News

John Merrick Celebrates at The United States Supreme Court

John is currently the Vice-President of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Inn of Court. The Inn is named after an influential Supreme Court Justice from Virginia. The Inn is comprised of mostly lawyers and judges and is dedicated to promoting civility and professionalism. The Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Inn is a member of the larger (national) American Inns of Court. The Inn provided John with a golden opportunity to celebrate last weekend at the United States Supreme Court for the American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence. It was an inspiring night in an amazing place. The event provided an...

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Work-Life Balance: Merrick Brock Fishing Extravaganza

Work-life balance is critical. Most of us can use a little more life and less work. To do so, it is important to stop, live in the present and appreciate the little things, aka “smell the roses.” It is easier said than done, especially in a world of multitasking, deadlines, adversaries and the (almost) ever present cell phone. Work-life balance starts by unplugging. Emails, text messages, phone calls, voicemails and reminders detract from appreciating the little things and living in the present. Cell phones are a boon for work, but they are kryptonite for life. In pursuit of work-life balance,...

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Merrick Brock Attorneys Selected as 2022 Super Lawyers

Merrick Brock attorneys John Merrick and Les Brock have both been selected to the list of 2022 Super Lawyers as top rated personal injury attorneys in Virginia.  John and Les have been recognized by Super Lawyers for the last decade in various categories, including personal injury, business litigation, construction, civil litigation, and Rising Stars. Super Lawyers is a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state.  Each year, attorneys are ranked based on the Super Lawyers selection process, which takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors.  Only...

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Clients and Lawyers: Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

“Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.” I confess that years ago I wasn’t sure what this advice really meant. In a nutshell, it means don’t miss the big picture by focusing solely on the details. This applies broadly to every profession and daily life but is particularly important for a trial attorney. Despite its simplicity, this old adage is easy to forget, because we tend to get wrapped up in details. I do anyway. I recently resolved a heavy case. My client faced four life sentences and trial was fast approaching. There were numerous witnesses, documents, videos,...

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Merrick Brock Files Action for Business Conspiracy and Tortious Interference With Contract Against Former Business Owner

Merrick Brock filed an action pending in the Henrico County Circuit Court, Case No. CL19-6133, asserting claims for breach of contract, piercing the corporate veil, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business expectancy, and business conspiracy. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of the defendant’s local Richmond business, including the business’ name, its existing client contracts, and its confidential client list.  As part of the agreement, the defendant agreed to a non-compete provision prohibiting the defendant from soliciting clients from the client list or competing in the Richmond area. ...

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Merrick Brock Recovers $398,000 in Subcontractor Breach of Contract Claim

Merrick Brock recovered $398,000 for a subcontractor in a payment dispute with a bonding company.  The subcontractor was hired by a large regional general contractor to perform work on a mixed-use construction project.  After the general contractor defaulted, the bonding company took over the project and directed the subcontractor to continue working pursuant to the terms of its original subcontract, but the bonding company later disputed the scope of the subcontractor’s work and the validity of the subcontractor’s invoices.  Merrick Brock asserted a claim for breach of contract and challenged the bonding company’s reasons for denying payment.  Merrick Brock recovered...

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Virginia Supreme Court Modifies and Extends Order Declaring Judicial Emergency

The Virginia Supreme Court recently modified and extended its previous Order declaring judicial emergency. The Order explicitly provides that this is the controlling Order and is in effect until June 7th. If you practice in Virginia or have a case pending, it is worth a close look. A couple takeaways: No jury trials may be held during this period. Some circuit courts have interpreted this to apply to ALL jury trials (even those scheduled after June 7th). Statutes of limitation will continue to toll during this period. Discovery deadlines will not be extended after May 18th. Arguably, a hearing by...

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Merrick Brock Attorneys Named to Virginia Super Lawyers’ 2020 List of Top-Rated Attorneys

Super Lawyers is a peer recognition that is awarded on an annual basis only to a select number of attorneys in each area of the law.  The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other factors. John Merrick was named to Super Lawyers 2020 in the area of Personal Injury.  He was previously recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the years 2013 – 2018.  John’s experience includes commercial cases, consumer fraud, and a variety of personal injury cases, from products liability and nursing home neglect to trucking and auto accidents....

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Court Finds That Governor’s COVID Order Violates the Law

In response to COVID, Gov. Northam recently issued an order shutting down “non-essential” businesses, which included shooting ranges. Did the Governor have authority to do this? A Lynchburg Circuit Court judge answered that question with a big “No,” allowing an indoor shooting range in Lynchburg to open back up for business. The judge’s ruling enjoins the Governor from enforcing Executive Order 53 against the range. According to the letter opinion, “[t]he Governor appears to argue that, when he declares a state of emergency, he can ignore any law that limits his power, even laws designed to limit his power during...

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Virginia Supreme Court Extends Declaration of Judicial Emergency

Today the Virginia Supreme Court entered the Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency until May 17. Let’s hope the third time is a charm. This Order contains a bit more clarity on the tolling provisions regarding the statutes of limitation and appeals from Circuit Court. Of note, the Court provides an example: “if a two-year statute of limitations would expire on a plaintiff’s personal injury claim on April 16, 2020, the Period of Judicial Emergency (currently March 16 through May 17, 2020) would not be counted for purposes of the statute of limitations. Due to the tolling of the...

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