Know Your Local Rules Governing Motions Practice

For those attorneys who practice primarily in one jurisdiction, the local rules of the general district or circuit court often are little more than an afterthought.  Whether it is in a city or county where an official set of rules is published, or a locality governed by less formal customary practices, it takes very little time for the repeat practitioner to know the standard procedure for motions practice like the back of her hand. But for theVirginialawyer who practices in jurisdictions across the state, familiarity with the ins and outs of motions practice in any one city or county can prove more of a challenge.  All attorneys should be armed with Virginia Supreme Court Rule 4:15, which governs motions practice, including how to properly notice presentation of a motion and applicable page limits and filing deadlines for briefs, in circuit courts across the state.  While adherence to this Rule is essential, depending on the locality, it often does not tell the whole story of how and when motions should be filed, noticed and briefed. Va. Code § 8.01-4 authorizes general district and circuit courts to prescribe rules for their respective districts and circuits that are “necessary to promote proper order and decorum and the efficient and safe use of courthouse facilities and clerk’s offices.”  Far from providing the courts carte blanche in rulemaking, however, the statute prohibits any rules that are inconsistent with any statute, Supreme Court rule, or decided case.  It further prohibits any rule that would abridge the substantive rights of any person before the court, and provides that local docket control procedures may not “deprive any...

The Best Lawyers in America® 2013

PRESS RELEASE: M. E. (Dick) Gibson, Thomas E. Albro, John K. Taggart, III and Patricia D. McGraw were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013(Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.). Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 32,000 leading attorneys cast almost two million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” It is important to note that the lawyers listed in Best Lawyers have no say in deciding which practice areas they are included in. They are voted into practice areas entirely as a result of the votes they receive from their peers. The subspecialties listed after their names are based on information from a variety of sources....