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Attorneys Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Attorneys and the related topic of personal injury. For more information on attorney see the page on Wikipedia.


See Va. Code § 8.01-66.3 indicating that lien of attorneys is superior to lien for medical and hospital bills.

See Va. Code § 8.01-314 indicating that after attorney has made general appearance, all other legal papers may be served on him.


2016 Ragland v. Soggin, 784 Va. 698.
Trial court improperly sanctioned two attorneys for submitting a jury instruction with an error despite the court’s finding that the mistake was inadvertent.

2007 Banks v. Mario Indus., 274 Va. 438, 650 S.E.2d 687.
Employee prepared attorney/client communication on work computer. Employee handbook indicated that employee could not expect privacy in regards to items prepared on the employer’s computer. The employer was subsequently able to retrieve this document from the computer system. Any privilege has been waived.

2007 Ford Motor Co. v. Benitez, 273 Va. 242, 639 S.E.2d 203.
This product liability action had been previously non-suited. During the non-suited action there had been extensive discovery. When the action was refiled defense counsel asserted several defenses. At a hearing on a motion to strike those defenses, defense counsel admitted that there was no factual basis for some of the defenses when they were asserted. Trial court properly awarded sanctions against counsel.

2004 Walker v. American Ass’n of Prof’l Eye Care Specialists, P.C., 268 Va. 117, 597 S.E.2d 47.
Attorneys in this case prepared motion for judgment and had it filed with the clerk along with his cover letter and check to cover filing fee. That conduct did not make him counsel of record. The pleading was signed only by the plaintiff pro se.

2001 Simmons v. Miller, 261 Va. 561, 544 S.E.2d 666.
In this derivative action, attorneys conduct regarding formation of competitor to closely held corporation was not proximate cause of injuries to corporation since there was no evidence that attorneys had known of or participated in the diversion of corporation’s assets through their transfer to competitor.

1995 Snyder-Falkinham v. Stockburger, 249 Va. 376, 457 S.E.2d 36.
In this legal malpractice action, question arose of attorney’s authority to settle case. Attorney’s general authority permits attorney to discontinue pending action by dismissal without prejudice. Attorneys have no right to dismiss with prejudice without special authority or acquiescence of client. Ample evidence presented in this instance that attorney had that authority and acquiescence. Even though parties contemplated settlement agreement being reduced to writing, that is not a bar to enforceability where parties are fully agreed upon the terms of settlement.

1990 Kilby v. Pickurel, 240 Va. 271, 396 S.E.2d 666.
Client is bound by attorney’s previously unauthorized settlement by accepting benefits with full knowledge of relevant facts or, if upon learning of act, he fails to promptly disavow.

1987 Duggin v. Adams, 234 Va. 221, 360 S.E.2d 832.
Tortious interference with contract claim against lawyer. Attorneys represented one of parties to real estate contract. Allegations were sufficient to survive demurrer.

1982 National Airlines v. Shea, 223 Va. 578, 292 S.E.2d 308.
For party to be estopped by silence there must be on his part intent to mislead or willingness that others should be deceived together with reason to believe that someone is relying on such silence. Attorney in this case was obliged to give court full fair and faithful answer. In addition counsel failed to inform court of law adverse to his position.

1982 Bauer v. Harn, 223 Va. 31, 286 S.E.2d 192.
Absent challenge to authority of attorneys to make them, stipulations are definitive of issues.

1978 Norman v. Insurance Co., 218 Va. 718, 239 S.E.2d 902.
Insurance company attorneys employed to represent insured is obligated to maintain his sole loyalty to his insured client.

1977 Heinzman v. Fine, 217 Va. 958, 234 S.E.2d 282.
When attorney employed under contingent fee contract is discharged without just cause and client employs another attorney who effects recovery, discharged attorney is entitled to fee based upon quantum meruit for services rendered prior to discharge.

1976 Matney v. Cedar Land Farms, 216 Va. 932, 224 S.E.2d 162.
Testimony from attorney, in firm of trial counsel, was properly allowed where it related solely to matter of formality and there was no reason to believe that substantial evidence would be offered in opposition.

1958 Brewer v. Brewer, 199 Va. 753, 102 S.E.2d 303.
Attorneys for both sides testified in case; Supreme Court admonished them to more closely observe canons of professional ethics.

1957 Daniels v. Morris, 199 Va. 205, 98 S.E.2d 694.
Plaintiff’s attorney on cross-examination impeached defendant with statement that defendant had given to plaintiff’s attorney in his office. This practice was not condoned.

1946 Harris v. Diamond Constr. Co., 184 Va. 711, 36 S.E.2d 573.
While attorney has no authority to compromise his client’s claim without client’s consent, he has full authority to act on behalf of clients in conduct of litigation before court, and thus may make admissions or stipulations of fact.

1943 VEPCO v. Bowers, 181 Va. 542, 25 S.E.2d 361.
Attorney is agent of his client and has authority to take all lawful steps for protection of his client’s interests but his authority is not unlimited. Fact that lawyer is held in contempt of court for refusal to produce document in open court, per order of court, is not sufficient to strike that party’s defenses.

1943 Robertson v. Commonwealth, 181 Va. 520, 25 S.E.2d 352.
Statement made by employee to his employer in course of his ordinary duty, concerning recent accident and before litigation has been brought or threatened, is not privileged either in hands of employer or in hands of employer’s attorney. However, statement which is obtained for good faith purpose of being communicated to attorneys for advice or for use in litigation is privileged.

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