SCoVA Addresses Elements of Duress Defense

On July 14, 2016 the Supreme Court of Virginia, in Edmonds v. Commonwealth of Virginia adopted the Court of Appeals's formulation of the duress defense found in Buckley v. City of Falls Church, 371 S.E.2d 827, 827-28 (1988) and reiterated in Humphrey v. Commonwealth, ...

read more

Can a Parrot Testify?

Last Thursday in the remote county of Newaygo on the western side of Michigan, Glenna Duram was charged with the murder of her husband Martin Duram. Local police found the couple shot in their house. Martin had been shot and killed and Glenna was shot in the head but...

read more

The Supreme Court opens the door for unfounded police stops

Just two days ago, the Supreme Court of the United States opened the door to widespread unfounded police detentions with its decision in Utah v. Strieff. Justice Sotomayor, in a dissent joined by Justice Ginsburg, put her concerns bluntly and up front. She wrote:...

read more

Drunk in Public?

Public intoxication or swearing is a ticketed offense, with a small monetary penalty. So small that it may seem harmless to simply pay the penalty. But just simply paying the fines for a Drunk In Public ticket is the same as pleading guilty to the charge. And if you...

read more

Were you wrongfully terminated?

This is a question that comes up a lot. The answer, typically, is no. Virginia is an “at-will” employment state, which means that an employer can fire you for any reason so long as it is not one that is prohibited by law. A frequently seen pattern is where two...

read more

Collateral Consequences of a Conviction

Following an arrest, many defendants worry about the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence or a fine that may accompany a criminal conviction. And in serious criminal cases, those factors do loom large. Yet just as often, it is not the threat of jail or a fine that...

read more