• Good news for tort claimants!

    As of July 1, 2021, Virginia General District Court’s jurisdictional limit has increased from $25,000 to $50,000 for personal injury claims. Contractors and Debtors need not worry about the increase, because it does not apply to debt claims or any other money-based claims, nor does it apply to breach of contract claims. The increase will also not apply claims regarding specific personal property. Read more

  • 2 Portsmouth police officers accused of wrongful arrest and assault settle lawsuit out of court

    A federal lawsuit accusing two Portsmouth police officers of improperly arresting and assaulting a man in 2018 has been settled, according to court records. The case against officers Matthew T. Rios and Anthony J. Callahan Jr. settled last week, according to a notice filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. The filing came just days before the case was set to go to trial — and a month after a federal judge refused to dismiss the case and ruled the officers weren’t entitled to qualified immunity. Read more

  • Can I Deny Custody and Visitation Due to Coronavirus Social Distancing Recommendations?

    We have received a lot of inquiries from clients asking if they must still comply with custody and visitation orders in light of social distancing recommendations to fight the coronavirus. In these very difficult and uncertain times, we appreciate the enhanced concern many parents have with exchanging their children with another parent whose level of social distancing is unknown. We hope to be able to provide some amount of comfort and guidance regarding this issue.  Notably, Virginia Governor Northam’s Executive Order Fifty-Five specifically authorizes travel required by court order to facilitate custody and visitation exchanges. This authorization removes any doubt that the Governor intends for all visitation exchanges to continue forward as normal.  Of course, these are not normal times... Read more

  • ACTIONS OF THE INSURANCE CARRIER’S ADJUSTER MAY BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR CLAIM

    You suffer a work injury and are either in need of medical treatment or are receiving medical treatment and/or payment for lost wages.  There are certain actions the adjuster should take, but there are other actions that the adjuster might take to prevent you from receiving appropriate medical treatment and wage reimbursement. 1.  The adjuster may not report your claim to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission in Richmond.  Remind him/her that must be done. 2.  The adjuster may try to force you to go to one particular doctor.  Unless you are in an emergency situation, insist on a panel of three doctors from which to choose someone to treat you.  This is particularly important when you need specialized care from an orthopedist or neurosurgeon. 3.  The adjuster may insist upon taking ... Read more

  • BEING SECRETARY OF THE ASSOCIATION CARRIES SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITIES

    Questions often arise about the duties of the secretary in taking and producing minutes of meetings and providing association records to members. The primary functions of the Secretary are to produce minutes of meetings and maintain the records of the association.  The secretary must produce a draft of the minutes for approval, and then finalize them with any changes upon once they are approved at the next meeting. Records to be maintained include all of the minutes, any resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors, correspondence, contracts and notices of meetings.  We suggest that the following files be maintained:  Correspondence sorted by unit address Minutes – Annual Meetings Minutes – Board of Directors Minutes – Special Meetings Miscellaneous Correspondence Notices of Meetings Prox... Read more

  • YOUR DUTY TO MARKET YOUR RESIDUAL WORK CAPACITY, I.E. LOOK FOR WORK, AFTER A WORK INJURY

    You suffer an accident on the job. Your injuries are significant enough that your treating physician advises that you cannot continue your regular work. However, the doctor indicates that you can do certain light-duty employment and provides restrictions. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is paying benefits or they have denied your claim and you have filed to be paid the benefits.  You are either awaiting a hearing or waiting for the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to “investigate your claim”.  In either instance, the Commission’s rules require that you market your residual work capacity, i.e. look for work within those restrictions imposed by your treating doctor. That means making at least five job contacts per week, logging on to job search websites, and registering wi... Read more

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF AN “AWARD” IN YOUR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE

    If you have been injured on the job and have been taken out of work by your treating physician, the workers ‘compensation insurance carrier may begin paying you weekly indemnity benefits. It is important that the payment of those benefits be documented with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. An “Award Agreement” should be sent to you by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If that does not occur, you should request that form from them. That Agreement is important for a number of reasons. If your doctor has taken you off of full-duty work, but you have remaining work capacity, even if it is sedentary-duty only (sit-down work), you have a responsibility to look for work. You may go on a number of weeks in a light-duty status, unable to return to your full-duty work, and y... Read more

  • Spring Projects Create Work for this Architectural Standards Committee. Are You Ready?

    Q.        It is springtime and a few creative and industrious neighbors are out erecting fences and sheds as others have done in the past without requesting the permission of the Association.  We are a 24 home association that recently elected a homeowner board.  The developer finished the last home in late fall.  We are self-managing and are not sure what to do about enforcing our covenants.  We have a provision that requires that any structures or exterior modifications have to be approved by the Board of Directors but the homeowners aren't asking permission. A.        From your question, it sounds like there may not be sufficient mechanisms in place by which you can effectively enforce your covenants.  It also sounds like the developer may not have vigorously enforced the covenants or i... Read more

  • Virginia Legislative Action Committee Appointment

    Inman & Strickler, PLC is proud to announce that Jeanne S. Lauer has been appointed as a Delegate to the statewide Virginia Legislative Action Committee (VALAC) of CAI which is dedicated to monitoring and influencing legislation that affects common interest communities in Virginia and has become the recognized resource for providing accurate, timely, and influential input to Virginia legislators.  Ms. Lauer and the Community Association Law Team at Inman & Strickler represent community association clients throughout Hampton Roads. Read more

  • Survey says: Community Associations Enhance the Quality of Life and Property

    As an attorney that has devoted a significant part of my forty year career involved with creation of and operation of condominiums and homeowner associations I can tell you that they are a vital part of the residential real estate fabric in this region and the country.   There are several hundred community associations in our region ranging in size from only a few homes to over 4000. They come in all shapes and sizes and are sometimes include both residential and commercial properties and uses.   They are all governed by their own set of recorded documents as well as one of two sets of laws in our Commonwealth – the Virginia Condominium Act and the Virginia Property Owners Association Act.  They all have boards of directors to operate them and most employ a professional management company ... Read more