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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged Virginia Lawyers Weekly

A Golfer’s Hole in 3

From the  Virginia Lawyers Weekly comes a case report about a golfer in Fairfax. It could be titled The case of  the golfer who falsely celebrated.

A charity sponsored a golf tournament that included a special $5,000 prize for anyone that shot a hole-in-one on the 13th hole. Based on the tournament rules, anyone that was over the age of 50 was entitled to play from the forward tees instead of the longer distance men’s tee box.

The golfer first hit a ball from the men’s tees,  that landed on the green. He then stepped up to the forward tees, where he was entitled to shoot, and scored a hole-in-one. He then began celebrating his $5,000 prize until his celebration was cut short when he was told that he had not won the prize, because of his original shot from the men’s tee box that did not go in the hole. He argued. They did not change their mind. He sued the charity for his claim of $5,000.

The defense retained Scott King, the current head coach of the George Mason University golf team and former head coach at William and Mary. King is also a longtime golf teacher and a 19-year member of the Professional Golfer’s Association. He was easily qualified to give court testimony as an expert on the hole-in-one claim.

King testified that under the rules of golf, the golfer’s score should have been scored as a “3”. First, the shot from the men’s tee box. Then, when he elected to shoot from the forward tee, he should have been assessed a penalty stroke. Finally, the ball that went into the hole on that shot then counted as stroke three. The court returned a verdict for the charity and against the golfer. For the golfer… it was strike three!

DID YOU KNOW that Florida law forbids rats to leave the ships that are docked in Tampa Bay? I know… what is that?

And for pic  o’ day, I am posting two pictures that I took yesterday. It’s a duck sitting on top of a BWW that was sitting in our office parking lot. Craziness!

Duck 1



Scrutiny of a Judge

This is a story from a Bedford courtroom that reminds that judges are held to certain standards; just as lawyers, when it comes to being courteous and exhibiting appropriate courtroom demeanor.

From Virginia Lawyers Weekly comes a story of a circuit court judge who may be facing some scrutiny because of his 2009 conduct. Bedford County Circuit Judge James W. Updike admitted to the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission that he failed to be patient and courteous with a lawyer that he believed had overstepped boundaries while seeking an injunction hearing.

From a 2009 court hearing, the Commission charged the judge with misconduct  in how he treated a Roanoke attorney because they found that he acted “in an intemperate, impatient and uncivil manner that is entirely inconsistent with the behavior and conduct that is expected and required of Virginia judges”.

According to the provided facts, the judge was bothered that a hearing had been set without his approval. So, he told the lawyer that “If you ever pull a stunt like this before this Court again, I am going to lock you up”  (for contempt).  The Judge went on to add that, “And you better, you better count your lucky stars and be thankful that I don’t have these deputies carry you out the back of this courthouse this afternoon. Now get out of this courtroom”.

The Judge entered into an agreed disposition of the complaint, admitting that he violated two judicial canons by failing to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and failing to be patient, dignified and courteous.

Judge Updike’s current judicial term expires on March 31, 2014. The General Assembly could request that the judge provide an explanation of this event or question him about his current demeanor before approving his reappointment to the bench. Or, the members could consider that this occurred four years ago and has no bearing on his reappointment.

DID YOU KNOW that more than half of all U.S. citizens live within 50 miles of work, their birthplace or their parents.

And for pic o’ day:


A Claim for Insomnia

     From 2004 through 2007, attorney Victoria Anderson worked for Discovery Communications. She was commended for her strong technical, legal and drafting skills. Her annual reviews did note that she needed to improve her organizational and interpersonal skills. She needed to do better in getting along with others.

     Acccording to an article in “Virginia Lawyers Weekly” (Deborah Elkins), in October of 2006, Anderson took a leave of absence from her employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act. She was having difficulty sleeping. 

     Testing ruled out sleep apnea. Her physicians determined that she was suffering from fatique, sleep deprivation and insomnia and prescribed her Ambien, to help her sleep. Anderson then returned to her job in November. She came with a doctor’s note that advised that her daily work schedule had to be limited to eight hours.  After two follow-up doctor appointments, in December she was then released without any work restrictions.

     When Anderson returned to work, she advised her employers that she could only work between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Her employers advised that they needed her to work a full 40-hour work week because their core business was during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

     In December of 2007, Her employer fired Anderson, claiming that she had entered inaccurate time entries for her work; refused to accept a performance plan, and had a “combative, difficult, and manipulative” nature.

     Anderson sued her employer. The case was styled Anderson v. Discovery Communications LLC.  Her lawsuit was based on her claimed rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

     The Federal Court judge granted summary judgment for the employer. She appealed to the 4th Circuit. The 4th Circuit upheld the lower court’s dismissal; and the appellate panel, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that “sleep patterns vary between individuals and even during a person’s lifetime. On this record, Anderson simply failed to present evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact as to whether she was ‘substantially impaired’ in December 2006, as a result of her insomnia”.

    Separately, Anderson had also brought an action for retaliation and an interference claim. That also was dismissed because she remained employed and was given full benefits until her termination. According to the Court, the employer had a legitimate reason to terminate her; based on her untrustworthiness in completing time sheets and poor communication skills.

     In simple terms the Court was saying… The End.

     And this pic o’ day just seemed topical!

a nap

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