News

Inn of Court – Remember the D.C. Sniper?

— By John Merrick– John currently serves as the President of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Inn of Court. “You heard a witness for the Commonwealth testify, in effect, that some children are just born bad, that children are not affected by what we do to them. They simply choose to do wrong. Every tenant of my faith and every fiber of my body rejects that concept. Every person, certainly every child, has good within them, and every person has worth and every person is redeemable. If you attend the candlelight services two nights from now on Christmas Eve, if...

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Bluffing.

By — John Merrick — Attorneys bluff. Mediators bluff. Insurance adjusters bluff. By bluff, I do not mean “lie.” One should never misrepresent the facts or the law. However, everyone has a job to do. Attorneys advocate for their clients. Mediators advocate for the deal. Insurance adjusters are trying to save their company money. By bluff, I mean that in conversations among opposing attorneys, a mediator, and/or an opposing insurance adjuster, the players will tend to emphasize certain things and minimize others to cast a positive light on their position, even though they may feel differently. Common bluff zones are...

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Character Building

–By John Merrick — We value opportunities to build character in order to become better lawyers and people. Character is built through overcoming adversity and failure. Plenty of both can be found in criminal defense. Finding a “win” can be difficult or seemingly impossible in most cases. Criminal cases are often riddled with difficult clients, extremely bad facts, overwhelming evidence to convict, unreliable witnesses, addiction and other mental health challenges, mandatory minimum sentences, etc. These things are outside of an attorney’s control, but must be navigated. By contrast, a civil case is relatively less stressful, because the fight is over...

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DPOR Requirements for Residential Construction Contracts

–By Les Brock– Residential contracting is highly regulated in Virginia to ensure that consumers are protected when hiring contractors for home improvement projects. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) is responsible for licensing and regulating contractors in Virginia. DPOR has very specific requirements for what must be included in every residential contracting agreement, with few exceptions. Unfortunately, many contractors operate like its the Wild West without signed, written contracts or even a clear oral agreement with the homeowner on all the particulars of the work. Even where the contractor does go through the trouble of preparing a...

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What is the Statute of Limitations and How Long Do I Have to File My Case?

–By Les Brock– The statute of limitations is a legal time limit within which a person must bring a legal action. The statute of limitations is a crucial component of the legal system in Virginia. It sets a time limit within which legal actions must be brought, providing finality and certainty to legal disputes. Once the time limit has passed, a person may no longer bring a legal action, regardless of the strength of their claim. This allows individuals and businesses to plan and make decisions with certainty, knowing that they will not face legal action for past incidents forever....

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The Importance of an Early and Thorough Investigation.

–By Les Brock– Often times I am contacted by an injured claimant months or even a year after an accident. While the statute of limitations in Virginia for personal injury claims is two (2) years, that does not mean you should wait before contacting an attorney or pursuing your case. As time goes by, evidence gets lost, witnesses disappear, and memories fade. The importance of an early and thorough investigation by an attorney cannot be overstated. It could be the difference between winning and losing your case. I just recently wrapped up a settlement in a case where a young...

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What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

–By Les Brock– You may be wondering what types of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. If your case went to trial and the jury found in your favor, the jury would be instructed to award a verdict for an amount that will fully and fairly compensate you for the damages you sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In determining an amount that is full and fair compensation, the jury would be allowed to consider any of the following factors: Bodily Injuries. Any bodily injuries you sustained and their effect on your health according to...

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Navigating Personal Injury Claims for Children.

–By Les Brock– In Virginia, children who suffer personal injuries due to the negligence of others have the right to seek compensation through legal action. However, the process of bringing a claim for personal injuries can be complicated, especially when it comes to minors. In this post, we will provide a general overview of how to bring a claim by a child for personal injuries in Virginia, and we will discuss the special rules that apply to settlements of a child’s claim. Who Can Bring a Claim on Behalf of a Child? Children under the age of 18 are considered...

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Merrick Brock Settles Wrongful Death Claim of Passenger for $315,000

Merrick Brock attorney Les Brock settled a wrongful death claim of a passenger who was killed in an auto crash. This is a tragic case where a young man in his twenties had his life unfairly cut short due to the reckless actions of a speeding driver. The driver of the vehicle was driving well above the speed limit on I-81 when he lost control of his vehicle on an exit ramp and and crashed into the back of a tractor trailer that was illegally parked on the side of the road. The deceased was in the back seat of...

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How Much Insurance Is Available to Pay For My Injuries?

–By Les Brock– If you have been injured in an auto accident, there may be several different sources of insurance that is available to pay your claim. In Virginia, the at-fault driver’s insurance is typically responsible for paying for the injuries you sustain in a car accident, up to the policy limits. If you are injured in an accident that was caused by another driver, you may file a claim with that driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident. Virginia requires that insurance policies provide...

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