upcoming conferences geared toward employee-owned businesses. “Mitigating Cyber Security Risk from a Fiduciary Perspective” will be presented at the ESOP Association Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas Chapter’s Spring Conference in Charlottesville, VA on Friday, March 9, 2018, and also at the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Learn more about the events and register to attend by clicking on these links: Charlottesville event    Atlanta event  

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Overview of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Bill Gust is a Senior Tax Partner with Gentry Locke. For more than 30 years, Bill has worked with closely held business owners relative to tax, employee benefits, corporate, and sophisticated estate planning matters. With his expertise in implementing business succession strategies, Bill has assisted in the successful transition of many privately held businesses, through sales, mergers and implementation of numerous ESOPs. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) will bring significant changes to many areas of the tax law affecting individuals and businesses beginning January 2018 through 2025. In 2026, the pre-Act rules are scheduled to come back into effect. This […]

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Cyber Security Risk From a Fiduciary Perspective — ESOP Association Conference

On March 9, Gentry Locke Partner Bill Gust will speak at the ESOP Association Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas Chapter’s 2018 Spring Conference. Bill’s topic will cover “Cyber Security Risk From a Fiduciary Perspective.” Gentry Locke is a Bronze Sponsor of the chapter’s 2018 Spring ESOP Conference and Golf Tournament. This year’s conference offers a great line-up of expert speakers, roundtables, and workshops designed for all levels of employee-ownership. For more information or to register, click here.    

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Mitigating Cyber Security Risk from a Fiduciary Perspective — NCEO Conference

On April 18, 2018, Gentry Locke Partner Bill Gust will be presenting a session at the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Bill’s topic will cover “Mitigating Cyber Security Risk from a Fiduciary Perspective.” Representatives from employee-owned companies from around the world attend the conference, which runs from April 18–20, with preconference sessions on April 17. Gentry Locke is pleased to be a sponsor of this event. As a sponsor, we’re pleased to offer the following discount codes. Just provide them when you register on their website: $35 off main conference per attendee: 18Save35 $25 off […]

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Roanoke City jury renders unanimous verdict of $1.5 million for victim of radiology 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 for the Plaintiff Roanoke City Circuit Court There are two important rules in the practice of radiology: (1) a radiologist must communicate all pertinent anatomy and diagnoses on imaging studies; and (2) a radiologist must clearly and effectively communicate, leaving no room for misunderstandings by clinicians. If a radiologist does not do both of these things, patients will suffer misdiagnoses that will cause serious injury and/or death. On August 16, 2016 our client presented to the LewisGale Medical Center Emergency Department with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after having undergone a colonoscopy the day before. Our client’s clinicians […]

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Catherine J. Huff appointed to Virginia State Bar Board of Governors

The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Roanoke Partner Catherine J. Huff was named to the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference (YLC) Board of Governors. Huff is serving a two-year term as the 8th District Representative. The YLC was founded in 1973 as a subset of the Virginia State Bar. Its members are considered to be the voice of Virginia’s young lawyers in front of the Virginia State Bar and the American Bar Association. YLC activities include semi-annual admission and orientation ceremonies, the Virginia Domestic Violence Safety Project, a board match program, minority recruitment […]

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Accident caused by paving truck results in $350k settlement

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 for the Plaintiff Warren County Circuit Court In May of 2016, our client traveled northbound on Interstate 81 in Warren County, Virginia. When our client approached an interstate crossover, a work truck for an asphalt and paving company illegally used the crossover to go from I-81 South to I-81 North. This resulted in a substantial crash which caused our client’s vehicle to catch fire. The driver of the work truck was charged with reckless driving and illegal use of a crossover, and was ultimately found guilty of both charges. Our client suffered a broken leg which required surgery, extensive […]

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Who Controls the Sandbox? Gender Disparity in Law Firms

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, Gentry Locke Senior Counsel Cynthia Kinser will deliver the keynote address at The Success Project for Women Attorneys, an event sponsored by the Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association. Justice Kinser’s speech will address the barriers that women attorneys still face and have to overcome in order to reach the same level of success as men attorneys.

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Preemptive “forum shopping” fails against our client’s Trade Secret litigation

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 for the Defendant United States District Court, Western District of Virginia After being informed that our client intended to file a trade secret misappropriation case in Ohio on behalf of its business, the opposing company filed a declaratory judgment action in Franklin County Circuit Court seeking a ruling that it had not misappropriated any of our client’s trade secrets. Gentry Locke attorneys Kevin Holt and Alicha Grubb then removed the Virginia case to Federal Court and moved to have it dismissed.  The Virginia Federal Court granted the motion, finding that the opposing company had improperly filed the declaratory judgment action first in “an improper attempt […]

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Jonathan D. Puvak honored with The Virginia Bar Association’s Emerson G. Spies Award

ROANOKE, Va. (February 2, 2018) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Roanoke Partner Jonathan D. Puvak was presented with the Emerson G. Spies Award during The Virginia Bar Association’s 128th Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia on January 19, 2018. The award is given annually to a member of The Virginia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) for loyalty, dedication, and enthusiasm. Puvak was named as this year’s Emerson G. Spies Award recipient specifically in recognition of his efforts chairing the YLD’s CLE Committee. Puvak planned and coordinated continuing legal education programming for all […]

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Partial Summary Judgment thwarts request for $1.4M

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 for the Defendant Fairfax County Circuit Court Gentry Locke attorneys successfully defended a large, residential real estate brokerage firm in a breach of contract case.  The plaintiff, a North Carolina consulting firm, designed new commission plans for our client’s thousands of real estate agents in the mid-Atlantic region. The plaintiff contended that it was owed $1.4 million in cumulative incentive payments based on improvement to the brokerage’s “company dollar” percentage, or profit margin, over the five-year period following adoption of the plans. However, under a plain reading of the contract and the brokerage’s financial performance, no incentive payments were […]

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Two Gentry Locke lawyers elevated to Partner

ROANOKE, Va. (January 1, 2018) – Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that Roanoke office attorneys Jonathan D. Puvak and Daniel R. Sullivan have been promoted to the position of Partner, effective January 1, 2018. Puvak practices on the firm’s Business & Corporate team, assisting businesses, business owners, and governmental entities with corporate governance, commercial transactions, employee benefits, and tax and real estate matters. Before attending law school, Puvak gained business and real estate development experience by working with NVR Inc., one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. He is a member and holds leadership positions with the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference, […]

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